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Toddler coughing at night

(17 Posts)
FeelinFresh Wed 31-May-17 13:25:35


My 15 month old son has a bad cough but mostly only at night time. He has had it for months and wakes up having big coughing fits.
I got him checked out by the GP a few weeks ago and his chest sounded normal. My mum seemed to think the air in the room might be a bit dry and suggested putting a bowl of water in there.

Has anyone else had this problem and what did you do?


InDubiousBattle Wed 31-May-17 13:27:11

Persistent, mainly night time coughing can be a sign of asthma in young children. Did your gp mention it?

grasspigeons Wed 31-May-17 13:31:48

We've had this. Once it was asthma, and once it was post nasal drip. For asthma the inhaler worked instantly we used it as prescribed.
The post nasal drip we put olbus oil on a tissue in there room and a bowl of steamy water.

FeelinFresh Wed 31-May-17 20:51:50

No but how will we know if it is asthma?

user1483387861 Wed 31-May-17 21:08:30

My DD had a really bad cough for about 4 months which was also worse at night. I was worried about asthma given there is a strong family history on my side. I got her checked out a couple of times and her chest was clear. The GP reckoned it was as a result of back to back colds and viruses over the winter period picked up at nursery. Eventually her cough disappeared, although it's back again as she has got a cold and is teething again. I've found that her cough is more present when she is teething.

Emma2803 Wed 31-May-17 22:27:42

Do you have any family history of asthma, hayfever or eczema op? These are all linked. Can be difficult to diagnose in children but if they try the inhaler and it help that's probably it.
Does he have a runny nose during the day at all? Post nasal drip caused by lying down can cause irritation and a cough

AnotherYellowBelly Wed 31-May-17 22:33:57

We had this and dd was given an inhaler and diagnosed with asthma. Used it for a few months at bedtime, it helped a little bit but made her so distressed we gave up on it. She's never suffered since and is 11 now.

Turkeyneck Wed 31-May-17 23:08:08

We had this, it's horrible, I feel for you op. It turned out to be asthma for us, and only stopped once ds started on the brown inhaler (preventer). And blue inhaler for when the coughing starts. The blue inhaler works a treat. But it took us a long time to get the right treatment and in that time poor ds suffered endless nights of coughing which I feel awful about now. Endless trips to the doctors but we were told his 'chest is clear' every time, even though I could sense a wheeze and a bit of a struggle for breath. Ended up having to call an ambulance one night when he had a bad cold which exacerbated it and had to stay in hospital for a week before breathing was satisfactory. I guess what I'm saying is, push for a blue inhaler and see if it helps. It angers me that we weren't given the right help sooner. Also you need to know that if he does end up having a bad asthma attack, you give 10 puffs of the blue inhaler (taking 10 breaths of each puff - using the spacer device) and that's every hour (but you need to go to hospital if it's that bad). Sorry I don't mean to scare you but these are the things I wish someone had told me!

Also in our house it's the dehumidifier that seems to improve things, rather than the opposite. But I think that's kind of irrelevant in comparison to getting the right treatment. I think it sounds like asthma rather than a dry tickle cough caused by dry air.
Good luck! Hope that helps x

InDubiousBattle Thu 01-Jun-17 08:56:46

As pp says asthma is very hard to diagnose in young dc, when we went to the asthma clinic the nurse said that they rarely definitively diagnose it in under 5s. They just prescribe the blue inhaler to see if it helps.

Maudlinmaud Thu 01-Jun-17 09:06:05

My dd has been doing this for years. It starts in the summer and carries on for weeks. She coughs so much at night that it makes her sick. Her chest was clear at the gp and she even had an chest xray which was also clear. The gp gave her a brown and blue inhaler and this has helped. She does not have a diagnosis of asthma.
She does have hay fever and also gets hives. The cough hasn't appeared as yet this year, which is odd as it usually does when the weather gets warmer.

ElspethFlashman Thu 01-Jun-17 09:11:33

DS has had this since about that age. It's triggered by colds. If he has any kind of mild cold he may never cough during the day but omg the night coughing fits. Has puked up sputum several times. It usually lasts for about an hour.

Our gp doesn't seem concerned and I know asthma is hard to diagnose and it does disappear in between so I suspect he'll grow out of it. It seems it's enormously common in toddlers.

ElspethFlashman Thu 01-Jun-17 09:13:27

Just to add, we do put olbas oil and warm water in there and we also use Vicks. Limited success really but at least you feel like you're doing something.

dorothymichaels Thu 01-Jun-17 09:44:28

DS is having a bad bout of night time coughing at the moment. He has an asthma diagnosis. The GP thinks it is a reaction to pollen. I now have him on a daily antihistamine but so far I'm not seeing much of a difference. He is snotty during the day but clear snot so not a cold. I've upped his preventative inhalers on the advice of the gp and the reliever one helps him at night to settle. It's giving us disturbed sleep though. Ask for a blue inhaler to see if that settles the cough? It does with my son.

Cutesbabasmummy Thu 01-Jun-17 15:12:32

Gosh my DS does this! I'm wondering if I should take him to the gp now? He's 28 months! He hasn't got a cold or anything but he coughs a lot at night and his dad (45) has just been diagnosed with asthma.

cheeeekyavocado Thu 01-Jun-17 15:49:17

Could be allergies, it was when my daughter suffered with a night time cough.

Doctor prescribed a dose of piriton about an hour before bed, Vicks/snuffle babe and nasal spray.

It worked a treat.

FeelinFresh Fri 02-Jun-17 11:55:58

Took him to docs yesterday got the blue inhaler he coughed a bit in night though

MeredithShepherd Sat 03-Jun-17 18:51:12

My ds (now three) has done this intermittently for his whole life. Everytime I took him to the doctors his chest was clear. In the last 3 months he started doing it when running around too so I was convinced it was asthma as my grandad and brother both have it. We got a brown preventor inhaler and a blue reliever inhaler from the doctors and as soon as we started using the brown one his coughing has stopped. I've never had to use the blue one. We have his first asthma review on Monday but it's looking likely as to the cause of it. Don't let them fob you off it's miserable for everyone!

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