babyMaternity Magazine
Creative Child

When Your Breastfeeding Baby Bites

by Rebecca Eanes

Breastfeeding Tips Continued...

Pull Baby Closer

For an alternative breastfeeding tip, pull her into the breast a little bit more than usual. She will need to open her mouth to breathe as her nose is partially blocked by your skin.

Let Baby Know it Hurts, but Gauge Reaction

More sensitive babies will be upset that they hurt you and this will deter them from biting. Other babies, however, may find your reaction amusing enough to want to see it again. Say “Ouch! That hurts!” and watch your baby’s reaction.

Give Full Attention While Nursing

For babies who bite to get your attention, proactively giving them your full attention during a nursing session will curb this behavior.

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Nurse in a Quiet Room

Sometimes biting occurs when the baby is distracted. By nursing in a quiet area and keeping baby’s attention on you, distraction biting will end. 

Check the Latch

Babies cannot breastfeed properly and bite at the same time. Ensure your baby is latched properly. If you feel the nipple slip toward the front of the mouth, he is likely finished feeding or sleepy. Go ahead and unlatch now to prevent biting. 

Praise for Not Biting

If your baby has been in a biting phase and nurses without biting, offer praise. “Thank you for being gentle!”

Other than breastfeeding tips, are you having difficulty with your newborn? Check out "25 Ways to Bond with Your Newborn" to see if those tips can help! 


Ask Dr. Sears


Rebecca Eanes is the bestselling author of multiple books including Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, The Positive Parenting Workbook, and The Gift of a Happy Mother. She is the grateful mom of two boys. 


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