16 answers

How Long Before I Should Take My Baby to the Doctor for a Cough?

I have 4 kids aged 3 1/2 and under, and they have all had little colds with coughs recently. My 6 month old girl's cough is still hanging on after about 3 weeks. It's not a really bad cough, and it isn't very strong. She did have a runny nose and other cold symptoms at first, but the cough is the only one lingering. It doesn't sound fleghmy and it doesn't seem to really be bothering her. The cough is not getting any worse - it's been the same this whole time and better since the other cold symptoms cleared. She also doesn't have any change in any other behavior (eating, sleeping, energy, fussiness, etc.) Should I be worried about it and take her in? Or should I wait a while and see if it resolves on it's own?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you, everyone for all your wonderful responses. I have already been using the humidifier in her room, and I think her cough is actually getting a little better and less often. She's due for another well visit in about a week, so I think I'll just wait it out until then, and ask about it if it's still going on at that time. In the meantime, I'll be keeping a close eye on her for any changes.

Featured Answers

Humidity might help, it's been a cold dry winter....
Hyline homeopathic tabs have vit C 25mgs 2 times a day.
If diarhea starts up cut back to 1 25 mg tab.
Good luck
A.

I think if she isn't too uncomfortable and it's not a really bad cough I would wait it out still. I haven't tried this but I heard that if you put garlic and make it into a paste and rub it on the bottom of her feet. Then put socks on top it will help the cough. I have no idea if it works but it is worth a try! :) P.s. I think you are AMAZING that you have twin 1 1/2 year olds and a six month old. I have twin 9 month old girls and a two year old. Good luck!

More Answers

I think if she isn't too uncomfortable and it's not a really bad cough I would wait it out still. I haven't tried this but I heard that if you put garlic and make it into a paste and rub it on the bottom of her feet. Then put socks on top it will help the cough. I have no idea if it works but it is worth a try! :) P.s. I think you are AMAZING that you have twin 1 1/2 year olds and a six month old. I have twin 9 month old girls and a two year old. Good luck!

After a few kids I finally figured out the thing to do is call your doctor's office and ask to talk to the nurse. She will tell you if you need to bring your child in and if you don't need to take her in she will tell you how to relieve her symptoms at home.

If she doesn't have a fever and the cough is not a "barking" cough then it is probably just lingering from the cold. It never hurts to call your doctor, though.

I have to things to say. First of all the cough is the last thing to leave after a cold, so I wouldn't be too worried they can last for a while. The second is, I was reading in my "What to Expect" book yesterday and it said that sometimes babies that age cough for the attention, so just ignore it and it will stop. Just some ideas to think about.

A.,

I've got 3 kids under 8, all of which get the croup every year. We've always had the lingering cough and it drives me nuts! My advice is to take her in, use a cold air humidifier, and to pick up the chest patches! We've been lucky this year and haven't been sick! Good luck!

J.

When in doubt, check it out. That was my motto when raising kids, but often the doctor can only assure you it is not pneumonia. I would suggest a humidifier near where she sleeps or naps, elevate the mattress, offer her water often, and do salt water nose drops(1/4 tsp per cup of water - use qtip or dropper to apply) to loosen up any residual drainage which is probably causing her cough. You don't have to aspirate every time, just let it settle in there and do its work.

Maybe give it a couple more weeks. Sometimes colds can take 6 weeks form start to finish.

Humidity might help, it's been a cold dry winter....
Hyline homeopathic tabs have vit C 25mgs 2 times a day.
If diarhea starts up cut back to 1 25 mg tab.
Good luck
A.

It's RSV season. I would just be weary of that. I had my 8 month old in the hospital for 2 weeks because he started with a small CLEAR runny nose and a cough. But his breathing became fast and shallow. I would just keep an eye on her breathing. Good luck.

You can always call the nurse at the any hospital.
Some times sinus problems cause a cough, so does allergies. Our air is so dry. I would say three weeks is a long time.
I don't have any little ones anymore except for grand kids. I am a mother eight, but they are grown.
My 18 month old grandson was sick for quite a while and when my daughter took him in, he had a sinus infection. Good luck

Dear A.,
Three weeks is a long time for a cough, but sometimes they just linger on. If you are concerned enough, then you should take her in to be seen. If she seems well, and as you said and all of her behaviors are within norms, then she is probably ok. I would suggest you take her temperature and monitor it for a low grade fever.

There are cough syrups that are beneficial. I use "Slippery Elm" -I make a gruel out of it with water and some sweetener. DON'T USE HONEY.. SHE IS TOO YOUNG FOR HONEY.
I add it to their cereal or put it is some applesauce1-2 teas. each meal . It helps lessen mucus secretions. I also like the way it tastes. Fenugreek tea is also good. You may beable to find some glycerin based tinctures at your local health food store to help.
Look at her diet. Is she breastfed? Are you introducing foods that may continue her cough? Those are just some things to look at as well. I liked the suggestion that you keep moisture in your air at home- monitoring the moisture is very helpful.
I also give my children a good foot rub, even when they are little, it can help move the congestion out.

Best Wishes!
H. B. MOM (mother of many-9)

I'm the kind, that if I feel like taking them in, even if it seems they aren't that bad, I go with the feeling. That is a really long time... they always tell me that if they aren't better within a certain time to bring them in. It wouldn't really hurt to just take her in.

Coughs do go on for a long time. If you are worried I'd call your doctor and see over the phone if he thinks you should bring the baby in-- calling first will save you some money and time if he just says to wait it out.

SAHM of 3 1/2 year old girl and 19 mo old boy with one on the way. Married 6 1/2 years.

I was at the doctor last week, and he said (now I have a newborn, and yours is 6 months old, so take this for what it's worth...)that a cough is going to be a sign of RSV. With no other symptoms, it may not be that. I don't know where you are at(in the country)but RSV has been spreading around terribly here in Utah, even with the older kids. It may be worth at least a call to your doc. Good luck, sick kids are no fun!

Call the Dr. and ask his opinion. My Dr office will suggest hanging out in the bathroom with a hot shower runing. It did wonders for my first born when she was about that age. But call first. Good luck.

I would bring your baby in. My 22 month old son had the same symptoms for about the same amount of time and when I brought him in to see the Dr. it turned out all the symptoms stemmed from an ear infection. Your baby may not have an ear infection, but it's a good idea to get it checked out before anything gets worse.

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