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Baby Cough – Types, Symptoms, and Treatment

by | Newborn

Your normal daily routine gets super messed up if your little angel is sick with a cough. Your baby may feel even more irritated as he is not getting relaxation and comfort due to a lack of peaceful sleep. There are many reasons behind a cough, but reaching its root cause can save you from a lot of fatigue, as you can then treat the illness accordingly.

Doesn’t matter if your baby has no severe illness symptoms, but if he is being irritated and acting differently than he usually would. Then you must book an appointment with your pediatrician. He would also first examine the type of cough your baby is having.

Types of Baby Cough

We have enlisted several different types of coughs in babies so that you can self-examine and decide whether you should visit a doctor or not.

Barking Cough

If your baby has a blocked or stuffy nose, he might cough during sleep. This sort of cough would sound the same as bark from a seal. The causes could vary, but here are some of the most common causes.

Phlegmy Cough

If your baby has a runny nose or the cough sounds full of mucus, they have watery eyes and are not ready to be fed. If your baby has these symptoms, then, believe it or not, the baby has a phlegm cough.

Dry Cough

A dry cough doesn’t produce mucus and leaves the throat super dry. It happens due to cold. The condition of your baby may worsen during nighttime sleep.

Wheezy Cough

If your baby has been suffering from a cold and a few days have passed. His cough could have gotten worse than usual; it might have a whistling and a raspy sound. He could be irritated and might be breathing rapidly.

Whooping Cough

Whooping cough may start if your baby suffers from a cold and it has been a week or two. The cough loop could range up to 20 times in a single breath. The baby would have trouble breathing, and the inhale during cough makes a whooping sound.

Bacteria named pertussis attack the baby’s airway lining. This sometimes blocks the airways due to severe inflammation. The babies who catch baby cough are the ones who have not yet been immunized.

Due to their low strength capacity, it is harder to detect the specific whooping sound in their cough. In fact, they would vomit or end up gagging. The other times they may as well be unable to breathe. As a result, their skin and lips turn blue.

Wet Cough

If your baby is suffering from a cold, and it has been a few days now. He might be having a wet cough, due to which his breathing might get faster than it usually would be.

A medical condition in which the virus or bacteria affects the baby’s lungs is also known as pneumonia. It fills the lungs of the bay with fluid. Naturally, when the baby would get irritated and would try to throw the fluid out of the lungs. As a result, he might cough harshly.

Corona Virus Cough

Babies affected by the coronavirus get very mild symptoms, including fever, coughing, and a runny nose. This kind of cough is either dry or sometimes wet.

RSV Cough

RSV cough is a bit wheezy; the infection shows the symptoms of a runny nose, severe cough, and congestion in the chest. Your baby might feel super irritated if he is suffering from RSV. It also lets the baby lose his appetite. You might not be able to notice any fever in your baby.

What Causes Cough in Babies?

The causes for each cough type may vary.

Barking Cough Causes

The common cause could be croup. Croup is an illness that initiates a sort of inflammation in the windpipe or the voice box of your baby; this is the main cause of barking cough in babies.

It usually catches the babies during winters, i.e., October to March. The coughing is worse during the nights but gradually gets better during the days. This inflammation in the throat may as well cause your baby to wheeze so that when they inhale or exhale, there is that weird sound in their breath.

Phlegmy Cough Causes

Phlegmy cough can be caused due to a common cold that usually lasts for about a week or two.

Dry Cough Causes

Dry cough in babies could be caused due to asthma. It’s a condition during which the lungs and airways of the baby become inflamed and narrowed. They start producing more mucus than usual. Asthma’s major symptoms could also include wheezing, which is not common in every child. This mucus generally tickles the throat and lungs, which makes the babies cough harshly.

Wheezy Cough Causes

The cough may be caused due to bronchiolitis infection. This infection affects the tiny airways of your baby’s lungs. These airways often swell and are blocked by the mucus, making it hard for the baby to breathe. This infection affects the baby during winters and because of the cold weather.

How Could Baby Cough be Treated?

The treatment of each cough varies with the cough type of your baby.

Whooping Cough Treatment

If you have suspected whooping cough in your baby and he is unable to breathe in between the cough, call your doctor immediately. He will then suggest you some antibiotics. These antibiotics will clean the infectious airways, but the cough may return when the baby suffers from any respiratory infection.

Wheezy Cough Treatment

You should instantly talk to your pediatrician if your baby is having difficulty drinking milk or breathing. The infection can only be diagnosed with a physical examination and a medical history.

Sometimes, your baby might even wouldn’t need any medicines or medical treatment. But if a serious condition happens, the baby might need to be admitted to the hospital for oxygen supply and other medical treatment.

Dry Cough Treatment

You should probably consult your pediatrician as far as your little one is concerned with dry cough. Some of the time, the doctors recommend medications; the rest of the time, they may ask you to work with some natural home remedies.

If your baby has a severe cold, cough, and flu, the reason usually is the dry weather; you can at least keep the place humid where the baby is lying. This will help his congested chest and cold. Let your baby inhale steam; you could either let your baby sit in the hot shower for a while.

Phlegmy Cough Treatment

Colds in babies are a result of viruses. For your baby, use saline water and a bulb syringe to clear the nose with all that stuffed mucus. Giving the baby a warm bath or using a misty humidifier can be great. In severe cases, you may as well use a vapor rub on the chest of your baby and cover it with a blanket to let it soothe the lungs and melt the mucus.

A very important thing to notice is if your baby’s mucus has turned green in color or the fever doesn’t leave. This may have caused a sinus infection.

Barking Cough Treatment

You can naturally treat croup or barking cough by letting your baby sit in the hot shower for a while; the steamy hot bathroom environment will cure the irritated throat naturally. You may as well take them outside so that they would inhale some fresh air, and this will relax their airways. Using a misty humidifier can also help keep the air moist; whenever the baby is going to inhales, he will get water vapors inside to soothe his throat.

Wet Cough Treatment

If the cough is too bad, only your pediatrician can diagnose the real cause. He may as well take an x-ray of the baby to examine the exact issue. If pneumonia turns out to be bacterial, the doctor will prescribe you some antibiotics.

When To Worry?

As the weather gets harsh, the risk of cold and cough increases among babies, they are new in this world, and their bodies are still trying to understand new things. They are mostly caught with coughs and colds because their immune system is still growing.

At this stage of their life, it is very important to keep them safe from any disease or even a minor bad health condition. You should consider it seriously if your little one does not want to be fed; he is constantly coughing or has a blocked nose. On the other hand, there are plenty of remedies you could find to treat your baby.

Home Remedies to Treat Baby Cough

Treating baby cough with natural home remedies could be the best option you choose. This will not leave any side effects on your baby’s health and will heal them in no time. Here is a list of tried and tested home remedies.

Inhaling Eucalyptus Oil

Let your baby inhale eucalyptus oil. It helps in loosening the congested lungs and excretes the mucus with cough. If you massage your baby’s body with the same oil, this will also relieve their cold and coughing.


Take an organic turmeric piece and burn it to let the baby inhale its divine healing fumes. This will help relieve the congestion and blocked nose, as well as the cough.

Sleeping Posture

If the baby has mucus, lay them in the bed in a position where the body of the baby is lying at an angle. This will help the mucus move out of the nose.


Take two cloves of garlic, peel them and let them steep in a little bit of hot water. This way, the nutrients or healing elements from the garlic will seep into the water. Now you can give a sip or two of this healing garlic water to your coughing baby.


Ginger is very good for cold, fever, sneezing, or coughing. It works amazingly to unblock the blocked nose. All you need to do for your baby is to take a piece of ginger, grate it, and allow the grated ginger to simmer in boiling water. After the water is cooled down, you can give this to your child above the age of 2 years.

Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is great for healing any kind of cold. You should take chicken with bones so that the juice of the bones is completely seeped out into the broth. Give this soup during winter to your babies of age above eight months.


Babies aged one or above one can be given honey to taste, or else it could be added to milk. You can give it to the baby two times a day. This will help in healing the cough of your baby.

Carom Seeds

You can take a bunch of carom seeds, roast them, and put them into cloth. Let your baby inhale the scent of these roasted carom seeds. The scent of these will cure the baby’s mucus-filled lungs or any sort of cough.

Saline Drops

If your baby has a blocked nose, saline water is the thing that can cure it on the go. You should use a syringe to pour saline drops into the nose of your baby. Make sure to keep his head tilted so that the mucus would drain easily.


Lemon is an amazing miracle. If your baby is about the age of one or above, you can make hot lemonade to help cure a cold and cough.


Cinnamon is also an amazing herb; it helps the body in many ways. You can mix it with honey and give it to your baby after every 4-5 hours. It is effective when the cold, cough, or flu has just started.


This is how, whenever you find your little one coughing, you should consider it a matter of seriousness. At once, you should try to diagnose the cause; if you are unable to do so, call your pediatrician for a quick appointment. The sooner the ailment is treated, the earlier it is gone. Follow your doctor’s prescribed medical schedule perfectly; this will help to heal the condition of the baby faster. If the coughing has just taken a start, you can also try any of the home remedies we have mentioned above, depending upon the condition and age of your baby. But be careful; don’t use all the remedies at once. You should pick one remedy at a time and let it work.

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