This Little Miggy Stayed Home: The Cough

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Cough

As far as sickness goes we've been pretty lucky with Beanie so far. She's never really gotten that sick--maybe 1 fever and we have yet to have anything stomach related--that means no throwing up so far. {I don't need to knock on wood, if it happens now it's fine. We practically deserve it.} The one thing she does get is a cough--usually paired with a runny nose. It's the cough however that always seems to linger. Of course you can't give babies and toddlers cough medicine--in fact I don't think you can give a kid cough medicine until they're 6. So what's a mama to do? I've scoured the internet, talked with doctor's and nurses alike and here are our sure fire ways to help alleviate the cough. {But please talk to your doctor first before trying any of these remedies.}

#1. A humidifier. This is super important especially in the dry winter months. I recommend a mid-level model--you don't need to spend a lot, but don't go too cheap--and preferably a cool-air mist humidifier. Our friends' baby got his hand burned by a hot mist humidifier. Anyway, there's really no difference as far as which one works better, but you can read about cool vs. warm mist humidifiers here.

#2. Vapor Rub. Although you shouldn't use regular vapor rub on babies, they make a baby version that uses all natural ingredients like eucalyptuses, which we still use for Beanie. {Regular vapor rub uses camphor which is a cough suppressant and should only be used for kids ages 2 and up. Go to Vick' for more info.} We usually apply vapor rub to the chest and on the bottom of her feet and then cover with socks. Why the bottom of the feet? A lot of people think it helps...check it out.

#3. Honey. This is our cough syrup replacement. If Beanie is coughing really bad we just give her lots of spoonfuls of honey and hope it helps some. I don't know that it does a whole lot, but at least she can't overdose and she finds it somewhat soothing. *Just remember no honey for babies under the age of 1. They can contract infant botulism--which is very, very bad. Read more about it here.

#4. Warm Apple Juice. A nurse recently recommended this to me. Of course we know it's always good to fill sick people with clear liquids, so that's part of it, but she said something about the warm apple juice can sometimes help suppress a child's cough. I've also heard the same with warm chicken broth. Worth a shot.

#5. Sucrets or hard candy in a mesh feeder. {Again you really need to pay attention to the label and what is OK for what age child you have}. During a coughing bout a few months ago I found that we had some Sucrets on hand that were OK for children 2 and up {but many are only for children and adults 6 and up}. However my other worry was choking, SO I came up with the idea of putting a Sucrets in one of these Munchkin Fresh Food Feeders. Even if you can't give your kid any sort of cough drop, I think sucking on a peppermint candy through one of these mesh feeders will help with the cough somewhat. Beanie loves this one and honestly it seems to help the most with her cough and I don't have to worry about her choking.

So that's it--my winter baby/toddler cough tips! Let me know if you have any other remedies you recommend for a pesky cough.


  1. G-man really likes chamomile tea with honey, too. We used to give it to him as a bambino to help with his gassy tummy (remember that, Miggy?:), so we discovered how good it tastes, and that docs recommend it for the small people:) Also, I totally agree about the vapor rub (kid-style).
    Migs, I would never wish a throw-up upon you. That has been our biggest illness-type-thing, so I feel like the Bean has wisely chosen to avoid that sort of messy behavior:) Love you!

  2. Oooo, what good information. My Ryder is the exact same way as far as getting sick goes, but since it's quite rare we usually just all suffer through it. I'm happy to have something to try the next time he comes down with a cough.

  3. Anonymous6:39 PM

    Chance (4) gets the nose drips, creating the cough. Since he was 2he has been able to Dimatapp. Now we know he has allergies, creating the drip, therefore the cough (and also ear infections). Now he takes 5mm of Zertec before bed and, sure enough, it worked!!

  4. these are totally gross and Luci hates them, but nose drops (just a simple saline solution) really help to moisturize the passages. It prevents the cough/runny nose turning into an ear infection too. Our pediatrician recommended them to us when she was really little. We always use them now, and it seems they always clear it up!

  5. amen on the humidifier! changed our lives when we invested in one of those puppies last winter. we run it in att's room all winter even if he's healthy and fine. we used the vapo last winter on his feeties too although i didn't know that there was a baby version - good to know. so honey also have natural anti-bacterials in it and the pollen in it is supposed to help people build up an immunity to pollen allergies the following year. i used to get bad allergies but started eating honey more often and have noticed it has gotten better from season to season. my friend recently reminded me of warm water with melted honey and a touch of apple cidar vinegar, an old wives tale, but has natural anti-bacterials to help improve immunity and overcome colds/coughs and all that. we used it this week when atticus started getting sick and he's already getting better and i never got sick. i used airborne too so can't say how effective the honey tea was, but it's worth a shot. ok, and the sucretes in the mesh feeder - you're brilliant! i'm a way choking-phobic and that's perfect!!! thanks for the info migs! PS - how's fall in cinncinati? are you missing NY this time of year?

  6. Suz--oh yes, chamomile tea would be great. And I DO remember that....and I of course don't really wish the throwing up--mainly for Bean's sake. It's sad seeing little ones sick. {Oh and lately Beanie has been talking about missing you guys a lot. The other day she said "I miss my friends Graham, Allen and Suzie." It was cute.}

    Jazzy--I hope it helps. None of it is an overnight success type of thing, but all together it seems to help.

    Cj--I've wondered if Bean's coughing could be allergy related. How did you get Chance tested?

    Danielle--Yes we have those they help with a cough? Is it just keeping the nose cleared and that helps everything go away faster? Bean hates those but we could always try again. Worth a shot when she's sick.

    Amberli--Yes I think I heard that about honey, but forgot. A great reason to buy local honey {we haven't yet, but that's a good reason}. And my mom uses apple cider vinegar on her salad--I think she said the same thing about it being good for you, etc. I'll have to try it. And we like Cincinnati-- I love having our house, but I really, really miss NYC still. Probably always will. Fall was made for the east coast. How's Boston? Is it freezing there too?

  7. our pediatrician recommended Delsym to is a cough suppressant...on the bottle it has dosage for ages 4 and up...but my youngest was big enough at 3 to have a dose...he is a big guy. It seems to help suppress the cough while he is he can get a good nights sleep (and me too!) and his body can heal fast!

    we also ♥ Vick's rub at our house....did you know if you put vicks on the bottom of your feet(then cover with socks) it seems to work better! i heard this once...and didn't believe it...until i tried it...seriously works! ....I'm not sure for kids though...i experimented on myself last Winter!

  8. Don't remind me that this season is coming up! Hopefully, we'll make it through. With 20 kids, our nursery is particularly disease-ridden.

    No one mentioned to wait until after a year old to give honey because of infant botulism. I haven't given my kids honey yet because I never got around to looking up the age until now (I thought it was two!).

  9. BRILLIANT!!! I have a little one with a cough right now, thanks for sharing...we have the mesh feeder's that is my favorite cause she loves peppermint. Some people are so smart!

  10. Kado--Good to know about the cough suppressant.

    Ellen--YES! You're right, I should have mentioned no honey for babies under 1. I'm going to put that note in the post.

    Aimee--So glad that helps! Good luck with the cough...those things tend to linger.

  11. Also, if the cough is of the linger/longer variety think asthma. Some kids with asthma don't wheeze, but when they get sick they have a pesky cough that stays longer than it should. Easily treated with a little asthma medicine. So worth getting checked out if there is a family history, or if the child has eczema or allergies {there's an eczema/allergy/asthma trio}.