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Do Breastfed Babies Bite?
Breastfed babies do bite, just as formula fed babies bite. The only difference is you can’t feel when a formula or bottle fed baby bites the bottle nipple. But believe me, you will most certainly feel it when your baby bites your nipple.
Why do Babies Bite While Breastfeeding?
Unfortunately, you probably won’t even expect when your baby is going to bite you. It usually comes out of the blue, and babies bite for so many reasons. Just to name a few…
- Experimenting with their mouth
- Latching on wrong
Sometimes my son will latch on too quick and will unintentionally bite me.
What Should I Do if My Breastfed Baby Bites?
So any mom who has been bitten by her baby while nursing knows, the most common first reaction is to let out a screech, or yelp “Ouch.” This is not how you want to react. And I know you’re thinking, “How am I supposed to be prepared and not say ouch?” There are some moms who are able to feel when their baby moves their tongue out of the way just before biting. I mean they don’t want to bite their tongue. Man, that would hurt. Ha Ha.
I am definitely not one of those lucky moms that can tell when my baby is preparing to bite me. Nonetheless, if and when you scream ouch at your sweet little baby, one of two things are likely to happen. Baby will either cry because they think mommy just yelled at me, or baby will laugh because mommy just made a funny noise. Furthermore, if your baby thinks it’s funny, they will want to keep biting to entertain themselves.
My son actually sobs every time I say ouch. And yes, I said every time. Even though I’ve been breastfeeding for thirteen months now, I still get caught by surprise.
The best advice I received from a Board Certified Lactation Consultant was anytime baby bites take them off the breast and say, “No bite.” And If your baby does it again just take them off the breast for a couple of minutes. Trust me, a couple of minutes feels like an eternity to your baby.
Baby Has Teeth Now, Should I Wean?
This is a question I have been asked many times for months, and it’s such an easy answer. NO. If you honestly feel that because your baby has teeth you need to wean them it’s your personal decision. However, if you do wean your baby before they reach their first birthday, you should talk with your child’s pediatrician to ensure your child will continue to get the adequate nutrition they need.
Although, I will tell you some babies start biting before they even get teeth. In my personal experience, my son getting teeth didn’t make a huge difference in how he has nursed. He started biting me a few months before his first tooth erupted. Another painful activity he would try while nursing is called nip lash.
Niplash (nipple + whiplash) is the occurrence where your breastfeeding baby feels the need to turn around and look at something behind them while still firmly latched onto your nipple, therefore trying to take your nipple with them and causing mommy very much pain.
What if My Baby Injures Me When Biting?
If your baby bites your nipple and you become injured, call your healthcare physician. Most of the time you won’t get more than just slight pain from biting but if you do remember to get checked out.
So, I hope you feel prepared for when the time comes and your beautiful little baby magically morphs into a hyena mid breastfeeding and bites. Thank you so much for joining me.
Do you breastfeed? Have you ever breastfed your teething baby? What are your tips for breastfeeding when your baby is teething? I would love to hear from you!