Baby Fake Cough – Reasons & Ways To Stop It

Do you have a fussy baby? One who seems to be constantly sick? You may have noticed that your baby sometimes makes a fake cough. While it can be cute and funny initially, it can quickly become frustrating.

Baby fake coughs are perfectly normal as it is a sign that your baby is growing and learning new sounds and is making an effort to grab your attention or is simply in a playful mood. You can cough back at them to continue the fun or ask them softly ‘No more fake coughs babe‘.

This blog post will discuss the reasons for the baby’s fake cough and ways to stop it from happening.

Is It Normal For Newborns To Fake Cough?

In most situations, fake coughing is used to gain the attention of a caretaker. Due to this behavior, most parents or guardians become anxious and pay attention to the kid. As a result, it’s common for babies to feign coughs or sneezes to gain more notice from their caregivers.

Babies as young as six months old might start making fake coughs when they become more social and responsive to the sounds around them. As their brains develop, they may want to experiment with ways of communicating and getting attention from parents.

The cries of a newborn are meant to elicit a response. They believe that coughing is one way to get their parent’s attention. As a result, it’s typical for the infant to fake cough, and it isn’t something to be concerned about if your baby is cheerful and not coughing much.

Causes Of A Baby Fake Cough

To Attract Attention

Coughing is an excellent attention-getting technique for infants, who may discover it to be a fantastic method to gain parental involvement. The most crucial reason to fake a cough is because of this.

The attention that the baby receives makes it want to repeat the action. You may inspire your little attention seeker to mimic a real cough after seeing how much special care a person with a cold or flu gets, especially if their sibling receives similar treatment. Coughing can also serve as an opportunity for children to interact or socialize.

Learning To Create Sounds

Many babies often imitate the coughing sound they hear before they start talking. This is because a cough is perceived as just another sound to them and one that they can mimic easily. More so than other sounds, many babies tend to fake a cough after hearing someone else do it.


Babies may believe it’s a fun game to pretend to have a cough. Your baby might think faking or imitating a cough is a pleasant pastime if you respond angrily when they try to fake one. You’ve gotten their attention when you notice your kid smiling or giggling while pretending to have a cough.

Always make sure your kid is coughing up a fake cough. It’s critical to distinguish between a genuine and a phony cough. Certain illnesses, such as asthma or airborne irritants, might produce a dry cough for a brief period. An external body can cause a sudden cough. However, if your baby has a natural dry cough, they aren’t likely to laugh or have fun.

How Can You Tell If A Baby’s Cough Is Real Or Fake?

When babies are getting attention, they usually stop faking coughs, and when you pay attention to their phony cough, which sounds more like a dry than a wet cough, they usually smile or giggle. A genuine cough has coughing fits. The hacking is continual; it’s generally loud and harsh.

Pneumonia, bacterial bronchitis, and even aspirating a foreign object into the airways can all cause a cough. As a result, ignoring persistent infant coughs is not advised.

  • Excessive drooling can indicate several things, including dehydration and arthritis.
  • Lack of appetite and sleeping troubles are common symptoms that signal a problem.
  • Cyanosis.
  • Pale skin.
  • Gagging.
  • A deep hacking cough.
  • A persistent hacking cough with no pauses or rest periods.

If your baby has other medical symptoms along with their cough, it’s best to take them to a doctor. Because an ill or stressed infant would typically sob, it is unusual for a baby to fake a cough to inform you that they are unwell.

How To Stop Baby Fake Cough?

It can be lighthearted if your baby pretends to cough once or twice. However, it may become a little aggravating if they do it repeatedly. If your child fakes a cough too frequently, you might have to tell them, “No more fake coughs,” inquire as to what they want, and use a calm tone when communicating with them.

Because they could be frightened by a loud voice, they don’t comprehend. If your baby fakes a cough regularly, don’t pay attention to their coughing.

When To See A Doctor?

If your infant has a cough with other indications of respiratory illness, go to the doctor. You should consult a pediatrician if your baby is coughing before three months. Because you may inadvertently brush aside genuine dry coughs, you may need to visit a pediatrician from time to time to confirm fake ones.

Various coughs, such as dry, wet, whooping, barking (croup), nocturnal, or sputum, require medical evaluation and treatment. A baby can’t pretend to cough for an extended period, so if they are coughing continuously, seek out medical care.

This social behaviour is often first noticed around six months old when babies start playing and making new noises. To determine a baby fake cough, you can look for other symptoms like fever, runny nose, or sleep problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Do babies cough when teething?

Ans: Many babies have increased saliva production, which can lead to cough when teething. However, teething is not a common cause of coughing fits or other respiratory symptoms.

Q2: Why do babies have a dry cough?

Ans: A dry cough is often the result of viral infections, allergies, or environmental irritants. If your baby has a dry cough with other symptoms like fever or wheezing, it’s important to see a doctor.

Q3: Is it normal for 5 year old to cough continuously?

Ans: If your child has a cough that lasts more than a few days, it’s important to see a doctor. Coughs can be caused by infections, allergies, or other respiratory conditions. In some cases, a chronic cough may be a sign of asthma.

Q4: What age do babies fake cough?

Ans: Babies usually start faking coughs around six months old. This social behavior is often first noticed when babies start playing and making new noises. To determine if a baby’s cough is real or fake, you can look for other symptoms like fever, runny nose, or sleep problems.


If your baby has a cough with other indications of respiratory illness, go to the doctor. You should consult a pediatrician if your baby is coughing before three months. However, if your baby fakes a cough to get attention, you can ignore it, and they will eventually stop doing it.

My name is Mark Joseph, and I’m on a mission to help new parents navigate the world of parenting. With over 5 years of experience as a parenting coach, I’m here to provide you with insight into all aspects of pregnancy, childbirth, and raising your newborn baby. Instagram Linkedln Facebook

Leave a Comment