My breastfed baby is biting. What do I do?

🦷 One concern when breastfeeding longer than 6 months is teeth for the fear of biting. When a baby is latched well, they physically cannot bite. The tongue covers the lower teeth while breastfeeding. Biting usually happens toward the end of the feeding as baby slides down the nipple, when falling asleep at the breast, or occasionally intentionally either from exploration, trying to change flow rate of milk, or behaviorally to Get a reaction out of you. Here’s some tips and tricks to navigate that time:

🦷 Most first bites can be combination of baby discovering they have a mouth as well as seeking comfort during teething
🦷 How you react that first time can really help to dictate baby’s reaction and if they’ll do it again.
😬Instead of yelling, overreacting or doing anything that baby may mistake for a game, unlatch, make eye contact and calmly tell baby how that hurt. Your baby will understand. Keep your tone neutral but firm
😬 If baby does it again, stop feeding. Just for a couple minutes. Try distracting them with a toy or play and then try again.
🦷 If you think baby is actively teething, give plenty of opportunity to chew on toys between feedings. Stay on top of pain management so they don’t use you as a teether
🩹Camilla and arnica are great natural pain remedies, as are products like Gum-Omile which is clove oil based. It is natural and can be used frequently and does a great job of numbing the gums
🦷 If baby shark gets to be too much, offer a bottle and see if baby will behave the next feeding
🦷 A nipple shield can protect your nipple and heal any damage if your little is ok nursing with one

Usually baby won’t intentionally bite to hurt you. Figure out when your baby is biting (usually at the end of the feeding when falling asleep or when in pain from teething) and try to unlatch before they bite. You’ve got this.