Baby Cough: What Are the Causes? How to Cope With the Problem?

Baby Cough. mom and baby

Baby cough is a serious concern for parents. In order to be able to quickly eliminate the cough, at first, you need to understand what causes it. Contrary to a common opinion, a cough can be caused not only by a cold. Read on to find out what every parent should know about baby cough.

What Causes Cough?

When the nerve endings in the throat, trachea, or lungs are irritated, we reflexively blow the air back through the airways.

The most common irritant is mucus. When the body produced a lot of mucus (for example, during a cold) it accumulates on the back of the throat and causes cough. Usually cough is associated with respiratory diseases such as colds, bronchitis and flu, but it can also be caused by allergies and foreign objects that got into the throat.

Why Doesn’t Cough Always Sound the Same?

Most often, the sound of cough depends on where the infection is. For example, when the trachea or bronchi are irritated, the cough is usually deeper than when irritation takes place in the larynx. The most common types of colds are accompanied by either dry or wet cough, which can remain even after the other symptoms disappear.

Baby Cough. mom holding her baby

Causes of Baby Cough

First of all, it is necessary to recognize the nature of cough.

A child’s cough may be:

By its intensity and sound, one can understand whether the cause of the disease is illness or something interferes with the normal functioning of the respiratory tract. Here are the most common causes of baby cough:


In more than 90% of cases, cough is the first symptom of the ARVI. The baby occasionally coughs. The intensity of cough increases in the evening and at night. The throat is red and inflamed. Cells begin to secrete sputum. Keep in mind that prolonged baby cough which lasts for more than 2 weeks is very dangerous. Immune defense weakens and the process can become chronic.

 Inflammation of the upper respiratory tract

At the beginning it is characterized by obsessive dry cough. It is very painful for a child. If you don’t pay enough attention to the problem, the complications may arise. The most dangerous is catarrhal croup. It makes the throat wall sharply narrow. As a result, the baby starts hoarsely whistling and choking due to lack of oxygen. The disease requires immediate medical attention.

Baby Cough. baby at the doctor

 Dry indoor air

It may provoke irritation in the throat. If a baby has a strong cough that isn’t caused by the disease, you should pay attention to the normalization of humidity in the room of a newborn baby.

 Inflammation of the middle ear

Inflammation of the middle ear in a child provokes a reflex cough. This is the body’s response to this inflammation. When pressing on the earlobe, the child makes a sharp, piercing cry, which means that the cause is ear pain. The best option in this case is calling an ambulance.

5 Inhalation of a foreign body

If any foreign object gets into the airway of the child urgently call ambulance. The life of the child is threatened and the time goes by for a second. Do not try to remove the object yourself, you can only make the situation worse.

Baby Cough. a baby and a doctor

6 Polluted air

Is it smoky indoors or is it too polluted on the street? Do not be surprised that your child begins to cough unceasingly. The longer you are in such conditions, the more harmful substances the lungs of the baby will absorb.

Treating Baby Cough: What Should Every Mom Know?

Treatment of cough with or without fever should be carried out only under the supervision of a pediatrician. When the first symptoms appear you need to consult a doctor and follow his recommendations.

But what can a mom do to alleviate the child’s condition?

Observe the optimum level of humidity in the room. If the heating season has begun and the batteries with their heat inevitably dry the air, purchase a humidifier or make it yourself from improvised means. In extreme cases, you can irrigate the room once an hour with water from a spray bottle.

Air the room at least twice a day. Lack of oxygen will only aggravate the condition of your baby’s respiratory system.

Make your baby a light back massage. It helps the sputum discharge and improves the well-being of the child.

Offer your baby a drink more often. Especially if the baby has a fever. To avoid dehydration, your child should drink enough liquid.

Do not forget about walking. Inhaling fresh air, the baby’s lungs open up, filling with strength and freshness. The kid will distract from a painful cough, and a good mood always has a positive effect on the healing process.

Baby Cough. a mom with a stroller and a dog

If your baby has a high temperature, you need to consult a doctor. With coughing and a temperature of 38.5 degrees and more, most likely you and your baby will be hospitalized. Do not be afraid of it. It is always better not to take risks and be under the supervision of specialists. The main thing is the health of your child, and temporary inconvenience is not so important.

When Should Parents Contact a Doctor?

Seek medical attention immediately in the following cases:

  • if your baby is less than 3 months and his/her cough is accompanied by a temperature above 38.3 degrees or intermittent breathing;
  • If a child over three months old has a temperature above 38.3 degrees Celsius for more than 48 hours;
  • when the cough prevents the child from breathing normally;
  • if the child breathes too often (40–50 breaths per minute) and “pulls in” the stomach under the ribs with each breath; when the cough causes pain, is constant or is accompanied by a “whistling” sound;
  • if the baby coughs so much that his lips turn blue or pale; cough appears suddenly and is accompanied by fever;
  • when the cough was caused by a child choking on a meal or other object.

Baby Cough Treatment

Since most types of cough are caused by viral infections, the use of antibiotics is usually not recommended for treatment. The best way is when the baby’s organism copes with the problem itself. Most often, a viral infection lasts from three to ten days. Many doctors strongly advise against over-the-counter cold and cough medicine. The effectiveness of the use of these funds for the treatment of children is not proven, so you should not use them if they were not specifically prescribed by your doctor. Thus, before giving your child any medicine, make sure to consult a pediatrician and get treatment recommendations.

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