Dealing with Biting During Teething

21 August 2012 / 1 comment

One of the bigger challenges you will face while you are breast feeding your child is the possibility of being bitten. Keep in mind that this is something that tends to happen as children teeth. It does not mean you have to stop breast feeding. It only means you will need to take some extra steps to make sure your baby understands it is not okay to bite mommy!

Why Babies Bite

Biting is a very normal part of teething. It is part experimentation and part comfort. The discomfort of teething can cause your baby to chew on anything. This is why you have made sure to supply plenty of teething toys and even allow your baby to play with your jewelry while you are at a party. Your baby will bite your nipple as well in this same spirit.

Eliciting a reaction from a bite is tantamount to an interesting reaction your baby will want to reproduce. If you cry out in pain or get onto your baby in any way, it will be taken as a way to approach biting you as something fun to do. Your nipple will now be bitten as a part of toddler amusement. Stopping this is very important in making sure that you are able to keep feeding your child.

Stopping the Behavior

The simplest solution to this problem is simply to remove your breast whenever your baby bites. If your baby is completely latched on and tries to stop you, wedge a finger in between your nipple and your baby’s mouth. After you have broken the latch and you have waited about 30 seconds, offer your breast again. Repeat this every time your baby bites and there will be a sudden realization that something your baby wants is being removed whenever the action of biting is performed. This creates the negative association with biting your nipples and will cure the behavior.

Never get into your child or do anything other than remove your breast. Not only will you create a situation in which your baby will turn biting you into a game, you may cause your child to start feeling less interested in the feeding and more interested in seeing what kinds of reactions you will provide.

Healing after a Bite

Baby bites are painful when they happen, but are generally not conducive to any major skin damage. Simply make sure that you are using a cool towel on your nipple after the bite. Do not use ice as this can cause damage to the skin cells. Also, try not to use any creams or pain killers as these will stay on the skin and may cause your baby to not want to feed from that breast. Time is the best way to allow your breast to heal. Allowing a few hours before you try to use that nipple again will allow your skin to heal and for the pain to subside.

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Written by Stefanie Prinkles

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