Why My Baby Coughs at Night
We have actually all had coughs that keep us awake at night, but when babies cough in the evening, diagnosing the issue can be difficult. Find out more about the causes of nighttime cough and the methods to treat it.
A cough can also be a symptom of asthma, allergies, a cold, or another illness, especially if it’s persistent and painful. Call your child’s doctor if her cough makes it tough for her to breathe, lasts longer than a week, or comes on unexpectedly (accompanied by a fever) or after your child chokes on something.
Causes of Evening Cough
Nighttime coughing is not considered normal in babies and is typically even worse during the night since of Baby’s sleeping position as he lies facedown. Nighttime cough can be indicative of several health conditions.
” When a cough is primarily in the evening, it may also be triggered by mucus running across the gag reflex,” states Hai Cao, M.D., a pediatrician in Brooklyn. If your baby is ill, the act of coughing itself works to clear the throat and upper passages from mucus and blockage. Another cause may be gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), where stomach contents leak in reverse into the esophagus.
However “the most essential thing to establish about a cough is whether it relates to the lungs,” says Dr. Cao. If the cough is from the lungs, the visual signs of breathing difficulty will be evident. “The abdominal area will go in and out, and the muscles in between the ribs will contract with each breath,” Dr. Cao says. “The throat will likewise go in and out with each breath, and the nostrils flare like a horse’s.”.
If those visual signs are missing, the cough is most likely from postnasal drip and can be resolved by keeping the upper respiratory tracts clear.
Dealing with Nighttime Cough
For Coughs Related to Colds
If your baby’s cough is due to a cold and it’s bad enough to keep him awake for much of the night, there are ways to make him more comfy. Clear your baby’s airways with non-prescription saline drops or a saline spray, recommends Dr. Cao, or use a suction, supplied by a doctor, to assist drain the nasal passages. Ensure to keep a humidifier in your baby’s space, which permits smoother and less irritating airflow, according to Dr. Cao.
Babies under 12 months can be offered a teaspoon of corn syrup to help with a cough that is caused by a cold, recommends David L. Hill, M.D., a pediatrician and author of Father To Dad: Parenting Like A Pro. Other cold treatments or medications are not recommended.
” Cold medications, like cough suppressants and decongestants, have actually never ever been revealed to in fact work and can be dangerous for children under the age of 2,” Dr. Hill stated. After the U.S. Fda (FDA) recommended that over the counter cough and cold products be prevented for children under the age of 2, manufacturers complied and went even more, voluntarily restricting their labeling to children 4 and under, as there is a high risk for overdose, particularly in children under 2.
If your baby is old enough to have pillows in bed, include an extra one for nights when her cough is particularly bad. Keeping your child’s head elevated can assist with nasal drainage.
For Coughs Related to GERD
If your child’s cough is due to the fact that of GERD, thickening formulas or antacid medications might be practical, Dr. Hill states. Thickening formula allows parents to offer their baby less formula with the exact same amount of calories; a prescribed antacid can be used even in premature babies with GERD.
But no matter what the cause is, if any nighttime cough lasts more than a few weeks and/or is accompanied by fever, shortness of breath, or rapid breathing, call your pediatrician immediately.
For Coughs Connected to the Lungs
If you suspect your baby’s cough is coming from his lungs, this is a serious condition. Contact your pediatrician right now for the very best treatment.