Hello my dears.
A mom has written in telling me that her breastfeeding baby has started to bite, and asking what I recommend. Great topic! I’ve talked about biting while breastfeeding before in this video but it’s such a toughie that there’s always more to say. Here are my bits and pieces of advice when it comes to how to prevent this type of biting:
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1. Biting is not weaning. Don’t look at biting when nursing as weaning, as a sign that your baby is finished with breastfeeding. Many moms do (I know my mom did), but in my view, that’s a mistake. Why? Well, to me the baby is biting because the baby is teething, not because the baby won’t take milk from the breast anymore. You can work through this, I assure you, although it will entail some painful nips. Ouch, I know. I went through this with all five of my babies, and continued to nurse once this teething period was good and gone.
2. Just say no. When the baby bites, take the baby off your breast by breaking the suction with clean finger. Then, look your little one square in the face and say NO, a very firm NO. Then, hold him for a few minutes and do not offer the breast. Put the baby back on, and if he does it again, go through the same routine. Babies are smarter than you think, and this often works like a charm. It did for me.
3. Determine where your baby is in his nursing session. Your baby might be full and biting around and playing on your boob! When babies are famished, they are much less likely to bite, in my experience. If your baby is good and full, stop nursing, woman! Hand the baby over to someone else and go take care of your sore breasts.
4. Baby your Breasts. To soothe sore breasts for teething (similar to the initial weeks of nursing), try a lanolin based ointment, or my favorite natural remedy: express a bit of extra breast milk, smooth over your breasts, and allow your breasts to air dry. For more tips for soothing sore nipples, watch here.
5. Treat the teething. To soothe babies gums when teething, offer a frozen teething toy, or try a washcloth that has been placed in ice water. For other teething remedies, check out this video.
Hope that helps, and please watch my video for more ins and outs with these tips. Oh, and make sure to comment below if you have other tips for this mom.
Hang in there! Biting is literally a PAIN, but you can work through it and go on to nurse for an extended period of time after this biting period.
Thanks for stopping by and make sure to check back for more! xo