33 answers

What to Do About Cough in 15 Month Old???

Hi Mommas!
I need some suggestions on things to do for my baby girls cough. Yes I am one of those mommy's who does not medicate unless she REALLY needs it, but she is not getting much sleep and just coughs all night and at nap. So this is what I've tried so far. Elevated her mattress, run a humidifier, and rubbed her chest with baby vicks and she is still in there coughing. Anything else would be so helpful to help her sleep better and Mommy too. Also want to add that she does not have any fever, just a little runny nose during the day. Thanks in advance.

Also wanted to add that this is a dry cough. She even seems like she would rather not cough, but when she does it is dry sounding. And again no fever and clear mucus from the nose. Have not heard wheezing yet. Will definitely be trying the vicks on the feet tonight. Any other suggestions still welcome!

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

Oh my goodness, the vicks on the feet covered with socks REALLY works. She went down and might have coughed once, and I haven't heard a peep from her since. AMAZING! Yes I am still going to watch and make sure she doesn't get any worse, but at least she is now getting some rest. Thanks Mommas.

Featured Answers

I think try the vicks vapor rub but if it she continues coughing then you should probably consider taking her to a DR because my son would cough all night and one night I had to rush him to the ER because he couldn't breath and he had croup.

Hi C.,

I recently heard that Vicks rubbed on their feet w/socks on helps. I've done it for my boys & it seems to be helping. Hope this works for you. Have a great week!

S. J

The vicks on the bottom of the feet does work and works like magic. I've even used it on myself. Use regular vicks, not the baby kind, coat the bottom of the feet and put on a pair of socks. I can tell you that when I did it, within 10 minutes I could feel the back of my throat opening up (like I had been sucking on a lozenge) and I didn't cough the rest of the night. Everytime I do this with my daughter she is the same story. She will cough all day and then at night with the vicks on she's fine. I also still run the humidifier and I use the vicks plug ins.

More Answers

I got this e-mail yesterday and thought I would pass it on. I hope it works/helps.

VICK's Vapor Rub.

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 Vaporub
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 Vaporub generously
on the bottom of the feet at
bedtime, then cover with socks.
Even persistent, heavy, deep coughs
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.

1 mom found this helpful

This may sound odd but try the vicks on her feet and put socks on them. It helps my Sons and then I don't hear the "that stuff stinks" quite as much.

I'm like you no drug unless we have too. If you are sure she does have a chest cold then coughing is good. It clears out the sinus and cavity and keeps things moving. Someone told em to put the vapor rub on the bottom of their feet.

My son had the same problem. My pediatrician told me to continue with the humidifer, NO BABYVICKS ( he says the ingredients keeps the baby from getting better) and give plenty of water to help flush out the extra fluid. My son wouldn't drink his nursery water after awhile so he told me to put a teaspoon of sugar in four ounces of water. So after every bottle I give him four ounces of this "sugar water" and it has worked great! Stopping the babyvicks and the water has been a lifesaver. Hope this helps you like it has helped me!!!!

Hi C.,

I recently heard that Vicks rubbed on their feet w/socks on helps. I've done it for my boys & it seems to be helping. Hope this works for you. Have a great week!

S. J

The vicks on the bottom of the feet does work and works like magic. I've even used it on myself. Use regular vicks, not the baby kind, coat the bottom of the feet and put on a pair of socks. I can tell you that when I did it, within 10 minutes I could feel the back of my throat opening up (like I had been sucking on a lozenge) and I didn't cough the rest of the night. Everytime I do this with my daughter she is the same story. She will cough all day and then at night with the vicks on she's fine. I also still run the humidifier and I use the vicks plug ins.

Triaminic strips for children...I think of it as like a miracle drug. It has only the usual ingredients, but I find it works best. You should ask your Dr if you need to cut it in half for your little one.

Hi C.. Sounds like you are doing all the right things. The only other things I can suggest that I have also done is to use the Little Noses Saline Spray which gets the nasal passages and sinus nice and moist. Also, you should make sure that all of the vents, esp. in her room are good and clean. I've noticed that when even a little dust builds up on ours, mine and my family's allergies really act up. Hope this suggestions help. Good luck!

I also was going to tell you about the vicks on the feet with socks, and it does make a difference. Also if you want a natural remedy, there is a homeopathic cough syrup that I LOVE for my children better than anything over the counter. It is called B&T children's cough and bronchial syrup that you could try. I am new to the area so have no advice as to where to find it. I'm from Austin and there are natural stores everywhere, so anything like that should carry it.

She's over a year, so you might try 1Tbsp honey right before bed. Also, vicks on the bottom of feet + socks - don't know why, but it does seem to knock out a cough for several hours.


I know this is going to sound weird but, put vicks on her feet at night with socks over them and withing 5 minutes her cough will pretty much go away. I got an email with this in it, my daughter has asthma and during this time of year (cotton pulling season) we live in a semi rural area and her cough get really bad, I tried it and it worked!! My 3 year old also has had a cough and I tried it on him and it worked. I don't know how it works but it works. I hope this helps, good luck!!

