Coughing is a natural reflex in the airways and is the way the body protects itself from phlegm and mucous, which may drip down the back of the throat, or pieces of food, which may have become stuck in a baby’s airways. A cough is one of the most common symptoms of illness in a baby or child and although it may be distressing to witness, it is not usually a sign of anything serious.

Persistent cough, however, is defined as a daily cough lasting for more than three to four weeks. Babies younger than three months don’t cough that much, so a persistent cough is usually an indication that there might be something wrong.

Why does my baby have a persistent cough?

Your baby may have a food allergy, e.g. Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA). Other possible reasons for persistent cough include a viral illness, such as a cold or flu, croup, passive smoking, reflux, or a respiratory condition, such as asthma or bronchitis.

Could it be Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy?

Persistent cough is a common symptom for babies with CMPA. Almost 30% of babies with CMPA will have cough as a symptom. Babies with CMPA usually experience more than just one symptom and these symptoms can be very different from one another.

If you think that your baby has a persistent cough, it could be CMPA. You may have even noticed other symptoms (besides persistent coughing), which may affect other parts of your baby’s body.

For a simple and easy way to check common symptoms associated with CMPA, you can use our symptom checker.

In any case, if you have any doubts or concerns about your baby’s health, you should always seek advice from a medical professional as soon as possible.

Persistent cough: Mother with baby


IMPORTANT NOTICE: Mothers should be encouraged to continue breastfeeding even when their babies have cow’s milk protein allergy. This usually requires qualified dietary counseling to completely exclude all sources of cow’s milk protein from the mothers’ diet.If a decision to use a special formula intended for infants is taken, it is important to follow the instructions on the label. Unboiled water, unboiled bottles or incorrect dilution can make babies ill. Incorrect storage, handling, preparation and feeding can eventually lead to adverse effects on the health of babies.Formula for special medical purposes intended for infants must be used under medical supervision.

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