It can be an extremely painful moment when your baby bites your nipples when latched on to you. They might not even do it intentionally. There are several reasons why they might do so. Such as:
- During teething season babies are irritated and they want to rub their gums against anything. As a result, they might end up biting you while you are nursing them. This might be a very unpleasant experience. Especially the first few times, you might feel surprised and a shocking pain when it happens.
- Sometimes towards the end of the feeding, babies tend to remove their tongue from above their bottom teeth. This might cause them to bite you. So, when you are feeding them, give them the attention they need. When they are done with nursing, remove the baby to prevent them from biting.
- At times when the baby isn’t paying enough attention, they might unintentionally bite rather than suck. This also is more often possible towards the end of a session. So, make sure to be active during nursing.
Most of the time, apart from the teething season, your baby biting your breast means that they are full or not as hungry or interested in feeding.
Although your first instinct might be to scream in pain, it is best if you control yourself and remain as calm as possible when this happens. There are strategic ways you can deal with this so that it doesn’t happen repeatedly. If your baby is biting, you can use the following tips:
- When they are actively biting, keep your finger at the edge of their mouth and break the suction and slowly remove the breast. Or you could also get a bit closer to the baby so that you cover their nose a bit. This will cause them to open their mouths to breathe.
- Don’t pull away swiftly as it can cause cuts or bruises on your nipples.
- If you are hurt, try nursing them from the other breast and use a cold compress to soothe the sore breast.
- In order to prevent your baby from biting again, offer them a chilled fruit or vegetable to munch on before breastfeeding. This will prevent them from biting.
- Try breastfeeding in a laid-back position to prevent the chances of them not properly latching onto the breast and thus causing a biting sensation on your nipples.
- Try to take notice of when they change their sucking pattern while breastfeeding. You might be able to recognize when they are going to bite and prevent it.
- Do not scold or shout at your baby when they bite as it will cause them to negatively associate it with breastfeeding. Try to calm down before you give out any reaction. Make sure not to startle them.
- 4 Reasons Babies Bite While Breastfeeding: medela.us/breastfeeding/articles/4-reasons-babies-bite-while-breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding: why babies may bite and how to stop it: https://www.nct.org.uk/baby-toddler/feeding/common-concerns/breastfeeding-why-babies-may-bite-and-how-stop-it