babyMaternity Magazine
Creative Child

When Your Breastfeeding Baby Bites

by Rebecca Eanes

You’re nursing your sweet baby when suddenly ouch!! She bites! What can a mom do to stop this from happening? Here are some neat breastfeeding tips for baby.

First, let’s determine why your baby is biting. The most likely cause is teething, but sometimes babies bite for different reasons, such a stuffy nose, boredom, getting distracted, poor latch, or to get your attention. While you may not be able to help but to yelp in pain, purposefully scolding your baby harshly for biting isn’t a good solution. It could cause her to feel scared and possibly avoid nursing.

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Here are some ways to end the biting:

Change Positions

This is particularly helpful if your baby is biting due to a stuffy nose or cold. By holding baby more upright, it may help him breathe better and eliminate the biting. 

End the Session and Put Her Down

As soon as baby bites, pull her off the breast and put her down. Be firm so that she understands that biting means she gets put down, but do not be harsh or punitive. If she cries or gets upset, be empathetic and pick her up, saying, “Ready to try again? Don’t bite.”

Offer a Teething Ring

If your baby is teething and this is the reason for biting, immediately remove him from the breast and offer a teething ring. You might say, “This is for biting, not mommy.”

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Keep a Finger Ready

If your baby bites and won’t let go, put your finger in the corner of his mouth and pry him off to end the session. Wait a few minutes before trying again.  

Simply End the Feeding

By saying nothing and simply ending the feeding when your baby bites, he will begin to make the connection that biting equals no nursing.

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