Night Cough in Child: Types, Causes, and Home Remedies


Cough is one of the most uncomfortable situations that the kids encounter. Sometimes coughing offers awful sounds and makes your child have a sleepless night. What can you do to have a peaceful sleep? This article takes you through the soothing ways to help your child have a good sleep.

Cough mostly occurs at the end of episodes of cold. Cough may attack and irritate anyone irrespective of age and causes a certain degree of discomfort that varies from person to person.

This article discusses the types and effects of cough. It presents the home remedies to prevent cough in children.

What Is Night Cough?

Cough is a sudden and forceful sound that results in the rapid expulsion of air from the lungs. It is a voluntary act and is also regarded as tussis.

Coughing most often becomes worse cat the night. In the lying position mucus can pool in the back of the throat resulting in the cough.

Types of cough:


Knowledge regarding the various types of cough is essential. This makes you know when to handle the cough at home and when to see a doctor.

The following are the types of cough:

1. Barky Cough:

These cough are commonly caused by the blockage in the upper airways. This type of cough results from the croup, or swelling around the trachea or larynx or bronchi. As younger kids have smaller air ways any blockage may make them difficult to breathe. Kids who are below the age of 3 years are at the risk of croup because of their narrow airways.

2. Cough with wheezing:

Sometimes kids make wheezing sound while breathing. This is the sign swelling of the lower airways in the lungs. This may result from the asthma or with the viral infections like bronchiolitis. This type of coughing may also occur when the lower airways are blocked by the foreign objects. Child may start coughing after inhaling something small such as food or small toys.

3. Whooping Cough:

It is an infectiuon caused by the bacteria called Bordetelle Pertussis. Kids affected by this type of virus may experience episodes of cough without breathing in between. Kids encounter a whooping sound at the end of coughing resulted by long breathe.

It occurs in the children below the age of 1 year who did not get the pertussis vaccine. It is contagious and affects children of all the age groups.

4. Night time cough:

Most of the times cough becomes severe at the night times. During the sleep, the mucus from the nose and the sinus can drain down the throat resulting in the cough.

Asthma leads to nighttime cough as the airways become more irritable and sensitive at the night.

5. Daytime cough:

Cold or any other triggers of cough may increase the intensity of cough during the daytime. Avoid air freshener, pets or smoke that make your child to cough,

6. Persistent Coughs:

Cols that is caused by the viral infections may result in the long episodes of cough. Any infections in the sinuses or airways may also cause coughs that last for longer times.

7. Cough with a fever:

A child who has cough accompanied by runny nose and mild fever below 102 degree Fahrenheit is assumed to have common cold. But, if the fever is above 102 degree Fahrenheit then your child is at the risk of being affected by pneumonia. This condition requires emergency medical attention.

8. Cough with Vomiting:

Kids often vomit if lots of mucus drains in the stomach and causes nausea. The vomiting may set back and is not an issue of concern unless the vomiting does not stop.

Causes of Cough in children:


Cough at night is a result of wide range of conditions. Some are short term and may disappear in a week or two. Some other coughs may last for longer periods. Here are a few causes of child coughing at night.

1. Asthma and allergies:

This is one of the reasons for child coughing at night. Kids with Asthma or allergies are more sensitive to irritants such as dust or smoke. If the kids with Asthma inhale any irritants they lungs try to get rid of the foreign substance by forceful coughs. A chronic dry cough can be the result of asthma.

2. Viral infections:

This is one of the most common causes of the cough. A productive cough may flush out the germy mucus from the lungs. It is not a major cause of concern and it can come down on it’s own.

3. Environmental factors:

Exposure to environmental irritants such as smoke, dust, pollen, and particulate matter may lead to extreme episodes of cough.

4. Excess mucus:

Kids may encounter excess mucus when their nasal passage is congested due to extreme conditions of cold. This scenario makes the kids to find difficulty in breathing. This condition is often regarded as the Postnatal drip which is a common sign of cold, sinus infections, flu, and allergies.

5. Common Cold:

This is an infectious condition that attacks your upper respiratory system. Cough occurs when your nasal passage, throat, sinus, and trachea is infected by the virus. There are about 250 wide range of viruses that cause infection.

