If your baby is latched on and nursing properly, the likelihood of biting is reduced. Teething shouldn't signify an end of breastfeeding. Is your baby biting after all? Try our tips and you will soon notice the difference!
Don't react too strongly
It will obviously give you a fright when your baby suddenly bites your nipple. It's a very sensitive area where nerve endings come together. And yet, it is really important to react calmly. Pulling your baby straight off may cause damage to your nipple and you will experience more pain. You also want to avoid upsetting your baby so much that he goes on a nursing strike.
How do you get your baby to unlatch?
Don't just pull your baby straight off but insert a finger into the corner of your baby's mouth between the gums to break the suction. Another way that seems to work for many mums is to gently squeeze the baby's nose. Your baby will open his mouth to breathe and, therefore, let go of your breast.
Stop the feed (for a few moments)
Leave your baby be for a moment without giving him any further attention (a few seconds is all it takes). Then give your baby lots or reassurance and cuddles. This way, your baby learns that biting and breastfeeding don't mix. Another clever trick is to immediately stop feeding and instead offer the baby a teether. Tell him clearly that only the teether is for biting and not mummy's breast.
Biting while breastfeeding: encourage your baby to nurse correctly
By rewarding your baby with cuddles and compliments (“Well done!”) when he feeds without biting, you are encouraging good behaviour.
Are your baby's gums sore?
Some babies bite when breastfeeding because they are teething which causes their gums to be sore. How do I know when my baby is teething? Teething babies tend to bite on anything they come across and start drooling more often than normal. Sometimes, they have a fever or hot cheeks. If you run a finger over your baby's gums, you will feel a little tooth bud.