26 answers

RE: Biting

I am a breastfeeding mother. My daughter is 8 months old. I plan to breastfeed until 1 year old at least. She has recently started cutting her top teeth (alread has her bottoms) and she is biting when she nurses. I do pump, but find that my milk supply decreases when I haven't nursed in a day or so. I tried a nipple shield and my daughter screamed and would not nurse until I took it off. What has worked for you, breastfeeding moms??

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks so much for all of the responses. I found the things that she responded best to were unlatching her and telling her that we won't nurse if she bites. I try to say, "it's time to nurse." before I started to nurse her again. She has put things together pretty quickly. Flicking or raising my voice seemed to upset her too much, so I only did them once. Again, thank you everyone for your responses!!


Featured Answers

I had that trouble when my son first got teeth. I firmly said "NO BITE!" and put the boob away for one or two minutes. After 2 times, he never bit me again.

Babies can be taught not to bite. My daughter bit me once and I loudly told her "NO" She never bit again. My son never tried to bite but he would clam his teeth down when he was falling asleeep at the breast. I had to gently put my finger in his mouth to release the hold as soon as he fell asleep. Then we were both happy. Just because babies can't talk doesn't mean they don't know what you are saying. AF

Hi, J. - I remember being told to flick the baby's cheek when they bite. It gets their attention, and hopefully they get the message to stop biting! Good luck! N. B.

More Answers

When you are feeding and she begins to bite, stick your finger between her teeth and your skin and say, firmly, no biting. Or just no. They know no. When she struggles to latch back on, say ok, but no biting. It will take a while and you need to be able to recognize cues when she may bite, but she will get the point that her biting is causing her feeding to be interrupted. And she does not see it as biting, it is what she has always been doing, it is just now she has those sharp little teeth. Be patient and help her to relearn how to nurse without the teeth.

1 mom found this helpful

I went through the same thing with my dd, who is now 23 months old. Every time she bit me I said NO and stopped nursing her, even set her down on the floor. She would fuss, I would just say, 'No teeth on mommy's nipples' then we when nurse again. It took 24 hours but after that she stopped. I also made sure she had lots of teethers available all the time. And gave her some homeopathic teething drops ( can be found at Walgreens) to help ease the pain.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

hello! my name is L.. when my children were that age but with me it was at 4 months the first bite straight to baby food and solids. it hurts. lol take care

This is going to sound awful but as a friend (and huge proponent of breastfeeding) told me "smother" them. It sounds horrifying but it is not as scary as that. Basically instead of pulling away (OUCH) when they bite you do the opposite and push it toward them. They will instinctively release and in theory they will not be as inclined to continue the behavior. It worked for my first two perfectly (I nursed them both for over a year)and my third is just entering this phase but I am pretty confident that it will work for him too. I hope this will help you as it has me. Good luck.

Hi J., the biting is just not fun! I told my son "no" and would let him try again and if he bit again then I would end the nursing session. I would let him try a again about 10 minutes later and do the same thing if he did it again. Granted this does not feel so great either but it's better than a bite! He learned within a day or so and didn't bite any more. Good Luck!!

My first child did this a handful of times, and my 3 month old will occasionally clamp down with her gums very hard. I find it useful to say "NO!" very firmly and loudly and take her off the breast and hold her away from me a bit. Then resume feeding. And do this consistently.

The idea is NOT to let this become a game. My first daughter would bite down and sort of smile sweetly that big goofy baby smile. It is not cute after that first time. Please don't feel bad fopr talking a bit harshly to her. This may the first step in her learning "when Mommy means business"!!! Treat it seriously, because it would be a shame if you let it impede your nursing - give her a chance to correct the problem, as I am sure she misses the contact with you.

Oh, my boys used to bite all the time. I think it feels good to them because they're teething. Just pull her off, delatching by the two finger seperation, each time that she does it. She'll stop. Hang in there, it is so worth it.

Once the teeth came in I was done! I swtiched over to formula, water and 100% juice. All 4 of mine did fine!!!

Annie R

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