Trouble Breathing: How To Tell
Trouble breathing is a reason to see a doctor right away. Respiratory distress is the medical name for trouble breathing. Here are symptoms to worry about:
- Struggling for each breath or shortness of breath
- Tight breathing so that your child can barely cry
- Ribs are pulling in with each breath
- Breathing has become noisy
- Breathing is much faster than normal
- Lips or face turn a blue color
When To Take Your Baby To The Doctor
Most of the time, the common cold or the flu is the cause of your babys cough. These illnesses are caused by viruses, so theres not much a doctor can do to cure your baby. Your best option is often to wait for the virus to run its course and let your childs immune system do the work.
With that said, there are certainly times when you should take your baby to see a physician:
- Fever: A fever of 100.4°F or higher in infants under three months old, or a fever of 101°F or higher in babies between six months and three years old
- Difficulty Breathing: Trouble breathing, especially trouble with inhaling
- Fast Or Erratic Breathing: Extremely fast and shallow breaths, or erratic breathing that includes long pauses between breaths
- Discolored Lips: Blue or purple lips
- Discolored Phlegm: Black phlegm or phlegm with streaks of blood
- Whooping Sounds: A whooping sound during intense coughing fits
- Long-Term Cough: A cough or cold symptoms that last more than a week
The Difference Between A Dry And Wet Cough
If your babyâs cough sounds wet, itâs most likely due to chest congestion. The cough will often last longer than a runny nose, if your baby has that symptom as well. Itâs best to consult your babyâs healthcare provider if she has a cough, especially if sheâs under 2 months old.If the cough sounds dry or irritated, your baby most likely wonât have chest congestion. Dry coughs are often characteristic of conditions like croup or whooping cough, both of which can have a barking sound.If your baby does indeed have a dry cough that has a barking sound, or if your baby makes a wheezing sound when breathing, contact her healthcare provider as she may need prescription medication to treat the underlying cause.Be aware that experts do not recommend over-the-counter cough medicine for children younger than 6 years old as it may cause serious side effects such as slowed breathing.
Don’t Miss: When To Use Soap On Newborn
Safe And Effective Ways To Ease A Baby’s Cough At Night
This article was medically reviewed by Luba Lee, FNP-BC, MS. Luba Lee, FNP-BC is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and educator in Tennessee with over a decade of clinical experience. Luba has certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support , Emergency Medicine, Advanced Cardiac Life Support , Team Building, and Critical Care Nursing. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee in 2006.There are 16 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 5,993 times.
Babies come down with little coughs all the time, and its normal for them to cough more at night. This might still be alarming for you, though, and it prevents both you and your baby from getting a good nights sleep. Babies can develop a cough for many reasons, including colds, allergies, and gastrointestinal reflux. Luckily, these coughs are rarely serious, and you can try a few tricks to soothe your baby. If these dont work, then take your baby to the pediatrician for a checkup since it could be a more serious condition like the flu or whooping cough.
How To Diagnose And Care For Your Babys Cough
Realizing that your baby has developed a cough can be alarming. On top of that, its often tough to determine the cause of your babys cough and how serious the condition is. Before you get too worried, remember that a cough on its own is often not a sign of a severe illness.In this post, the experts at Mustela will explore the different conditions that may be causing your babys cough, what the sound of your babys cough might indicate, and how to best care for your little bundle of joy.
Recommended Reading: How Many Bottles Do You Need For A Newborn
Chest And Nasal Congestion In Newborns And Babies
Chest and nasal congestion are common symptoms associated with the common cold and other respiratory infections. However, because your baby canât simply blow her own nose, youâll have to take steps to help relieve your babyâs congested nose and chest. Find out how you can help treat your babyâs congestion at home, and when you may need to see her healthcare provider.
How To Decode Different Coughs
Most coughs are not a sign that something is seriously wrong with your baby, but since there are several different kinds of coughs you may hear, it helps to know some of the more common types.
- Dry cough. Often due to asthma or allergies, a dry cough is usually persistent but not productive .
- Wet cough. These coughs often sound bad, but are usually the result of mucus breaking apart in the chest, a necessary part of recovering from illnesses involving lots of congestion.
- Whooping cough. If your baby coughs excessively to the point that they cannot take a bottle or nurse or they make a whooping sound as they inhale afterward, it could be a sign of pertussis. This bacterial infection is particularly dangerous for younger babies who havent yet been vaccinated against it, but any young child with a whooping cough should be seen by a doctor ASAP.
- Barking cough. Does your childs cough sound like a seal is barking? This is a common symptom of croup, a viral illness that typically goes away on its own but may require medical care in severe cases. Both warm steam and cold, crisp air can alleviate some of the symptoms of croup.
- Wheezing cough. You may notice a wheezing cough in a child with asthma, allergies, GERD, or bronchitis.
- Nighttime cough. Common viral illnesses that produce mucusand post-nasal dripare a typical cause for coughs that only strike during the night, but asthma and GERD coughs may also become more prominent then, too.
Also Check: What Causes Eczema In Newborn Babies
Tulsi And Coconut Oil Massage
A sacred plant in Indian culture Tulsi can be found in almost every Indian home. Tulsi has antiviral, antibacterial and antibiotic properties that can help to cure cold and cough. For small babies of 3 to 6 months age, you can heat tulsi leaves in oil and then give the massage with it.
Note: Continue to offer breast milk as it helps to build immunity and fight infection.
Home Remedies For Dry Cough In Infants
The first thing that may occur in your mind as soon as you see your baby suffering from any ailment is giving him some age-old effective home remedy. Here, we shall be discussing some easy and effective home remedies that will help your child battle a dry cough. It is recommended that you take a heads up from your doctor before administering any home remedy. Your doctor will help you understand what ingredients may work best for your baby.
