I don’t know about you, but for me, I was so nervous to feel that first BITE while breastfeeding. I had heard horror stories and it made me so nervous. Like myself, moms sometimes worry about breastfeeding when their baby has teeth. I heard that many moms discontinue breastfeeding altogether when this happens. The interesting part is that most babies do not bite while breastfeeding, however, there are a few who do and I was one of the lucky ones to experience it with my daughter.
If you are experiencing biting there are things moms can do to stop a baby from biting. These tips actually worked pretty quickly for us.
- Removing baby from the breast once the biting starts. Do this every time the biting starts. Taking 1-2 minute breaks before letting baby latch again.
- In a firm tone, say NO BITING!
- Once baby starts suckling, remove the baby from the breast. You may notice that the biting starts when the baby is actually done eating.
There are many reasons why babies bite while breastfeeding. Recognizing WHY can actually help to stop the biting from happening pretty quickly. It took me about a week of the biting before I started to do some research and figured it out. When my LO was actually finished eating she would start to suckle the breast and then OOUUCH… there came that painful bite. I started to remove her from the breast right when she began to suckle. I basically figured out that the bitting was her sign that she was done eating. Since mommy didn’t pay attention to the first sign which was her suckling, she decided that biting would work better and it did LOL. The biting stopped almost immediately once I figure this out. Thankfully we’ve been able to continue our Breastfeeding journey without any more blood or tears. (Yes, I’ve had teeth mark imprints, bloody nipples and have shed many tears from her biting)
Ok! So here are other reasons babies may bite as well:
- Some babies bite to reduce the flow of milk if it is too fast for them. Try “clamping down” on the areola. This can help slow down the milk flow and allow baby to drink at a slower pace.
- Some babies bite because the flow of milk is too slow. Try massaging the breast before you feed. This may help increase your “Let Down’.
- Some older babies bite because they want to get a reaction. Some babies are tickled by your “scream” or loud “OUUCH” believe it or not. Try being calm when the bitting happens. This may help!
- Occasionally, a baby will bite if they are teething. Biting can happen when they are trying to soothe their gums. Be mindful of their teething stage. Offer things that can help ease the pain.
- Some babies who take a bottle as well may bite. Because they are used to being able to bite the nipple of a bottle without causing pain they tend to try it while breastfeeding from mom as well. Be firm, let them not to bite mamas nipple. Say, “This is not a bottle, No bitting!”
Although babies bite and bite hard it doesn’t mean that they are really aware of what they are doing. Try to be calm!! If baby does bite, and mom reacts strongly, many sensitive babies might refuse to breastfeed after that. This is called a ‘nursing strike’ and it can be hard for both mommy and baby to overcome.
Any questions? Like this blog? Feel free to comment below.