Breastfeeding and the Pearly Whites

Your baby now has a tooth and more keep on coming. What an exciting time for you and your little one!  However, it’s cute until your little one bites you while nursing. Ouch!

There are two main reasons why a teething baby bites during nursing.

  1. They are done nursing and bite because it feels good on their gums.
  2. Because it feels good on their gums to bite down, they’ll bite to soothe their gums.

A breastfeeding mother has options though when this is happening. As a breastfeeding mother you don’t need to accept sore and cracked nipples because you have a teething baby. It’s so common, but here are some things you can do to continue breastfeeding comfortably.

End the nursing session

Remember that baby may be biting because he’s done nursing. Pay close attention towards the end of the nursing session to end it when baby is done. Be ready to have your finger ready by baby’s mouth to quickly break the suction with your finger when baby begins to bite.

Gentle Discipline

After you unlatch and end the nursing session look at your baby and say, “Don’t bite mama”.  I always say a nursing bite is your first opportunity to practice gentle discipline. Gentle discipline is parenting with mutual respect. Telling your baby that it hurts you and to not bite you is gentle discipline even when done in a stern voice. And it’s the beginning of setting boundaries as well which is part of attachment parenting and gentle parenting.

Give baby a teething toy

Help your baby understand what he can bite by offering your baby a teething toy.  Avoid plastic toys since plastic can leach into your baby’s mouth. I recommend wooden teething toys such as our Camden Rose wooden teether or a Re-wood nursing necklace which are both sustainable and safe teething toys to offer your baby.

With these tips you can continue to nurse your baby for as long as you and your baby would like….minus the bites.

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