Toddler with Cough - Elkton,MD

Updated on January 24, 2010
L.T. asks from Elkton, MD
17 answers

What do you do for a 2 year old with a really bad cough. Well actually, the cough itself is not that bad or that frequent. It's just that my son will gag from I guess the mucus coming up with the cough and then he will projectile vomit. I know I can't give him any of the childrens' cold and cough medicine. I tried Hyland's cold and cough for kids today which is supposed to be all natural and safe, but it didn't do anything for the cough.

Any suggestions? I hate seeing him get so upset!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thanks everyone. I will try some of your suggestions. Also, I didn't think anything of it before, but he does still get breastmilk when he wants it and now that some of you have mentioned it, I think it really is making the cough worse because he seems to be having most of his coughing episodes after getting the milk. Now that I know not to give him milk, it should help a lot. Only thing is....I have to get him to understand he can't have his "num nums" right now and he doesn't care if it makes him worse, he just wants it for soothing. We'll get through it though. I appreciate everyone's advice.

Featured Answers



answers from Washington DC on

Have you had him to the dr.? My daughter had a cough that I thought was just a cold and when we took her to the dr. on the 3rd day was shocked when the dr. told us that she was REALLy sick. beyond just a cold. The dr. said there is a virus going around now that starts as a cough, and gets worse and that it was good that we had brought her in when we did. The only treatment is antibiotics.



answers from Allentown on

My daughter does the same thing and she is only one... So the meds were definitely out... We made it a special treat to sit with mom and dad for warm tea... Lemon seemed to help and a humidifier in her room helped her to break up the mucus...

Hope that helps

More Answers



answers from Seattle on

My son would do this PARTICULARLY at night (the post nasal drip would trigger his gag reflex). We gave him pseudoephedrine (aka, the Sudafed behind the counter that you have to sign for these days). The antihistamine stuff they've replaced it with is totally ineffective for most people (including our kiddo).

The pseudoephedrine was/is an absolute godsend for us. The vomitting is not only exhausting for him, & messy for us, but the danger of him aspirating on it in his sleep... Icewater for blood. Easy enough to dose correctly by weight (not age).

I personally avoid most "natural" medicines. AKA sold as natural/homeopathic remedies. Many aren't tested, or regulated, the doses vary wildly between both brands and BATCHES, and there's lousy science/research/longterm studies on many to most of them.

I say this as a person who LOVES herbal pharmacology (and my cousin IS a pharmacist who is currently researching medicinal properties of ancient religious/medical treatments. for her 2nd phD... fascinating stuff) BUT the *industry* is absolutely shameless. Hylands in particular gets me on my soapbox, and they're one of the "better" ones. Take the same ratio of teething tablets for YOUR body weight and you'll be drooling and giggling on the couch/floor high as a kite, with some really entertaining hallucinations (highlands has nerve toxins, hallucinogens, and euphorics in it). Oy.

Whoops. Soap box :) Sorry. The mucus needs a decongestant, the cough needs an expectorant. The best OTC decongestant available is pseudoephedrine (there are stronger Rx decongestants, but they aren't usually necessary unless your doc is treating pneumonia). The best expectorant is Guaifenesin. You don't want to use a cough suppressant right now, because the cough it productive. Get that phlegm out of there :) As always... push fluids, and keep her on a high fat and protein diet (antibodies are made almost entirely from fats)... Chicken soup is the perfect kind of high fat/protein.

((Gauifenesin comes from the Guaifa tree, Dextromethorphan -a cough suppressant- is essentially the inner bark of a certain kind of cherry tree, Ephedra -aka pseudoephedrine- occurs naturally in MANY plant species including Ma Huang (never mistake chinese names... a chemical is a chemical no matter what language it's spoken in). MOST of our medicines -including opiates- come from plants. Just because something is natural (rattlesnake venom is natural) doesn't mean it's safe.))

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

My son is going through this same thing. You can get the baby simply saline for his nose because what is in the chest is coming from the drainage in his nose. with no side effects it's perfect and you can use every 2-3 hours if needed. Plus try having him sleep with the head of his bed elevated put something under the mattress books, folded blankets etc. There is also baby vicks rub that helps. I know this is something that you might not want to here but when he vomits it does clear his airway and gets it out. Hope your little guy feels better soon.


answers from Chicago on

I highly recommend Chestal cough syrup by Boiron. It's homeopathic, and honey flavored. You can get it at Whole Foods or other natural foods stores. It was the only thing that calmed my son's cough at night last time he had a cold so we could all get some sleep. Love it!