6. Chest infection:

It is a condition where the airways of lungs are infected. If it attacks the alveoli, then it is referred to as pneumonia. If the airways are attacked by the infection, then it is known as bronchitis. You may get the chest infection when the person beside you sneezes or coughs.

Child Coughing At Night Home Remedies:

Exposure to germs makes young children very vulnerable to cold and cough. Pay attention to the sound that your child makes while coughing that helps you to choose the best remedy for the effective results. Many cough medicines are not safe for the the toddlers to use and they may pose several side effects.

Here are a few home remedies for child coughing at night:

1. Saline Nasal Drops:


This is one of the safest ways to prevent cough in your child. Use the saline nasal drops prescribed by the doctor that help in preventing the nose blockage and clearing the mucus. This helps in preventing the post nasal drip.

Nasal drops works more effectively before the bed time or use them when you kid wakes up in the middle of the night crying with the cough.

2. Use Humidifier:


Cool mist humidifier in your kid’s room will help to keep your kid’s airways clear and moist.

Note: Open the windows to air out the room as the humidity over the night may cause molds to grow.

3. Lemon and Honey:


Lemons are rich in vitamin C, soluble fiber and a number of plant compounds That offer a numerous health benefits. Lemon and honey is one of the best ways to stop child coughing at night.

This is one of the best tips to stop child coughing at night. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon and honey to a cup of lukewarm water and give it to your child several times a day. You can also offer the honey alone to suppress the cough. A single dose of honey before the bedtime is known to yield the effective results.

Note: It is not safe to give the infants honey regularly as they might cause botulism.

4. Use essential oils:


This plant based oils will help in easily cough and muscle aches when it is applied on the skin or diffused into the air.

All the essential oils may not be good for your baby check with the pediatrician for the safety and dosage.

5. Allow your child to gargle with hot water:


Encourage your child to gargle with lukewarm salt water several times in a day. Salt is known to absorb excess water from the swollen throat thereby reduces the size making them feel less tender and more comfortable.

6. Ivy Extract:


It helps to calm the cough by reducing the reducing the consistency of the mucus in the air ways. It helps in eliminating the mucus from the chest there by makes it easier to cough. Studies prove that it is effective remedy in eliminating the cough in children.

Ivy syrup or ivy cough drops can be used to relieve the symptoms of cough. It is recommended to give to the toddlers above the age of 2 years. Ivy syrup may have unpleasant taste and is associated with the side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hives, skin rash and difficulty in breathing.

7. Chicken Noddles Soup:


Chicken soup, being a host for anti inflammatory properties will help in reducing cough and relieving the sore throat. The hot temperature of the soup will help in melting the mucus in the nasal passage.

8. Ginger:


Ginger helps in reducing the gas and improving digestion. It helps in relieving the nausea. It is the best and effective remedy to ease the symptoms of cold and flu.

Ginger is one of the best ways to prevent child coughing at night. Add a tablespoon of honey to compensate the strong taste of ginger. Give your child two tablespoons of this mixture for the effective results.

9. Apple cider Vinegar:


It is rich in acetic acid with many biological effects. It helps in killing many harmful bacteria.

It is one of the effective remedy for dry cough in children. Apple cider vinegar can be mixed with crushed ginger for the effective results. You can also make your child to smell the vinegar to soothe the sore throat.

10. Black Pepper:


The presence of immunity boosting vitamin C made it more antibacterial and antibiotic in nature. A pinch of pepper with any other carrier is known to be effective in treating the sore throat due to flu, virus or pollution.

Add a pinch of pepper powder to a small cup of milk and allow it to boil for few minutes. Stain this milk and give it your child before bed time. This is not given to the babies below 1 year as this may cause inflammation in their stomach.

11. Turmeric milk:


Turmeric is known to flush out the mucus and the microbes that are clogging the respiratory tract. It’s anti-inflammatory properties help in relieving the symptoms of cough and cold. It’s antibacterial properties allow it to fight against infections.

Add one teaspoon of turmeric water to a glass of milk and give it to your child before bedtime.

12. Holy Basil:


It has antiseptic or analgesic properties that helps in curing many problems including the dry cough. Tea made using Holy Basil leaves helps in relieving the allergic bronchitis, asthma, and other lung diseases.

