Teething And Biting
Some mothers breastfeed if they think the teething is imminent. But breastfeeding is also normal and natural at this stage. Teething starts with each child at very different times. In general, the first tooth breaks through at about six months, but many babies remain toothless much longer, others are born with teeth. The natural food of a baby in the first year of life is milk . Many breastfed children already have teeth, most do not bite their mothers.
In fact, it is not possible for a baby to bite with the first two teeth that appear in the lower jaw, because its tongue covers the lower jaw while it sucks on the chest. So to bite it would have to pull back its tongue – it can not do that while it sucks.
If several teeth break through, your child may want to bite on something to help the pain in the jawto reduce. You could give him a chilled teething ring before or after breastfeeding. An edible gel can relieve the pain, but do not use it before a nursing meal, because it can both numb your child’s tongue and your areola (the dark areola around your nipple), and that makes breastfeeding difficult for both of you. Some dental gels can also irritate the sensitive nipple skin.
When It Bites For The First Time
Freshly broken teeth are sharp, and you’ll probably scream in pain as your baby chews on the breast or holds the nipple with it! This reaction could scare your child so much that it no longer does that. But some children are so frightened by a violent reaction that they no longer want to drink at the breast. The most common reaction, however, is that your baby is surprised and curious as to whether it can cause the same reaction when it bites again – a bit like a toy with a push button or a rattle. When that happens, try to stay calm, but stop breastfeeding, make eye contact, and articulate a clear “no.”
If The Biting Lasts
There’s no reason to stop that, unless they want it. If you are aware of the reasons for using it (see also below: Other reasons why your child bites) and its need for bite in other ways, this problem is likely to be swift. Most mothers still find breastfeeding a positive experience when the biting episodes are over.
Other Reasons Why Your Child Bites
- Pain If your baby is teething , or if it has thrush or inflammation in the mouth, then breastfeeding may remind you that it has pain in the mouth and even worsens it. Occasionally a child bites out of a sudden sensation of pain somewhere in his body. Biting your teeth is a human reaction to pain. Your child does not want to hurt you, but only reacts instinctively to his pain.
- Disappointment Maybe the milk flow does not start fast enough. This can happen if you are sad or distracted. Maybe your milk production has dropped, especially if you change your diet and breastfeed less. If you think that may be the reason for the biting, then try to stimulate the milk flow before breastfeeding. You can do that by pumping a small amount of milk by hand before breastfeeding .
- Biting out of boredom Older babies sometimes bite because at the moment they are not really interested in breastfeeding. So, if your baby bites after playing with his chest, it’s better to skip the comfy and cuddly nursing meals until the biting phase is over.
- The taste of the milk has changed A hormone change after ovulation, during the period or if you breastfeed during a new pregnancy, can change the taste of the milk. It rarely happens that the taste of milk changes when you have had physical exertions, have an infection or simply because you have eaten something else.
- Falling asleep Some babies bite at the end of a nursing meal when they fall asleep. Watch for the slowing of his jaw movements and remove it from the chest before it dries.
- Distraction Some children like to keep the nipple in their mouths when distracted and turning their heads. Then have your finger ready to stop sucking as soon as possible if it wants to turn its head (see also below, if it just wants to bite).
- Attracting attention Biting may also be related to the baby wanting your attention. To solve the problem, focus on your baby during breastfeeding – keep eye contact, pet it, and talk to him. Then you will not miss, if it wants to bite.
- Stress Biting is often associated with false tension (for example in the jaw but also in the whole body). One method of counteracting this is rota therapy. Their goal is to provide long-term improvement through physical exercises on the mother’s lap and various other elements.
If It Just Wants To Bite
If it seems that your baby is about to bite you, put your little finger in the corner of his mouth and between the gums. Then it bites your finger rather than your bite. Do not pull it off the chest if it bites – it will only hurt you. Pay attention to the closing movement of his jaw before it bites, and then quickly remove it from the chest. You may need to switch to shorter breastfeeding until this phase is over.
Ways To Dissuade Your Child From Biting
- Say “no”, look him in the eyes with displeasure and stop the nursing meal, and your child must learn that biting means breast loss – most children will not like this separation.
- If it continues, discard it immediately after biting for some time.
- React positively to a frequent biter if it does not bite: cuddling, kisses and praise can help here.
- If you think it wants to get your attention, then give it to them throughout the nursing phase.
- Learn to recognize when it is full.
- Do not breastfeed if your child is not really hungry.
- Remove it from the chest when it falls asleep.
- Give him a teething toy before and after breastfeeding.