4 Common Reasons Your Baby Bites at the Breast and How to "Nip" it in the Bud.
Is there anything worse than a quiet, bonding breastfeeding sesh interrupted by your baby's gums clamping down on your nipple?
Many moms endure an older baby biting at the breast at some point. While it is normal, it hurts like hell and you may not want to breastfeed anymore. Um, I'd say that's a normal reaction. But here's the thing: when your baby bites your boobies, it's NOT a sign that your she wants to end your breastfeeding journey. But, it's time to teach your baby that it it hurts, girl.
Why The Hell Does My Baby Bite?!
I can totally understand why some moms take this as a sign that their baby wants to quit breastfeeding, but that's not the case. Babies usually start this behaviour once breastfeeding is already well-established, so it can come as a serious surprise to you!
So what is your baby trying to tell you? Check out some of the most common reasons a baby bites below, and four ways to "nip" it in the bud!
Not Actively Feeding
If your baby is latched well on the breast, it’s impossible for her to bite you because your nipple is waaaay at the back of her throat. Biting happens when the baby isn’t actively feeding.
As soon as you notice there’s no “suck, suck, pause, swallow” remove your baby from the breast.
If you're still pregnant and not too sure how this breastfeeding thing all works, DO NOT miss this post:
It's no joke how important those first couple of days are. I've even included a printable guide to a proper latch AND a guide to hand-expressing your breastmilk!
Teething is often painful for babies and pressure on the gums may relieve the pain. What’s more convenient for pressure on the gums than your nipple? But you're not a teeting ring, mama.
Offer her a clean washcloth soaked in breastmilk to freeze her gums, then try to continue the feeding.
Babies are born with some pretty cool instincts. If your breast milk flows too quickly for her to keep up, her instincts tell her to clamp down to stop the flow from choking her. So fucking amazing, right?
If you notice that you have a heavy milk flow and your baby is biting you, stop breastfeeding and hand express your milk into a cup until you notice that your flow is slowing down. Put your baby back onto the breast and carry on.
Yes, sometimes your baby will bite you to get your attention. And sometimes she may become distracted by something and unknowingly bite you.
If you find your baby is easily distracted while breastfeeding, try to feed her in a darkened, quiet room.
Good luck on your breastfeeding journey, Mama!
Are you a 420 Mama? You'll never get judgement around here, just good information. So, if you are thinking about smoking pot while you breastfeed your baby I think you'll LOVE this:
Joanne Ilaqua - CEO of MamaSoup
Hey there, I’m Joanne.
I’ve spent about 20 years serving women as a nurse, doula and Lamaze educator. I have 4 kids and I know firsthand how lonely and isolating motherhood can be, so I created MamaSoup. I'm mostly known for my love of red wine, spontaneously singing and my confidence in being my true self on social media. When I’m not busy building women up, you can catch me taking Instagram stories of my bulldog Ruby, watching The Handmaid’s Tale, playing MUber (Mom Uber) to my kids or vacationing in my favourite town: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
I love serving the world by providing a space for moms to connect and support each other. In my opinion, moms are the backbone of communities because they are (literally) raising the future!
As the founder and CEO of MamaSoup, I’ve been featured on CHEX TV Morning Show, KawarthaNOW, Economic Development- The City of Kawartha Lakes and MyKawartha.
Still with me? Join me over at MamaSoup to keep the conversation going!