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Mom Monday: Nursing a Teething Baby

Mom Monday:  Nursing a Teething Baby

by Wendy Wright

8 months ago

Ouch! You worked so hard to breastfeed your sweet baby. You met with the lactation consultant and spent hours practicing until it was nothing less than magical (hopefully!). But now baby is biting and it hurts. Biting may lead to making you believe now is the time to wean, but let me reassure you, you don’t have to make the switch to the bottle if you don’t want to. Many moms before you and me continued to successfully breastfeed and overcome the biting attempts.

If your baby is properly nursing, he shouldn’t be able to bite you as his tongue covers his bottom teeth. So when you experience biting while nursing, I hope you find comfort in knowing you are not alone. Momma, here are some tried and true tips to overcome this painful biting stage.

  • Ignore the pain. As best as you can, try not to scream when she bites you. If you happen to scream out of reaction, don’t be hard on yourself. It can really hurt to be bit! She is smart and if she realizes she can get a reaction from you, the biting may continue just to get a reaction. On the other hand, she could become frightened and not want to nurse again.
  • Offer a teething ring or toy. My daughter loves a cold teething ring or even a cool wash cloth to chomp down on. Try offering your child a teething ring before you nurse. If he bites the teething ring, now might not be a good time for nursing. However, if he seems uninterested in the toy go ahead and give nursing a try.
  • Pull baby close. When she bites down on you while nursing, pull her as close to the breast as you can instead of trying to pull her off the nipple. This will make it harder for her to breathe and she will unlatch out of instinct to find air. Follow up by telling your child, “Nursing is not for biting,” and offer her a cold teething ring instead.
  • Positive reinforcement. When he is nursing well, let him know. He will love to hear your soothing voice and continue his good behavior. It’s probably something you already do, but let me affirm you it’s worth it.

Most babies outgrow this stage, with help from you, rather quickly. Keep consistent and you will be back to your happy breastfeeding sessions before you know it. Remember, every baby is different and what works for one baby may not work for another. Continue to try different methods until you find what works best for you and your baby. Good luck!

Welcome to Mom Monday, I’m so glad you’re here!
I’m Emily and currently chasing after a rambunctious 2-year-old, Elsy, and a sweet spirited 6-month-old, Avenly. Hopefully the information shared here will help fill you with as much joy on your nursing journey as I have received in mine.


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