Nighttime/Early Morning Cough in Toddler (Long) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 06-24-2003, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was just wondering if anyone has been through something similar with their toddler- I checked the archives here as well as in Health and Healing, but nothing seems to quite fit our situation. I am at a complete loss as far as what to do for dd, and I'm really hoping someone else here can offer some advice or suggest some natural methods of treatment. About 2 months ago, my dd developed a nighttime/early morning cough which has not gone away. When she sleeps at night she snores and her nose sounds a little stuffy, but it never runs, and her chest sounds clear. She wakes up with coughing fits (dry sounding cough) 1-3x a night and always has a coughing fit shortly after waking. A couple of times she has vomited clear mucous. During the day, she is perfectly fine.
Two weeks after all of this started, I took her to the ped. who determined that there was no sign of infection and said she prob. had a cold. Two weeks later, I took dd back when there was no improvement. We have a family history of allergies and asthma, and I thought that dd's symptoms seemed similar to Reactive Airway Disorder. Her ped. dismissed the idea and said it seemed as though she may have a dust allergy. She prescribed Zyrtec, which I gave to dd but discontinued after a week- it didn't work at all. We have a hepa filter, and went out and bought dust mite free mattress and pillow covers. We also had someone come and clean all of the dust out of our central air unit. No change in dd's cough. Her ped. sent us to an allergist, where they immediately wrote prescriptions for skin cream (even though there is no visible eczema on dd- they simply asked if she has ever had it and I told them yes, although it was a year ago) and steroid nasal spray without determining the problem first. I was very up front and let them know I would not fill any prescriptions until we had a better idea of what the cause of her cough was. We scheduled skin tests for dd, although I had some reservations, and the results indicated no allergy whatsoever. The allergist wasn't sure what the cause of dd's cough was, and said simply that it could be any number of things. I get the impression that asthma and allergies are not easily diagnosed in toddlers, but that no one wants to admit it, because then they lose a profit. In the meantime, my little bug still coughs like crazy every night, although she seems to have made a little improvement over the last week or so (on no meds). I would really appreciate it if anyone who has been through this could share their experience, as well as suggestions for natural remedies. Thank you for reading this if you made it this far.
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#2 of 14 Old 06-24-2003, 04:21 PM
 
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My dd had something similar forever, like about 2 months and it was post-nasal drip. We never did determine whether an allergy caused it or not but we waited it out and it seems to be gone. She had several rounds of ear infection before it started and been on antibios for almost a month in the end. 2 courses of 10 day stuff.

MY allergies were going nuts this year so I expect my dd has them too. Mine got better and so did hers so I am hoping it's a spring time thing. It's bothersome though. I totally understand. They wake themselves up coughing and stuff. One cold bug she had was so bad that I think it went into her ears and her throat and that's maybe why this lingered and lingered and lingered. My dh wondered if she had some kind of smoking habit and was sneaking off to smoke a pack of Marlboros or something. It was that irritating a cough. Dry. Like a smoker gets. It happened mostly at night.

I think you may have to wait this one out a little. If she is not otherwise uncomfortable. I gave my dd some ordinary cough syrup on particularly bad nights. The Triaminic Nighttime formula. Not every night but on the nights when she could not seem to stop. Give it another month.

Good luck mama. It's a worrisome thing. I know.

Denny
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#3 of 14 Old 06-24-2003, 04:36 PM
 
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I have sinus problems and get that same post nasal drip that makes me cough at night. It's very annoying. My older ds has it occasionally in spurts. I wish I could pinpoint why it happens and what triggers it, but I can't. One thing that seems to aggravate it in both him and me is our ceiling fans. If they are going on medium or high we both cough more.
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#4 of 14 Old 06-25-2003, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies- Denny, my dd's cough is very dry like smoker's cough, too. I hadn't thought about post nasal drip, although that is definitely possible, since dh and I both suffer from it. I can see where it could cause a cough, esp. in a toddler. I think you are right about needing to wait it out a bit. Dd is fine during the day, and gets plenty of sleep at night, despite the cough.
Jish, I have been leaving my ceiling fans on at night- I wipe the blades down regularly, but never thought of them as a potential problem. I am going to turn them off and see if it helps.

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#5 of 14 Old 06-25-2003, 05:19 PM
 
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Amy. I forgot. Try elevating your dd's head at night and definitely turn that fan off. The head elevation really helped cut down on the coughing. I ran a humidifier too for awhile but with the warm weather here, you might not need more humid.

