It can be worrying when your baby has a cough at night, but there are steps you can take to help ease their discomfort. In this article, we will look at what causes a baby’s cough and how to treat it at night.
Understanding a Baby’s Cough
Coughing is a normal reflex action that helps our bodies to clear our airways of irritants and mucus. Babies may experience a cough as a result of a cold, flu, allergies, or even reflux. It is important to take note of the type of cough your baby has and any other symptoms they may be exhibiting in order to properly diagnose and treat it.
A dry cough is typically caused by a cold and is often accompanied by congestion and a runny nose. This type of cough is usually worse at night, as babies are lying down and the mucus tends to accumulate in their throat. A wet cough is usually caused by a viral infection and is usually accompanied by fever, chills, and a sore throat.
Treating a Baby’s Cough at Night
There are a few steps you can take to help ease your baby’s cough at night. Firstly, make sure your baby is sleeping in an elevated position. This will help to reduce the amount of mucus that accumulates in their throat.
You can also use a cool-mist humidifier in the bedroom to help keep the air moist and reduce irritation in your baby’s throat. Make sure you clean the humidifier regularly to prevent the growth of bacteria and other allergens.
If your baby has a dry cough, you can use an over-the-counter cough suppressant to help reduce the frequency and intensity of their cough. However, you should always check with your pediatrician before giving any medications to your baby.
Finally, make sure your baby is well hydrated. Offer them plenty of fluids throughout the day and before bedtime. This will help to thin out any mucus that is trapped in their throat and make it easier to expel.
A baby’s cough can be worrying, but there are steps you can take to help ease their discomfort. Make sure your baby is sleeping in an elevated position, use a cool-mist humidifier, and offer plenty of fluids throughout the day. If the cough persists, consult your pediatrician for further guidance.
Coughing is a common symptom that occurs most often in infants, and it can be disruptive—especially at night. A baby’s cough can range from mild and hack-free to violent and chest-rattling, and can cause concern for parents and sleepless nights. Fortunately, there are some steps parents can take to help their baby have a restful night despite their discomfort, and some treatments to help relieve their cough.
If babies are suffering from coughing due to colds or the flu, it is recommended to use saline drops, or give infants a warm bath, to help clear their nasal passages before bed. Additionally, the use of a humidifier or vaporizer in a baby’s room can provide relief from coughing and aid in congestion. It is important to ensure that the humidity from the device is not too high as babies may be prone to breathing troubles associated with excess moisture.
Vapors from menthol chest rubs can also be used for older babies. The rubbing of the cream between the shoulder blades can be soothing, and help to reduce coughing. It is important to remember to not use chest rubs on children under two months old because they can cause drowsiness, which can result in shallow breathing.
If a baby’s cough is accompanied by fever, parents should contact their doctor. It is important to research doctor-approved treatments and consult a physician before giving a baby any medication as some medications are not safe for babies. If a baby is coughing with a strange sound or breathes abnormally, parents should visit an emergency room or call a doctor right away.
It is a comfort to know that despite possibly disruptive and seemingly alarming coughing, there are steps parents can take to prevent the nighttime coughing for their baby. With the use of saline drops, baths, humidifiers and menthol chest rubs, and with a doctor’s advice, parents can help reduce the discomfort their baby may be having throughout the night and create a soothing atmosphere to sleep in.