Following are some home remedial measures you can try for your baby.
Also Check: How To Soothe Newborn Constipation
Signs That You May Need To Suction The Mucus
Too much mucus may be troublesome for babies, making it hard for them to breathe or sleep.
You might notice that your little one is breathing quickly or noisily. They may also sneeze, cough, or vomit because their tiny body is trying to get rid of the extra goo.
While mucus normally protects your baby from germs, too much of it can lead to growing germs and cause infections. Thats why its important to keep an eye on it, as well as regularly wipe away and suction out mucus.
Here are a few home remedies that can make your little one comfortable again:
- Wipe away extra mucus with a soft cloth or a tissue.
- Use a sterilized rubber bulb to gently suction out extra mucus .
- Use a saline spray to help loosen dried snot and clear it out of the nostrils.
- Use a cool-mist humidifier in babys room to keep the air moist. Dont forget to clean the machine regularly so mold wont grow inside it.
- Give your baby a warm bath. Breathing in steam helps remove mucus. Make sure to supervise baby during the bath.
- Feed baby regularly to keep them hydrated.
- Remove any potential allergens by vacuuming up dust and pet hairs.
- Put your baby over your knee and gently rub their back to help gravity get rid of some mucus.
Signs Of Breathing Difficulty
To monitor your child’s breathing, take their shirt off and observe them while they are as comfortable as possible like watching TV or playing on a tablet. Here’s what you should look for.
- Count how many times your child breathes in 60 seconds.
- Determine if your baby is working harder to breathe than usual. Take their shirt off and while they are calm and see if their skin is pulling in at any of these places when they breathe in: right above the collar bone, at the neck right between the collar bones, between the ribs, and on the belly right below the ribs.
- Observe your child’s nostrils to see if they are flaring, which also is a sign your child is working harder to breathe.
- Look to see if they can’t nurse or take a bottle like usual and instead frequently pause to stop and catch their breath.
If you observe these signs in your child, call your pediatrician and share the details of what you’re noticing. And if you feel your child is in immediate danger, don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1.
Read Also: How Much Formula Milk For Newborn
Other Possible Reasons For Cough
The above possibilities that explain a cough are quite common for babies, but the reasons below could also apply:
- Bronchitis This is an inflammation of the bronchi and is viral. It is known to subside within seven to ten days
- RSV This stands for the respiratory syncytial virus and involves an infection of the respiratory tract. This commonly reacts as cold in most children but can occasionally manifest into difficulty breathing or wheezing if so, see a doctor immediately. This virus is specific to each child, so monitor how your baby is handling it
- Pneumonia occurs when the alveoli are inflamed and can either result in a viral or bacterial infection. The PCV13 vaccination is available for bacterial pneumonia, but there is no vaccination to treat the viral infection.
- Reflux This can happen if your babys food gets backed up in their little stomach, causing them to bring it back up through coughing and spit. The best advice to eliminate infant reflux would involve changing their feeding patterns, such as giving them smaller portions more often and holding them upright more after feeding.
Next, lets discover what each different type of cough correlates to which issue.
How To Help Relieve Your Babys Chest And Nasal Congestion
To help relieve both your babyâs nasal and chest congestion, try the following:
Use a cool-mist humidifier in your babyâs room. Set the machine close to your baby, making sure it is out of his reach. The additional moisture provided by the cool mist can help relieve the congestion by thinning the mucosal secretions and thereby clearing your babyâs stuffy and/or runny nose at night. Be sure to thoroughly clean and dry the humidifier every day as recommended by the manufacturer so that you can prevent any bacterial or mold growth.
You May Like: How Can A Newborn Sleep At Night
When To Call The Doctor
If a child is doing all their normal activitiessleeping at night, eating, drinking and playingyou can usually let the cough work its way out, Nelson says. But if you notice any of the following, its time to call your doctor:
- Fever over 104 degrees Fahrenheit, or lasts more than three days
- Difficulty breathing
- Cough that lasts for more than a week
Of course, dont hesitate to call your pediatricians office anytime with concerns.
Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.
Plus, more from The Bump:
Baby Coughs During Night Know The Causes And How To Help
When children have cold, they often cough at night due to trickling down of mucus along the back of the throat. Your child’s cough isn’t serious if he is eating, drinking, breathing and feeding normally. If the cough gets worse at night and stays for longer periods of time, or it increases with any form of physical activity then your child may be suffering from an acute attack of asthma. Some kids also face wheezing and difficulty in breathing during an asthma attack. Therefore symptoms like baby coughing at night should be addressed on emergent basis.
Don’t Miss: How To Get More Breast Milk For Newborn Baby
How To Treat A Baby’s Cough
Last Updated: September 24, 2019References
This article was co-authored by Laura Marusinec, MD. Dr. Marusinec is a board certified Pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, where she is on the Clinical Practice Council. She received her M.D. from the Medical College of Wisconsin School of Medicine in 1995 and completed her residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Pediatrics in 1998. She is a member of the American Medical Writers Association and the Society for Pediatric Urgent Care.There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 14,494 times.
In the first year of life, most babies get up to seven colds. Since most cold and cough medications aren’t tested for use in babies, you shouldn’t give cough medicines to babies in fact, most cough and cold medicines have been shown to cause side effects in babies, especially if they aren’t dosed correctly. You’ll still need to make your baby comfortable somehow. Since coughing is an important, normal way for your baby to rid the body of irritants and mucus, you should make sure your baby can breathe comfortably despite the coughing. Talk to your doctor about suctioning your baby’s nose. And, make your baby and your baby’s room more comfortable by introducing moisture, giving medication, and offering more fluids.