Breastfeeding Your Teething Baby And What To Do If You Get Bitten!

What to do if your baby decides to take a bite while breastfeeding. Ouch!

Today I was happily breastfeeding my 7 month old (who has 2 rather large bottom teeth) when all of a sudden, OUCH! She decided to take a bite!

Breastfeeding Your Teething Baby And What To Do If You Get Bitten!

Image: Mom and child breastfeeding by desireefawn 

I calmly took her off the breast looked her in the eye and said “no, no biting” in my lower “mom, means it” voice. Yes, I know she’s only 7 months old, but it seems to work on my toddlers and I kind of do it automatically!

She gave me this look, then the lower lip came out all quivering accompanied by the close to tears look. A hug was promptly provided and all was forgiven.

A few feeds later and she hasn’t bitten me again.

By my readings on the subject, the little ones tend to go for the biting when they are done with the feed, are waiting for a slower than usual let down or want to “scratch” the gummy teething itch. See our teething advice here.

They can not bite while sucking, because the tongue is in the way. You are also able to tell when they will likely bite you because they will have to move their tongue out of the way to do so.

breastfeeding a teething baby

 

The Womanly Art Of Breastfeeding, by La Leche League International, is an awesome book every mother should own if she intends to even try breastfeed.

Knowledge in this case can lead to a successful breastfeeding journey!

Some solutions for biting during breastfeeding to try are:

  • remove from breast and break physical contact
  • try stimulating a let down earlier by doing breast compressions or fiddling with your nipples
  • watch for the removal of the tongue, and distract in the effort to deter biting
  • have a finger ready to insert in-between the nipple and gum
  • avoid pacifiers and bottles etc, confusion with why she can bite one and not the other

Biting while breastfeeding is almost never a cause to wean.

If your little one does cause skin damage, which is rare, apply some breastmilk :)

Of course teething also brings up an entire other topic. How to sooth teething aches? Do take a look at our post on Amber Teething Necklaces, fascinating.

Some awesome further reading can be found here: Teething and Biting and here Do I Need to Stop Breastfeeding When My Baby Gets Teeth?

Has your baby bitten you while breastfeeding? Tell us how you handled it?

The Best Books & Resources!

Zero to Two: the book of play Three to Five: Playful Preschool 99 Fine Motor Ideas for Ages 1-5 Rice Play: 25+ Play and Learn Ideas Fizz, Pop, Bang! Playful Science & Math Activities Best Buyers Guide for Ages 1-5 Image Map
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Comments

  1. Rose says

    hi, I am a mother of 4 and nursed my 3 boys till gee I dunno almost 2, so here we are with my 10 month old who is still exclusively nursed by the way! I had an abdominal hernia surgery and was told to pump and dump for 24 hrs! My poor baby! I felt horrible if she slept 2 hrs in those 24 hrs is an exaggeration! She refused to drink from a bottle or sippy cup! So at about 26 th hr I got her to nurse and she was so happy began to giggle and latch on right away!! Happy momma and baby! She quickly fell asleep! So my next nursing was my worst nightmare! She began to bite and pull at my nipple! I did the usual no ma’am! She began to scream! So I figured it was just her teeth right? Mind u I’ve gone through this 3 times!! Nope was my lAst time she nursed! I’m so sad as soon as she would latch she would bite and pull. To the point she would just turn her heard. She weaned herself!! Day 3 of not nursing she picked up her sippy cup of my milk and drinks! But no longer latches! Pumping is just not doing it, I’m losing my milk! I am sooo sad!! She’s still a baby but is now acting like a toddler :(

  2. says

    I’m nursing my one year old to sleep while reading this post. And what did she just do? Bites me! Ha! Obviously this post is perfect timing for me!

  3. Sophie says

    Great article! My third got her first tooth at 2 months, so I’m certainly familiar with the bitting thing.

  4. Sara DeLaGuardia says

    My 6mo old bit me once, I pulled her off and said firmly no biting mommy. Then waited 5 min or so before I continued nursing. Seemed to do the trick she has not bit me again so far.

  5. says

    Thankfully my three older ones weren’t biters. It only happened a few times. But my mom likes to scare me with a story about how my dad actually bit my grandma’s nipple off. I have to laugh at that though because I’m sure it’s not true. She’s passed on so I can’t confirm and I’m surely not going to ask my dad about it!

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