SPECIAL OFFER: - Limited Time Only!
(The ad below will not display on your printed page)

Say YES to your FREE SUBSCRIPTION today! Simply fill in the form below and click "Subscribe". You'll receive American Baby® magazine ABSOLUTELY FREE! (U.S. requests only)

Email:

First Name:

Last Name:

Address:

City:

State:

Zip:

Mother's Birth State: 
Is this your first child?
Yes
No
Due date or child's birthdate:
Your first FREE issue of American Baby® Magazine packed with great tips and expert advice will arrive within 4 to 6 weeks. In the meantime, your e-mail address is required to access your account and member benefits online, but rest assured that we will not share your e-mail address with anyone. Free subscription is subject to publisher's qualifications. Publisher bases number of issues served on birth and due dates provided. Click here to view our privacy policy.

Biting While Breastfeeding

Biting While Breastfeeding
Biting While Breastfeeding

Stay Calm If your baby bites, you're often a tad surprised, to say the least, but it's important to swallow your shock. "If you jump or yelp, you can startle the baby," says Kelly A. Hightower, R.N., a certified lactation counselor and owner of Bright Birth in Decatur, GA. And a startled baby may then be afraid to go back to the breast or think your reaction is so hilarious, she'll want to make it happen again.

Be Stern Choosing the right words afterward, along with appropriate body and facial language, is important. "'Take a deep breath, firmly tell baby 'No biting!' and offer the breast again. If your baby continues to bite after being told no, end the nursing session," Hightower says. Your little one with quickly associate the loss of feeding time and snuggles with Mom with biting, and the shenanigans will stop.

Ensure a Deep Latch "You may mistake the sensation of your nipple being drawn to the back of your baby's mouth as a bite, but you're simply experiencing a less than ideal latch," Hightower says. Make sure your baby opens wide before you bring her onto the breast.

Know When the Meal Is Done "Babies can sometimes bite or nibble at the end of a feed when they're now playing," Hightower says. To stop this after-dinner chew, pay attention to the signs that she's finished eating: You'll no longer see swallowing, and the telltale ear wiggle stops.

Tackle Teething If you suspect your baby is biting because she's teething, consider using a topical numbing gel such as baby Orajel before nursing. "Apply it with a cotton swab so that you can do your best to place the gel in the desired area," says Hightower suggests. "Offering ibuprofen about 30 to 45 minutes before the session may be a good option for you as well--as long as your baby is over 6 months old."

Copyright © 2012 Meredith Corporation.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.