Hello C.,

I hope your baby is doing better. if you get a chance get the following essential oils (sprouts/whole foods, etc)
peppermint, rosemary + basil.
on a tissue put 5 drops peppermint, 2 drops rosemary and 1 drop basil oil. put that in the room your daughter is in and one in her bedroom when she's sleeping. replace it daily (otherwise that tissue will smell really funny after about 36 hrs)

If she's congested, avoid milk products for a couple of days.
if she likes lemonade, make some home made lemonade (help w/ the phlem on her throat)

Have you used 'little noses' saline drops?

Good luck! ~C.~

night or day I think it works, put vicks vapo rub liberally on your babys feet ( thick ) put them on socks.
The cough should stop within 15 or 20 min.

Put the vicks on her feet & cover w/ socks. I know it sounds crazy but it works in most people.

Our Dr recommended Delsym cough syrup for adults and kids. Just give her half a teaspoon before bed and you will be shocked at how good it works...sometimes you have to medicate to give your child some relief.

You've gotten a lot of advice and the only thing I didn't really see is to try not to get your child too warm at night. Our pediatrician told us this and I notice, especially this time of year, I try to keep her warm at night because of it being colder. But I notice the more I cover her up or warmer pajamas she wears, she starts coughing. As soon as I take some of her blankets off the coughing usually stops. I hope this helps you a little. I also use Triaminic Cough Strips. They have them for just the cough and if you have to give it to them in the middle of the night it is way less messy than trying to get a half asleep child to drink liquid medicine. Also because it's just for cough it doesn't have all the extra medicine in it and it doesn't seem to make her groggy the next day. Good luck!

May be an ol' wives tale but worth a try....coat the bottom of her feet with Vick's vapor rub...a thick coat...and put an old pair of socks on. Someone just told me about it, I tried it with my son and it seemed to help or was a coincidence????

Also, Children's benadryl is a safe cough suppressant. My brother (a pharmacist) said one teaspoon is safe for babies 22 lbs. and more...give about an hour before bed.

I don't know what your humidifier is doing but if it is not a cool mist vaporizer change to that. Also run one during he day in whatever room she is playing in. My kids all have allergies, the boys leaning toward asthma when the weather changes aggravate their sinuses and the vaporizers are a huge help. Also make sure you are pushing fluids, keeping the mucus membranes wet and the system cleaning itself out helps a great deal. When you use the Vicks, in addition to the sock thing, make sure you are liberally doing her back in addition to her chest.

And sorry if this is insulting, but the kid is coughing all night and during naps, in what way does this child not need cough medicine now? Check with your doctor but Delsym can be used for children and adults, is a 12-hour cough medicine and even at 15 months, your doctor should be able to give you a safe dosage.

I have asthma, it sounds like your daughter might have alleries and the reason she is coughing when she naps and sleeps is because her lungs are filling up with fluid when she lies down even with the mattress elevated. Even if she is not running fever or presenting any infected material I would take her to the doctor to see if she may have allergies. If the mucus continues to build up in her system she can potentially wind up with an upper respiratory infection which should be avoided for obvious reasons in addition to trying to prevent the need for antibiotics.

If this is actually a cold, she needs her rest to get well. Something you might want to consider is that you and your pediatrician should be working as a team. Obviously my situation with my kids is different than what you describe but sometimes you have to use your common sense in dealing with your own children before you get to the level of taking them to the doctor (i.e. something that requires medication rather than rest, fluids, etc.) and evaluate that versus taking the child to the doctor sooner.

My kids a few years ago had an upper respiratory infection two to three times a year, often requiring not only antibiotics but with my younger son, he didn't respond to them well so it was often two rounds of anibiotics plus a steroid to get his system back on track. My doctor prescribes the same meds in the same dosage for me but the pediatrician would not allow me to keep a prednisone scrip in the house for the boys. I have discussed this with my physician, that it makes more sense to take one or two pills when the system starts really getting out of line, avoiding the antiobiotics and a full five days of the prednisone by waiting until the condition gets much worse. So when their lungs start going south, they take one or two doses of the pills and have been off antibiotics for around 5 years with no emergency room visits for the asthma.

From one 'natural Mummy' to another.. is it a cough cough or a cough because she has got used to coughing.

A couple of things I would do are :- I used to put fish oil in my sons milk bottle at night, I would see a chiropractor ( I know a children's one if you're interested), & lastly I would give cough medicine (you can get more natural ones at Whole Fodds) probably for 1 or two nights to help her sleep to heal herself & I might give her Ibprophen once during the day for two days.

Steaming in the bathroom for 20 mins is more for reliving congestion in the nose, however, it does help a cough for a little while.

If you can get some honey and turmeric down her it would be fanastic. Maybe dissolved in her milk. When whe is older you can make balls from honey and turmeric mixed together and get her used to eating those - a natural anti bacterial & anti inflamitory.

Here is a home remedy I have yet to try -none of my kids have had a cough. I received an email that says to rub VICKs on the bottom of the feet and put socks on over it. Give it a try. What will it hurt? And please let me know if it does work.

if she has a runny nose then maybe its mucus thats making her cough. try giving her a small amount of children's claritin (dr. told me to and its working). that might clear up her sinuses. or give her a half teaspoon of robitessin (not sure how to spell that one. it will help her sleep and it will break up that mucus. my dr. told me to do that and it helped over a few days.

