22 answers

Biting While Breastfeeding

My 7 month old recently started biting when he begins to breastfeed. He made me bleed one night. My breasts are sore, but I do not want to stop breastfeeding yet. Does anyone have any advice?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I too had the same issue with my daughter. I've heard some Mom's flick their baby's nose lightly every time they bite. I couldn't bring myself to do that. I just pulled her off after she bite and after 2 longs painful months, she quit.
I hope this helps. I know how painful it is.
Debbie

He is probably teething. My son started getting his first teeth at three months, and used them! Try putting teething medicine on his gums (or teeth, if he has any) prior to feeding him. Hope this helps!

More Answers

With my daughter, I my loud "ouch" was plenty to get her to let go. I was able to nurse her until she was 15 months old (and I was pregnant with my son.) With my now 8 month old son, I've had to pull him into my breast until he lets go. It cuts off his airways for a second or two until he releases. It sounds terrible, but they get the idea after a few times. I actually read that in a breastfeeding book, and it's the only thing that worked for him. Good luck!

My daughter was a biter too. I would just tell her "no" in a firm voice and pull her off. It took a little while for her to realize this meant no biting, but she eventually stopped biting.
Hope this helps.

He is probably teething. My son started getting his first teeth at three months, and used them! Try putting teething medicine on his gums (or teeth, if he has any) prior to feeding him. Hope this helps!

My pediatrician told me that when my son bit me, immediately remove him from the breast, firmly tell him no, and do not let him nurse for at least 2-3 hours. If he does it again, do the same thing again. He will not starve, and he will get the message that biting while nursing is not acceptable. I only had to do it once, and he never bit me again!

Since he now has teeth, maybe it is time for a sippy cup or formula. Not a good idea to be bleeding in the breast area.

J.,

I have done many different things when each of my three children began biting. With son #1 I ignored him; daughter was flicked, once accidentally in the eye, and had a three day nursing strike; son #2 is still nursing at 28 months and hasn't bitten yet.

The experienced La Leche League women I know all use ignoring or pulling the baby in to the breast 'til they can't breath and let go. There have been others who have had to wean preschoolers who began biting just for meanness. At seven months that's not his problem but later on it might be.

K.

Hi, J.,
This happened to me with my first child when she started teething and I stopped nursing, sooner than I wanted. I learned with my second child to gently squeeze her arm when she would bite down (the biting is soothing to their teething gums) and she learned not to bite. hang in there!
A.

He's exploring his new teeth. First of all, try not to shriek, no matter how much it hurts, because that can make nursing scary for him and it can start a nursing strike.

Dr. & Martha Sears write, in The Baby Book: "when you sense baby's teeth coming down to bite, draw her way in CLOSE to your breast, and she will automatically let go in order to open her mouth more and uncover her nose to breathe. Don't try to disengage yourself from the clenched teeth.... Keep a log of what triggers the biting and when she bites. Biting can be baby's way of teloling your she's finished eating. If she chomps at the end of a feeding, interrupt the feeding before she has a chance to bite. Teething can also create the urge to chomp. Keep some teething toys in the freezer, such as a frozen banana or a cold washcloth, and let her chomp on these before or at the end of a feeding."

Hang in there! You'll do great!
L.

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