How To Keep Your Baby From Biting While Breastfeeding, Because Ow

Ad failed to load

Breastfeeding can be a truly meaningful journey for a mom. It can help strengthen the love and bonding between you and your baby, while providing numerous benefits to both. While breastfeeding, for the most part, is an amazing experience, it can be hard to enjoy when your little angel begins chomping down on your nipples. If your baby’s biting is getting painful, you may wonder how to keep your baby from biting while breastfeeding. You’ll need to figure out the reason for their biting first so that you can apply the appropriate strategies for prevention.

Romper asked International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) Tera Hamann, who says that says that biting is usually either a behavioral issue or a teething pain issue, but the most important thing to do is to correct the biting behavior immediately when it happens. If it is behavioral biting, she says that often a firm “no biting” is enough. “If that doesn't work,” adds Hamann, “then you may need to stop nursing in that moment and end the nursing session.”

Hamann says it can be trying when your baby is testing limits, and laughs when biting, so they need to understand that biting results in no breastfeeding. This corrective language and technique may take a while, but over time your baby should get the message that mommy is not for biting.

Ad failed to load

If the biting is due to teething, Hamann suggests using a few preemptive techniques. “If teething is suspected, you can try to treat the pain before nursing with a frozen damp washcloth to chew on, a breast milk popsicle, or if they are old enough, you could also use ibuprofen.” Beyond behavior or teething, says Hamman, you should also look at the medical aspect. If your baby is a newborn, she suggests contacting an IBCLC to diagnose something as simple as a slight position change, or as complex as a tongue tie.

If you feel like the biting is behavioral, and happens more towards the end of your nursing sessions, there are ways to prevent the biting. Kelly Mom suggested waiting to see if your baby looks bored, and look for any tension in their jaw, which could indicate they may bite. If you see this tension, the article suggested pulling your breast away and having your baby relatch, but deep enough so they can’t bite down.

Ad failed to load

If your baby is biting at the beginning of your nursing sessions, Being the Parent explained that it could be due to a poor latch, so repositioning your nipple and giving baby a deeper latch can help. The website also suggested only feeding baby when hungry, waiting for your milk to let down (baby could bite because let-down hasn’t occurred), and putting your finger in the corner of your baby’s mouth to release the latch if they begin biting.

Alternatively, if your milk let-down is too strong, explained Medela, the fast influx of milk could also cause your baby to bite down in order to slow down the supply. If this is the case, Medela recommended leaning back during breastfeeding sessions, and keeping pressure off the baby’s head, allowing them to let go and take a breath if they need to.

Ad failed to load

Nipple bites can be really painful, and may make you rightfully cautious throughout your nursing sessions. If you have any nipple injuries from your baby’s biting, Kelly Mom suggested applying ice or cold compresses, wearing a loose bra and airing out your nipples, using nipple shields, and taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen if necessary. While it may make you a little anxious, just know that with the right techniques, you can curb the bite, and go back to enjoying that mama and baby connection.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Ad failed to load

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

13 Unique (& Totally Not Mainstream) Mother's Day Gifts For The Hipster Mom

Hipsters thrive on being outside the norm and not really digging anything considered "mainstream." Whether it's in their fashion, what music they listen to, the books they read, or how they enjoy beverages, there's just something that makes them dist…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills