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Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

Common Breastfeeding Problems: Biting While Teething

Common Breastfeeding Problems: Biting While Teething #nursing #breastfeeding #problemsBreastfeeding is a beautiful act that encourages bonding, provides the best nutrition, and supplies comfort to a small child who depends on his mother to care for his every need. This doesn’t mean that it is without its disadvantages. One of the more common breastfeeding problems occurs when baby begins to teethe: biting.

Many people believe that it is at this point that a woman should begin to wean her child. After all, who really wants to be bitten in such a sensitive area? It hurts! However, there are some things that you can do to discourage and prevent your child from chomping down on your breasts so that you don’t have to give up nursing.

It’s important to remember that your baby isn’t intending to hurt you. He is just relieving his own discomfort in a way that seems natural to him–by chewing. When teething, babies will drool, become fussy, and gnaw on nearly anything that they can put in their mouths. Since they must have your breast in their mouth to feed, there is a strong chance that you will experience this jolting nip at least once during your breastfeeding relationship.

Common Breastfeeding Problems: How to Resolve Biting While Teething

  • Ensure that baby has a proper latch while feeding. If your child is latched on correctly, it is physically impossible for them to bite down. When it is time to nurse, check to see that they have their mouth open wide and that the nipple goes back far. A shallow latch will make it easier for them to get in that bite.
  • When baby is full, remove him from the breast. When little tummies have had their fill, babies may “play” with the nipple. While this isn’t necessarily bad, it could encourage them to chew if their gums are sore.
  • Eliminate distraction. If people or things going on around you while you are trying to breastfeed cause your child to lose their focus on feeding, then remove yourself from the area. Find somewhere calm and quiet to nurse. Dim lights if you must. Some babies are more easily distracted than others.
  • Build your supply. If for some reason you are not producing enough breast milk, your baby could be biting out of frustration. Some babies are also impatient for letdown so ensuring an adequate supply is necessary for biting prevention.
  • Remove from breast. In an effort to teach your child that biting is inappropriate, whenever it happens, immediately remove them from your breast and firmly, but not harshly, say, “No biting.” To remove them, pull their body and head in towards yourself. This makes it slightly more difficult for them to breathe, so they will naturally open their mouth and release. If this doesn’t work, use a finger to break the suction by inserting it into the corner of their mouths. NEVER pull your breast out without doing one of those two things.  This can cause more injury! If you do this every time you are bitten, Baby will learn that it is no fun to have their nursing session interrupted and will stop biting.
  • Provide sufficient teething toys. When not suckling, make sure that Baby has things to chew on to relieve the agitation that they feel. You can also utilize frozen teething toys or pops designed for babies to provide relief. One of my favorite ways to relieve teething pain is to use Hyland’s Teething Tablets.

If the skin is broken during a bite, there are ways to help you heal. Apply some of your breast milk to the sores and allow to air dry. You can also apply some lanolin in between feelings.

Lastly, remember that this is only a phase. This too shall pass and you can continue to have a long and healthy breastfeeding experience.

Do you have any other solutions for biting while teething?

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Dusty is a stay at home, homeschooling mother of four and has been married to the love of her life,  a Southern gentleman, for 8 years.  She is trying to find her own path in this great wide world while devouring chocolate and leaning on the Lord.  She blogs about homeschooling, homemaking, motherhood and faith at To the Moon and Back.


  1. When i began breastfeeding and mentioned my worry about biting as my son began to teeth, the one person in my family who also had breastfed told me she smacked her daughter on her leg when she bit and it stopped her from doing it again. This didn’t resonate with me as I’m not much for the idea of smacking a child or any other punishment before they are old enough to understand that they’ve done something at all wrong – plus biting is instinctual.
    My son’s teeth came through, two on bottom followed by four coming in all at once on top (that was a fun time). He did bite me, and oh did it hurt. I yowled at the unexpected pain and my cry of pain caused him to cry. I felt bad for scaring him and spent some time soothing him. The cry of pain did have an unexpected effect – he didn’t bite me again. I suppose I scared him enough that he doesn’t want to test that maneuver. I don’t recommend this method however and I am careful to have teething toys around him frequently when signs of teething are present (he’s especially fond of a cold, damp rag).
    Love this article.
    I wanted to add that they might bite if they can’t breathe properly like when they have a stuffy nose, I’ve had friends who had this problem but thankfully have avoided it this first year.

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