So, breastfeeding is going smoothly for you and baby and all is well. Until one day you feel a sharp pinch and notice baby’s gums are getting tougher. Baby’s first tooth is coming through! What now?
How can you breastfeed a baby with teeth? Doesn’t it hurt?
You absolutely can continue to breastfeed your baby during the teething process if you choose. Just like before the baby started teething, a good latch should not hurt. The mother’s nipple actually goes to the very back of the baby’s mouth; therefore, the most sensitive part of mom is nowhere near the baby’s teeth while nursing.
Will my baby bite me?
Probably, yes. And it does hurt. Remember, biting down on something helps babies to relieve their teething pain. You just have to train them to bite a teething toy or something other than you.
What should I do if my baby bites me during breastfeeding?
Get your baby’s attention and tell them no. Be firm and repetitive so that they get the connection that biting is not good. At first, my daughter would pinch me or bite down and look up at me and giggle. I had to continue telling her, “no, don’t bite.”
What if baby keeps biting?
If baby is not listening, stop the breastfeeding session. The baby will cry and be upset, but eventually they will get the message to stop biting. There were a couple of times that I had to give my nipples a rest and give my daughter expressed milk in a bottle if she still seemed hungry.
Any other advice?
Sometimes babies will bite if they are distracted while nursing. It may help to breastfeed in a calm, quiet place so that your baby can focus on eating. Also, babies may bite if they are not truly hungry and just want to play. If that is the case, just take the baby away from the breast and move them on to another activity.
In my experience, getting the first four teeth was the roughest time. Each time a new tooth came in, it’s as if my daughter had to learn how to adjust her mouth for nursing. Like all things, teething/biting during breastfeeding is just a phase that will pass. And you can continue to breastfeed though it.
Do you have any advice or experience on how to handle breastfeeding while teething? Please share.