Hi C.,

I would also try putting the vapor rub on her feet and then put socks on her. There is something about putting it on there feet that works so much better. Also try saline drops for her running nose, you want to keep any drainage out of her nose to keep it from going into her ears and causes an ear infection. I know you don't like to medicate her, and either do I when it comes to my daughter, however, babies ibuprofen drops really work and help with the cough and sleep. It made a huge difference in her healing process. Hope all goes well! Good luck and Bless your family!

Sounds crazy, but rub her feet with Vick's VapoRub and put socks on her right before bed. If that doesn't work, bite the bullet and give her triaminic. Just make sure it is the normal kind, not the "non-drowsy" or else she'll jump in her bed all night long.


I have a 3yo and 15 month too. I have found both for myself and the kiddos that having a humidifier running through the night worsens the coughing. I usually try to run it throughout the day and keep helping them to clear out the mucus while they are awake. Then just before bedtime I take a hot shower with them in the bathroom inhaling the steam. I then give them a bath with a few drops of essential Eucalyptus in the water. These two things clear out a lot of mucus. I do put some Vicks on the feet, chest, and back. I sometimes even give them a little dose of aceteminophen if they havne't been getting enough sleep. At night I leave a little bowl of water near the heat vent. It doesn't steam, which encourages movement of the mucus down the throat and thus more coughing, but it does keep just enough moisture to prevent painful drying of the nose. In the morning, I nurse my 15 month old, or give my toddler some warm herbal tea in a cup and then massage the area below their ears in a downward motion. This helps to get everything moving again for the day. I started doing these things after my second daughter was born. The first one had several ear infections in her first couple years, but since doing this neither has had any need for prescriptions.

Mucinex for kids works. Also, put Vicks on the soles of her feet & put socks on right before she goes to bed. It really, really does work...helped my son & I both.

Our daughter is 14 months old, and we seem to live with persistent coughing all the time - she's a "daycare baby" and seems to pick up every germ that comes around. When she's had a cough that has lasted for a while, though, I always take her in to the pediatrician just so that they can listen to her chest and make sure that it's not too deep and that she's not wheezing. We've been on breathing treatments almost the entire year, and just switched to an inhaler, as her coughing almost always turns to wheezing a bit.

Our doctor repeatedly tells us to do just what you're doing - elevate the bed, humidifier in the room. And like another mom said - steaming her in the bathroom. Sometimes the steaming makes the cough worse for a bit, but it's because it's helping to clear her out.

When ours is unusually fussy and clingy...that typically means for her that it's moved from her chest to her head and into her ears...ear infection. :( Seems like a vicious cycle for us, hope the same isn't true for you! I'm sure she's just got a nasty cold!

I would be watchful because flu, pertussis and RSV are currently in the community. You may just want him seen by the doctor to rule anything out. He may just have a cold and needs to run its course; however, we are getting into sick season! Fun times :)

Dear C.,
Sounds like allergies. Check this web site out www.ecoquestintl.com/garrett, click on the air purifier. good luck God Bless
J. G

I think try the vicks vapor rub but if it she continues coughing then you should probably consider taking her to a DR because my son would cough all night and one night I had to rush him to the ER because he couldn't breath and he had croup.

I know this is going to sound crazy but, I tried it along with my 8 year old, 6 year old and 6 month old.......put the vicks rub all over the bottom of the feet then put socks on. It will help enough to sleep.

It could be asthma, when my daughter was around 18 months I took her to the doctors cuz she was constantly congested. He had to put her on asthma medication to clear her up, she is 6 now and has seemed to have outgrown her asthma! But if its a persistant cough w/mucus what happens is her airways constrict an doesn't allow the mucus to be coughed out successfully. Over time it will turn into wheezing and she could have an asthma attack! Didn't mean for that to sound dramatic, but its true, so you may want to have her checked out if your other suggestions do not seem to help. Good Luck!!

My 2 year old granddaughter had the same problem. Her doctor tried everything that she could possibly give her. She then sent her to a pulmonary doctor, they gave her inhalers to do twice a day and some lortadine. So it could be allergies. Might want to check with your doctor. Good-luck. D. S.

You have obviously gotten alot of responses, but I will go ahead and respond with what we have done with my little one. Yes the baby vicks on the feet with socks works, our pediatrician said never put it on their chest because for little ones it is more of an irritant and will keep them coughing. He has been spot on with everything else so I do whatever they tell us. My child doesn't have asthma or any breathing issues, but we did get a breathing machine and keep medicine. When he starts with the coughing we start using the breathing machine to help break up all of the congestion. That is one side effect of breathing treatments. We use Xopenex (which is a medicine they use in inhalers) and Pulmicort (a cortisonal steroid) when things get rough. Might not be right for you but always works for us. You have gotten some good ideas. I would start going down the list and try them. It is better than having your little one coughing like that. Hope we have all helped a little.

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