13. Carom seeds:


Carom seeds, being rich in powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties will help in fighting against bacteria and fungi.

Boil the water with carom seeds and Holy basil. Give this water to your child to keep the check to cough. It helps in flushing out the mucus and relieving the chest congestion.

14. Red Onion Juice:


Red onions are loaded with antioxidants, nutrients, and cancer fighting compounds. They help in boosting the digestive health.

Mix one teaspoon of red onion juice with honey that helps to deal with the sinuses, cold , and allergies.

15. Herbal Tea:


Herbal teas are one of the healthiest drinks that you can give your child. Herbs are the source of anti oxidants, minerals, and vitamins. They are known to provide many short and long term health benefits.

Here are the steps on preparing herbal tea:

1) Mix one tablespoon of cumin seeds, sweet flag, and cilantro to one cup of boiling water.
2) Allow it boil on medium flame for about 10 minutes and then stain the solution.
3) Give one teaspoon of this tea after the lunch to relieve cold.

16. Clove :


Cloves will help in dealing with the stomach pain and stop vomiting. It is the effective home remedy to treat the cough.

Add two to three cloves to the milk and allow it boil for sometime for the effective results. Give this milk to your kid early in the morning and before the bedtime.

17. Almonds and Orange Juice:

Almonds help in reducing the sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They are known to ease out the bronchial problems including the cough. Blend few almonds with few tablespoons of orange juice and give it to your child to get relief from the cough.

18. Expose your child to cool air:

Exposing your child suffering from cough to the cool air can yield various benefits. The cool and fresh air will help the kids to clear their block ways. Fresh air will also help to improve the immune system.

19. Aniseed:


It is the flowering spice that is native to the eastern Meditarranean region and southwest Asia.

This helps in loosening the mucus and makes it easier for your child to cough out and clear the respiratory tract. You can make the aniseed syrup by adding one tablespoon of Aniseeds to a cup of boiling water. Allow to boil on the low flame for about 10-15 minutes. Give one teapoon of this syrup to your child daily to get relief from the cough.

20. Use Suction Bulb:


As the babies can not blow their nose, we need to use a bulb syringe to remove the excess mucus.

Create the vaccum inside the bulb by squeezing the air out. Insert the rubber tip into one of the nostril and gently release the bulb to suction out the mucus. Have a bowl of water ready to clean the bulb between suctioning attempts.

21. Keep your child hydrated:


Treatment for the cough should aim to keep your kid hydrated. Encourage your kid to drink plenty of fluids. Warm water or warm water with lemon will help to loose up the mucus and clear the sore throat.

22. Apply vapour rub:


Vapours that contain menthol or camphor will work effectively to clear the blockage and deal with the cough. Put the vapour rub on the feet chest and apply a little quantity over the nose. Check with your pediatrician before using a vapour rub.

Never use the vapour rub on child’s face below 1 year as they may rub it into their eyes which may cause inflammation.

23. Give your child icy treats:


Try giving your child icy treats like popsicles to soothe the hurting throat. sore throat turns red and inflamed. Ice can help to bring down the temperature at the nerve endings.

Icy treats can keep your child hydrated which in turn helps your child to ease the congestion, and mitigate the mucus secretion.

24. Allow your child to take rest:


Encourage your child to have enough sleep and rest to promote the healing. If the cough becomes severe at night help your kid with some home remedies that offer instant relief.

Avoid screen time before going to bed as it may adversely affect the quality and duration of sleep.

25. Keep your child’s head in elevated position while sleeping:


It is not recommended for the babies below 1 year of age to sleep with pillows. Instead of using the pillows try elevating one end of the mattress. You can achieve this by placing a rolled towel under the end over which your child’s head rests.

When to visit the doctor for night cough in children:


Immediate medical attention is required for the children under the following medical conditions.

● If your child’s breathing is irregular or noisy.
● If your child’s skin turns pale or blue
● If your child refuses to take food or drinks
● Has a body temperature over 102 degree Fahrenheit
● Ensure that the coughing is not a reason for choking or something in their airways.

Bottom Line:

Coughing is one of the most uncomfortable health conditions at any part of the day especially at night times. Manage the symptoms of your child and make them feel more comfortable with the help of natural tips and home remedies.