Complaints of baby coughing are quite common especially in the first year after birth. Babies and cough it appears is just a part of growing up. Babies may cough for a number of reasons ranging from virus infections, allergies, poor cough reflex and during feeding. In most cases a single episode of cough is not unusual. However, there are some babies who develop a persistent cough. Sometimes the cough may be associated with a fever and other times it may be a dry cough.
One common reason for developing coughing in babies is teething. In many babies this physiological event comes and goes without any outward signs or symptoms. However, some babies who start to teeth will develop a low grade fever, become irritable and start to drool. The excess drooling or saliva often induces a wet cough which is often mistaken for an infection.
Baby coughing teething symptoms may include extreme irritability and fussiness. Among the baby coughing teething symptoms which most often worries parents is a cough. Other features of teething may include a chin rash from the constant drooling of saliva. Low grade fever does occur in some babies but is not a universal finding. In most cases, the fever usually subsides in a few days. Teething is also associated with poor sleep. This is more common when the molars start to erupt. Often the babies will have a common cold like symptoms which may include a congested nose, runny nose or sneezing. To soothe the pain, some babies will gnaw on anything in site. It is believe that the counter pressure on the gums may provide relief from irritation.
In many cases, coughing episodes last for a few days. Most parents become worried when the cough appears wet and he/she refuses to eat. Often the cough is associated with a fever or perhaps diarrhea. One of the most common reasons why parents visit their physician is for babies and cough.
Experts in baby care recommend that the infant should be seen by a physician if:
- The infant is less than 3 months and has a persistent cough
- breathing more rapid and the baby appears to be struggling for breath
- There is wheezing
- Has streaks of blood with mucus
- Has greenish foul smelling sputum
- Has had a fever of at least 101 for the past few days
- Has any type of chronic illness of the heart or lung
When coughing is associated with teething, doctors recommend supportive care and fluids. Doctors do not recommend starting any type of coughing medications in infants without prior approval. There are many non prescription products for cough on the market but the American Academy of Pediatrics cautions parents never to use any such products in children under 3. Baby coughing during teething is a short lived process and does not need any type of extensive medical care except parental support.