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How to Handle an Infant's Cough

Learn how to handle an infant's cough from parenting coach Tammy Gold in this Howcast baby care video.


From time to time your baby may get a cough or a cold. So the best way to handle that is to figure out ways to make the baby comfortable. Little babies can’t have any type of cough syrup or cough suppressant. So if the baby is really coughing and can’t breathe, that you notice they’re really gasping for air, the best thing to do is immediately call your doctor or go to an emergency room. If it’s just a gentle cough where you notice they don’t seem to be in distress, and they can get enough air, the only thing you can really do is help them be comfortable during their cough and cold. Ways to help them with a cough is if it’s a dry cough, sometimes taking them outside will help fill their lungs with fresh air. Also, filling a shower with a lot of steam and either going in the shower or standing right outside a couple times a day, will really help with the cough and the congestion. Having the baby sleep with a humidifier if they have a dry cough will help add air to the room. And if they’re really congested, tilting their crib upright so that the chest and the nose cavity can drain will help them feel comfortable. Some babies when they have a cough and cold even find it comfortable to sleep in their car seat or their swing. Really, when a baby is coughing and having a cold, whatever way they’re most comfortable is the best way to be. Providing a pacifier, maybe giving them an extra feeding may also help their cough. But the steam and the humidifier will really help if it’s a dry cough to get moisture into the air. Anytime that your baby has any type of cough or cold, you really want to go to the doctor and get them checked out, even if you don’t think they’re in distress, because anything out of the ordinary really needs to be checked by your doctor. You may think it’s nothing, but it could be a sign of something more serious.

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