My baby is getting teeth and she has bit me a few times! One of my nipples is sore. What can I do? I really don’t want to quit breastfeeding her!
The teething stage can be nerve wracking. Your baby may be biting because her gums are sore. The best option is to help your baby soothe her gums before breastfeeding. This can be done by using a clean finger or cold wet rag to gently apply pressure on her gums before latching. The cold and pressure help make her gums less sore. She will be less likely to bite to help with the soreness.
Although it’s hard not to yell or shriek when baby bites, some babies get frightened and refuse breastfeeding altogether. A more effective method is to immediately unlatch your baby with your finger after she bites. Firmly state “do not bite” if you feel led to, but refrain from yelling. Latch her back on when you are ready, but continue to unlatch each time she bites.
With some observation, you may notice signs that your baby is getting ready to bite. She might shake her head back and forth, wiggle her jaw, or pull backward on your breast. If you notice these signs, be proactive and unlatch at that time. You can also try distracting your baby during feeding by reading books, singing her songs or walking while breastfeeding.
During a breastfeeding session, milk can slow or pause. Older babies start to notice this and instinctively bite to promote milk flow. Massaging your breast during feeding can keep milk flowing at a steady pace for your baby. Stay persistent! The more you can keep at it, the faster your baby will learn!