I’ve had a lot of Moms contact me recently about tips to prevent their infant from biting while breastfeeding. This can really be an issue as infants get a little older and start to cut teeth. I talk about this more in my Intermediate Breastfeeding video class.
Easing the discomfort of teething
Wearing a silicone teething necklace. I like these Chewable Charm necklaces because they are safe for baby and also look cute for daily wear!
Offering cold finger foods (frozen peas, blueberries) or also freezing breastmilk in an ice cube tray and offering it to baby in a mesh feeder.
What to do when baby is biting
Many infants will bite towards the end of a feed when they become bored and want to play. If you start observing closely, you should be able to recognize this playful behavior coming on and stop the feed before biting occurs. You can do this by breaking suction and turning baby’s attention to a book or toy. Make sure baby has gotten what he needs from the breast and don’t be alarmed if your infant wants to ‘snack’ more during the teething period. By ‘snacking’ I mean shorter, more frequent feedings. If biting ends up happening, you want to break suction and tell your baby “No, no, no,” repeated 3 times. Be cautious not to yell or startle your baby as this could cause a nursing strike (breast refusal for 2-7 days). Baby can come back to breast after this, but if biting continues, break suction, say “No, no, no,” 3 times and set baby down somewhere safe and walk away for a minute or two. When you return, talk to your baby, letting him/her know that biting hurts, and mommy can’t feed when they bite. It may seem silly, but with consistency this should do the trick!
I hope this helps! My Intermediate Breastfeeding class is a great follow-up to Breastfeeding Basics because it addresses so many common issues like sore/cracked nipples, mastitis, thrush, jaundice, tongue-tie, over supply, slow weight gain, boosting milk supply, how to introduce solids, and much more! Great information you don’t want to miss out on. I also offer home/hospital consultations (first priority to those who have taken my classes) as well as e-consults for my clients via secure video chat. Email me to arrange. Come say hi on instagram today! Don’t forget about our current promo code for 25% off your entire Loyal Hana clothing purchase. Check out the previous post for the code and details. The photography in this post is by Janae Kristen photography.
Thanks for coming by today,
Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC