Baby has been coughing through the night. How can you help her feel better?
It depends on how long she has been coughing, says specialist paediatrician and neonatologist Dr Natalie Epton.
Most cases of acute coughs are due to viral infections, which are common occurrences in infancy. They are usually benign and self-limiting, lasting around seven to 10 days.
When your baby coughs at night, it’s mostly due to nasal secretions dripping into the back of the throat and causing irritation.
Sometimes, babies do get one infection after another, leading to the impression that they have been unwell for a long time.
But if your little one has been coughing for more than a month, your doctor may wish to consider other problems such as nasal allergies (to dust mite or pets, for instance) or gastro-oesophageal reflux.
See your doctor immediately if she has a severe cough, high fever or seems to have breathing difficulty.
Remember that the same medication you take for your cough is often extremely harmful for young children, and should be avoided.
To help relieve her cough, try letting her sleep without the air-conditioner or humidify the room.
You can also use inhalant decongestants, such as Vicks Babyrub or olbas oil on your baby’s bedding.
Check out our kids’ health video series, too, to find out all about common childhood illnesses.
Episode 1: Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease
Episode 2: Colds and flu in babies and toddlers
Episode 3: Fever in babies and toddlers
Episode 4: Skin problems in babies
Episode 5: Vaccinations
Episode 6: Teething