While biting can be a bit of a problem for some mothers, some mums don’t experience this at all. When you are breastfeeding correctly and correctly positioned, he won’t be able to bite since his tongue is over his gum and teeth. However, if your baby is not actively feeding then expect him to bite a little. Biting usually occurs at the start of breastfeeding and when your baby has had enough.
The Teething Baby
If your baby is teething then expect that they will like to bite and chew. You may want to give your baby something hard and cold to chew on. You may also want to rub his gums before feeding him to relieve his discomfort.
There are some babies who like to rest there newly erupted teeth on their mother’s areola. This can be a bit painful even if it’s not a bite. During times like this, it will help if your baby is in the right position and attached correctly. Ensure that when you are feeding him, you hold him close to your chest and that his chin is on your breast.
If your nipple is sore due to your baby biting it, you can rub some milk onto it, and make sure you change your breast pads if they are damp.
Some babies bite primarily because your milk does not express quickly enough or at the end of a feed if they have had enough and is now playing on your breast. If you think that your baby often bites because he is impatient, then try to express a little before you feed him. This helps your milk to flow straight away when feeding him. If your baby does bite, take them off your breast and tell them ‘No’ firmly. Hopefully they will then realise it is not the right thing to do.
Baby who doesn’t want your breast
Some babies tend to refuse breastfeeding because of the discomfort they feel during the teething phase. Instead of breastfeeding him, you may want to directly express your milk via a cup, spoon, or a syringe when feeding him.
There are instances when some babies don’t want to be breastfed anymore. This is called self weaning and can be devastating for some mothers. Talk to an Australian Breastfeeding Association Counsellor to help you get over the many emotions you might feel caused by weaning.
Biting is a temporary stage each baby experiences. Don’t worry too much if your baby bites. Just remember our tips above and you should be able to continue breastfeeding without further problems.