The baby may cause a mother some discomfort, if he/she is teething. He/she might be chewing on
the mother’s nipples for comfort and pain relief. Biting does not always indicate teething though, and that is the purpose of this page, to indicate some other possible reasons for biting.
Teething can start anytime during the
first two years of a baby’s life, but the most common time for a baby to
start teething, is between 5 and 8 months.
Other Reasons why a Baby might be Biting, other than Teething
Stay calm and try not make too much of a fuss when your baby bites. If you scream or push your baby away from the breast, it may provoke your baby to do the same thing next time, just to get the same reaction, or on the other hand it could scare your baby and cause a nursing strike.
Talking to your baby, making eye contact and touch, can prevent your baby from seeking attention with a bite during feedings.
Do not pull your baby away from the breast, this can hurt your nipples even further, instead push your baby closer to the breast, so that his/her nose is closed, forcing your baby to instantly let go of the breast, and open the mouth for air.
Try to recognise the signs of lost interested in the breast, during a feeding. Its best to take your baby off the breast, before he/she tries to bite.
If you can get a finger in-between the gums in the corner of your baby’s mouth to break the suction, it can help to get your baby off of the breast, without allowing your baby to bite.
Teething and Biting & How to make Breastfeeding a Little Easier
Use a nipple shield while breastfeeding, to allow your nipples time to heal.
Use a good lanolin breast and nipple cream. Lanolin will help to heal your nipples quickly.
If your baby is teething. Offer your little one a breast milk lolly just before a breastfeeding session. The cold lolly will deaden the gums and the breast milk contains natural pain relieving substances.
Tracy Behr, CBC, CLD (CBI) Reference:
Breastfeeding counselor course through childbirthinternational.com on
the physiology of breastfeeding, breastfeeding problems, other problems /
teething and biting.