Breast-feeding is an amazing experience. Through it, mother-baby bound is formed and strengthen. However, there are various problems encountered by nursing mothers. One of the most common is baby bites.
Why Baby Bites while Breast-feeding
At the aged of 6 to 7 month, baby’s teeth start to grow. Most of the time, growing teeth causes pain and disturbances. Soothing pain on baby’s gum while her teeth start to grow is the common reason why baby starts to bite while breastfed. As to mothers, these bites makes breast-feeding disturbingly painful. Baby might bite or pinch the nipples that cause painful surprise. Some mothers even decide to stop breast-feeding, which can be too early if the baby is having teeth very young. More surprisingly though, baby also bites to communicate and to get mother’s attention.
What Can I do to Make my Baby Stop Biting while Breastfed
Although some experts argue that baby bite to show affection, this is somehow an irritating disturbance to intimate breast-feeding. Some of these ways might lessen your baby biting habit.
As breast-feeding is usually an intimate, relaxed mother-baby activity, a sudden bite might lead to an unexpected exclaiming reaction. It is very common and reasonably normal when you scream ouch! after getting bitten. However, this kind of reaction might surprise your baby. Babies would immediately stop breast-feed and won’t start again for few days as the response to your shriek. Hence, it is good for you to prepare yourself to realize that you may get bitten some time during the feeding. You might want to learn the time when your baby usually starts biting. This can help you get prepared and respond more calmly when your baby does bite.
Stop breast-feeding before your baby gets too full
When breast-feeding, you need to pay attention to your baby. You need to feel her sucks. You need to understand her rhythm, so that when you lose this rhythm you will realize that it is the time to stop feeding. When their stomach is full, babies tend to sleep while breastfed and can accidentally bite your nipple, so you need to make sure to stop before she falls asleep.
Push your baby closer to you
Biting while breast-feeding can also be caused by incorrect position of latching on. When breast-feeding, make sure that your baby suck your breast, not your nipple. It will minimize the possibility for her to bite the nipple because her mouth are wide-open.
Talk to your baby
Although she might not understand your words yet, trying to talk to your baby may prevent her from biting your nipple. When you talk to help, she puts her attention to you, not to the discomforts on her first teeth. Make sure you have enough talks and eye contact with your baby while feeding.
Prevent possible noise when breast-feeding
Starting the age of 6 month, baby will get quite sensitive to noises. When she is distracted by some noise, she might react by accidentally close her jaws, and thus, bites your nipple. Be sure you feed your baby in a comfortable, quiet spot to make sure she is relaxed and not easily-distracted.
Give something else to bite
Before feeding, you can give your baby a teething toy to bite on. While breast-feeding, put your finger near her mouth, so that when she starts biting you can immediately insert the finger. This will prevent her from biting your nipple. After feeding, you can once again give her the teething toy to calm the soothing pain she might feel on her gum.
Put your baby down when she bites
When your baby start to bite, putting her down might give her a clue that biting is not acceptable. Put her down calmly not to intimidate her. Soon enough, your baby will learn to stop biting because it is associated to being stopped fed.
Do not let baby bites stop you from feeding, because breast milk contains all the nutrients that baby needs to get until they are 2-year old. Be sure that you can cooperate with your baby to get a relaxing breast-feeding moment.