Son Is Sleeping but Keeps coughing...what Can I Do

Updated on March 24, 2010
C.M. asks from Denton, TX
13 answers

Hey 17 month old has been in bed for a few hours now and is asleep but he keeps coughing. It's a very dry cough. Is there anything I can do? I hate to wake him up but I know he has to be miserable. Or if it ends up waking him up what can I do?

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answers from Dallas on

rub vicks vapor rub on his feet and cover with socks. Works wonders ! Also try giving him something to drink - water. Maybe he has a tickle in his throat that won't go away ?

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answers from Dallas on

What may help is if you have a humidifier, the stores have some vicks liquid that you can put in the humidifier that may loosen up the cough or help him sleep better. If you don't own one, another solution is to just boil water. Get a big pot and boil the water and the moisture in the air should help.

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answers from San Francisco on

My son was like that for a month and a half. After two trips to the doctor he was on albuterol and pulmicort (asthma meds) and amoxicillion for hayfever and sinus infection. After a week solid on these meds, he was better. They decided that that is all it was...hayfever that turned into a sinus infection. Good luck to you. I know it is miserable when you can't do anything for your little ones.

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answers from Dallas on

Albuterol is great! If you don't have a nebulizer with it already, invest in one.
The humidifier is great, and some kids cloroseptic (sp?) is great! It tastes like grape. :)

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answers from Chicago on

I'd put a humidifier in his room ASAP. You can also try to give him another pillow to prop him up a bit. It might just be a post nasal drip down the back of his throat. Some water might help too. This is the only time I'd let my kids have sippy cups in bed. Lots of ice, very little water.

If that doesn't stop it I'd give him some Delsum, but only if it's keeping HIM awake.

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answers from Portland on

My little guy kinda went through the same thing a few weeks ago and his doc said that often times when a baby is coughing at night, it bothers the parents much more than it does the baby.
Putting a humidifier in the room should help with the coughing a little bit, but other than that, coughing is his body's natural way of getting out whatever needs to come out.
If he's waking up and crying because of the coughing then I'd call his doctor, but otherwise just let him do what he needs to do and know that you're a good mommy even if you aren't doing anything. :)

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answers from Saginaw on

My 30 month old just did this a couple weeks ago. She would not cough all day long but then when she laid down would was only a couple nights where it seemed to last all night long. I got up and filled a non spill sippy with ice water...seemed to help. I would just put it in her hand so she knew it was there and let her decide when to drink. She never woke up, just took a drink in the middle of her sleep.



answers from Phoenix on

A humidifier usually helps alot. When my kidos have a persistant cough I put a large blanket under the mattress so they sleep with their upper half more upright. There are lots of things a dry cough could be... If your little one has a runny nose or fever Id probably take him in to see the Doc. Tis the season for upper resperitory infections... Better safe than sorry.



answers from Shreveport on

Don't jump to asthma just yet. Take him to his dr and ask to get his tonsils and adenoid checked. One of my son's dr wanted to jump on the asthma boat and even gave him asthma meds that DIDNT fix the issue. Another of his drs jumped on the allergy boat. That worked for two and half yrs but it meant daily meds for him in the spring and fall. It was after the 3 to 4 nose bleeds a week that my son finally got to see and ENT and was found to have enlarged tonsils and adenoid. All was removed this past summer. I normally wouldn't want surgery for my child but I wish someone had noticed his tonsils and adenoid almost 4 and half years ago. The cough was gone. The only cough he has had since then was common cold cough.
So like I said don't jump just yet on asthma. See his doctor and make sure they check him over including his tonsils and adenoid.



answers from Minneapolis on

I crank up the humidifier and rub my girls down with essential oils, R.C. and Raven. If the cough bothers them at night, I prop up their mattress so they are sleeping at a slight incline.



answers from Dallas on

my daughter had this just 2 mos ago. only coughed at night. lasted for about a week with no runny nose or anything besides the cough at night (it was dry) and then all of a sudden one morning after about 7 days she woke up and it was a wet cough and here came the runny nose. just watch it and see if he gets a fever. will need to go to dr. mine never got a fever but the pleghm in the cough was pretty wet and i took her in to make sure her lungs were ok (pneumonia) and dr said something was going around so he gave her antibiotics and it was gone in about 4 days or so. try the humidifier first and the vicks on the feet. change the sheets on the bed too. it could be something in the air since it has gotten so warm here in the last week or so.


answers from Austin on

This can be a sign of asthma, the dry non productive coughing was how hers got when her asthma was acting up. Laos he would loose color in her face and get darkened circles under her eyes. Our Doctor prescribed a nebulizer (the insurance paid for it). The Albuterol was a life saver..

Call your doctor.


answers from Jacksonville on

Cool mist humidifier is a wonder with this sort of thing. You can also rub a little Vick's vaporub on the soles of his feet and put socks on after. That often helps calm a cough for some reason.

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