Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

My Preemie Toddler Has Croup…..Again

Okay, so I’m starting to wonder if it’s a preemie thing to get croup this often or if my preemie gets the croup so often because she was so early (27 weeks), and because she had chronic lung disease for so long.  Since one week before this past Christmas my preemie toddler has been sick with croup I think five times.  Five times!  That’s almost once a month.  She’s been to the emergency room at least three of those times and even got pneumonia following one of the episodes.

Croup can be a bit frightening because with croup the air passages swell up and tighten, making it difficult to breath.  If your preemie gets croup their cough will sound like a dog bark or a seal bark and these poor little preemies just cough and cry and wheeze and are so miserable.  If your child starts turning blue then they really can’t get enough oxygen and emergency care is needed; however, they should probably be taken to a doctor long before that happens.  Most often, your pediatrician can give your child a breathing treatment for croup that might help, along with a steroid dose that helps to open up the airways.  If your preemie’s case is not severe then they will probably tell you to go home, keep an eye on your preemie for breathing struggles, give them cold drinks and popsicles to reduce airway swelling or bring them outside where they can breathe in cold air, and use a humidifier.

We’re noticing that our preemie gets croup almost every time she’s exposed to other children with colds, she gets croup in the winter and the summer, and even though she’s two and a half years old we still have to keep her on a partial quarantine.  Our struggle is that we want her immune system to get stronger but we don’t want her to be sick all of the time – it’s miserable for her and for us!

Have any of you faced this same issue?  If so, does your preemie also have asthma?  I would love to hear your experiences.  Thank you.

Afton Mower About Afton Mower

After Mower (UT) lost her firstborn son at 21 weeks.  Her daughter was born a year and a half later at 27 weeks.  The NICU was overwhelming and isolating and it was through those two experiences she was led to found this social hub for parents to find the support they needed. Afton also gave birth to another daughter, born two days overdue after four months of strict bedrest. She believes it is a tender experience to hold a special baby in your arms when his spirit returns to his heavenly home, a miracle to watch tiny babies survive the risks of prematurity and a blessing to hold a healthy full-term baby after months of difficulty and sacrifices.


  1. Amy Richardson says:

    My daughter was born @ 32wks. She has had Croup one time in 2009; In 2010 she got Croup in February, March & April, which she also had RSV & Pneumonia at the same time. Yesterday, which was November 2011, she got diagnosed with Croup once again. My babygirl is 3yrs old and was diagnosed with Asthma when she was 6months old. She has been hospitalizated each time she’s had Croup. The Cruoup and Asthma both attack her together which causes her to struggle to breathe.

    • My daughter was born at 34 weeks 3 pounds. She is 3 years olds we have had croup at least five times this year. Once requiring a five day stay in hospital. This is awful!!,,, She has it again!,,,,

  2. We’re on Croup x4 this season (no hospitalizations) for my now 2 yr old, 32 weeker. He was on oxygen for 3-4 months after complications in the NICU. I plan to ask his doc about any preventative measures. It’s so tough! Glad I found this thread.

  3. I know this is an old thread but I came across it as my 2 yr daughter who was a 32 weeker has had croup 9 times, 7 times had to be hospitalized. The pedtriatrician referred us to an ENT who told us she should have a bronchoscopy. Has anyone had to do this? We are so nervous about it! Thank you

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