Baby Biting While Breastfeeding

Latching Issues Jan 5, 2021

Is Baby Biting Again?

Teething may result in some fussy nursing behavior. Your Bambino may be feeling some gum discomfort.

The baby "teething age" is usually from about 5 months, anywhere to 2 years of age. A teething baby might pull off frequently and fuss or even bite you.

Some Moms think that they need to wean when Babe starts biting when breastfeeding, but it is not always necessary to stop.

Baby biting is something that usually only lasts a few days and Mom must try to be persistent. The benefits of extended breastfeeding.

The combination of Breastfeeding and teething is inevitably something that all nursing mothers need to go through simultaneously. Hopefully, the information presented here will make the process a little easier.

Young baby's wide reflective eyes, baby picture, cute sleepy baby, baby on moms shoulder, sweet baby
Photo by Matt Walsh / Unsplash

Teething Tips

  • Deaden your baby’s gums with a frozen teething ring or ice cube, then try to nurse, but if he/she is still biting, try again with the ice. You can use a baby sock too; just put some ice into the sock and tie a knot. Allow your baby to suck on it as much as he/she needs, for some teething relief. Make some breast milk lollies.
  • Make some homemade baby teething biscuits for biting. This will help to relieve some of the pressure on your baby's gums just before breastfeeding. Get the recipe here.
  • Homeopathic teething tablets can help relieve teething pain.
  • Do not use any teething jell before Babe nurses, as this deadens the mouth and can make breastfeeding very difficult for him/her.
  • Baby teething toys can be given to your little one before he/she breastfeeds.
  • Biting usually occurs when he/she is bored or has had enough to drink. Watch for signs of boredom and get him/her off of the breast, before the biting starts.
  • Babies that bite should be taken off the breast immediately and given a teething toy and shown that the teething toy is for biting. Our little ones are more intelligent than what we think!
  • Offer Babe a teething toy or finger before you start nursing. If Baby sucks, then you can nurse. If he/she bites, instead use some of the teething tips mentioned above before you nurse.
  • Make sure that Junior is latching on correctly. Sometimes when a baby starts to bite, it's a sign that he/she is not latched on properly and, therefore, not getting enough milk. Baby’s mouth should be open wide and have a large piece of the areola in his/her mouth.
  • Some babies have been found to bite their Mom for attention. Focus your attention on him/her while nursing and your baby might stop biting!
  • When Baby bites, you can say something like “no biting while nursing" and then take him/her off the breast for a while. Baby will quickly discover that biting does not get him/her any milk.
  • Never raise your voice, when your tot bites, he/she might think that it is funny, so he/she will continue to bite or start refusing the breast.
  • For those babies over 6 months, who have big appetites. Try offering your child solid foods first before offering the breast, so that he/she is not as hungry while feeding, as Baby might be biting due to hungry.
  • Do not give bottles or pacifiers as he/she might get into the habit of biting these and then learn to bite you. Babies can learn to use sippy-cups very early on.
  • Unlatch your little one, when the nursing slows down so that he/she does not get a chance to bite you.
  • Minimize distractions by dimming the lights and playing soothing music.
  • Some babies bite when their noses are congested. Mom can quickly remedy this by getting something to open the little one's nose. Breast milk works great, just squirt a few drops of breast milk into Baby's nose and use a suction bulb to remove any excess mucus.
  • Junior might be letting you know that he/she wants to wean. Never force your baby to nurse! Self-weaning from the breast can occur anywhere from 6 months onwards, but it is very uncommon for this to happen before one year.
  • Praise Baby for good behavior.

What if Baby Clenches Down and Does Not Let Go?

  • Try placing your fingers in-between your baby's gums so that you can pull away.
  • Close Baby’s nose so that he/she has to let go to breathe.

How to Deal With Biting During Breastfeeding

  • Air dry your nipples.
  • Massage a few drops of breast milk into your nipples (breast milk contains healing properties).
  • Apply pure lanolin ointment regularly.
  • If your nipples become too sore to breastfeed, you can use a nipple shield for a few days just until they have healed. Just remember not to continue with them for too long as they could decrease your milk supply.
  • Tots who are teething while breastfeeding may sometimes put a lot of strain on Moms, who need to remember to stay calm and relaxed.

Why Do Babies Bite While Breastfeeding?

Biting Me While Breastfeeding
by Sammie

"Hey, mamas, I need some help. My 7-month-old LG just got her first two teeth a couple of weeks ago. She is biting me multiple times at every feed almost always drawing blood. I've been searching all over the internet looking for the answer that will help me show her that it's not on.

I've tried saying 'no biting' in a stern voice (she thinks it's funny). I've tried putting her on the floor and waiting a few minutes (she bites again as soon as she's back on). I've tried completely ending the feed and waiting to make sure she is REALLY hungry (she goes crazy trying to get at my boob as soon as she sees it, sucks for a minute, stops and then bites again)

I'm in pain and dread feeding her. Tonight I couldn't bring myself to do it, so dad gave her a bottle of EBM while I expressed.

Can anybody offer any other advice? I don't want to give up! Thanks"

Re: Ouch
by: Lyssa

"Biting babies are tough. It is frustrating when you are trying to use gentle, non-violent parenting to deal with violent behavior. It really tests us as parents.

When my son started biting, I really had to watch him at every feeding for several days. It was very tense. To bite, a baby has to draw his tongue back and shift his jaw, and you can visibly see the shift. My best advice would be to watch carefully and pull her away before she bites with a firm "no, do not bite mommy," and then ending the feeding. Consistency is key. Try not to laugh, smile, or get too frustrated. I know that can be a lot easier said than done, though.

Putting some breast milk on your nipples and letting it air dry should help them heal."


Tracy Behr

A homeschooling mother of two, breastfeeding helper, and lover of all things natural! Currently studying plant-based nutrition.

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