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Biting me!

Posted by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 4:21 PM
  • 3 Replies

My dd is 15 months old.  Here in the last couple days she has started biting me!  She only has 2 teeth, with a 3rd on on top poking through but it still hurts.  When she does it, i take her off and tell her "no biting."  When i latch her back on she will nurse for maybe 2 seconds and bite me again!  I then tell her "no more boobie if you can't be nice."  lol   I do tell her no each time.  I give her 2 tries and that's it.  i tried giving more but she just keeps biting.   I feel like she doesn't want to nurse or something!   Not sure what to do?

Does this sound normal ?  should i try a different approach?


by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 4:21 PM
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by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 4:34 PM

I would try taking the boob away the first time she bites during a feeding and keep telling her "no bitting". That way she knows if I want to nurse I have to be nice. Here is info from kellymom- I hope it helps!

Ways to PREVENT biting

  1. Biting at the end of a nursing session: Biting often takes place at the end of a nursing session when baby is getting bored and is no longer hungry. If you start to have a biting problem, watch for signs of boredom, and take baby from the breast before the biting starts. Also, watch for tension in baby’s jaw before he starts to bite down. He may also pull his tongue back from it’s normal position over the lower gum/teeth.
  2. When baby is teething: Biting can also be brought on by teething. If baby seems to be teething rather than wanting to nurse, offer her a teething toy or something cold to bite (instead of you). Offer baby a teething toy after a bite or “near miss.” When you do this, tell her, “This is for biting. Be gentle when you nurse.” See also these comfort measures for teething.
  3. When my oldest was teething, I could tell whether my baby felt like biting or nursing by offering her a finger (careful!) or a toy before nursing – she would either suck or bite.
  4. Biting at the beginning of a nursing session: If baby is biting at the beginning of a nursing session, make sure baby opens wide when latching on. If your teething baby is biting at the beginning of a nursing session, try giving her a teething toy or something cold to chew on before nursing. Praise baby when she latches on correctly, without biting.
  5. Distracted baby: When baby is distracted, don’t force a nursing. If he’s wriggling, rolling, or pushing against you with his arms, he may not be hungry or interested in nursing. Try lying down with him in a quiet room, walking or rocking. See also these tips for nursing distracted babies.
  6. Biting for attention: Focus your attention on your baby while nursing, if you’re having a problem with biting. Some older babies will bite for attention. Paying attention will also help you to be aware of when baby is about to bite.
Use positive reinforcement and praise for good latch on and careful unlatching. Even the youngest babies can learn to nurse properly when mom uses gentle encouragement.

What do I do if baby bites me?

If baby bites, it can be very effective to calmly remove baby from the breast and say nothing (or perhaps make a calm comment like “oh? don’t want to nurse right now?”), then end the nursing session for a bit.

Stopping the nursing session is generally the most effective way to teach baby that nursing and biting do not go together. Once baby lets go, remove her from the breast for a bit – it may be a few seconds or a few minutes (this is something where you’ll need to gauge your own baby’s reaction). If baby is teething (which is often the cause of biting), this is a good time to hand baby something cold to chew on, a teething toy, etc. You might tell baby something along the lines of, “if you want to bite, we’re not nursing.” If baby really wants to keep nursing, she may get upset when you end the nursing session, at which point you can wait a few moments then give baby another chance to nurse. If baby is not interested in nursing, she might fuss a few seconds but then go on to something else.

If baby bites, it’s not a good idea to scream or yell on purpose as a method to stop biting — there are better ways to teach baby not to bite. Sometimes, of course, it’s impossible not to yell in pain if baby catches you by surprise and/or bites hard. Sometimes yelling does stop baby from biting again; however, some babies think it’s so funny that they continue to bite for the reaction, and other babies are so scared that they go on a nursing strike. The chance that this method will stop baby biting is simply not worth the problems it can cause.

If your baby bites down and doesn’t let go (most let go immediately without mom doing anything), there are a couple of things you can do: First, quickly place your finger between baby’s gums so you can pull away without (more) injury. If that doesn’t work, pull baby TOWARD you, very close to your breast. This will make it a little hard to breathe, so baby will automatically let go to open her mouth more and uncover her nose to breathe. A variation of this that some moms use is to gently pinch baby’s nose closed for just a second to get her to open her mouth and release the nipple.

Suggestions from other moms

“A baby cannot suck for milk and bite simultaneously. When I start to nurse my son, I watch him intently. As soon as he stops sucking, I take him off the breast and talk to him gently for a minute before I let him resume.”

“My baby had two reasons for biting: either he was not hungry or not interested in nursing – he was distracted or bored. I switch sides during a feeding or move to a different chair or position.”

“What worked best for me was to be very vigilant during nursing sessions – no more reading magazines or watching TV. By watching carefully, I could tell when my son was beginning to lose interest, and I could remove him from the breast.”

“My baby begin biting when I became pregnant with my second child (even before I realized I was pregnant). I’m not sure why – perhaps my milk supply had already decreased due to the pregnancy.”

“The time when I yelled out in pain, it scared my daughter pretty badly (though not into a nursing strike). The few times that she bit after that, I just gritted my teeth and calmly said “no bite – that hurts Mama!” When my son tried biting, I found it was just as effective to say nothing (or perhaps make a calm comment like “oh? don’t want to nurse right now?”), then calmly remove him from the breast for a bit.”

“Be sure you don’t use any teething gels or lotions just prior to breastfeeding, since it can numb the baby’s tongue, and even your nipple & areola, making it difficult for baby to breastfeed.”

“If you think your baby may have pain from the teething ask your doctor about using a baby pain reliever (like Tylenol) 1/2 hour before nursing.”

by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 4:43 PM
My dd does that too just set her down say no biting and wait a little bit. either she's hungry and she'll stay next to you waiting to nurse or she's just checking to make sure it's still there and she'll get busy with something till she's actually hungry. :) My dd is 18 months and usually only bites when she's bored or teething
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by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Try to learn to redact when baby s going to bite and take her off before she can. Baby cannot bite while actively nursing as her tongue covers her bottom teeth. Watch for her to stop actively nursing and slip your finger in and take her off. You don't need to say anything or react in any way (sometimes that is just entertaining for baby), just take her off.

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