25 answers

Why Won't My Baby's Cold Go Away?

My son is 10 months old and has had cold symptoms consistently since he started going to daycare at 3 months of age. His symptoms vary and come and go but I can not remember a single stretch of time longer than 1 week in which he was not sick at all. His symptoms (some occasional and some more frequent) include coughing (phlegm in chest), runny nose, stuffy nose, yellowish/green discharge from nose, and sneezing. I have tried every single cold/flu/allergy product on the shelves and nothing seems to really help much. I am a first-time mom struggling with the question "What am I doing wrong?" Infants cannot possibly be sick this often for this long of a period...and even after the cold/flu season is over! On one occasion I took him to the E.R. because I was so worried about him and they said he had an upper respiratory viral infection that just has to go away on its own. His pediatrician has said that maybe he has asthma and I've given him an inhaler for awhile but that hasn't helped either. Can someone PLEASE help me?!?!?

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Featured Answers

Have you considered a milk alergy? I was like that until my mom read an article about milk alergy and she cut out all dairy from my diet and I got better within the week and stayed better. It's a tough diet but not as bad as constant ear infections and runny noses. Good luck. ~V.

Sounds like allergies - not a cold... I was diagnosed at 6 months and at 36 still live with those symptoms almost everyday - asthma too....

Could me to environmental or foods - or a combination of both hard to say, but interesting that it started at the day care -

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well the first thing I would look at is the yellow/green discharge coming from baby's nose...this is a different situation than clear runny discharge coming out of the nose at the beginning of a cold which changes to the yellow/green discharge towards the end of the cold or flu. definitely take your baby back to the dr., and if you don't like what you are being told, seek out a second opinion.

I agree, it is helpful to cut out dairy whenever your baby has excess mucous or phlegm. It will also help if your baby has any diarrhea (cutting out dairy). Look at your son's diet, & consider consulting alternative health resources to help support you in getting him well. Two good books I use often with my son are "Healthy Healing" by Linda Page (a naturopathic dr.) and "Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child" by Zand, Rountree & Walton. They are reference books & list all sorts of illnesses & the various western (regular medicine, like your Pediatrician) as well as alternative health care treatments for those conditions. They have ideas on diet, medicine, herbs, bodywork, and anything else that can help. Healthy healing also has a great website you can check out first to get some ideas, www.healthyhealing.com

Is your son taking a multiviamin? My son loves to take a liquid vitamin I got from Raley's, it tastes like berries & seems to help boost his immunity & energy almost immediately. When my son has a cold (he is 2 now, but I started this when he was less than a year old), I also give him a very diluted dose of Airborne (the over the counter fizzy tablets that you dissolve in water, to help fight colds) or Emergen-C packets. Lots of juice (fresh is best), dilute 1/2 & 1/2 with water so he doesn't get too sugared-up. We use a vaporizer to help loosen phlegm (you can put a drop or two of peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil in the water), and on occasion use a nebulizer if he is wheezing. You can also use some Vicks Baby Rub (like Vapo-Rub, but for babies), rub it on his chest & belly, it is soothing & smells very gently like lavender & eucalyptus. When you give him a bath, try putting a little peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil in the bath (about 3 or 4 drops is plenty), stir the water around well before you put him in (this is if you use a full tub of water! if you are still using a baby tub, use only 1 drop.)

Can you take your son out of daycare? It sounds like this might be the root of the problem...even if you do so for just a few weeks, to see if he gets healthy, it might be worth considering...maybe look at what other childcare arrangements could be made, in the interest of his health...

Hope this helps, it is so frustrating to have a sick child!

