Susan - posted on 01/21/2009 ( 10 moms have responded )




I have been nursing at home, and pumping while at work. My 8 1/2 month old daughter has been both nursing and taking bottles just fine until about 5 days ago, when she got a cold. She has a stuffed up nose, and I think she is teething again. She has 7 teeth already, and when she was getting her first tooth, she bit my nipple once or twice, but I firmly told her "no bite!" and she hadn't done that since. With this cold and another tooth coming in, she started biting me again, HARD. She refuses to nurse, turns away from me and arches her back. If I try to get her to nurse, she bites me. I push her firmly into my breast to get her to detach, but sometimes she still hangs on for a few more seconds, and it hurts. The other night I tried again and she bit me hard, and drew blood. I've stopped trying, at least until she gets over the cold and maybe cuts the tooth that's coming in. I'm just pumping now and giving her a bottle. I really want to keep nursing, but I don't know what else to do to get her to stop biting me, and I'm scared now that she will hurt me. What have you tried that worked to get your baby to stop biting you?


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Serena - posted on 01/23/2009




Its very natural for us to put our little one to the breast when they cry. It sounds like maybe your little one doesn't want the breast but is in pain from teething; so when you feel like putting her to the breast, try a cold teething ring with bonjela on it first then after 5 mins of that, then try her on the breast?

Amy - posted on 01/22/2009




My son is 7 months old and he bites me all the time as well. He has probably made me bleed 5-6 times...ouch. I tried the screem ouch thing...scares him, but then bites again. What I have been doing is showing him that I have to pump when he bites. This means that I have to pump when I would much rather feed him directly, but I think it may be working. I also pump at work so he does get a bottle then. I can always tell when he is going to bite because he looks at me differently. I just try to pay close attention to him to prevent any more bleeding.

Good luck with your little biter.

Olivia - posted on 01/22/2009




First of all, babies will go on a "nursing strike" . Its quite common. My little guy did off and on till he was about 8 mos old.

So... if she dont want to nurse, dont try and force her. Obviously she is trying to let you know, hey! you stick that thing in my mouth, I"m gonna bite" LOL. 

My advice, leave her alone until she is ready to come back to you. If she does and she still continues to bite, then you need to teach her not to.  I usually scream really loud and he'll come off  the breast as if to say " what the hell was that". And I repeat, "dont bite!"

she'll get the message.  but forcing her to nurse will only make it worst. 

Susan - posted on 01/22/2009




These are all great suggestions, for when we do return to nursing.  The main problem right now is that either due to her cold, or the teething, she won't nurse at all.  She bites at the very beginning!

Jeni - posted on 01/22/2009




I'm glad you asked this question, it hadn't even occurred to me to ask about it. My 3 month old bites quite regularly and I'm expressing to give my nipples a chance to recover - again. I'll keep some of these tips in mind for when he comes back to feeding straight from me.

Cheryl - posted on 01/22/2009




My eldest only did it a few times. What I read was when they start to bite push their face fully into your breast really quickly and then they will pull their head away. The point is to make them feel like they can't breathe for a few seconds. It totally worked with my daughter. She got the point really quickly and it was much easier than trying to break the latch while she was still biting. Hope this helps!

Serena - posted on 01/22/2009




It is often wind - they bite when they need to burp. Back arching and head-swivelling are classic symptoms. Gently put your finger in their mouth to help break their latch.

Kerry - posted on 01/22/2009




Hi, you mentioned that she has been having a bottle quite regularly, could she be getting confused between breast and bottle or even preferring the bottle? She could be biting because she is frustrated with the breast and not getting much milk initially until your let-down comes, and if she is teething she may like to bite down on the bottle and not realise this is not ok when she breastfeeds. Perhaps you could start a feed with the bottle then slip the breast in - then watch out for those biting cues that heather mentioned!

[deleted account]

I posted this question awhile ago and got some good advice that really helped me. 

I was told to first pay attention to the feeding session and see if there was a pattern so I could maybe anticipate when he would bite me.  there was! I noticed that he bit me near the end of the feeding session when he was losing interest.  Whenever he started to bite down I would do the firm "no" that you were doing and promptly end the session.  After a few times of this, he learned really fast that biting equals no milk.  I would wait 5 to ten minutes before continuing nursing. 

Brianna - posted on 01/21/2009




My mom told me once that the thing that worked the best to stop 'the bites' was to scream really loud when they do it... usually it scares them just enough that they aren't inclined to do it again.....

I haven't had this problem yet but perhaps it's worth a shot?

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