18 answers

Is Coughing for 5 Weeks Really Normal?

Hi Moms. My baby girl will be 2 this month and she has been coughing for 5 weeks, a congested cough that has gotten better and worse at times. We've been in to see the dr 3x (2 difft drs) and they say she's had cold after cold and then the flu. Once it turned into the flu, she had a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia and went on Tamiflu for 5 days. The flu part is over now, but she is back to that same cough that she's had for 5 weeks with no break. I just have such a hard time believing that it's normal. 5 weeks straight? What is your experience?

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I experienced the same thing and the diagnosis was asthma. A nebulizer machine worked great and she only needs it now when she gets sick with the cold/flu etc.

One of my kids have a long lasting cough a couple years ago. We needed a prescription cough medicine to kick it.

Doc said his body got used to coughing and the diaphragm kept spasming...why it kept continuing. He wasn't sick anymore, but still had that cough due to the muscle spasms.

I am sorry that I can't remember the name of it. I know Doc had a sample in the office, so we could give him the first dose while we waited for the prescription to be filled.

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I love www.askdrears.com He has a whole section on coughs and colds. If I remember correctly it does say coughs can linger for weeks.

Check his site out...I use it for everything from fevers/colds/falls/bumps and cuts.

He always tells you when to just watch it, when to call the doctor during office hours, when to page the doctor after hours, when to go to the ER, when to call an ambulance.

My husband always teases me when I am reading the site asking, "Does Dr. Sears say we should panic yet??"

Hope this helps...

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S., I would suggest that your daughter be checked for asthma. My daughter's first asthma symptom was chronic coughing and nothing seemed to help it. After several years of dealing with mild asthma, she greatly suffers from long lasting coughing after every bout of cold or flu. Good luck.

A cough does not progress itself into the flu. They are 2 different viral strains. No, a congested cough for 5 weeks straight is not normal. Has she been tested for allergies? She may be allergic to something that is making her cough. The drainage from the nose (if runny) could be moving on down into her chest to make her congested.

Hey S., I have a couple of questions for you. After your 2 yr. old child was over the flu and the coughing continued, did the doctors ever do another chest x-ray to rule out bronchitis? Are her coughs productive? I want to suggest that if her coughs are productive that you get a cool mist humidifier especially when the air is really dry and definately push lots of fluids (especially water) and not so much the milk if she is drinking lots of it until this is over! That is what I did for my boys when they were little! Hope this helps!

I experienced the same thing and the diagnosis was asthma. A nebulizer machine worked great and she only needs it now when she gets sick with the cold/flu etc.

First of all you follow YOUR OWN mommy heart and brain. If you feel your child needs a certain medication or a certain type of care, you go for it. Being a parent means doing your best for YOUR child. Making your own decision for your child and then No regrets. As long as you have done your best, you have done all that can be done.

Now that I have stepped off the soap box....

I do believe there are lingering coughs after some colds or flus. I have had them myself.

Could be allergies to mold or whatever else is all around.

Another thing is to document all of this yourself. We realized our daughter had asthma, but it was not diagnosed officially till she was about 18 months. We all documented everything, to make sure that we all had a heads up with what was going on. Ask your physician about a humidifier. You may also want to consider a room filter machine. Some infants really have trouble with dust. Hang in there mom. That lingering cough is very distressing, but there are so many possibilities, it may take a little hile to figure it out.

You should ask the doctor to check if she has asthma?? May just be a little, she may need a breathing treatment, or she might need to be tested for allergies?? Just a suggestion, good luck!!

My son had recently been sick on and off for three weeks and his cough only got worse. So I took him to the doctor and they took and x-ray and he told me it wasn't neumonia but that it was bronchial asthma. It wasn't untill three weeks later for a total of six weeks now that my son has finally recovered by the medicine the doctor prescribed and by my son using a nebulizer machine that the doctor also prescribed that my son is now better. The medicine he prescribed was azithromycin(?) and the medicine to put in the nebulizer is called albuterol. Come to find out I have several friends that have told me the same thing happened with their kids and that at some point in their lives they had to use a nebulizer. Two of them still use it from time to time out of the five friends that surprisingly told me their children went through the same thing. It's usually not something you start talking about, but they happened to tell me when they called to talk and I told them what was going on with my son's health that they told me this. I hope your baby gets better!

Hi Momma,

My son is two and a half, he has had the same round of sickness (I believe most of the word has lately). Unlike you I did not take him to the doctor. We have a family full of Nurses and a Doctor. Don't get me wrong if he was running a high fever, or lethargic I would have taken him immediately! Now here is where people's opinions come to a cross road......... I do not believe in taking a child to the doctor for every little thing, nor do I think putting them on medicine; Antibiotics, and those type of medicines. Now, with the swine flu and just a nasty cold in general I do completely understand being worried, I sure was..........