2 moms found this helpful

Hi D.,

I have the same problem with my daughter who is now 19 months old. She always has a runny nose (sometimes green mucus), coughing (sometimes), and sneezing (most of the time). She's been going to her daycare since she was 3 months old and I also breastfed her until she was 11 months (I was told if I breastfed her she would rarely get sick). Now that she's gotten older it hasn't been as bad as it was when she was younger. I think my daughter's case is a much worse case than your son's. When my daughter was 10 months old I had to take her to the E.R. twice within a couple of weeks. The first time (she was in a place where there was a cat) I took her, the doctor she seen that day diagnosed her with pneumonia and prescribed her an inhaler and Antibiotics. The second time I had to take her (really not sure what triggered it, maybe smoke or dust) I used the inhaler before and it did not work. She wasn't diagnosed with anything. The doctor that seen her that day just asked if she had any brothers or sisters with asthma. When I took her to see her pedatrician he told me he would usually diagnose a patient with asthma after the 3rd trip to the E.R. He diagnosed my daughter with asthma with only 2 trips to the E.R. and he gave me a Nebulizer System (this is what the hospital used, the 2 times she went, to give her the breathing treatment) so I won't have to make anymore trips to the E.R. He prescribed her Albuterol for the Nebulizer. Albuterol was also prescribed to her for her inhaler but it didn't seem to work like the Nebulizer did. Since I've got the Nebulizer (it'll be a year in August) I've only had to use it once (thank God) because she was playing with my neighbors dog. Now I know she can't be around any animals with fur. :(

I'm not really sure but maybe your son just has allergies. My daughter's pedatrician gave me a magazine for things that can cause allergies and how to keep your house clean. You should dust your house and change the sheets on your son's bed often. My niece just has allergies not asthma and my sister has to dust and change her bed sheets every day. You should watch to see how your son reacts to animals with fur and when you dust your house make sure you use a damp cloth. I would also keep my daughter inside when we would get that windy weather. I know you said you tried every single product for allergies but have you tried Children's Dimetapp Cold/Allergy? I use that when my daughter gets a stuffy nose and it works for her. This medication relieves nasal congestion, sneezing, runny nose, and itchy watery eyes. I really hope this helps you out a little bit. Let me know how everything turns out.

Sounds like allergies - not a cold... I was diagnosed at 6 months and at 36 still live with those symptoms almost everyday - asthma too....

Could me to environmental or foods - or a combination of both hard to say, but interesting that it started at the day care -

D. - first, is your little one on breastmilk or formula? If it's formula, then he's going to be more susceptible to colds in daycare, but you are right - no baby should be sick that long. Forget the ER - have your pediatrician refer you to a pediatric ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) specialist. Someone who is skilled in dealing with the respiratory system. INSIST that your pediatrician do this - even if it does turn out to have a virus, it will ease your mind. If your little one is on breastmilk, have you tried putting a couple of drops of breastmilk, several times a day up his nose (like you would a nose spray?). Breastmilk can work wonders on an infection, but again, this sounds more intense then just a little cold, so see that specialist!

We were experiencing this with my daughter. We bought a air purifier and took her off of cow milk. We used zyrtec, an allergy med perscribed from the doctor and all the problems went away. Now she primarily drinks soy milk and we still use the air purifier every time she sleeps and we have not had anymore problems. Allergies can cause the same symptoms as a cold and can turn into infections. Maybe this can help your little one too.


Dear D.,

Maybe that is not a cold or flu, but allergy. I had to have my son tested for what he was allergic to, then had him on a very strick diet for about 18 months. It certainly helped him, and yes, the doctor made us keep him home quietly until his lung infection cleared up on its own. His body is probably reacting to something or some things that he is allergic to, and all the over the counter medicine in the world will not cure it. He has to live free of whatever he is allergic to and then his body will recuperate. Yes, this is true.

Sincerely, C. N.

Take him to his regular doctor. It could have started as a viral infection and turned into something else. My 6 mo old had a "virus" and I took him in and it turned out to be croup. They gave him a shot and we were out of there and he was better in less than a week. Be on the safe side.

My youngest is going through the same thing right now. He turned one yesterday and we have had this problem since he was born. We have done all of the over the counter things. We did the albuterol and pulmacort for asthma. We saw the ENT doc. and we were cleared from him too. I take jake to he ER every coupple of mo. because of my fear but they all tell me the same thing. his last bloor test showed a low platelet count but the doc. says it wasn't too low so we will re-run the test next week. For now, he wants us to see an allergy specialist. He says that they may be able to find out what is wrong with another blood test. Then if it is not an allergy, he said that they would better know what diseases if any to start looking for. (Sorry about my spelling) You might want to ask you doc. about seeing one. See what he says. Let me know what happens though. Maybe something that you do with your doc. could help us.
Take care,

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