27 answers

Need Help with Persistent Toddler Cough

My 2 1/2 has had a horrible cough for over 3 weeks now. Her peditrician suggested Delsym first. We tried this and it did not touch the cough at all. The cough got worse and we contacted the pedi again. They suggested it might be allergies and to try Claritin. Tried and once again did not help. We visited the peditrician yesterday. She did a QUICK check and suggested antibiotics. She was given Amoxicillin. Lungs sounded good and ears were clear.

So 24 hours later still nothing. I know most antibiotics take 48 hours.

I am just really concerned that something else is going on. Her cough is so bad that it takes her breath away. The cough has only gotten worse. She has no other symptoms. Sometimes she complains with her head hurting because she has coughed so hard and long. She coughs so hard sometimes she throws up. Any suggestions. I am just wondering if it could be something else.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

UPDATE: We are now almost 7 weeks into the coughing. It is now accompanied by throwing up. I am really worried about what is going on.. After our 4th dr visit yesterday, 2 rounds of antibiotics and steroids, a chest xray and an upper GI Xray..We are at a standstill.. She was prescribed prevacid because they thought she had acid reflux.. No help though.. The dr says all the xrays looks good.. He made up a followup visit in 2 weeks..

I just am at a loss and have no idea what the next steps will be.. Please pray for my little one.

Featured Answers

Try 2-3 drops of Oil of Oregano (find at Whole Foods), mix in a few ounces of water or juice, once daily. Should clear up allergy related cough and allergy symptoms within two - three days.

1 mom found this helpful

It sounds like either an infection or possibly asthma. If the antibiotic does not help then bring up the possibility of testing for asthma.

I am actually having the same thing with my 2 1/2 year old right now, as is my neighbor with her 2 1/2 year old. Persistant (seemingly productive) cough. I've taken my 5 year old in for stuff like this when she was little and they wouldn't do anything. It doesn't keep my daughter up, and only wakes her occasionally. I have been trying regular children's Sudafed and it seems to help, so I think it may be post nasal drip. She had a cold just over a month ago, and she still is struggling with the last bits of her big 2 year molars coming in.

More Answers

Try 2-3 drops of Oil of Oregano (find at Whole Foods), mix in a few ounces of water or juice, once daily. Should clear up allergy related cough and allergy symptoms within two - three days.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.,

I would suggest definitely trying to find out what might be the underlying cause of the coughing, but in the meantime, I received an email a while back and I swear by this remedy. Both of my children had croup at one time. I used the following (using Vicks Baby Rub) the first night of the start of the croup and they both slept very well, with the croup over with by the next afternoon. I was simply amazed! Maybe it could give your little one some relief. I am attaching the email below.


During a lecture on Essential Oils, they told us how the foot soles can absorb oils. Their example: Put garlic on your feet and within 20 minutes you can 'taste' it.

Some of us have used Vicks Vapo rub for years for everything from chapped lips to sore toes and many body parts in between. But I've never heard of this. And don't laugh, it works 100% of the time, although the scientists who discovered it aren't sure why. To stop night time coughing in a child (or adult as we found out personally), put Vicks Vapo rub generously on the bottom of the feet at bedtime, then cover with socks. Even persistent, heavy, deep coughing will stop in about 5 minutes and stay stopped for many, many hours of relief. Works 100% of the time and is more effective in children than even very strong prescription cough medicines. In addition it is extremely soothing and comforting and they will sleep soundly.

Just happened to tune in A.M. Radio and picked up this guy talking about why cough medicines in kids often do more harm than good, due to the chemical makeup of these strong drugs so, I listened. It was a surprise finding and found to be more effective than prescribed medicines for children at bedtime, in addition to have a soothing and calming effect on sick children who then went on to sleep soundly.

My wife tried it on herself when she had a very deep constant and persistent cough a few weeks ago and it worked 100%! She said that it felt like a warm blanket had enveloped her, coughing stopped in a few minutes and believe me, this was a deep, ( incredibly annoying!) every few seconds uncontrollable cough, and she slept cough-free for hours every night that she used it.