Now as far as the cough, that is completely normal, as long as she as no underlying problems. If she did then there would be reason to worry. If her cough is caused from a common cold or flu, as you mentioned, there is no way to make that go away, those type of illnesses are viral. With a viral infection it can last allot longer (the symptoms, at least i.e coughing) if it was bacterial then you could get antibiotics (ONLY IF NEEDED!!!! WE AS HUMANS, OUR BODIES BECOME IMMUNE TO ANTIBIOTIC!!! then they become not EFFECTIVE anymore!). your poor little angel sounds like she had a bout of colds.......believe me when I say in this situation, that you mentioned is GOOD! If she were not coughing the mucus would just sit in her lungs, and form puss pockets, that in return turn into pneumonia.

Your mommy radar is always right though, if you feel there is something else wrong, you take her as many times as you want!!! There is nothing more scary than our little ones being sick!! Just awful, really. Especially with this nasty little flu going around. Just make sure she coughs up the stuff, or as gross as it sounds at least swallows it to get rid of some of that mucus. You could have her tested for Acute Bronchitis......... that is a lingering cough that follows a bad bout of a cold or flu???????? Which is also Viral :( so no over the counter meds or prescribed ones will hep......

I hope I have helped in someway, my little guy has been sick for like three weeks now, not constant .... more like on and off......... this past week he had a fever... 102.1 made us really scared! I called his Doctor, whom he has seen since birth, she said bring him in if it didn't break in the middle of the night.....thank GOD it went down to like 99.1 within a couple hours and never went back up that high again...... still felt puny.... but better... he now just has that yucky wet cough :(

Have a great day!! And the best thing you can do is keep saying little prayers for her and cuddles....


To me just another mom is sounds like she may have an allergie to something.. It could be laundry soap to foods,just try a different one and see what happens.If you have a pet try cleaning very good and keeping the pet away for at least a week and see if that is the problem.If you have smoker or use alot of sprays around the house keep them seperate and see what happens. Good luck. Another mom.

i do remember our son sneezing and coughing alot as a new born. they said it was due to him trying to get any extra fluids out. but it didnt last for very long at all...week perhaps a month at the most. trust your momma gut on this one and keep asking the doctor to find out what is wrong. ask friends that you trust which doctor they recomend. God bless and congrats on your new little one.

It might be asthma or allergies. Inquire about this @ her next dr.'s appt.

I'm assuming you've definitely taken her off all milk products right? That just adds to the congestion BIG time. Sambucol available at wholefood can be safely consumed in large amounts, lots of vitamin c and fresh stuff, get a vaporizer for sure for her room at night. Good luck getting it under control.

Hi S.
So sorry to hear your little one is suffering with this annoying cough. If she has no fever and you are certain she does not have a cold or any of those symptoms then it is most likely from something she is inhaling either from her bed linens or her clothing or just particles in the air.
Be sure you are using laundry detergent that has no fillers or chemicals and see if that does not make a difference. If you are unsure about which products are safe to use PM me and I can tell you of the ones I use and have used for over 5 years and will never go back to the products I previously used.
good luck and blessings

My daughter (6.5 mos) has had a cough for about 3 weeks, was a cold, then ear infection/cough from drainage. Has gotten better but not gone. She was on antibiotics for her ear which seemed to help but pedi said use the vaporizer in her room at night and bulb suction her nose. I am not worried, it's not in her lungs and same as adults, when we get a cough it takes forever to go away and medicine rarely works. You aren't the only one dealing with this if it makes you feel better. Good luck.

My 6 year old was coughing and congested for months on and off. I took her in to the dr. several times for it. She was put on Claritin and Flonase for allergies and it seemed to help some, but she was still coughing so I continued to take her in to the dr. looking for answers. She was given an inhaler and tested for asthma since the coughing was worse at night, but it didn't help that much. Not until I took her to the dentist for a check-up did we discover the problem. She had EIGHT cavities and was diagnosed with GERD/acid reflux. I'm not sure what caused her to develop GERD as she rarely even spit up as an infant. She had never had a cavity before and then she had eight due to the acid reflux. Her coughing was worse at night because she was lying down. Once she was put on Prevacid she got better in a hurry and the coughing disappeared. I'm not sure if this is your daughter's problem, but it may be something you want to check out. Good luck!

I would have her evaluated by an ENT physician and if no answers, a pediatric allergist. I wouldn't let the coughing continue without some answers.
In the mean time you might look up milk or wheat allergies in young children and see if either of these could be the culprit. You can do your own detective work by putting her on a mild elimination diet for a week . Then add milk and cheese,etc. and document any changes. Do the same with wheat.

One of my kids have a long lasting cough a couple years ago. We needed a prescription cough medicine to kick it.

Doc said his body got used to coughing and the diaphragm kept spasming...why it kept continuing. He wasn't sick anymore, but still had that cough due to the muscle spasms.

I am sorry that I can't remember the name of it. I know Doc had a sample in the office, so we could give him the first dose while we waited for the prescription to be filled.

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