Baby Fake Cough - Reasons & Ways to Deal With It

Baby Is Fake Coughing – What to Do?

Parents always worry about their little one’s health. Whether it is a cold or a slight cough, they can have several sleepless nights watching over the child, trying remedies and praying their little ones get better soon. As a parent, hearing your baby cough can be nerve-wracking, but what happens when your little one starts fake coughing?
Hey parents, we know that you already have a lot to worry about, and your baby’s fake coughing is probably not helping. You might be wondering whether this is just a phase or if it’s something more serious. Well, worry not, because in this article, we’re going to share with you everything you need to know about baby fake cough. So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into this topic together!

Video : Why Do Babies Fake Cough? – Know the Reasons And Ways To Stop It

Is Fake Coughing in Babies Normal?

Here’s a fact – babies pretend to cough or sneeze all the time. It is completely normal and is one of the first ways they try to communicate with their parents. Your little one is not able to communicate with words just yet, so the next best option is to make noises like a cough or sneeze. Babies start to do this when they are around six months old. Having said that, if your baby does not fake cough, there isn’t any reason why you should be alarmed. Other than making coughing and sneezing sounds, babies could make gurgling noises or just cry. All of these are different forms of communication that an infant uses. But, what is the kid trying to communicate by fake coughing? Let’s find out the reasons why babies fake cough.

Reasons Behind A Baby’s Fake Coughing

Why do babies fake cough? Exploring this question, we explore the following reasons to understand. –

1. For Attention

Most of the time, a baby pretends to cough only to get your attention. Babies are extremely smart. Your little munchkin must have figured out that when he or she coughs, you’re all ears, running to check on the baby. Once the baby has established that coughing gains your attention, there’s no stopping him.

Baby Coughing for Attention

2. For Fun

Babies are playful. In fact, the first few years of a baby’s life is pretty much all play. Sometimes, babies cough just for fun. This shouldn’t be a surprise, because all that they do is a fun activity for them.

3. Due to the Salivary Glands

Blame it on the Salivary Glands

We all know just how much babies drool. This is because their salivary glands get active once they hit two months. Babies don’t really know what to do with all that saliva. Should they spit it? Should they swallow it? They have no clue. So, they do the next best thing – they play with it. With the act of playing comes coughing. 

4. Fascination About Sound

Babies can hear way before they are even born. They start to hear when the mother is at the twenty-fifth or twenty-sixth week of pregnancy. Sounds fascinate babies to no extent, which is why several toys for kids come with different noises. In fact, sounds play a huge roll in the development of your little one because babies cannot see very clearly during the first few months after birth. Therefore, they depend a lot on their hearing. Sometimes, babies fake a cough simply because they are fascinated by the sound of the cough.

5. Habitual Behaviour 

Sometimes, babies start fake coughing because it has become a habit for them. They might have initially started doing it for attention or as a way to mimic others, but now they continue to do it even when they don’t necessarily want attention or hear someone else coughing. This is more common in older babies who have been fake coughing for a while.

6. Anxiety

Just like adults, babies can experience anxiety or stress, especially when they are separated from their parents or in unfamiliar situations. Fake coughing can be a way for them to cope with their emotions or to signal that they are feeling anxious or stressed. If you notice that your baby is fake coughing more often in certain situations, such as at daycare or around strangers, it could be a sign that they are feeling uneasy.

7. Teething

Teething can be a difficult time for babies, and it can cause a range of symptoms, including drooling, irritability, and coughing. Some babies may start fake coughing during teething because they are trying to alleviate the discomfort in their gums by creating extra saliva or because they have a post-nasal drip.

When Is the Time to Stop Babies from Faking a Cough?

In the first few stages, when a baby starts to fake a cough, you get scared or worried. After you’ve realized that this is normal and that you’re little baby is faking a cough and being a naughty brat, you’ll find it cute. However, there’s only so much fake coughing a parent can take. Also, over time, when your baby gets older, it is important to get over it. You can start by telling your baby to stop the habit by teaching him better ways of communicating, even if it is for attention.

Having said that, you must know when your little one has a real cough and when he is faking one. The next part of the article should help you do that.

How to Differentiate a Real Cough from a Fake Cough in Babies

Now you know that babies, in fact, do fake a cough. But what if your little one is not a boy crying wolf but is really in distress? Here’s how you find out if your infant coughing and gagging is for real and not just a playful tactic to communicate.

  • Check your baby’s temperature. Does your baby have a fever? He is probably sick and needs to visit the doctor.
  • Does your child have a running nose? If yes, then that is probably an indication that your child has a cold. Most of the time a cold is accompanied by a cough.
  • Another reason why your baby could be coughing is if he has a respiratory illness. If your child shows signs of difficulty in breathing, then take him to the doctor.
  • If your child has trouble falling asleep, has issues with the bowel movements, and refuses to eat, and all of this is accompanied by coughing, then your baby is probably ill.
  • You baby could be choking on something and therefore starts coughing. You must give him abdominal thrusts or get someone who can to get the object or food out of your child’s windpipe immediately.
  • Your child could be allergic to something around him that makes him cough. Identify the thing that causes the cough and keep it away. Most of the times, it is a dusty stuffed toy or a pillow that causes allergic coughs.
  • Sometimes, acid reflux also hits the throat and cause a cough. Consult a doctor to know if it is the reflux that is the reason for the cough in your child and seek treatment immediately.

When To Call A Doctor?

So, your little one has been fake coughing, and you’re wondering if it’s time to call the doctor. First off, it’s important to remember that babies do fake cough from time to time, and it’s usually not a cause for concern. However, if your baby is under six months old or if they have other symptoms like a fever, wheezing, or difficulty breathing, it’s best to call the doctor. Additionally, if your baby has been fake coughing for an extended period of time, seems to be in pain, or has lost their appetite, it’s a good idea to seek medical advice. Remember, as a parent, you know your baby best, so if something seems off, don’t hesitate to reach out to your pediatrician.

While fake coughing is normal in infants, it is always better to be on the safer side, especially if frequently involves a 6 month old fake cough  Therefore, look for signs to know if your little one needs medical attention and consult a paediatrician to make sure that your baby is out of danger.

Also Read:

How to Handle Whining Baby?
Home Remedies for Cold and Cough in Babies

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