Nursing During Teething
If you ask new moms what they aren’t looking forward to while breastfeeding, “a baby who bites” may be one of the fears you hear about most. Although biting can occur during nursing sessions, knowing the signs you should look for and how to encourage your baby not to bite are important ways to continue with a happy breastfeeding journey!
HOW CAN I PREVENT BITING?
Good question! There are many things you can do during feedings that can encourage your little one to not bite! Let's take a look at some of the things you should be doing during nursing sessions to help prevent biting:
- Give attention: Your baby might bite you if they think you aren’t paying them any attention. Use nursing sessions to cuddle your little one, speak with them gently, and to have good eye contact.
- Be mindful of boredom: Often biting occurs at the end of the feed. When a baby is no longer hungry or they are bored, they may bite to let you know. However, if you’re already paying close attention, you’ll be able to notice when they are nearing the end of their session. Go ahead and unlatch baby before the bite happens!
- Don’t force them to nurse: This goes hand-in-hand with the point about boredom. Sometimes we get caught up in what we are doing and we force our babies to nurse longer than they want. Don’t do it! If your babe is done nursing, let them be done.
- Minimize the distractions: Put on some light music, dim the lights, and allow your baby to nurse in peace. The less there is to look at or be distracted by, the less likely baby will move their head around…and drag your nipple with them!
IF your baby bites you, there are a few things you can do:
- Squeal: Really! Making a loud (and probably painful) sound will startle your babe and provide negative reinforcement. Baby will associate that the bite caused the loud noise and that will discourage them from doing it again.
- Try teething toys: Sometimes babies don’t want to nurse, but rather chew on something. Try testing to see if your babe is interested in a chewing toy first. If they are sucking the toy instead of biting it, you can try nursing instead.
HOW CAN I COMBAT THE TEETHING PAIN?
If your baby is teething, that does not mean that you have to be their chew toy! Instead, try some of the following techniques to help your little one teeth a little easier:
- Crushed ice: Put some into a clean baby sock & let your little one go to town. It might sound crazy, but the crushed ice can easily “mold” around your little one’s gums which provides relief all around the teething areas.
- Teething ring: You can find these at most stores. Pop one into the freezer and once it’s nice and cool, let your baby gnaw on it!
- Frozen wet wash cloth: Using a small wash cloth, wet one side of it. Stick the whole thing into the freezer. Once the wet part has frozen, give it to your baby. They can hold onto the unfrozen side while easily chewing on the frozen side!
Teething happens and it’s a wonderful thing! But remember, if your baby is biting you, you can easily teach them not to!
*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The content found on the BettyRuth site is not meant to replace professional medical advice.
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