Mucinex for Babies

Updated on January 27, 2008
M.S. asks from Cleveland, TX
10 answers

Ok here son has been sick with a cough and congestion for the last few days. He(we) have not been sleeping at night because his cough wakes him up and makes him gag so much so that he threw up last night. His 3 hr nap is now 20 minutes, and my poor lil' guy is feeling awful but I think its more cause he is tired instead of his cold. (I do use vicks, baby vapor bath, humidifier, put him in his swing so he is elevated) My doctor said its just a cold and to give him benedryl but its not helping so I no longer want to give him any, I just want to give him something at night so he can sleep. I want to give him mucinex for kids and on the directions it has or kids 2-6 and 6-12 but that drives me nuts because my son weighs 21 lbs and some 2 yr olds weigh that much. I did find a dosage convertion chart by Dr. Sears online. As far as I understand the medicine(s) are safe you just have to follow the directions carefully and not mix them. I guess I would just like to know opinions and if any of you mommas still give your babies meds.Its hard to watch your kids be miserabe and
I am exhausted

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answers from Dallas on

At your son's age, there is no known safe drug for that. And I do know that Mucinex products are NOT tested for children that young.

Additionally, the active ingredient in Mucinex is guaifenesin (GU). GU is an expectorant, meaning that it loosens mucus in the lungs to give you a more productive cough. What you would want for night would be a cough suppressant.

You are doing all that you can right now. It will just take time.

ETA: I wanted to address what Sandy has said about parental dosage mistakes. It is very true that these recalls we've all read/heard about have to do with mistakes made in the amount of medication given to a child. HOWEVER, many infants are unable to metabolize some of these active ingredients and when they are given subsequent doses (even when directions are followed properly) they are inadvertently overdosed and could possibly die as a result. At 6 months, a baby's system (no matter their weight) just isn't developed enough to handle these medications.

Try and look at it this way: The fact that he is coughing something up is a good thing. It means his body is fighting the sickness and getting it out of his system.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I do give my kids mucinex but not sure I did at 6 months...wish I could remember. If Dr. Sears had a dosage on his site for your lil' guy...personally I would do it. Avoid cough suppressants...if his cough changes you won't catch it and it could be pneumonia. We also use the vicks baby rub on the bottoms of our kids feet...with the bed elevated or him on an incline of some sort (put rolled towels under his mattress or something) that should help. Also, a vaporizer is better than a humidifier for the cold type can get one for like $10 at releases a warm moist air that seems to help my two lil' ones.



answers from San Diego on

Hi Maria,

My son is 4 months old and we've been dealing with Bronchialitis for a couple of weeks now. He is very congested and had a horrible cough. He wasn't sleeping very well and was having trouble breathing. He would spit up, too, because he had a sore throat from everything. Now he is on a nebulizer 4 times a day and it has helped tremendously!

I would take your son to see his Pedi. If the fluid sits there for too long it could cause ear infections. In the meantime, make sure you are using nasal spray in his nose and sucking out as much mucus as you can. That will help with the congestion, but sometimes it can bee a little deeper and you won't be able to suck up anything. Our Pedi has said there isn't anything OTC we can give our son just yet, but since yours is a few months older than mine, I don't know. Good luck, I hope he feels better soon and that it doesn't turn into something serious like pneumonia!




answers from Killeen on

I have 3 boys and everytime they have had a cough I was told to give them cough meds but the only thing that ever changed about those meds was that before they were 2 I was only given suppressants because babies under that age aren't capable of clearing the mucous from their bodies. I always gave my boys suppressants cause thats what their peds told me to do. Recently with all of the new drug research that has been done the one thing that I have heard about and tried that worked great was the vicks on the bottom of the feet thing. You get vicks vapor rub and put it on the bottom of his feet and put socks on him and it takes a couple of mins to work but lasts for hours. NO coughs and it loosens up the congestion in the nose too and has helped loads with my boys. The other thing is to have him sleep in his swing or carseat keeping him elevated to help him breath better. I wish I had known about the vicks thing sooner cause it really works and I've recommended it to lots of my M. friends and we've all had the same results, plus it works on adults too! But if you decide to give him a med that isn't for babies and he's a good size guy then i wouldn't be concerned to much about giving him half a dose at first to see how he handles it and I would of course do this during the day to make sure you can keep an eye on him then go from there with whatever works for you and gives him the best relief. Well the best of luck to you and I hope your little guy gets better.



answers from Dallas on

there has been much on TV and everywhere about how dangerous meds are for babies. Some doctors say give them nothing. My belief, and you asked for my belief, although others may disagree, is similar to your belief, which is that the problem most have had with meds is that they overmedicate their babies because they did not give proper dosages and/or did not pay attention. So, yes, I am still giving my children some meds. However, I do this in partnership with my pediatrician (and their pulmonary specialist). My pediatrician gave me an appropriate dosage amount based on the size and health of my babies (I have twins). You need to get that from your pediatrician and if you are not comfortable with their advice consider finding another. I don't understand someone advising yuo to give Benadryl for a cough or a virus. Benadryl is for allergies and will help to relieve a runny nose. For the symptoms you describe, I use Triaminic Night Time Cough & Cold, and give only the amount prescribed by the doctor. Believe me I share your frustration when I have 4 children under 5 and every time I go to the dr office she says, "Well, it's a virus and there's really nothing we can do." But do be careful if that cough goes on for a long time or is accompanied by wheezing you need to get back to the dr's office; it may have gotten worse or be pneumonia, or could be a sign of asthma. I'm not saying that's what your child has, rather that you need to take him back (or call the dr) if it continues to worsen. You already are doing everything else that I do. Sometimes I sit up with my baby, let him watch TV while I doze, or let him go to sleep in my lap in a sitting position - it helps the congestion, and I doze while holding him. Of course when it's both of them that's kinda hard. I do understand how you feel and it is so hard. Hopefully he will get better soon.



answers from Austin on

Hello Maria-

I just went thourhg thi smyself and I have a 9 month old who sucks her thumb for comfort and sleeping. Its very tough to manage thumb sucking with a stuffy nose. Here is what I did and it worked for us...

