What to do when baby bites while breastfeeding
Many parents are scared to nurse their baby after they get teeth. Biting can be painful, but we have many things you can do to help ensure a comfortable breastfeeding session even if your baby does have teeth.
If a baby is latched on deeply they cannot bite. When they start falling asleep, slipping down the nipple or quickly change to a shallow latch they can clamp down and bite. There are many reasons your baby may try to bite you while nursing: teething, illness (ear infection or cold), being playful or distracted eating. Biting is usually a stage that babies grow out of.
What can you do?
1. Keep your baby's body VERYCLOSE to yours. Go back to those newborn basics and
try to get cheeks to breast. Leaning back after latching can be very helpful here.
2. When you feel the latch change unlatch baby right away! Biting usually happens at the
end of the feeding when baby gets tired and their jaw slowly closes. Keep your baby from sliding down the nipple and closing their jaw. This is not a time to let baby comfort suck for long periods of time as they fall asleep.
3. If your baby does bite take them off immediately. Firmly tell them "No biting" and then
offer him a chew toy and tell him that he can bite this. Giving a cold chew toy before nursing can also help. Find our favorite teething toys on our product links page.
4. Use breast compression throughout the feeding so that your baby gets their feeding
quickly and finishes before they get sleepy or bored and then bites. This keeps milk flowing and baby interested.
5. Distracting your baby during nursing session can help. Give your baby a toy to play with, sing a song, play a little game or wear a nursing necklace. This can help keep your baby engaged in eating and not wanting to bite.
Need more help with a baby who bites? Book a visit with Wisco Lactation! We offer home & office visit in SE Wisconsin and NE Illinois. We also offer virtual visits worldwide.