How can I keep nursing her when she bites?!?!

Sarah - posted on 12/30/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )




My baby is just now 7 months old. She got her first two teeth when she was 4 months old. It wasn't a problem at first because she honestly didn't know what to do with her teeth. Every once in awhile she would nip, but it was pretty apparent that it was unintentional on her part. Now she bites quite a bit. I tried all the suggestions from Kellymom, etc. about not reacting, pinching her nose for a second so she will let go and so on. That did the trick for a couple of weeks, but now she is back at it. It's hard because my nipples have become sore and even feeding her has become painful. I really don't want to wean her yet, I was planning on feeding her until 12 months like her brother, but I don't see any way around it. Does anyone have any suggestions? And if weaning really is the answer, how do I go about it? Her brother pretty much self weaned, so I'm not sure how to do it myself. Any help would be appreciated!


Nicole - posted on 12/31/2010




I have 3 children and they all bit me at times. I know this seems cruel but it works, when ever they bit l would unattach the baby and say firmly no biting and put him/her on the floor. Yes the poor baby cried and l would pick him/her up saying no biting mummy and continue feeding after a few minutes. I only ever had to do this a few times for each child before they got the message!!

Mary Renee - posted on 12/31/2010




I'm same as you and my daughter is also 7 months, will be 8 months in about a week.

The first time she does it I jump a little, which scares her. I let her do it one time because it might be an accident. If she does it again less than two minutes after the first time I take her off my boob and hold her upright in my lap and don't let her nurse. Sometimes I think she bites because she's had enough or isn't hungry enough since she isn't really concentrating on eating and is just "playing." She's also started this thing where she likes to grab my other nipple (the one she isn't nursing from) while she nurses! Ow!

So I just take her off. If she's still hungry, I'll let her back on in five minutes or so to let her try again but if she bites again I take her off and get up from where I was sitting and change our activity and location completely to let her know "Ok, we're done nursing. If you're still hungry and you want to nurse - nurse, but if you want to bite we're not going to do that." It seems to be working.

Meagan - posted on 12/30/2010




ooh - I remember that with my first son. Soooo frustrating. When I noticed he only did it when teeth were actually coming in, it made it a little more bearable. He would do it for a few days then stop. Then he'd pick it back up again. If she is teething, you might try tylenol. It will cover her most of the day and it might help. Teethers throughout the day might help with the urge to bite too. Hope that helps :/


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Sarah - posted on 01/03/2011




Everyone thank you so much! It's been a bit of a struggle, my milk supply went down for a few days because I was trying to let my sore nipple heal. I've been trying some of the things you've been suggesting, and she really has not bit much more at all. I think the teething rings have helped a lot, as well as sitting her up and telling her no when she does it. I will keep nursing her as long as she is making progress. I really am grateful for all of your help. I cried when I thought I might have to give up nursing her! But now I know that we don't have to stop breastfeeding.

Nicole - posted on 01/02/2011




I did the no and put down too but my son was almost a year old. Does she do it at the end of a feed bc I would just remove her before she does bite if that is the case? Hang in there I was remembering the pain of a bite while reading. It will get better!

Barb - posted on 01/01/2011




My son also cut his first two teeth at four months. I found that the best advice that I was given was to place him gently on the floor after he bit me. He only did it a few times as he quickly learnt that biting meant no food for a minute or so. I let him get away with it a bit during his night feeds when he was very sleepy and bit accidently.
All the very best. I am glad that I persisted as I managed to nurse until he was 15 months old.
When I weaned, I just began by cutting down breastfeeds and replacing with cows milk. for example he was happy to not breastfeed during the day, and only wanted breast at night and first thing in the morning. I then slowly cut a feed every few days.

All the best of luck.
PS some people gave me advice to just tap/flick him on his nose with a finger as soon as he bites, but I dont believe that hitting a BABY!! is the right thing.

Bronwyn - posted on 01/01/2011




I'm with Nicole. When my son began biting while feeding, I stopped the feeding immediately every single time. I would then resume the feeding after a couple of minutes. He quickly got the picture and hasn't bitten me since.

Jessica - posted on 01/01/2011




I used to sense that she was gonna bite me and had my little finger ready near her cheek.. if she actually started to bite I would slip my finger in the side of her mouth and unlatch her, say a firm "no biting" and carry on feeding. i would repeat it as she would always try again. After only probably 3 different days of trying to bite she got the message and hasnt done it for a long time. The first bite hurt so much I thought this cannot happen again!! good luck

Shannon - posted on 12/31/2010




I agree with Nicole stop feeding and say no. do not cause pain to your baby they will asociate it with breastfeeding and not want to bf any longer.

Kelly - posted on 12/31/2010




well i know this is gonna sound bad but my pediatrician told me to and it worked everytime my baby bit me while nursing I flicked her on the forhead or the ear not very hard she would stop look at me and keep nursing after a day or two she stopped hasnt bit me since

Jessie - posted on 12/31/2010




sounds like new teeth coming. perhaps she could have thrush in her mouth and it is making her mouth sore causing her to bite. even if you cant see white spots in the mouth they can sometimes have sore thrush spots (my son did and we didnt realize it until he also got a yeast infection in his diaper area and I got yeast/thrush in my breast). Just an idea. Whenever my son bit I just take him off the breast and set him down a bit away from me and tell him that biting is a no-no. he would get the hint and continue to 'nurse nice'. I don't know if it will work out for you at her age as my son was 11 months when he got teeth but it did the trick for us.

Sarah - posted on 12/31/2010




Thank you guys so much for the encouragement. She hasn't drawn blood yet (OUCH!) and if I know this thing will probably just be cyclical, it will be easier for me to handle. Thank you Meagan for the tip about tylenol and teethers. I will try it and see if it helps.

Sarah - posted on 12/30/2010




It's very likely that she's going through another teething stage. When I used the Kellymom suggestions they worked well and I thought we were over it and then last week it started again. It is really frustrating to me because I've been through a lot of bf complications, but we've always been able to overcome them.

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The suggestions from kellymom worked for us, but my daughter went through a few biting phases. I would keep being consistent about it. I know it's tough. My daughter drew blood twice, but each biting phase ended after a week or so.

Janice - posted on 12/30/2010




My daughter always bites when latching when a new tooth is coming in - her 12th just came through so I feel your pain. How long has this been occurring? Maybe you try to deal a little bit longer. I know its hard to try in nurse in pain or fear of the pain, but maybe it will be a short phase. At 14mo. my daughter only nurses 2x a day but I have dealt with daily biting for up to 10 days. But she did stop and I'm glad I pushed through. I wish I had more advice. I hope it works out for you two!

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