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Ouch! BFing a teething infant.

  • How do you deal with an infant who is teething and breastfeedng? My son has this -- er, painful -- habit of biting down while BFing and it is just horrible. I involuntarily yelp and he just looks at me. How do I let him know that this is NOT cool?
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by KC on 13th March 2008
  • Ooh, yowchy. My daughter had about every other annoying habit while BFing (like pinching. hard) but has only bitten down a couple times. Both times I went "yiiiiii" very loudly and immediately popped her off, releasing her latch with my finger. Then we'd start over. I guess different things work for different people, but I guess my logic is they need to know it's not a good thing. Biting down = BF session is over!

    Good luck and let us know what works for you.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Diane on 13th March 2008
  • I must have missed this post when if first came up. When does he tend to bite? Is it when he is drifting off? Or is it more playful? Or due to frustration and pain on his part?

    Most often, babies bite as they fall asleep. In that case, you could try to pull him closer to cover his nose, so that he lets go right away.

    If it's for other reasons like that he's playing or using you as a teether, I agree with Diane, you have to set a boundary. This might be baby's first lesson in discipline. Babyjama was doing this for a little while. She would bite down and then laugh when I said no. So I would put her down and tell her that Mama wasn't nursing her if she was going to bite. You don't have to put them down for very long to get the message across. She got the message after a couple of days.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mamajama on 15th March 2008
  • Thanks, Diane and Mamajama! I think he's using my breast as a teether, because it tends to occur often during these times. I will delatch him to make the point that this is a no no!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by KC on 15th March 2008
  • All very good suggestions that are proven to work.

    When my daughters were teething, I would also hand them something that they could bite down on.

    So I would detatch the baby when she bit, and as I did, I would say "No, don't bite mama". Then hand her the teether and say "This you can bite". It worked for us, they learned very quickly.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by MAC on 22nd May 2008
  • You should just unlatch when your baby does that. Say, "no, that hurts mama" That usually does the trick! :)
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by newmommy08 on 29th October 2009

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