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Q&A: Baby bites while breastfeeding?

My daughter has had two teeth since she was four months old and would bite on occasion while breastfeeding. But lately the biting has gotten much worse. I firmly tell her no and remove her from my breast, but she just laughs at my reaction. Help!

Re: My daughter has had two teeth since she was four months old and would bite on occasion while breastfeeding. But lately the biting has gotten much worse. I firmly tell her no and remove her from my breast, but she just laughs at my reaction. Help!

The Bump Expert

Ouch! Although a teething baby does occasionally bite the breast, it doesn’t mean that she needs to be weaned right away. 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.

Common factors that contribute to biting other than teething are: low milk supply, using artificial nipples, and nasal congestion in baby. As long as baby is nursing properly, it’s impossible for her to bite the breast. Most biting occurs in a playful fashion at the end of a feeding. If your baby is inclined to bite, continue to take her off of the breast as soon as the feeding is finished and she begins to slow down.

If you’re absolutely sure that teething is the culprit, offer her something cold to bite on before the feed to help soothe her irritated gums. (Maintaining a sufficient milk supply and avoiding artificial nipples for a while will also help to prevent biting.)

If a bite occurs, you’re doing the right thing by removing baby from the breast immediately and firmly telling her “no” -- even if you’re being laughed at. Don’t return her to the breast immediately. Instead, wait at least 30 minutes or, if possible, end the nursing session. Offering food to baby immediately after biting is actually rewarding her for this behavior.

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

Carole Arsenault

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 |