How to Stop Baby from Biting While Breastfeeding

Biting Breastfeeding

During the time when it is important to breast feed, many babies start to grow their first teeth. This can be a problem for the babies and the moms, depending on the child’s behavior. Countless mothers suffer from their little one’s biting them during breastfeeding, which can be quite painful, not to mention surprising. However, there are some simple things that you can do to remedy this problem and keep it at bay.

11 Ways to Ease the Biting

Here is a look at some of the top ways to end this predicament and make sure that your baby is okay during this trying time as well. There are many reasons why a child may bite when you are feeding them, so there are different things for you to try, in order to alleviate the problem.

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  1. Make sure they are latching on correctly. If your child isn’t latching on the same way that they normally do, or if they are latching on improperly, it can lead to biting. In some cases, when a baby is latched on as it should be, the tongue will keep you from getting bitten. This is especially true if they grow their first teeth on the bottom of their mouth. A solution for a latching problem is to keep trying until they latch on the right way. Be patient and make sure to comfort the baby while you figure out the issue.
  2. Gently push baby towards your body. Another solution to this complication is to push the baby nearer to your body whenever they start to bite down. This should push down their nose, and they will have to let go if they want to breathe. Keep in mind that you should do this gently, so as not to scare the child. You also don’t want them to get startled and bite down harder. It should be a smooth gesture, and something that you may have to practice to get just right.
  3. Stop the feedings. Some mothers decide to stop the feedings after a bite happens. To do this, just politely lay your child down in their crib or a nearby area whenever they bite you. After you do this a few times, many will be able to make an association that biting leads to no more food. If they are not able to make this connection after doing this a few times, it isn’t a viable option for you to utilize.
  4. Look in their mouth. It is crucial for you to know before you are bitten with little teeth. Make sure that you look in your child’s mouth each time you think about it. You need to be certain that everything is healthy inside their mouth. Once you see teeth breaking out of gums, you can keep in mind that you may feel those teeth on your breasts during feedings. This may help you become better prepared when and if it happens to you.
  5. Offer relief for the teething. A good rule of thumb is to have a teething ring or other teething relief solutions for your child as soon as they need them. Many babies start teething around 5 or 6 months of age, but it can be a little sooner than that. It is important to make sure that they have some assistance, as biting you may be them trying to get relief from an achy mouth. Since adults do not remember what it is like to grow your first teeth, it’s hard to anticipate what they will need. However, it is most likely that they need something that they can chew on and something to keep their mouths cool, in order to get a reprieve from the pain. Some experts advise you to have something for baby to put in their mouth right before each feeding and again right after. This can do a lot for their pain and keep them from wanting to bite down on things that they shouldn’t.
  6. Keep an eye on baby’s behavior. Besides just being aware of when babies are teething, it’s beneficial to pay attention to how they are behaving. For example, a child may be trying to be affectionate by biting you. It might be telling you it likes you. If you already have a good idea of your little one’s personality, you might be able to notice this rather quickly.
  7. Feed in a quiet area. Sometimes children get upset when there are distractions or too much noise when they are trying to eat. This may cause a stress reaction that equals a hurt momma. You might want to try to feed in the same place as much as possible, but even when you cannot; it’s good to find an area where you can be alone. When your baby is focused on just you and eating, you don’t have to worry so much about how they will be acting. They do not have an audience, which could make them act out or try to get additional attention. Look into their eyes and make sure that they are looking into yours. This is behavior that is completely normal, and could prevent problems from occurring. If the child refuses to pay attention to you or seems too distracted, try to feed them at a different time. Even waiting just 10 or 20 minutes can make a lot of difference.
  8. Pay attention to when they are done eating. Make mental notes to yourself about how long you have been feeding each time, so you know how long they are eating. By doing this, it will be easier to figure out when they are full or don’t want to eat any more. When your breast is not giving as much milk as when the feeding times start or when a baby doesn’t want to drink anymore, this is another time when you are susceptible to being bitten. Of course, when you are already anticipating this, you can save yourself some pain and some fussiness as well.
  9. Figure out what your body is doing. It is possible that the biting is your fault because a baby is not getting an adequate supply of milk and doesn’t know what to do about it. You can massage the top of your breast and push lightly if you think this is the case, and this may fix this problem. Additionally, you can check your flow whenever you have a suspicion that you aren’t producing enough for the little one. You do not want them to be attempting to tell you something and you don’t understand the signs.
  10. Let them know it hurts. While you shouldn’t scare your little prince or princess, it is okay to tell them that they are hurting you. Say it in your normal voice and they won’t become shocked or upset. This may not help them understand what you mean, but it might still assist you in getting them to stop using their teeth on you. On the other hand, make sure you tell them when they are doing a good job and not hurting you. This is positive reinforcement and lets them know the difference between when something is not allowed and when they are doing something that they should keep doing. It is similar to the way you teach a dog not to repeat a behavior, and it is a process that works.
  11. Pump your milk if nothing else helps. In rare cases, none of these suggestions will help. If this happens to you, consider pumping your milk and feeding with a bottle. They will still be able to get all the nutrients of breast milk but you can make sure that you aren’t being injured in the process. This may not be the ideal solution, but it will work if you can’t think of anything else to try.


What to Do if the Biting Causes Damage to You

If you have a severe case and end up getting hurt in the process of breastfeeding, there are a few things you can do to ease your own pain.

First Aid

If you are in a lot of pain, you can take a pain reliever to make it go away. Be sure to take whatever over the counter medicine that your doctor has told you is safe or whatever you normally use.

You should also clean the nipple itself, in case there are any wounds or scratches. The best thing to do is use a saline wash to cleanse it. To do this, you can mix up your own saline solution, or purchase one and dip your nipple into it to disinfect it. The solution should be warm, so it does not sting as bad.

After this, you can add a cream or lotion to your broken skin to lessen the pain. This will enable you to use your breasts again for a future feeding, without having to have a lot of downtime. Try to use the uninjured breast first to feed, and then you can move to the other one if need be.

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