24 answers

Chewing While Breastfeeding

I have always heard people say that they quit breastfeeding because their baby got teeth. I don't want that to happen to me. I have a 7 1/2 month old and she doesn't have teeth yet, but she seems to be "chewing" on my breasts while she's nursing. She sucks, and then chews, sucks and then chews. It is really hard for me to say "no biting" because by the time I say "no biting" she is back to sucking again. I am incredibly sore, but refuse to give up. I am worried that once she has teeth, she is going to be used to nursing in this way, and then it will really hurt, which could cause me to quit. I feel bad taking her off, because I don't want her to be fussy and hungry, and is she really going to know that's the reason I'm taking her off? Also, any tips for sore nipples? I am currently using Lansinoh. HELP!!!!

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This is more common than you think. I breastfed all my five children, and still breastfeed my baby boy (5 mos.). The thing is some babies do bite, and some stop "chewing" when they get their teeth. All of mine went through that and stopped when their teeth broke through. Just try to be patient. Hope things work out!

When my son started getting teeth (not very long ago) it was not a problem until his top teeth started coming in. When he would bite I tried not to make a big reaction or to startle him. I simply broke the seal said no biting (like he can really understand me) then I would wait a minute and put him back on. Once he did it again I broke the seal and said no biting but stopped the feeding. It only took a few times of this and he didn't bite me anymore. As far as the soreness you can get those little gel packs (you can find them by the breastfeeding supplies. Those work wonders! Good luck!
L.

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My daughter is 15 months and we are still nursing with 8 teeth. When she would pinch my nipple with her tooth, I would pop her off the breast, and gently say "no biting" and then return her, if she did it again, the same thing. Eventually she realized that biting=no milk.
A lot of people were still shocked (in my family) that I was still breastfeeding after teeth.

This is more common than you think. I breastfed all my five children, and still breastfeed my baby boy (5 mos.). The thing is some babies do bite, and some stop "chewing" when they get their teeth. All of mine went through that and stopped when their teeth broke through. Just try to be patient. Hope things work out!

When my son started getting teeth (not very long ago) it was not a problem until his top teeth started coming in. When he would bite I tried not to make a big reaction or to startle him. I simply broke the seal said no biting (like he can really understand me) then I would wait a minute and put him back on. Once he did it again I broke the seal and said no biting but stopped the feeding. It only took a few times of this and he didn't bite me anymore. As far as the soreness you can get those little gel packs (you can find them by the breastfeeding supplies. Those work wonders! Good luck!
L.

For sore nipples, as directed by a sister in law who nursed and later a LLL consultant, make some iced tea but dont throw out the tea bags. When the baby is done nursing place the tea bags on the nipples for a few minutes. This helps dry the nipple surface and prevent chaffing with your bra. The LLL consultant also suggested to stop washing my nipples with soap and to air dry as often as possible. I dont know which of these helped most, but I followed all instructions.

My oldest broke four teeth by three months. He would do just as you described until one day there was a tooth and it hurt! I was surprised and "wow" came out of my mouth-not a yell, but a started reaction. He didnt like that reaction so he let go. I put him down and checked to see if any skin was broken (it hurt that bad) and no skin was broken.

I smiled and offered the other breast and he looked at me smiled and bit again. This time, I put him down and waited for him to cry for the breast. About fifteen minutes later he was hungry crying and I put him back on the breast. No biting.

He would bite at other feedings, but I would tell him I didnt like being bit (he was only 3 months old) and I would remove him and wait for his hunger cry. The biting soon stopped and he nursed until he was nearly two years old.

Hope this helps,
M.

She needs immediate feedback.

When she nips give her a quick flick on the cheek - not hard or anything - like when you flick an ant off your desk and it lands still alive? Sort of like that. Blowing a short burst of air can have the same effect.

It is an immediate and physical feedback that says "don't do that". They understand it. :-) Took my son one day to get it down and my daughter one week - meh *shrug* Every child is different.

A. <><

C.,
About soreness - I found Lansinoh and pure lanolin never helped me much. I ended up using a natural balm from Earth Mama Angel Baby called Nipple Butter (you can order it online - or a number of different boutiques sell it).
I especially liked it because I was working full time and pumped several times a day - which can sometimes be worse than 7 month old teeth. :-)
~C.

I don't mean to sound like chicken little "the sky is going to fall"!!! But my mom told me 25 years ago not to breast feed. She breast fed my sister and i guess she got teeth and my sister nearly bit my mom's nipple off! Now maybe this is really rare! I don't know i took her advise and did not breast feed. Sorry i know i probably did scare you! I say ask your doctor! He probably knows a lot more about it than i do.

I breastfed all four of my daughters. 2 of them past age 2 and never was bit once. I believe it was because when this happened (bearing down/chewing) I took them off my brest for a minute or two. When your hungry that is not a good thing to a baby. I believe they quickly associated their behavior of bearing down with not being allowed to eat. Good luck, breastfeeding is the best gift you can give your baby. Also find a La Leche league nearby. They were my lifeline while nursing

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