Why Does My Baby Fake Cough
Baby Toddler Safety

Why Does My Baby Fake Cough

Why does my baby fake cough is a prevalent question in the parenting realm. 

As innocent and cute as they appear, babies can be vicious pranksters.

However, it can be pretty intimidating for parents and caregivers to distinguish when their little one is faking something and when it’s serious, especially when it concerns their health.

For example, your child having a cold or even a slight cough can be a reason for parents to spend sleepless nights ensuring they are warm and trying all remedies for their little one to get better.

Nothing is more terrifying to new parents than watching their child experience their first illness. The sobbing, the fever, and the coughing are not things you quickly forget.

Still, what if your little angel happens to be faking the cough?

What should you do? Is it typical behavior for toddlers? Is your baby trying to communicate something? 

Parental questions has all the answers you need. 

Why Does My Baby Fake Cough

It’s typical for babies to pretend to be coughing or sneezing. In fact, it’s among the first ways they try to communicate with us.

In most cases, a fake cough is an action to get the caregiver’s attention.

Also, when babies gather a new skill or learn to do something, it’s usually an exciting moment.

Whether it’s wiggling their toes, smiling, waving bye-bye, coughing, or learning how to jump, toddlers tend to practice the new skill for amusement.

So, your baby faking cough shouldn’t always be a reason for concern. 

Nevertheless, parents need to differentiate a baby’s fake cough from a genuine cough.

One of the most practical ways to get over this is when you notice your little one coughing and is less than four months old.

Note that fake coughing is a behavior toddlers develop around six months and eventually fade away as they learn to talk.

So, if your little one appears to cough earlier before this age, it would be best to seek medical advice. 

Another practical tip to distinguish fake coughs from genuine coughs is parents coughing back and getting a response or a laugh.

Also, if your baby happens to have a dry cough that lasts for a few days, has a fever, mild, light wheezing, and fits of coughing, seek immediate medical attention as it could be something serious. 

There could be several reasons behind a baby’s fake cough. However, here are some common reasons why does my baby fake cough. 

1. Your Baby is Craving For Attention

As already outlined, babies fake coughs to get a parent’s or caregiver’s attention. Toddlers are brilliant.

As such, they might have figured out that every time they cough, you will most likely come running, pick them up and cuddle with them.

As a result, they will pick up the habit to trigger your reaction.

It’s somehow similar to how babies keep dropping things or even food on the floor, and you end up picking it immediately.

So, once your little angel establishes that coughing gains your attention, it won’t be easy to stop the behavior. 

2. They Think It’s Fun

Babies are playful. They tend to fake coughs as a fun activity with their parents. It gets better when you respond to their cough or give them attention.

You will find them giggling and laughing because they have achieved what they wanted. In addition, some babies happen to find the coughing sound fascinating. 

Also read: Best Play Kitchen 2021

3. Due to The Salivary Glands

Once your little angel hits two months, their salivary glands become active, and they tend to drool a lot.

Unfortunately, babies don’t know how to control and deal with excess saliva. As a result, they play with it, resulting in coughing.

Related Posts:

How to Stop Babies From Faking a Cough

As amusing as it might be when your little angel learns this skill, it will become annoying down the road.

As a result, it’s best to start curbing this habit as your baby comes of age. First, you should tell your child that fake coughing is not okay gently and soothingly.

Don’t yell or punish them since they aren’t aware that there are better ways of communicating.

Instead, teach them better ways of communicating or ask them what they need.

Alternatively, if you are sure your baby is fake coughing, you can learn to ignore it, and they will naturally stop it. 


Why does my baby fake cough shouldn’t be a cause for concern, especially when they are six months old.

The most common reason for this behavior is getting your attention, or your baby finds it amusing.

Nevertheless, it’s essential to differentiate a fake cough from a genuine cough.

If your baby is coughing concurrently with other symptoms such as fever, a runny or stuffy nose, and exhibiting signs of difficulty catching a breath, talk to your pediatrician immediately.

Finally, as your baby gets to 15 or 18 months of age, it’s vital to teach them better communication methods. 

Mo Mulla

Mo Mulla is a work from home dad who enjoys reading and listening to music, He loves being a dad and husband to a growing family. He also loves writing about his passions and hopes to change the world, 1 blog post at a time!

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *