How Much Coughing Is Normal For A Newborn?

3 Mins read

Kids catch the flu and get sick with the cold; it is one of the most normal scenarios in childhood. But how do you know when your child is coughing a little too many times?

  • Coughing is a natural protection mechanism so your infant’s airways and throat are kept clear.
  • Continuous coughing means your baby’s throat or lungs (air passages) are being irritated by something.
  • Chronic coughing stretches anywhere from 3-4 weeks. This is not usually normal where children are concerned.
  • Infectious: tuberculosis, pneumonia (sinus infection), pertussis (whooping cough), and RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus)
  • Non-infectious: congenital issues, gastroesophageal reflux, cystic fibrosis, asthma brought on by exposure to cigarette smoke

Your first instinct should be to take your baby to the doctor; a good pediatrician, preferably. You need to figure out the root of the problem before it spreads.

Often, you will be discouraged from using cough medicines and offered non-medicinal options to treat chronic baby coughs. From installing a cool-mist humidifier in your child’s room to bulb-suctioning and raising the elevation that your baby sleeps in, there are practical options out there for you as the concerned parent.


  • Blue tinge to the lips and face
  • Speedy breathing (more than 40 times a minute)
  • Slow or shallow breathing
  • Skin pulling at the base of the throat, between the ribs, under the rib cage
  • If the baby is less than 2 months and has a fever in excess of 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Uses abdomen (belly) to force air out of the lungs
  • Grunting noises with every breath
  • Poor appetite

Once a physical exam is carried out, your doctor will inform you on specifics and what you need to do to stop your child’s coughing conundrum.

Understanding A Coughing Baby & Natural Remedies

Always go for approved and clinically proven ways to ease or altogether stop your child’s cough. One such proponent is  David Hill, MD, a pediatrician working at Cape Fear Pediatrics. We have incorporated much of his advice above as well; under symptoms and non-medicinal options.

  • Normal infants have a tendency to breathe irregularly; this is no cause for concern. Newborns sleep more often than you know and tend to fall into unsteady breathing patterns.
  • Cough is different in that it is an expulsion of air from the infant’s lungs, not technically a breathing pattern.

Here Are A Few Natural Remedies To Help Your Infant With Their Cough Problem:

  • Take a few cloves of garlic, warm (not heat) them in mustard oil, and rub gently on your baby’s chest.
  • Get some carom seeds, soak them overnight. Mix them with basil leaves the next day. This needs to be applied on your child, so the aroma can work on their nasal passages.
  • This too is application-oriented.
  • Some turmeric milk will do wonders against cough. Get the right balance of milk-to-turmeric.
  • Some steam can open up the nasal passages. Do this the old fashioned way, a bucket or vessel with hot water that sends up steam.
  • Hydration is crucial. Water, diluted fruit juices, and milk are required at regular times.
  • A humidifier in your baby’s room; these are very small and not machine-based so there is nothing to install. Humidifiers help keep the air mildly humid and eliminate cold.
  • Nutmeg is another interesting option. Ask your doctor how exactly you need to administer it to your child.
  • Eucalyptus oil is an excellent recourse. It has proven to work on several occasions. Just make sure you have received your doctor’s approval before using, in case your baby is allergic.
  • Since there are so many aromas being used, it is not a bad idea to tap into the marvels of aromatherapy as a whole. Not all scents or aromas will work for your baby, though, so stick with mild and clinically approved ones.

During this time, nursing needs to continue. Breast milk contains a plethora of vitamins and minerals that help fight baby ailments and illnesses, and boost your kid’s immune system. It will serve as an essential addition to all your other efforts to curing your baby’s chronic cough.

Here is one outstanding Indian recipe (called Ajwain Kadha) for preparing a cough alleviant at home for your baby or toddler:

  • What you need: 1/3 cup jaggery, 8-10 tulsi leaves, 1 tbsp. Ajwain, 1/2 tbsp. dry ginger powder, 1 clove, 5 black peppers, 1/2 tbsp. turmeric powder, 1/2 cup water
  • Get a pan, add water, set the stove to burn
  • And jaggery, black peppers, tulsi leaves, Ajwain, turmeric, and ginger powder
  • Boil for 10 minutes

Once the mixture is cool, sieve it. You need the liquid alone for your baby. It will look like tea and this ‘all-natural cough syrup’ can be mixed with breast milk or water for your baby to drink. Do not forget to add a tablespoon of honey to it, for taste.

Since we are talking about kids in the 7 months to 1-year range, keep the dosage of Ajwain Kadha to 1 teaspoon, twice a day (morning and night), after food; 3 days total. Store the rest in a bottle, in a cool and dry place.