If you have grandchildren, pass this on. If you end up sick, try it yourself and you will be absolutely amazed at how it works


I hope this will help your little one as it did mine. Again, I just thought it was amazing. Unbelievable but it worked like a charm!

Best Wishes!

1 mom found this helpful

My sons doctor chose to go hollistic/homeopathic a couple years ago (which I was ecstatic about). Whenever my son gets "a cough" she told me to use Vick's vapor rub on his feet at bedtime. Just put a layer on the bottoms of the feet and put on socks. I thought it was a rather silly thing to do, but IT WORKS FOR HIM. Now, it may not work for everyone of course. But, if your child can sleep at night time, you both will feel better in the morning. Hope this helps. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

As awful as a cough sounds in a small person, it serves a very important purpose for the body. A cough clears the lungs so the lungs can work more efficiently. Focus on the cause, not the symptom.

It sounds a lot like seasonal allergy reaction. My son had seasonal asthmatic symptoms as a young person (he out grew them as suggested by his Dr.) but it would get really bad. We used a nebulizer for a few seasons.

IF it is allergy related, a natural approach is Nettle Tea with Local honey. This helps the body build its own natural defense against the allergens. Same as Claritin. Claritin can take up to two weeks to work, as it is a histamine building medication, don't expect it (or meds like it) to work over night. Claritin worked pretty well for us & got us off the nebulizer. You have to give it time.

The nettle tea & Local honey (honey made close to your home - not grocery store honey) got us off the Claritin all together. You can find these things at Whole foods.

Benedrill around bed time made for better sleeping at night.

Hope this was helpful to you!


Claritin worked pretty well for us & got us off the nebulizer. You have to give it time.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter was having the same problem until just 3 nights ago. It was over a month of coughing, mostly only after she had fallen asleep. Two hours or so into her sleep she would wake up coughing, for about an hour at a time, fall back asleep and then wake up again a couple of hours later. I realized it was when her throat had totally relaxed as she entered a deeper sleep stage that this happened. But I didn't know what to do. We had a warm steam humidifier with Vicks, then tried a cool steam one with Vicks, Vicks on the feet with socks, Claritin, Robitussin, spoonful of honey....NONE of them helped a single bit. When she started gagging on her coughs I got very concerned.

I happened to mention this to my sister. She told me IBUPROFEN will stop her cough. She used to have a severe cough that happened during sleep as an adult, and figure out on her own that the only thing that helped was ibuprofen. It was allergen related swelling in her throat that, when more relaxed during sleep, would touch and tickle, causing the cough.

I tried it that night after a coughing fit. My daughter slept the rest of the night without a peep. The next two nights, I gave her a dose before bed and she has not coughed a single time all night.

Please try this if your child has no known allergy to ibuprofen.

1 mom found this helpful

K., have they bothered to do a chest x-ray??? Is she up to date with her immunizations? If the coughing is at night it could be allergies...does she have any other symptoms like a fever, or runny nose or feeling yucky??? You may want to consider another pediatrician....i'm sure they checked her oxygen levels??? Sorry, it can be a little confusing trying to figure things out when you don't have all the details...but i've seen doctors who try to keep parents from worrying so they go with the basics, just stay persistant and keep pushing! It's your baby, and doctors do make mistakes sometimes, they're only human...best of luck and hope things get better soon! Just a note, antibiotics can take 3 or 4 days to really kick in.

1 mom found this helpful

It sounds like either an infection or possibly asthma. If the antibiotic does not help then bring up the possibility of testing for asthma.

Sometimes foods can cause or worsen a cough -- milk and other dairy products are known to produce mucus, for example. It's also possible that she has an insensitivity to other foods which are manifesting in a cough. My husband has sinus troubles and a cough which clear up when he stops eating things made with wheat. Weird how that works... but it does.

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.