Babies: 6 - 9 Months

Constant Cough (long)

DS has had this bad cough for about a month now.  On Dec. 16 the DCP said that he was very lethargic, runny nose, wheezy, and a bit warm with a bad cough.  MH picked him up, saw him and said we needed to make a sick appt for him. We saw the pedi within 2 hours of making the phone call.  He did a general assessement, ears, eyes, throat, listened to his chest, etc.  The pedi said, "yeah he should go to the ER for some breathing treatments." So we went. 

We waited two hours in the waiting room (they did at least give LO some tylenol to take the edge off) and when we were finally seen, ER doc said he "terrible looking ears" and diagnosed and ear infection. He was put on amoxicillan and that was that.

A week later we were seen for a follow up appt with pedi. I told the pedi that ER doc said he had an ear infection, but pedi said "his ears were fine when he was here!"  So, MH and I were like "What is going on?!" Ear infection? No ear infection?! Errrr.  However, I voiced my concern over his continuous cough and congestion, and dr said it was part of teething. Fine. I can see that. 

Fast forward to well appt (3 weeks after initial sick appt) everything looks good with DS's height, weight, milestones, etc, except he still has that damn cough and congestion. Dr. says teething will do that.  At this point I am skeptical.  I mean this a hard cough, like he is trying to clear his throat. 

I guess my question is should I just let the cough go away on its own? Do I seek a second opinion on something like a cough? Can you just make an appt with another pedi (same group? different group?) and ask questions like that?  Google is no help. It's either RSV, allergies, asthma, etc....all of which he needs tested for. But pedi says his lungs are fine...

Thanks for reading....sorry sooooo long!

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Re: Constant Cough (long)

  • How often is he coughing. Is it waking him up? Is he choking on food? Has it improved at all? Depending on the severity, I might ask your doctor to provide some extra explanation. This sounds like a case of "more parental reassurance needed." If your doctor can't provide that to your satisfaction, I don't think it's unreasonable to see another doctor (or think about why the original doctor cannot answer the questions you have).

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  • We took our dd to the doc for coughing and congestion that lasted a while. They said it was probably just a virus but swabbed her nose just in case it was bacterial. The culture came back positive, meaning it could be treated w antibiotics since it wasn't just the common cold. Maybe you could ask pedi to do a nasal culture?
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  • DD has had a cough for pretty much half her life so about 5 months, the doctors say the same thing her lungs seem clear etc, i sought another opinion still nothing the 3rd doctor agreed with me and said that it is not normal and to go to a specialist. Still i have not heard anything. DD didnt have to go to the ER or anything so im not sure if this has helped but if i were you i would get another opinion. (Well she has had 2 ear infections.)
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  • First- here's a hug for you Left Hug

    Second: Saline Drops. This has helped my LO like a miracle. Every morning she stuffy (she's cutting 5 teeth) and she coughs. She's very prone to Ear infections (she has tubes already). Even her ENT told me to use the saline drops when she's congested and it'll keep her ears cleared out.

    I suction her, put in the drops, suction her again, almost every morning and normally she won't cough again for a few hours. Her cough is caused by all the mucus. I was very concerned at the sound of her cough, but her lungs are clear, etc.. it truly is teething (at least with her). Hth and GL!!

  • EcyEcy
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    Does your LO act bothered by the cough? Does it seem to hurt or do they feel bad otherwise that you can tell?

    Is it a wet or dry cough? My DD recently had croup and still has a lingering cough. I've been told for chest congestion coughs...that milk doesn't help it much and in fact makes it worse. They obviously have to drink milk but evidently some warm apple juice or lemonade will help break up the congestion. I'm not a fan of giving babies juice but if your LO needs relief, it may help. If doing stuff like this, using the saline drops, steamy bathroom time, and a humidifer doesn't work, then I would definitely look into it a bit more.

    If it is a dry cough, then I agree with others and I would get a second opinion. I think your instinct is telling you something is not right so I would go with that.

  • My LO was just diagnosed with bronchiolitis AND an ear infection that was just beginning. He started with a fever, then runny nose, and then terrible sounding cough (wheezy, mucousy). They sent us home with a machine to do breathing treatments 3 x per day and it helps loosen it up a bit.


    In my opinion, if something doesn't feel right in your gut you need to do something about it. Ask to see another pedi in the practice. I;m sure it's fine as long as that doctor is covered under your insurance. You just don't want it to progress to something worse.


    Good luck. 

  • You know your baby best.  Get a second opinion.

    My son's cough started when he was 3 weeks old.  His pediatrician said it was caused by reflux and refused to treat it.  She kept insisting that over and over, for months.  Finally at 3.5 months, I went to a different pediatrician.  He also thought it was reflux, but he treated the reflux with Zantac and the cough seemed to improve.

    However... it came back, and it's been back off and on for a while now.  Zantac no longer seems to have any effect (and yes, we've increased the dosage).  So, our new pediatrician recommended a pulmonologist.  We have an appointment with him next week.  I suspect asthma.

    Good luck.  I KNOW how frustrating and heartbreaking it is to listen to your baby cough every night.  I hope he gets the help he needs! 

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  • We were told acid reflux, his lungs sound fine, it's from all the drool, teething , could be rsv but no - all this from 2 drs. I finally made an appt with a third dr in the practice and went in and told them I need either an explanation and accurate diagnosis or a plan of action.  The dr spent forever examining him, sent us for an X-ray and final conclusion double ear infection and pneumonia!!
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