Bitting While Nursing

Updated on March 25, 2008
M.F. asks from Pine Plains, NY
9 answers

My 8 month old has recently began biting me while nursing. I say ouch and immediately stop nursing for 10-20 minutes, but it doesn't seem to be helping, over the last 2 weeks the problem has gotten much worse. I have tried pushing her head in toward my chest when she does it but that doesn't deter her. She almost always laughs and giggles when she does it...I think she might be getting a new tooth and it feels good. I would like to continue to breastfeed but I am not sure i can if I am getting bitten 2-3 times a day. It hurts so badly and she only has 2 teeth, I can't image how badly it will her when she has 2 rows! Please Help!

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answers from New York on

First off, HOORAY for you for nursing so long!!

I went down this road with my daughter. She had EIGHT teeth at the time. She bit so hard she broke the skin, it got infected and I ended up on antibiotics. We nursed through it, and we broke her biting habit.

My daughter would bite, and I would end feedings, just like every one suggests. Well my little smarty pants put two and two together that every time she bit me the feeding would stop. SO, when SHE was done nursing without warning she would bite me. I would stop the feeding, and she would get down and go play. She is such a freshy. lol

Well, I realized that I was just nursing her too much. She was getting older and eating solids. She wasnt interested in nursing as much as she once was. I cut her feedings down, and I let her initiate the nursing sessions. I would sit on the couch and put her in my lap to see if she was interested in nursing. As soon as I did that, she stopped biting.
Good luck!!!!



answers from Philadelphia on

My son is 10 months and has 8 teeth and I am still nursing. He bites every once and awhile now but not that often. I have found that he does it when I offer the breast and he is not really hungry. His first tooth came in a 6 months. If he bit me I would say no, take him off and wait awhile, simaliar to what you are doing. I realized after awhile that I was feeding him too much. It does get easier. THe feeding cues change as they get older so try to watch out for new ones and don't feed her as often. If she is really hungry and wants to eat she will learn not to bite. You will get through and be able to continue nursing.



answers from New York on

M., my daughter is 8.5 months old and has 5 teeth. She started biting also. What I found is that I will nurse her and as soon as she begins to slow in her sucking I know she is getting full so I stop her. This way she nurses, but does not use me as a passie or teether. I hope this help for you as well. K.



answers from New York on

I am also nursing my 8 month old daughter who has recently started biting. I do pretty much the same. I tell her NO then end nursing her. I think as other people have written I may be trying to nurse her when she's not that hungry. They're going through so many changes each day and eating more foods now. One thing that I think is helped me is if it's her normal nursing time say 3:30 I'll try to have her wait 15 minutes or even a half hour. It's pretty easy to distract them with a toy for a little bit, a game of peek a boo...I hope this helped and good luck. You should be proud of yourself for keeping up with it this long.



answers from New York on

I had the same problem with my oldest son when he was 9 mos. I couldn't take it after the first week. The little bugger would look me right in the eye and CHOMP. I tried everything. Needless to say I stopped totally. At the same time as he got the teeth he started crawling so he really wasn't interested cuz he had places to be and things to see. I wanted to keep going until he turned 1, but didn't make it. If she's anything like my son, every time she gets a new tooth she's going to have to try it out. So instead of biting while nursing she'll bite your finger or whatever she can get in her mouth. Good Luck.



answers from New York on

Hi, I had this problem with my daughter - she started a little younger than yours and chomped VICIOUSLY - then she'd look up at me with great curiosity to see how I'd react. I talked to LLL, lactation consultants, tried everything from yelling at her to detaching to pulling her in tight - nothing worked (and the yelling traumatized her so much she stopped nursing for a whole day!) until I got the best advice: DON'T REACT. She may be enjoying getting a response from you. It's incredibly hard I know - because it HURTS! But within 2 days, when she got no response from me (I didn't flinch, didn't look at her, didn't say anything, didn't change expression at all) she got bored of her game and quit. We went on to nurse til she was 2 1/2 very happily! Good luck!!



answers from Albany on

Hi, M.,

I am mother to a 26 yr old now, and I had her at home with midwives (back in Boulder, CO) and nursed her 'til she was 3.

We were taught by our LaLeche League leaders to scream and use a finger to "pop" our baby off the nipple when bitten. If she is activley teething, you can go to a health food store, or Jean's Greens up on 9&20 by Miller Rd./Sunset, and pickup a large piece of dried osha root for her to chew on. It is very hard, satisfying to chew, and nontoxic for baby. We (my group of young mothers who were all nursing babies) used it extensively, and to good effect.

Good Luck!

F. B



answers from Binghamton on

All of these responses are very good. Your daughter will get over the biting stage. It didn't last long with any one of my kids. The cue about them nursing when they really aren't hungry is probably the best one that you can go on, as they get older they definately want to explore more than sitting in one place. However don't get discouraged, they still like their cuddle time too. Good luck and keep your chin up!



answers from Rochester on

Hi M. - <what worked for me> I found that if my daughter bit me the feeding was OVER. I would VERY firmly tell her NO: and end it. Then put her immediately down and walk out of site. <never resuming the feeding until the NEXT feeding> She bit me twice. Never again and I nursed until she went from me to a cup!! My sister could not stop her daughters from biting and had to stop nursing. Hard to know what is best –Give some options a try; hopeful one will work for you!! Good Luck.

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