My kids are older now (4 and 7), but the nurse at our pedi's office said new research indicates that antihistamines are the best treatment for a cough/cold. My personal opinion is that if they're safe, they're worth taking, because even if all they do is help sedate the child, at least s/he is getting a good night's sleep. I always used to prop my kids up on pillows or sleep w/ them on my chest in the rocking chair so the mucus would be able to drain. And when my girls were babies, I would sometimes see the dr every couple of days when they had respiratory trouble because a cold can turn into something worse in a very short amount of time. The only other thing I'd say is that if someone's taking a long-acting antihistamine, s/he should not also take Benadryl. Good luck, and I hope you can take comfort in the fact that this too shall pass!