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Mom’s Question:
My poor 8-month-old baby coughs until she throws up and I am worried…

At the beginning of the week, our baby was running a fever, we gave her Tylenol, brought it down and she seemed to be feeling better. She was still congested with a runny nose but acted like she felt better.

Two days later she started getting an awful cough and has coughed until she drastically throws up! She also has been sleeping very lightly and rolling around and moaning a lot.

She has a doctor’s app tomorrow but what could this be?


Baby Helpline:

Baby Coughs Until She Throws Up

Poor girl! This is really the season of sick babies!

It does sound to me as if your baby simply has a really nasty cold, especially since her fever is now down. Babies can throw up a lot easier than older children and adults from coughing, so that doesn’t have to mean anything in particular.

Does she still have a lot of nasal congestion and mucus? These are very common reasons for coughing and even coughing until throwing up even after a cold has started to go away.

However, I still think you are doing the right thing by taking her to a doctor. The fact that she moans and rolls around could mean that she is in pain or has trouble breathing, which in turn could signify an infection more serious than just a common cold.

A relatively common, more serious infection is Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).

Look Out for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

RSV is common during winter. If a baby gets really sick from what appears to be a severe cold, one should definitely have the baby examined.

RSV is a common virus and not an issue for older children and adults. But for young babies, it can at worst be lethal.

If your baby seems ta have a bad cold and gets a high fever, trouble breathing, a very stuffy nose, coughing, wheezing or a blueish skin, you need to pay a visit to the ER.

Most hospitals can take a simple RSV test from the baby’s nose.

Since RSV is a virus it can not be treated with antibiotics. In most cases, no treatment is needed, but for babies that have trouble breathing or are very ill, oxygen, moist air, fluids by IV and in extreme cases a breathing machine can be used to help the baby.

Since your baby’s fever is down, RSV is not likely. But since it is such a serious infection in babies, it is best to be cautious. So keep an eye on her, give her a lot to drink, write down her symptoms and talk them through with the doctor tomorrow.

Do continue to check here fever too.

You can read more about RSV at MayoClinic here. (Opens in new window)

How to Help Your Baby’s Coughing

You can elevate the head end of her bed a bit, to help her breathe easier. That can prevent some of the coughings at night.

Using the saline drops and a nasal aspirator may also help to ease her sleeping and lessen the cough.

Babies do not know how to blow their nose yet, so they often cough to get rid of nasal congestion.

Hope this helps a bit,

Paula
(Answer approved by our Medical Reference Team)

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  1. Stephanie

    My son is almost 7 months old and I just brought him to the hospital about a month ago because he was having trouble breathing and he kept puking and had a stuffed up nose and running fevers…

    The hospital did a nose swab test for RSV and it came back positive… I recommend you to take your baby to the docs. But RSV is a respiratory virus that is caused at baby’s til there born till age 1 after age 1 your son or daughter shouldn’t get it.

    GOOD LUCK!! HOPE SHE FEELS BETTER.:)