Baby Biting at the Breast? Here's 4 Ways to "Nip" it in the Bud!
There’s nothing worse than a great breastfeeding session interrupted by a strong set of gums clamping down on your nipple.
Many moms go through a baby biting at the breast. While it is normal, it’s really important to teach baby that it it hurts. Just remember that this is NOT a sign that your baby wants to end your breastfeeding journey.
Why Does My Baby Bite?!
While some mamas may feel like their baby is too old to breastfeed when she starts to bite, this just isn’t the case. Girl- I can totally understand why you wouldn't look forward to feeding your baby if she's biting your nipples every time.
Here are some of the most common reasons a baby bites 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 so as soon as you notice there’s no “suck, suck, pause, swallow” remove her from the breast.
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? 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. 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!
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!