Barefoot Books Ambassador



answers from Chicago on

You can try some honey and ginger, I think he is old enough to have hone. There is something in that mix that coat the throat and settles the cough. It is natural. Good luck



answers from Dallas on

As you know the only cold and cough medicine's out there are for children 4 and up. If you see your pediatrician he will prescribe something for the cough. In addition to the prescribed medication try putting a humidifier in your sons room at night. My son just went through similar coughing attacks and this helped a great deal.



answers from Philadelphia on

Hello, We use warm baths, steamy showers and vick's soothing bath and vick's rub on the chest and feet, followed by nice warm socks and a white t shirt for bed. I also found a nasal saline washing system my 2 and 5 year old are able to use. It is called NASAPURE. If you to their website you will be able to see what it is and how to teach your 2 year old how to use it.
It is very effective at getting the gunk out of the sinuses, and stop it from draining into the throat and chest to cause the poor little guy to cough and gag. It is not hard to teach him how to use it, if you don't feel comfortable, I would try a big bottle of saline drops, warm it up in a glass of hot water, like you would a bottle, get a suction nose device ready and kleenex, lay him on his back, and spray gently, suction and wipe. It has to come out in order to clear the sinuses, reduce swelling etc.,. Advil, motrin, Ibuprophen in the appropriate amount for his weight also helps in reducing swelling and pain. Put a vaporizer on at night, prop him upright with pillows and snuggle him up. A comman cold lasts 5-7 days with the cough lasting up to 4 weeks..... but When we use the Nasapure it seems to cut it in half. It really works for adults and kids....Hope he gets better.



answers from New York on

my 4 year old has asthma and once in a while he will projectile vomit and yes its from the mucus. besides the neubulizer treatments i give him i also have warm mist humidifiers going especially when hes sleeping. also what has worked is sitting in the bathroom with the shower running on hot with my son when the cough was really bad and just let him breath in the steam for 20 min or so. NO MILK!! milk makes mucus



answers from Houston on

Ditto Zoe's answer. Wow, lots of info there.

Just to keep it simple....give expectorant only. You want to break up that mucus. ONLY give a cough suppressant if the child is having trouble sleeping at night. You don't want to suppress the cough, you want the child to cough the congestion out of their system.



answers from Philadelphia on

my ped suggested honey on a teaspoon and it seemed to help my 2 yr old son. It coats the throat.



answers from Johnstown on

Have you tried running a vaporizer with Vicks? That should help greatly. If you give him fluids, make sure they are NOT milk based. Milk will only add to the mucus. Best of luck to you!



answers from Dallas on

If you feel comfortable trying some other homeopathic remedies, they are safe for kids 2 and up. There are all kinds of little blue vials with pellets in them which dissolve quickly and have no colors or flavors in them. Ask someone to help you figure out which 2 or 3 to try. Natural Grocer, Whole Foods or Sprouts would have someone there who knows enough to point you in the right direction. These things are specific enough that the little tube will be marked, "cough with stringy mucus" or "cold with thick nasal discharge" etc. If it doesn't make an obvious difference after a couple of doses, you switch to a different thing. My kids do well with Hyland's Cough and Cold plus a humidifier, but don't usually have a wet cough like your son. No dairy. Probiotics. Warm water with honey and a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar also helps soothe the throat and thin the mucus.

Good luck,



answers from Dallas on

My daughter just go over a really bad cough. I used Hyland's cough formula only and put Vick's Rub on her chest, back, and bottom of feet with socks. This has worked every time. I've also used a teaspoon of honey if I don't have Hyland's.



answers from Philadelphia on

HI Loriibeth

I'd say that keeping him hydrated and using a humidifier in his room would help and you might think about going to see their doctor if they have sick call on the weekend. Otherwise do what you have been doing and not worry about eating as much as drinking and no dairy. Try a vapor bath that helps my son when he is coughing.



answers from Pittsburgh on

The best thing I have found to help with coughing is make sure to run a humidifier in his room at night. Use Vicks on his chest and this sounds totally weird, but rub a thick layer of Vicks on the bottom of his feet and then cover them with heavy socks. I heard this trick somewhere a couple years ago and it works for both of my kids. Prop his pillows up so he is not laying flat when he goes to sleep. Good luck!



answers from Boston on

I'm not an expert but I think you should give him extra fluids with the thought that they'll help thin out the mucus. It's great that his body is working to expectorate them. Perhaps if they're thinner he won't gag. I've heard that people with mucous-y colds, etc., shouldn't ingest milk or dairy as this will only make the mucus worse. Good luck.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions