Worried about being bitten – ways to respond if baby starts biting while breastfeeding?
Are you breastfeeding your new-born but a little worried about what will happen when your baby starts getting teeth? You don’t need to stop breastfeeding once your child has teeth because generally, they won’t actually ever bite you.
If your baby does bite you, it could be because they have gotten distracted and don’t realise what they are doing, they could have fallen asleep or use it to signal they are done with their feed. Regardless of the reasons why they do it, it is not nice to have your breast chomped on. So, what can you do?
- It can be painful when your baby bites you but try to not shout out or make a sudden sound because your will get a fright or be interested to see if he can get a reaction again. Instead say “No” firmly as soon as they bite.
- If they continue to bite, remove them from your breast and place them in their cot, on the floor or next to you. They need to learn to associate biting with the removal of your breast.
- Focus on signs that he is finished, so you can remove him as soon as he has had enough and take him off your breast if he is falling asleep.
- If you have an older child who is biting focus on praising them when they do not bite with lots of positive affirmations and physical affection.
- It could be an attention-seeking activity so during feeding, talk to your baby, make eye contact and engage with them.
- You could also try to feed in a different position.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure that it is an age-appropriate response, so that your child will be able to respond positively.
If you do not address the biting from the first time your child, does it, it can become a regular occurrence which will make feeding uncomfortable and painful for you as the mother, so you need to try stop the behaviour before it begins.