Breastfeeding is an unique experience for any mother. The sense of attachment and nursing your baby is a memorable experience for most mothers.
The problem arises when your baby bites during breastfeeding. At times, the bite can be quite painful depending on the impact. Don’t worry, we have prepared a little guidebook for you to understand the causes and measures for baby biting while breastfeeding.
Baby Biting Nipple During Breastfeeding:
Breastfeeding your baby with teeth is usually not painful as his tongue tends to cover the lower gum while latching on. While suckling, your baby will use his or her bottom jaw, as the upper jaw remains fixed.
Often there is a possibility of your baby biting while nursing, if the breastfeeding position used is not good. While babies do not develop teeth till 6 months of age, some are prone to teething earlier or much later. This can be a reason too.
5 Causes Of Baby Biting During Breastfeeding:
Below are some of the prime reasons behind babies biting while breastfeeding:
1. Force of habit while latching on or leaving the breast after feed.
2. Older babies who are distracted by the surroundings while suckling.
3. Babies who fall asleep while still latched on.
4. Babies suffering from ear infection or cold have difficulty swallowing and hence bite harder to suckle.
5. Biting done out of curiosity to see what happens next.
7 Measures To Prevent Baby Biting Nipple During Breastfeeding:
If you are alert enough to understand the possibility of an imminent “biting”, apply the simple measures highlighted to avoid or deal with a baby biting situation:
1. Put your little finger into the corner of your baby’s mouth in between his gums. Gently distract your baby who will bite your finger instead of the breast.
2. Do not pull away your baby away from the breast suddenly as he begins to bite. He may bite you harder in the process of impulse, making you sore further.
3. Do not scream loudly as soon as your baby bites. Your intense reaction may cause your little one to panic, who may not breastfeed again. Your baby may also bite again to check for the same reaction, like a play!
4. Put your baby away for a short while after a bite. You may want to ease yourself out of the discomfort first.
5. Latch on your baby the right away. Wrong breastfeeding positions cause more bites. Maintain eye contact with your baby while nursing.
6. Habituate your baby to a teething toy after the feed so that he finds an alternative to bite on.
7. As your baby grows older, do not feed unless he or she is very hungry. Concentrate on slowly weaning your baby off breast milk.
7 Best Latching Positions While Breastfeeding:
Your next question may be to know the best positions to feed your baby, so that he does not bite you. Here are some best latching pointers while you breastfeed your baby:
1. Sit or lie back so that you are seated in a relaxed and comfortable position.
2. Raise your feet and keep them on support for better position.
3. Place a pillow on your lap that offers extra comfort to your baby.
4. Use lot of cushions or pillows to support your back while nursing.
5. While breastfeeding in a sleeping position, place pillows under your head.
6. Make your baby face your tummy while latching on.
7. Bring your baby’s face towards your nipple in such a way that his nose (not his mouth) is in line with the nipple.
8. Your baby will have natural reflex and ability to latch on in correct position. Do not rush it and relax as he latches on his own.
Unless you have other conditions or reservations to nurse your baby long term, the simple measures above should help you cope with the baby biting situation. It is always ideal to breastfeed your baby until 2 years of age (as recommended by World Health Organization). Do talk to your doctor if you want to know more about this subject.
Moms, do you have any anecdotes about your baby biting you during breastfeeding? If yes, do share them with us!