A persistent cough can be tough, especially if it’s keeping them – and you – awake at night. So it’s good to know a few ways to calm a cough and help everyone drift off to sweet dreams.

Giving them soothing syrups with glycerol or glycerin and following a few simple tips can do a lot to tame a cough.

How do I know if my little one has a cough?

  • Very simple – you’ll hear it!

While your child’s cough is often distressing to listen to it is actually doing a job. A cough is a reflex action that helps clear away phlegm or mucus.

How can I help them feel better?

Glycerol and glycerin can helps soothe a cough which is why you’ll find them in our range of cough syrups. Here are your options:

Handy tip

If your child is over 1 year old, give them a warm drink of diluted lemon juice and honey. The honey coats their throat, which helps reduce the irritation.

Some more simple tips

  • Make sure your little one gets lots of rest and drinks plenty of fluids
  • A warm drink at bedtime can soothe them to sleep.

How long will it last?

  • Most coughs clear up within a couple of weeks.
  • You might find that a dry cough comes alongside a cold.

When to call the doctor

Coughs are normally nothing to worry about, but they can be really distressing and uncomfortable – especially if your baby is too little to understand what’s going on.

You should go and see your GP if:

  • your little one has a bad cough that won’t go away
  • the cough turns wheezy
  • your child also has a high temperature
  • your little one isn’t eating or drinking normally
  • and if, at any time, your child seems to be having difficulty breathing, contact your GP immediately.

See also

Sore throat
Sore throat

Your little one might well have a dry, sore throat for a day or two before a cold kicks in.

More about sore throat

CALCOUGH® Infant Syrup
CALCOUGH® Infant Syrup

Contains glycerol.
From 3 months.
Soothes & relieves coughs.

Full product details

Contact the NHS

For health advice and reassurance, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.