When babies cough: causes and relief.
When a baby coughs, it sounds terrible to parents at first and you worry. In addition, there is the uncertainty as to whether you have to go to the pediatrician when you cough for the first time. In this article, you will learn more about coughing in babies and how you can help your child with a cough.
Coughing is a protective reaction.
When babies cough, this is not an independent disease, but a symptom and a protective reaction of the body to expel mucus or foreign bodies out of the airways. Coughing can occur in various diseases and is a natural reflex of the airways. As a rule, a baby cough is caused by a viral infection, just like with us adults, but swallowed objects can also be the cause of the cough.
What does the cough sound like?
You can tell whether the baby has a flu-like infection or something else is to blame for the coughing fit by the way the baby is coughing. Baby cough is divided into three types:
Dry cough or dry cough.
A dry or barking cough could be an upper respiratory tract viral infection. Unproductive cough, that is, coughing without expectoration, often occurs at the beginning of a cold and then turns into a wet cough over time, that is, cough with expectoration. If the cough persists for more than two weeks with no cough-free days, you should definitely consult a pediatrician. Because that can also be a sign of bronchial disease.
Moist and mucous cough.
When the cough is wet or rattling, the baby coughs up any accumulated mucus to clear the airways. A mucous cough usually occurs later in the course of a cold. You should consult your pediatrician here. Pay close attention to the coughed up secretion: if it is yellowish or green, this can indicate a bacterial infection.
Chronic cough in babies.
If your baby coughs for more than eight weeks, it is called a chronic cough. This could be a sign of chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, or asthma. Therefore, in this case, be sure to consult the pediatrician.
Relieve coughs in babies.
Basically, the cough in babies is not a worrying thing at first, but rather helps the child to get well again. The cough should not be suppressed because it has to clear the airways of the “irritants”. Still, there are a few tips that can help your baby with a cough.
Drink a lot: On the one hand, liquid helps to moisten the mucous membranes and, on the other hand, it liquefies the mucus in the bronchi so that it can be coughed up better. If the baby is over 6 months old, you can offer a bottle of water between milk meals.
Indoor climate & fresh air: So that coughing babies can sleep better, you should keep an eye on the indoor climate. Ventilate regularly or use a humidifier as well. This should be cleaned regularly according to the manufacturer’s specifications. A walk in the fresh air is also good, but only if the baby does not have a fever.
Light tapping massage: To help babies cough up, you can take your sweetheart in your arms and support them with a gentle tapping massage on the back to the left and right of the spine. This can help loosen stuck mucus.
Expectorant: Herbal expectorants, for example ivy-based, can make it easier to expectorate. Means with menthol, camphor or eucalyptus are not suitable for babies. Because essential oils can irritate the baby’s airways and lead to severe breathing difficulties and even attacks of suffocation. Always ask your doctor which cough suppressant is right for your baby. Cough suppressants should really only be prescribed by a doctor, because they suppress the urge to cough, but also prevent the bronchial tubes from being cleaned.
When does the coughing baby need to see a doctor?
Usually, the baby’s cough will go away on its own after a few days. In the following cases, however, you should immediately consult a doctor:
- The baby is coughing for more than three days
- The baby has a high fever
- The baby has very pale / bluish skin
- The baby coughs like a fit
- The baby becomes short of breath
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