Denny
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#6 of 14 Old 06-25-2003, 07:53 PM
 
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I have asthma, which is more active at night for many people than during the day. Has something to do with the body's light sensors triggering the asthma. If she's still coughing at night after a couple weeks, you might want to take her back to the allergist to check for asthma. I agree about turning the fan off or facing it away from her!

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#7 of 14 Old 06-25-2003, 10:07 PM
 
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I could have written your post. My DD has also been coughing for the last two months, has a tiny runny nose (I don't even have to wipe it except once a day) and I almost took her to the ped until DH told me that it is post nasal drip. He had it as a youngster, too. I decided not to worry about it, I don' t know if that helps you though. I just don't see any signs of asthma or any "issues" so I'm waiting it out. Allergies have been absolutely horrendous this year so I'm just assuming it is linked to that.

Good luck!
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#8 of 14 Old 06-25-2003, 10:43 PM
 
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As I was reading your post I was thinking that your dd sounds like my ds. My son was diagnosed with Reactive Airways Disease though.

It sounds like you've gotten some good advice about allergies and asthma prehaps that is what is causing your dd's cough. Hopefully your dd will be doing better soon.
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#9 of 14 Old 06-26-2003, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I turned off the fan, and I think dd's cough may have improved slightly, although it's hard to tell. Her head is usually elevated(although she ends up most mornings with her feet on the pillow, lol). At any rate, the fan is staying off. As a couple of you have mentioned, it really has been a horrible year for allergies, esp. in FL. I'm hoping it's just post nasal drip, but I do have concerns about Reactive Airway Disorder. I have an unfilled prescription for Albuterol, although I'm really trying to wait it out, since there has been no "official" diagnosis yet, and she doesn't appear to have difficulty breathing. Allergies and asthma DO run rampant on both sides of the family, so it is a strong possibility. As it stands now, we have a follow-up appt. with the allergist in 8 weeks, unless she gets worse. It seems like she is slowly improving though. Thanks, everyone for the suggestions- it's reassuring to know others have experienced this, too, although I wish no one ever had to.
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#10 of 14 Old 06-26-2003, 10:04 PM
 
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Just a thought about the Albuterol...you might want to fill the prescription and keep it on hand. Just in case it gets really bad one night and you need it, or she gets a cold or something that makes it worse. Breathing problems are scary and can require quick action, you know?

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#11 of 14 Old 04-21-2014, 11:21 PM
 
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Hi saturnine25,
My daughter is having the same problem. What did you find the cause? Thanks!
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#12 of 14 Old 04-22-2014, 11:26 AM
 
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Mine has the same thing going on. It went away but last night I heard the "seal cough" again. I thought it was bronchitis the first time. Does this sound like everyone else's cough? Like a barking seal? It's not pertussis. My pedi says "allergies" but no one in my family or beyond has allergies and no one has asthma, either. My son does have eczema, though. She has no fan in her room and is only 3.5 so a pillow seems too advanced for her. She coughs primarily at night and in the morning, too. Does that cough sound on track for the post nasal drip issue?

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#13 of 14 Old 06-11-2014, 11:54 AM
 
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same here

our 4 year old son has had a cough upon waking for about 2 months now, and it is gone after about 30 minutes of waking. sometimes there is mucus, sometimes there is not. very frustrated as doctors can't seem to figure out what is going on. he's fine during the day. would love to hear if anyone ever figured out what was causing their kiddo's cough?
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#14 of 14 Old 06-13-2014, 06:53 PM
 
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It's really important to learn the signs of respiratory distress in toddlers - because they can't tell you when it's happening. Night coughing is an early sign of reactive airways disease (or asthma). It can't be formally diagnosed until they are old enough to use a spirometer to assess exhalation power before and after medication. So in youngsters it is diagnosed based on clinical presentation...and how they respond to medication assists with the diagnosis.

DD was in respiratory distress a couple times before being diagnosed (chest and neck retractions) but running around and playing, and just breathing rapidly. The second time it happened it was worse. But it's scary because she didn't have the words to tell me what was going on. But when she got the mask treatment in the ER and did not fight it and fully cooperated, that told me it was a relief to have treatment. Night coughing was also an issue (and waking her up). Since being on regular steroid inhaler she has been sleeping better at night and has not had a repeat of resp. distress. I'm normally all for natural treatments....but this medication could very well save her life by preventing a severe airway reaction next time she gets a cold.
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