1/2 teaspoon of the children's mucinex (amount determined by my pedi for my 22 lb 9 month old) 1/2 to an hour before sleep time and then every 4 hours or however often they need it

1/2 hour before sleep time I plug in her VAPORIZER and use the vapo-steam liquid in the water as well as the baby vicks on her chest, back and a little dab on her nose.

If she is really stuffy I give her a bath first in a pre-steamed bathroom, and if I have it I will put those vapo-tablets in the sink in some hot water to make the bathroom nice and menthol-ish. You can also buy menthol and eucaliptis bathsalts from like Central Market or places like that and put them in the bathwater.

No matter what, naptime is going to get off for a bit, just try sticking to your routine as much as possible and when let him take extra naps when he can.
I hope your baby is better already but maybe you can try this next time...


I don't think the humidifiers work as well when they are congested, I'm not sure if you are using the humidifer or vaporizer



answers from Dallas on

That's tough! Our son is 2 but weighs 30 pounds - we did give him the 2 year old dose and it was awesome! I love the adult bottle for myself - it really helped when I had pneumonia!



answers from Houston on

I'm so sorry to hear about you and your baby! We just got over the croup and an ear infection. It was awful. It's so terrible to see your baby sick at this age because you can't do anything to alleviate their pain and discomfort.

I would strongly recommend you take your little one back to the pedi and see about whether or not your pedi endorses Mucinex. Our pedi put our son on Mucinex for almost 10 days to keep the cough loose and make sure that it didn't develop into an infection. But he was very specific about how much he should be taking. I have found several sites online that give measurements for dosages, but I would really check with your doctor before administering something without his knowledge. Some doctors don't even like for you to give Benadryl for extended period of time. At this age they're little bodies are so sensitive.
Here's a good website I found:

The other thing we did was sit in a very hot steamy bath. I would run the hot water and let the bath get very hot and steamy and then sit in there for 20 minutes or so. This seemed to really help with the cough.

And I don't know if I was paranoid since this is my first child, but I called the doctor's office often to makes sure there wasn't something else I could be doing and visited often too.

Good luck! This too shall pass.



answers from Dallas on

This is hard.
I have a 4 year old that was always 105% in height/weight... so normal AGE dosage did not apply.
However, I am not a fan of mucinex for children. I am not a big fan for adults either... but maybe it just didn't work for me (I am not a "normal" reactor to medicines).
I feel your pain on the exhaustion and I am so sorry. But please go to your pedi. In fact, if a cough lingers in a child for more than 10 days, I'd recommend a chest x-ray. Well, in Maryland, ours did. But here, they are different. Bottom line, if you trust your pedi, go there. Perhaps a nebulizer treatment would help. I'd also suggest getting a cool mist humidifier and putting one both in the babies bedroom and in the room he plays in. Keep the air moist.
Saline mist is also a good thing for babies (or the gel). Keep it in his nose and that may help.
Sorry to be so scattered.
Benadryl does not work on every child. It certainly will not clear his chest. I have enough experience with a sick child to know this.

I'll tell you a story. My son had 105+ fever. We had been exposed to strep and I got it too. So, I asked the pedi to do a strep test (he was almost 11 months old). The pedi said "babies under one don't get strep". So I went home (on a Friday). This is a child who had reflux, had already had 9 ear infections, excema and asthma. That night his fever went down to 103.7 and none of us slept... I was sick and my husband held him all night. At about 7am he vomitted on my husband and turned my husband's skin red it was so hot. My pedi recommended just waiting it out. Well, I took him to the hospital. By then his fever was back up to 105. It took them ALL DAY to break it with suppositories, IV's, etc. We were there till late that night. Then for two days he still ran fever. And on Monday, I jumped up and down till the pedi did a strep test because the hospital never did. She called me on THURSDAY after the results had sat there a couple days because "she didnt' think he had strep"... Bottom line, I WAS RIGHT! And, we switched peds. BOTTOM LINE: You are his mom, if you feel he needs to be seen, insist on it.



answers from Dallas on

I feel for your little guy because I just went through all this. Have you tried taking a hot shower with him before bed time? The steam helped me so much. I also used the vicks vapor liquid added to my vicks vaporizer thing. I greased myself up with vicks, but I still had to go to the ER for an antibiotic and they gave me an inhaler.

I didn't get any relief with the mucinex stuff. Has the doc actually seen him? I would call the nurse and ask about an expectorant.

I am an older mom, my oldest is 13 and gladly my youngest (will be 2 in March) is just missing this stuff with taking meds off the counter. All my kids got cold medicine which I always thought helped or I wouldn't have wasted the money. I think it is a huge dosaging issue and the companies sale it for infants and then don't put infant dosaging on the bottle which I always thought was nuts! I did notice "toddler" medicine the other day.

I wouldn't want to mislead you, 6 months is still young. I had this for a month and it was bad and I still am doing the inhaler. I think I would call the doc and be pushy about what you can give him. Even if it was just a cough suppressant so he could get a good nap in. I would suggest letting him suck on a candy cane even when he gets to coughing (I say candy cane because you can hold it- and let him suck on it).

I hope he feels better soon.

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