Skip to content

    Health & Baby

    Font Size

    How to Protect Your Baby From Whooping Cough

    Get Baby's Vaccines on Schedule

    Your baby starts building his own immunity when he gets the first DTaP shot. He should get a total of five doses, one each at:

    • 2 months
    • 4 months
    • 6 months
    • 15-18 months
    • 4-6 years

    When kept to schedule, the vaccine is 80% to 90% effective, and will protect the child until he or she is ready for the Tdap shot.

    About one in four children get a fever or soreness, swelling, or redness at the site of the DTaP shot, most likely after a later dose. In rare cases, some children have severe reactions to the vaccine and should stop getting it.

    Know the Signs of Whooping Cough

    At first, whooping cough looks like a common cold. Symptoms may include:

    Severe coughing may begin after 1 or 2 weeks and continue for several weeks. It causes people to take deep, quick breaths that can make a "whooping" noise.

    Babies may have little or no cough, but they can have apnea, or pauses in breathing.

    If you or your child has a cold with a severe cough, see a doctor. If it is whooping cough, your doctor can prescribe antibiotics to ease symptoms and help keep it from spreading to others.

    1 | 2
    Reviewed on January 22, 2014

    Baby's First Year Newsletter

    Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

    Today on WebMD

    mother on phone holding baby
    When you should call 911.
    parents and baby
    Unexpected ways your life will change.
    baby acne
    What’s normal – and what’s not.
    baby asleep on moms shoulder
    Help your baby get the sleep he needs.

    mother holding baby at night
    mother with sick child
    Chinese mother breast feeding newborn baby girl
    Track Your Babys Vaccines
    Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
    Mother with her baby boy
    baby in crib
    baby gear slideshow