Apples are for Biting: My Nipples are NOT
Updated: Aug 8, 2020
Look at this adorable little man!
And yep, see those teeth he's got there. Ryan asks, "What do you do when they start biting? Last week he drew blood." Ouch! Momma we all feel your pain.
Most babies go through a biting phase, sorry. You are in plenty of company though. BUT, why do they bite? Well, here are a few reasons.
* They get distracted and take your nipple along with their gaze at the new sound they hear or sight they see.
* They are done feeding and begin biting instead of unlatching first.
* They might be teething.
* They want to play. You know that cute little look and giggle they give you went they 'latch' on and BITE instead of nursing. Yep, good times.
Here are some tips to handle the biting phase.
1. For the distracted baby find a quiet room, limit the stimuli, and give all your quiet attention to baby. If he begins to get distracted this will allow you the space to quickly notice his behavior (hopefully) before he bites/pulls your nipple around so you can unlatch him first.
2. If he is biting because he is done nursing, unlatch him before he starts playing, ummm biting.
3. If he is teething he may actually need to bite a toy, cold teething ring, or cold towel. Offer one of these items so he can explore that need in a safe space instead of your nipple.
IF HE BITES WHILE ATTACHED- you can use your pinkie finger to break the suction at the corner of his mouth. Then remove him from your breast and with positive reinforcement let him know that biting you is NOT OK.
For example, "You may not bite me. Do you need a break to chew on a toy?" Or "I see you are distracted. We will nurse again in a minute when you are ready."
4. Babies cannot bite when their tongue is over their bottom teeth. This is the tongue's position when they nurse. IF YOU SEE YOUR BABY'S LARGE OPEN MOUTH HEADING IN FOR YOUR BREAST AND HIS TONGUE IS NOT OVER THOSE BOTTOM TEETH THEY MAY BE PREPARING TO BITE, NOT NURSE. The good part about noticing this is that you can simply talk with your baby about this and start over or wait until they are ready to nurse.
And the number one thing I see is, when baby bites and mom instinctively pulls away. Well what happens? Yep, he bites harder. I know it's counter intuitive, but between eating and breathing a baby will always choose breathing. So gently pull him into you for a hug, which will quickly press his nose into your chest and thus encourage him to release his grip.
If you are dealing with a biting nursling please know
THIS IS TEMPORARY ~ A PHASE.
It can be worked with and does NOT signal from your baby that they are ready to wean.
~I help parents co-create safe and effective sleep plans for their family.
To a Confident, Sexy, Love filled life! Kimberly Lindsay, BA, CPCC, ORSCC, IBCLC
Mental Fitness Coach for Spiritual & Creative Moms:
Who are ready to ditch their saboteurs so they can show up
as the partner, parent, and person they want to be - getting back to self and back to roots.