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  • Post last modified:January 6, 2021

by Maria W.
(San Francisco, California)

My son is 7 weeks old, he has a dry cough (meaning no mucous) and he sneezes as well but no runny nose just regular mucous in nose at times. He doesn’t have a fever or anything but it concerns me because it’s been 3 days since I’ve noticed he has been coughing. Is it a cold?

I’ve been using baby powder on my baby, is that bad for inhalation? I try to avoid it getting all through the air but if a little does, can that be affecting him to cough?

Should I be concerned?

And also many times when he eats, I breastfeed, if I let down a lot and fast he begins to choke and cough because a lot is coming down, can that be a factor? Could milk be getting in his lungs? I’m so concerned please help.

Baby Help Line:

Tips For Baby With Cold

From what you have described it seems that your baby has a cold. Colds are usually caused by viruses and will go by themselves in 5 to 7 days. Viruses do not respond to antibiotic treatments, for that reason it is better not give any medication to your baby, unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The best thing to do when your baby has a cold is to keep him comfortable and well hydrated. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding you can increase the number of times you feed your baby or you can feed him on demand.

If your baby continues coughing for more than 7 days, has fever, is not feeding well, or is lethargic, it will better to contact your doctor as soon as possible. You should also see your doctor if you see that your baby has noisy breathing, is breathing faster than usual, is irritable or has unusual chest movements.

Coughing itself is not as bad as it seems because it helps the body to eliminate foreign particles or microorganism from the airways. It is possible that the coughing of your baby is caused by the baby powder that you are using. You can try to avoid it and see what happen. Aspiration (foreign substances inhaled into the lungs) of milk while your baby is breastfeeding does not happen frequently unless your baby has other medical problems such as gastroesophageal reflux, swallowing dysfunctions, neurological disorders, or mouth or air ways abnormalities. In most cases, a baby coughs now and then while nursing, and it does not mean that anything is wrong.

Signs of lung aspiration include: persistent coughing, wheezing, fever, chest discomfort, shortness of breath and recurrent lung infections.

If you notice one or more of these symptoms in your baby, you have to see your doctor immediately.

I hope this helps,

(Answer approved by our Medical Reference Team)

More On Babies With A Cough

Find comments below.



Sep 15, 2013

Coughing Baby
by: srjd36

There is nothing more heartrending to listen to then a baby coughing. I know I could hardly stand it when my son was a baby. Luckily it usually sounds worse then it is. However, if it does not seem to be improving after 3 days call your doctor. I would never give a 7 week old infant medicine (even over the counter) without advice from your pediatrician.

Sep 06, 2013

No baby powder!

by: Your Favorite Auntie

No matter how hard you try, the baby powder will always get in the air and your baby will inhale it. There is no reason to use baby powder, ever. It doesn’t keep your baby any drier or prevent diaper rash. It is just one of those old-fashioned baby products that were never necessary. When your baby chokes and coughs while breast feeding that is his natural response that keeps milk out of his lungs. If he had milk in his lungs you would know it because he wouldn’t stop coughing.

Sep 12, 2013

same problem – thank you
by: Anonymous

Hi there, I just wanted to say that I am experiencing the same problem with my 3 week old and am very happy to have found this answer. Thank you!

Sep 18, 2013


by: Anonymous

Your not suppose to put baby power on newborn babies that’s bad

Oct 02, 2013

My baby is 5 months with a cough

by: Carol Collins

Thanks for your comments I am at ease a little but still very concern because his cough sounds like he has a lot of mucus in his lungs

Dec 03, 2013

Cough and baby powder

by: Grace

I have a 7 week old baby who coughs and sneezes as well.. and i don’t use baby powder.. I use Desitin.. it’s like baby powder but it’s a cream.. well, my doctor told me the coughing and sneezing is perfectly normal if his temperature is normal and not too worry too much about it.. =]

Dec 28, 2013

also with a 7wk baby girl

by: Anonymous

Had the same problem its this winter weather.my mother in law is a RN for infants. she told me since the baby is so small they wont give her anything beside saline drops to loosen up the mucus in her nose to breath better. So I bought some at target for under 3$…she so much better so glad…

Feb 02, 2014

No baby powder

by: BrooklynMommy

I use to use cornstarch powder for my son but i use a& d ointment for my daughter, that’s your best bet. My girl coughs too. I think she has a slight cold because it gets cold in the house.

Feb 04, 2014


by: Wooka

Did you have a c-section?
C section babies normally sneeze and cough more. Doesn’t mean they’re sick.

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