Asthma UK community forum

Wheezy babies- how do you handle the fear (yours)??

Have just settled my 14 month old wheezy daughter after another hour of will we/ won't we goto A&E. Shes on ventolin and a preventer inhaler for what looks like ""asthma"" too early to be sure. Took 7 puffs this time which really is a lot

What we get are severe coughing fits mostly at night and therein lies my problem. At times I think oh my god this is so bad she needs to go to A&E but at night you feel so isolated. Tonight I realised I hadn't allowed enough time for the ventolin to really kick in (10-20 mins?) before really pressing the big red panic button but time goes slow with a wheezer.

Now shes asleep breathing nicely and I'm wide a wake fretting actively and I've got work at 8.30 arrrghh

How do you cope?

7 Replies

Hello there

Oh poor mum you sound really frazzled! I know what this is like and I suffer from asthma myself and have two boys who do too so if you are not a sufferer and your child is I can only begin to imagine how distressing it must be to watch your child having an attack. However the first thing is to try and not panic as this can panic the child, easier said than done I know. Secondly you need to work on the prevention side of things to try and stop an attack starting. I had so much conflicting advice with my own eldest son (and myself) in using the preventer inhalers but I was told a couple of years ago to wait 30 seconds between each dose to allow the full dose to be ready for the next puff. This has helped me control my younger sons asthma better.

I expect that you have been given a spacer to use for the baby. Make sure you wash it out regularly and leave to dry naturally. Wiping it out will cause static to build up inside and this grabs the particles of med to it thus reducing the effective dose.

If baby is getting these attacks regularly and you are doing all this then go back and see the GP. Maybe they need to adjust the dose/meds. When baby's wheezing is controlled then you will only need ventolin on the rare occasion maybe if they have a cold and not as part of their everyday meds.

BUT having said all that NEVER feel that you have to justify a trip to A&E to anyone. Trust your judgement, it does get easier, I promise.



Good day

Thank you!

Going back to gp tomorrow am as I really should have today but was too frazzled and had physio apt I had to get to (missed last 3 they'll ditch me).

She had a good day at nursery they had to give her inhaler but only once. been coughing this evening but has had inhalers and now asleep, hopefully we will make it through the 1-3 am dark zone :)

just praying becotide (sp?) kicks in soon............Going to print out and fil in asthma plan from here and go through with GP. Has just sunk in this is for real and not going away in the near future so time to haul head out of sand!


Glad to hear you had a better day. It really will get easier for both of you. You will have periods when she is controlled and then she will possibly hit a time when she gets wheezy again but this maybe because she has grown and needs her meds adjusted accordingly or she may have picked up a cold. As far as colds are concerned, check with your GP but mine says to double their preventer inhaler as soon as you suspect a cold and continue with it until they are over the cold. Seems to be very effective for mine and works well for my asthma but double check that this is protocol for babies.

Good luck with the GP and here's to some peaceful nights for both of you.

Take care



You are exactly where I am! I have a 10 month old daughter who takes Atrovent (preventer) and has Ventolin when needed. We were diagnosed about 7 weeks ago and I have spent most of that time assuming it has been a mistake, just a chest infection etc. But the truth is that she is poorly and I have to accept it. I have no experience of asthma at all and only a conversation with my Mother-in-law revealed that my husband had childhood asthma undiagnosed until now.

The dreadful nights are much improved. I have taken all the stuffed toys out of her bedroom and use an air purifier/humidifier through the day. I hoover regularly and have rehomed our two spaniels. The washing machine doesn't go below 60 anymore. This got it all under control, and then we went to stay with friends at Easter and it all flared up again so something we did in the above list has helped. The fear doesn't go though. I lay in bed listening to her rattling, wondering whether I'm a bad mother for daring to go to sleep?! Now that's unhealthy!

Hope some of this is useful to you, good luck


wheezy baby

hi there the best thing that you can do is try and stay calm.otherwise your baby will feed off your fear and that will just make matters 7 year old son has had asthma since about 6 months of age.even though they cant diagnose till after 2.he has responded to treatment like an will start to learn the signs and no when the asthma is getting worse.and know when you are on hospital watch.good luck and stay calm.



Wheezy babies.

Hi, I have a 2 yr old boy Daniel and we went through exactly the same as you very recently. Fortunatly we have been referred to a paediatrician and things are much improved. From a very early age Daniel was put on a preventer and reliever for suspected asthma following numerous visits to A&E. I lost track of the number of courses of prednisolone Daniel took in his first 18 months and in the end I insisted on a referal to a paed. because I didn't feel we were getting anywhere soon with the GP.

I see that you are having problems with the night cough. We would sit up listening to him coughing nearly every night, often he would make himself sick. The ventolin did help but the preventer didnt seem to be helping with this.

After a referal to the paed. he was prescibed Montelukast which has been amazing. This drug is specifically for the night cough and within two weeks of Daniel taking it his night cough vanished. Daniel still has accute attacks when he has a cold etc. but on a day to day basis the transformation has been great. Hes sleeping well, therefore has more energy, eats better and is well most of the time.

I dont know if you have seem a specialist yet, if not get a referal. No matter how good you GP is the specialists are much more pro-active in dealing with babies and although this drug may not work for your baby, there are others to try.

Good luck, Susan.


I just want to say, if the coughing a night doesn't improve over at most 2 weeks it could be a sign that her asthma's getting worse and needs more to control it. the sooner any change is picked up, go to the doctor and they should up doses, the sooner it can be controlled and you'll all have a better night's sleep. poorly controlled asthma can be fatal so try and keep on top of it. i hope your getting more sleep, just remeber any concerns should be taken seriously and be discussed with your doctor or asthma nurse. x


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