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Your Baby Week Fourteen

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Updated May 23, 2014

4 of 7

Infant Care Tips - Cough
A chest x-ray is sometimes the only way to determine what is causing your child's cough.

A chest x-ray is sometimes the only way to determine what is causing your child's cough, including conditions such as pneumonia.

Photo © istockphoto

Your baby is likely to have a cough now and then.

Although parents often worry that their baby may have pneumonia when they have a cough, more common causes of coughs in young children include the common cold, croup, RSV, and allergies.

Often, more important than the simple presence of a cough, is whether or not your child has any other symptoms. These other symptoms can help determine if your child has a serious condition causing the cough, and can include:

  • fast or hard breathing
  • fussiness
  • fever
  • decreased appetite

Treatments for Cough

Unfortunately, with all of the restrictions and warnings on infant cold medicines, there aren't really any cough suppressants for younger children. That will likely leave you with other symptomatic home remedies when your infant has a cough, such as:

  • using a cool mist humidifier.
  • taking your child into the bathroom, closing the door and turning on all of the hot water to create a steam bath, and letting your child breath in the warm, moist vapor. This can be especially helpful when your child wakes up in the middle of the night with the bark-like cough of croup.
  • giving him cool things to drink, like juice, in addition to his routine diet of breastmilk or an iron-fortified infant formula
  • reviewing your child's asthma action plan and giving his reliever medicine if he has asthma and you think it is causing his cough

And since a child's cough can often be caused by a runny nose and post-nasal drip, it can also help to place a few drops of saline nasal drops in your child's nostrils, which can help thin the mucus in his nose. Wait a minute or two, and then suction it out with a nasal aspirator designed for babies.

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