baby registry

need to buy a gift?

Find baby registries (at top retailers!) and websites with one easy search.

what's hot around the web

you asked...

Baby Bites While Breastfeeding! What Should I Do?

Baby has teeth now and started biting me while nursing (ouch!). She just laughs about it. How do I get her to stop?


Baby has teeth now and started biting me while nursing (ouch!). She just laughs about it. How do I get her to stop?

The Bump Expert

Ouch is right! It's normal for a baby to occasionally bite the breast, but it doesn’t mean that she needs to be weaned, says Carole Kramer Arsenault, a registered nurse and lactation consultant. The biting should be temporary, especially if baby has been nursing effectively up to this point. What you’ll want to do is identify the underlying cause.

Teething could be the culprit. If so, offer baby something cold to bite on before the feed to help soothe her irritated gums, says Arsenault. Other common factors that contribute to biting are: low milk supply, using artificial nipples, and nasal congestion in baby. Most biting occurs in a playful fashion at the end of a feeding. If this is what baby is doing, take her off of the breast as soon when she's done with the feeding -- you'll notice her begins to slow down.

Even if baby laughs, you’re doing the right thing by stopping the feeding and firmly telling her “no” when she bites. Wait at least 30 minutes to start back up or end the nursing session completely, so baby gets the message that biting doesn't get rewarded with food.

"With older baby, you can have the conversation," says Gina Ciagne, lactation consultant for Lansinoh. "Put baby in the crib or on the floor and say, 'No nursing until you stop biting.' If she does it again, put her on the floor again. Anything with kids is learned through repetition."

Biting is common, but luckily it’s usually just one of many quick phases that your baby will go through.

The Bump Editors

re: Q: Baby bites while breastfeeding?

Umm... a pump?

anbradley |

Q&A: Baby bites while breastfeeding?

i would use a pump and bottle feed. I am planning to pump as soon as the first tooth comes in.

slopez52917 |

Q&A: Baby bites while breastfeeding?

I have been having the same issue with my son. He not only bites down but then he violently thrashes his head around. It is so painful and was to the point that I was in pain even when he wasn't biting. His doctor did some research and found that this is very common and the best results were found by taking the back of the babies head and press his face into the breast completely covering his nose and mouth. The baby lets go to take a breath. It sounds rough, but the baby really does release immediately. They don't go without air. I tried it the first night and he released, laughed, and then tried again. I did it again and he released then didn't do it again for a couple weeks. He tries again every once in awhile, but stops as soon as I do that. He still laughs and thinks it's as funny as me saying no, but I'm ok with that as long as I'm not in horrible pain.

Janell0810 |

Q&A: Baby bites while breastfeeding?

Yep. My little guy has been biting lately too. I've tried pushing him into my breast and flicking his little mouth right after and he thinks it's all HILARIOUS! I think he bites when he is done eating and is just fooling around.

JennCheeze |

Q&A: Baby bites while breastfeeding?

My daughter did this to me a few times, but it wasnt so much "biting" as she would get a good grip/suction going then thrash her head away, scraping her teeth into my nipple in the process. Fortunatly the yelp of pain and a rather harsh "no!" didnt make her laugh, she actually seemed quite concerned and heart broken- I also would pass her to her daddy for a while after she did it. Thankfully that phase only lasted a week or so. She hasnt done it in quite a while, and the pain is just a memory.

Markie Anne |

Q&A: Baby bites while breastfeeding?

I've noticed that it's typically the result of a bored or full baby. and my little man is one distracted guy! Try making sure he's really hungry when you nurse him - always nurse before supplemental solid foods - and try to nurse in a familiar quiet place. Sometimes I give my baby a soft spoon or baby toothbrush to wave around while he eats to keep him distracted. I think KelllysMom has a whole page on suggestions for both a biter and a distracted baby too. But before you give up, try pumping and bottle feeding for a few days to give yourself time to heal and refocus. Several times when I was ready to quit, all I needed was a few days of a break and both me and my son got back on track more quickly. Either way, good luck! And don't let anyone make you feel bad if you need to switch to formula. You're still a loving mama no matter how you feed him!

LizzieAnnCSU |

Q&A: Baby bites while breastfeeding?

My daughter did this for about 2 weeks. I remained consistent and removed her from the breast. I looked for cues on when she did this. Eventually, I knew when she was going to bit and removed her before she did it. I wouldn't wean her just yet. Every ounce counts. The longer she is breastfed, the better off she will be. Hang in there, I know it is uncomfortable, but this to shall pass

nikalina |

Q&A: Baby bites while breastfeeding?

mine just started few weeks ago, it hurts and he is doing it more often now. i think its because lack of milk and probbaly also he is irritated. i also noticed he drools a lot...does anybody know why? he is now 14 weeks! thanks.

mitchikana |

Q&A: Baby bites while breastfeeding?

Does anyone know if its ok to use alternative medicine like sepia ( cuttle fish) when breast feeding to help with Post Partum Anxiety. Compulsive disorder? I have been taking it for 11 days now.

JeannieHI |

Q&A: Baby bites while breastfeeding?

Someone told me a tip that really works! When baby bites you just pinch their ear lobe ( the bottom part). At first they'll probably stop and look at you. Then they'll start to associate biting with having their ear feeling slightly uncomfortable and they'll stop!

katewichy |