One of the most excruciating experiences for parents is helplessly listening to their toddler cough continuously at night. The child doesn’t cough during the daytime making his parents believe that he is fine. But, then he starts coughing again in the night.
Though toddlers are quite prone to cold and cough in general, the reason for a toddler coughing only at night is viral or bacterial infection, bronchitis or asthma. Usually, it’s believed that nighttime cough should be left alone since coughing is the body’s natural defense mechanism that expels the bacteria from the lungs so suppressing the need to cough could mean preventing the defense mechanism from combating the bacteria of harmful diseases like pneumonia.
However, a nighttime cough severely affects the child’s sleeping patterns and can be very uncomfortable and annoying. Parents must consult a doctor if the child suffers from it for more than 10 days, if he has a fever, coughs up phlegm, and gets breathless.
There are a few things you can do to treat a toddler’s nighttime cough. If you find your toddler coughing while sleeping, you can bring him immediate relief by rubbing a chest-rub balm or ointment on his chest and then cover him well with a thick blanket. An important thing to do is give the toddler fluids like water, fruit juices or clear broth that act as expectorants thereby loosening dry and hard cough and expelling phlegm. Bedtime coughs are also caused by allergies, which can be treated by an antihistamine that would suit the child. If the child is over one year of age, giving a teaspoonful of honey would be more effective than most treatments.
You can also warm milk and add honey and turmeric powder to it and have the toddler consume it every night. And, if you are skeptical about administering this to the toddler, you can add turmeric to a bowl of boiling water, cover your child’s head with a towel in a way that his face is enclosed over the bowl and have him inhale the vapors. This can be done before bedtime so that it soothes the throat and brings relief.
There are a few more things a parent must keep in mind to treat the toddler’s nighttime cough. The child’s bedroom must have a humidifier as dry air congests the nasal passages and humidifier would maintain moisture. Other than this, the child must get enough sleep and avoid carbohydrates like sugar and white flour.