How To Prevent Your Baby From Biting Your Nipples While Breastfeeding

How To Prevent Your Baby From Biting Your Nipples While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is an experience that is unparalleled for mothers. It is a unique experience where a mother gets to produce nutrition for her child in her own body and is able to pass it onto the child through breastfeeding. Breastfeeding, apart from providing nutrition, brings a sense of attachment and security to the baby and helps in building a bond between them. Does your baby bite your nipples while breastfeeding? Here’s what you can do.

Though most mothers overcome initial breastfeeding problems like latching, the other problem that can distress mothers is the baby biting the nipples during a feeding session. Biting can be quite painful and can sometimes result in a break in breastfeeding sessions.

Why does your baby bite your nipples during breastfeeding session?

If a baby is properly latched during breastfeeding, it is unlikely to bite your nipple. If your baby has latched correctly, her tongue covers the lower teeth and the nipple will be deep inside her mouth. In this position, it is hard to bite the nipple without biting her own tongue.

But a correct latching alone does not stop your baby chomping your nipples! Let us understand various reasons due to which your baby bites your nipples.

  • Incorrect Latching: If your baby is not latched onto your breast correctly, it is likely to bite your breast during feeding sessions.
  • End of feeding: After the end of a feeding session, your baby will be full and may bite your nipple out of boredom.
  • Distraction: Some babies hate distraction when they are busy filling their little tummies. Any kind of disturbance or noise during feeding makes them bite the immediately available thing i.e. mummy’s nipples to show their frustration.
  • Seeking Attention: Some babies demand that you give them complete attention even when they are latched on to your breast. Sometimes babies bite just to see your reaction to it. If you scream or overreact, your little one might assume it to be a fun game and would love to do it again.
  • Teething: When your baby is teething, the irritation in its gums makes her want to chomp on anything that she can put into her mouth. For breastfeeding babies, mother’s nipples become the primary target to get relief from the irritating gums.
  • Biting due to pain: If your baby has caught cold or suffering from ear pain, she might not be able to latch on correctly and may possibly resort to biting.

This might also interest you: Breastfeeding Guide for the first month of baby

Does your baby bite your nipples? Here’s how you can prevent it:

Below are some tips to prevent your baby from biting your nipples during breastfeeding.

#1. Control your reaction

Getting your nipples bit is no doubt painful and you cannot always bear it with a smile. But try your best to control your reaction. Do not scream too loudly. Your baby might assume it to be fun to see mommy screaming and get ready to bite again. So, avoid extreme reactions when your baby bites your nipple. Also, there is a possibility of your baby stopping nursing altogether due to your screams.

#2. Timing your baby’s bites

Most babies tend to bite at the end of a feeding session when they are almost full. They might just want to play around and gnaw at your nipples. As soon as your baby’s intensity of sucking slows down, pull her off the breast. If required, put a finger on the corner of the baby’s mouth and pull your nipple out.

Also Read: 9 reasons why you might not be able to breastfeed your baby

#3. Pull-off and put-down technique

When your baby bites, pull her off the breast and put it down. Do this every time she bites. Soon, she will become aware that biting means end of feeding session.

#4. Feed only when hungry

Sometimes, babies want to nurse all day just for the comfort of being with the mother. At such episodes of comfort sucking, they have no intention of feeding but only want to suck the nipples.

The chances of biting during such times are very high. As your baby grows old, slowly wean him off comfort sucking habit too. Feed your baby only when he is hungry and remove him from the breast as soon as he is done with feeding.

Also Read: Healthy diet plan for breastfeeding moms

#5. Pull the baby towards your breast

Another trick is to pull your baby towards your breast rather than away from it when she bites. Pulling to your breasts blocks her nose temporarily and she is sure to open her mouth and release the hold on the nipple.

A baby’s bites on your nipple can be quite painful that it can stop you from breastfeeding for few days. A break in feeding sessions may make the baby disinterested in breastfeeding and may miss out on the best form of nutrition.

Most babies would have attempted to bite the nipples at least once and some babies are habitual biters. No matter to which category your baby falls into, it is best for you to keep track of when she bites and what is the most likely reason. You can take preventive measures given above to ensure that your baby doesn’t bite you very frequently and you are able to provide him adequate nutrition through breastfeeding.

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