Sick Baby Coughing

Updated on November 22, 2010
A.L. asks from Maple Falls, WA
13 answers

My 6 month old baby is coughing so hard she is vomiting and it has been getting worse over the last 3 days, I have already taken her to the emergency room once and they said it was just vomiting and diarehea well now she has no voice when she cries barely a sound comes out. when the doctor listened to her lungs she said it sounded like she had some fluid in them but when they did the exray the doc said she was fine and would be better by the next day well she has been vomiting for a week now at first she would only vomit after every feeding then it developed into a hard cough that is now causing her to vomit... i have been making sure she isnt getting dehydrated and other than the no voice and coughing so hard she vomits she is a happy playful baby..does anyone have any idea what could be the cause of this?

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answers from Seattle on

I would absolutely go back to the doctor since she didn't get better in one day as the doctor predicted. Whooping cough has been an issue in WA the last couple of years.

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answers from Sacramento on

did they test her for whooping cough? california is having an epidemic of it right now and even tho there is a buffer state between us you just never know. have you tried the vicks on the soles of the feet with socks? it might give her a little relief. good luck!

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answers from Seattle on

I also assume your child is formula fed and not breast fed. That's ok, it just brings other issues. Both of my kids didn't do well as soon as I stopped breastfeeding. My oldest had a cough we couldn't get rid of for over a year. Then we stopped all dairy, wheat and gluten for 6 months. In the first couple of days the cough cleared up, as did the eczema. Now he eats cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt....but that's it for dairy products. And he now eats wheat and gluten. Other than that its soy and almond milk. My other son didn't have a constant cough...instead a drippy nose and constant ear infections. 4 double ear infections within 4 months. I stopped milk and we have now gone 4 months with no ear infections.
I also think our WA weather doesn't help. When I take the kids to the other side of the mountains, even for just a couple days, or if we travel somewhere, they always clear up.
If your Dr isn't helping you problem solve this, I suggest 1. getting off dairy with or without their permission. There are soy formulas available. 2. consider finding a different dr, or at least the opinion of a different dr. The reason my eldest went dairy/gluten/wheat free for 6 months is I finally paid for a blood test from a naturpathic dr to see if he had any intolerances/allergies. My dr wasn't going to do it, at least not any time soon. Just some thoughts. Hope your little one gets better quickly.



answers from Tampa on

She may have RSV- the doctor can test by a simple swab of the nose. My daughter who is over 2, just tested positive for it. They were not even going to test her, because she is over 2 and her symptoms were not that bad. They tested and sure enough, she has it. If not, she may just need some help with a nebulizer. It's hard to do it on babies, but believe me, it helps them so much! My daughter has been diagnosed as pre-asthma, and we actually have to use it for regular colds. Some other helpful things to help the cough: cool mist humidifier in her room, and Vicks baby rub. We also rub on the feet and put socks over it. It helps get all my kids through the night without coughing. If she has fluid in there, it helps break up that fluid so they can cough it up.



answers from Philadelphia on

When my son had that issue I took him to the emergency room. He could not keep anything down so they admited him to the hospital and gave him IV fluids and some other meds to help with the issues of vomiting and diarreha. You do not want her to get pnemonia. May be they can make sure her breathing is ok. Hopefully,she does not have bronchitis. I would go to your pediatrician and tell them what is going on. May be they can prescribe something for her coughing or put her on a nebulizer if needed. Keeping her hydrated is important. You are right to be concerned.



answers from Portland on

I agree with the suggestion to switch formula to see if that helps, I'm actually not sure that I agree with trying soy formula. Unfortunately soy is a common allergen also and it contains plant estrogens that may have potential to disrupt her developing reproductive system if soy formula is her sole diet (or a large portion of her diet). It definitely sounds to me like she could be having an allergic reaction.



answers from Dallas on

Is she having sinus drainage? That might make her throat tickle so she will cough. I'm not sure if there is any medicine that you can give a 6 mth old, but you can use Vicks baby rub ( Vicks vapo rub only lighter on the smell), and there is also a baby vapo-bath. That always seemed to help my daughter. I hope you get it figured out. I know that seeing your baby sick and not being able to fix it is awful.



answers from Portland on

I read all the answers well 7 of them. and I think you have not recieved good medical care for your little one. I would take her back to the hospital Legacy is a good one and ask them to test her ofr pertusus and others!
Non of this well maybe this and maybe that. Some moms have said formula allergy but she isn't new to this so that is not it.
She need you to be her advocate. Good luck.



answers from Burlington on


I am guessing that you are feeding her formula and not breast milk. She probably does not tolerate the formula. It seems to me to be this because she only vomits after feeding.

When I was a baby I didn't keep down my formula. For me, it was the fat. I had difficulty digesting the fat. You could try another formula. Best bet would be to breastfeed if you are able.

I get post-nasal drip after eating something that I am allergic/intolerant to. That might be what is causing your daughter to cough.

Diarrhea and vomitting are ways for the body to get offensive ingested matter out of the body. Post-nasal drip and fluid build-up are immune system reactions.

I am very concerned that she hasn't kept anything down for a week. She may need intravenous fluids if she isn't able to keep anything down. Diarrhea and vomitting rob the body of fluids and the electrolytes needed to hold fluid. Get her to a doctor if she isn't able to hold anything down.

Good luck,
M. D.



answers from Columbus on

I would be getting a work up with my pediatrician. The ER is looking for issues that are a danger, like the pneomonia or dehdration that would put her in some kind of imedeate danger, but you need to find out what is causing the more chronic issue. Get in for an appointment as soon as you can. It could be all of the things other moms mentioned, from milk allergy, to asthma, to RSV or pertusis. You really need to find out what and do what is necessary to help her.

If you cannot get in until Monday, keep an eye on the emergency issues, and don't hesitate to go to the ER if you think she is deydrated or is having trouble breathing and I might take her if she suddenly spiked a high fever and started acting sick, because that could be a secondary infection that needs attention in a baby that young.




answers from Pittsburgh on

My daughter just had a bad cough. She also had cold-like symptoms. The doc diagnosed her with brocitis and asthma. They gave her breathing treatments and then sent us home with a nebulizer and a perscription for the albuterol to use with it. Her coughing improved immediately. Then we went back to the doc a few days later to make sure she was getting better. The doc said that when she gets a cold and has that same cough or any wheezing I might just have to give her breathing treatments.Well here it is two weeks later and she is coughung again, along with cold symptoms--since starting daycare it seems like she is always sick. So I started the breathing treatments again. Have you taken her to her pediatrician, not just the emergency room? If you are worried or if she is not getting better I would insist--or demand if needed--that they check it out more. You are the mother and you know if something is not right with your baby because you know your baby better than anyone else.



answers from Portland on

Go to a Naturopath! They can help a baby if there is fluid in the lungs and they can also get to the bottom of the vomitting issue.

My son was so sick when he was an infant and our Naturopath had me put wet cotton socks on his feet and cover those with dry wool socks. I used my own wool socks over his legs (they went all the way to his thighs...) and he slept in a swing to keep him upright a bit. This helped loosen the stuff in his lungs and he finally got it cleared. Also, we put my son on a probiotic at 2 wks old and that helped his spitting up/vomitting tremendously.

Go see a Naturopath!!!



answers from Portland on

It sounds like it could be PERTUSSIS (whooping cough)

Take her to her doc (or the ER if you don't have one) and ask them to test her. If she is positive, they can give her medicine which will keep her from giving it to everyone else. Until you know, DON'T let get anywhere near other babies - it can be a dangerous disease, especially for younger babies.

Good luck,