Cough Congestion and Inhalers in a 14 Month Old Baby

Updated on March 23, 2010
V.G. asks from San Jose, CA
5 answers

Hello All,

My 14 month old baby had cough and congestion (mucus which wont come out) for the past 3 weeks. It was mainly during nights and while eating that she was coughing. We took her to doc after 2 weeks and she said lets wait for one more week and it will go away on its own. After 1 week there was no improvement. So we had to take her back to evening care to a different doc. The doc ordered chest x-ray to find out if pneumonia is there, but her chest was clean. No pneumonia or lung infection. Despite that the doc could not hear any wheezing sound, she prescribed her an inhaler. Tonight when I gave my daughter inhaler for the first time, she seemed very uneasy. Kept me hugged for about 2 hours after that and seemed like drugged too.

Now that I am thinking it all, I dont understand why initially doc dint give her any cough or congestion medicine (stating she is too cough) and then straightaway gave her this strong inhaler. Did anyone else had any similar experience? Any views / suggestions?

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answers from Tulsa on

not with a toddler but I think the second doc is on the right course. give her a dehumidifier in her room. she should be on decongestant along with inhaler. all inhalers are strong they will give you the shakes which is probably why she is clingy. it raises your heartrate. no way around this. shes really to young for decongestant so use vicks and a dehumidifier and suction here with the bulb. Inhalers can make you spacey which one did he give her? albuterol is easier than xopenex. she should show major signs of improvement in 2 days. The more she improves the less you can give her the inhaler. I graduate mine down slowly every 4 hours till I see improvement and then every 8 or as needed so forth. hope this helps some I have never had a toddler on an inhaler but I know what they do to adults which is better than no answer.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Lack of wheezing does not mean there is no lung issues.
In children, things such as asthma, presents different symptoms, from an adult.

You might mention to the Doctor about your child's reaction to it after she took it. Sometimes, they need to adjust the dosage or number of inhales.
As Denise said, there are many type of inhalers per the condition.

Also, the mucous can be coming from a post-nasal drip... or her lungs. And, congestion can originate from the nose or lungs, as well.
But they said her lungs are clear. But there could still be mucous.
Since she is congested... there is something called "Little Noses" which is for children, for nasal congestion. If your baby has nose congestion. You can find it at most drug stores, mine I got from our local Long's Drug store or CVS. BUT, I don't know the age parameters for it, although it is for children.

I have asthma.

Also, ask the Doctor, the questions you asked here... like why the inhaler if no cough or congestion etc. You are the parent and Doctors can explain that to you. Sometimes they don't explain because they assume if the patient doesn't ask, they understand. Or, they are just so busy.

All the best,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on


The inhaler will actually work better for the cough then cough medicine. When my too kids have a cough that is persistent, their doctor gives them the inhalers, often 2 types. But they are only to use them until the cough goes away. Usually about a week. We have been doing this type of program for the last year, and have found that it shortens the life of the cough by at least a week.

I hope this helps.

Take care.



answers from San Francisco on

The funny thing is that I just had this cough cold that would not go away for the past 3 months. My doctor said it was a viral infection and prescribed a lot of medicine and an inhaler but when I read the side effects of the inhaler (which included viral infection, sinus infection etc. ) I decided against it. The side effects of the inhaler were worse than the initial problem-lol!!



answers from Sacramento on

Yes, the inhaler can make kids feel uneasy. You can try it yourself to see what it feels like. Many people feel kind of jumpy...Your heart feels like it is beating fast and you tend to feel like you are taking small quick breaths. That, along with the fact that she is tired from not sleeping well, is probably why she just wanted to be held.

Research is showing that decongestants and cough suppressants don't work very well. Allergies and colds can sometimes bring on asthma so they try to treat the asthma. Many people experience asthma with a wheezing cough (I didn't realize mine was like that until a dr. told me) rather than a terrible shortness of breath. The inhalere always helped my for a short period of time but the mucus was still there and the cycle started all over again.

From my personal experience with myself and my children, start treating the CAUSE of the cough and congestion instead of letting the doctors treat the SYMPTOMS only! We had problems like your for YEARS until I finally realized we were allergic to several foods including wheat, soy and dairy. I would try taking her off dairy for a little while. It is a very common allergen and causes mucus production. It is also known to cause constipation if that has been a problem for your daughter. Of course check with your doctor but he/she will probably advise against going off dairy. Doctors are big on kids getting enough fats but don't seem to care if they are allergic to the foods the get it from. There are other ways to get the fat and the calcium. Just trying it for a week or so won't hurt and you can always put her back on it but it might really help with getting rid of the mucus. it might help you get her through this difficult time.

You can read about dairy allergies online if you suspect it. Just search "children dairy allergy" and you'll find plenty! We tend to produce antibodies to things our bodies don't recognize. Milk is from another species so our bodies generally don't recognize it. It can be good for some people but very bad for others.

Good luck and take care!

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