Help a Mama Out: Dealing with the Biting Breastfeeder

Oh, that sweet infant gummy smile!  So serene.... so innocent.... so adorable.  But all toothless mouths must come to an end and teething starts another fun developmental stage for your little one.  Teething can also stir up some anxiety in the breastfeeding mama, which we are hoping to aleviate today.

Will my baby bite me?  

Do I have to stop breastfeeding?  

Most moms have felt a clamp down on their nipples from their teething babes once or twice, but it doesn’t mean that your breastfeeding relationship has to come to an end.  No need for those new teeth to be a deal-breaker!

We turned to the wise breastfeeding mamas on Facebook to offer some tips for dealing with a biting breastfeeder.  As always, your advice was amazing.  Here is what you had to say.

When a Toddler Bites While Nursing

Written by guest blogger, Leigh Anne O'Connor, IBCLC

Nursing a toddler is a confounding joy! He demands you sit. He does gymnastics and yoga while slurping your sweet nectar. Nursing is a great tool to calm a wild child or heal a skinned knee or a broken heart. These little people are growing rapidly. One day they are crawling, the next they are waddling toward the stairs or the dog food dish.  One day they mumble “mama” and “gaga” and then they learn the power of “NO!!” 

Another big change going on in the little body is the mouth – teeth are multiplying like bunnies in there. If a baby is latched correctly, his teeth are covered by his tongue.  Ah, but the older nursling has teeth on top and bottom! Yikes! As he is feeling those incisors pushing through his flesh nothing will sooth that sensation like biting down on something nice – like a breast!  Ouch! 

So, what is a mother to do?