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Caring for your baby with a cough

First, listen for wheezing, hacking, or barking, and then find out what’s normal and when it’s time to worry


[Updated article] Infants are developing human beings that are need of care at all times. Every part of their bodies is fragile. Their health should be monitored day in and day out. Vitamins and various shots from the pediatrician are needed in order to maintain a healthy and sick free body. Unfortunately, no one can handle everything especially when contracting illnesses, since there are external factors that are beyond anyone’s control. That is why whenever a baby contracts anything, treatment should be done immediately to cease the development of the virus or bacteria as well as shorten the time the infant is exposed to any type of sickness that can affect their overall state.


Don’t panic when your baby is coughing. First, listen for wheezing, hacking, or barking, and then find out what’s normal and when it’s time to worry


Barking sound: CROUP COUGH

This is when baby wakes up in the middle of the night with a barking cough and difficulty breathing. Croup is most often caused by a virus. Children and babies with croup have trouble breathing because their small airways swell. A barking cough, fever, runny nose, and stridor are common symptoms. Usually caused by a viral infection, croup makes the lining of the trachea swell up and closes the airways. That is why babies with croup cough have such a hard time breathing.

WHAT TO DO: First try to calm your child. Have your child breathe the air from a cool-mist humidifier. Or you can take him/her outside to help ease his/her breathing. You can also run the shower, close the bathroom door, and let your baby breathe in the steamy air.


Hacking sound: COUGH from COLDS/FLU

When your infant or baby shows signs of having a cold or flu such as stuffy or runny nose and sore throat. Coughs are usually dry, but depending on the severity of the cold, baby can have rattling mucus and/or a slight fever at night.

WHAT TO DO: Studies shown that using cough and colds medication for kids under 6 years don’t work in little kid and they can have potentially fatal side effects. It’s better to stick to natural methods such saline drops, and a cool-mist humidifier. Give your baby plenty of fluids and loads of rest.



Wheezing sound: BRONCHIOLITIS

Bronchiolitis comes on after what seems to be a basic cold, with coughing and a runny nose. It is a common chest infection in young children, caused by a viral infection of the lungs. The infection causes inflammation and mucus to build up in the airways, making it more difficult to breathe. Bronchiolitis is most common in babies under six months, but sometimes occurs in babies up to 12 months old

WHAT TO DO: Keep your baby upright ––keeping him/her upright may make him/her breathing easier. Give your baby lots of fluids, plenty of rest, and a cool-mist humidifier, and always keep an eye on his /her respiratory rate. If it gets too high (like 50 breaths per minute or more), it means your baby is definitely in respiratory distress. Go the hospital immediately.


When an infant coughs, treatment varies from that of a child and adult. Everything is more fragile and should be treated with utmost care. The most obvious solution is to consult your pediatrician as soon as possible, this is to help you know what should be done that would be safe for the infant. Another thing that you can do and most often is recommended, maybe done first or at the same time, are natural treatments. To know more about the treatments both natural and medical, read further below.



  1. This is done to calm the cough and clear the congestion. You may do this in the shower or lightly steam the infants face. You may add eucalyptus oil for added relaxation effects.
  2. Hosing the nose by using nasal spray. Place the tip of the sprayer in the nostril and gently spray the lift the baby and tip the body slightly back so that the saline will stay in the nose. Lastly, wipe the nostrils with a soft tissue.
  3. Using coconut oil is best for massaging a baby’s chest.
  4. Using garlic oil. It is believed the massaging the baby’s feet with garlic oil can help calm the cough.
  5. Use a humidifier or vaporizer to moisturize the air.
  6. Continuous intake of fluids.
  7. Try to elevate the sleeping position. Congestion is hard to clear if the baby is sleeping flat on their back.


For medical treatments, over the counter medicines should not be used by babies but using medicines the reduce fever can be used with the proper guidance and directions of your doctor. Fever reducing medications can relieve discomfort/fever but it won’t kill the virus. But eliminating the fever can help the baby’s body to fight the virus. Infants younger than 3 months are not to be given these kinds of medicines, because of the dosage guidelines; it is best to consult with your doctor about this. Ibuprofen can be used on baby’s that are 6 months or older, but don’t give these medicines if the baby is dehydrated or vomiting.


Remember, practice extra precaution when it comes to babies. It is a whole different ball game. The bodies are more susceptible and are still on the process of growing. Take it slow and steady. Last but not the least, be sure.



  • http://www.organicmamacafe.com/home/2012/09/10-natural-remedies-for-a-coughing-baby/
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold-in-babies/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351657
  • https://www.parents.com/baby/health/cough/decoding-babys-cough/