What To Know About Biting During Breastfeeding — and How to Cope

What Is A Baby Bite?

A baby bite is a painful bite wound inflicted upon the face or body of a mother during feeding. It usually occurs when the infant latches onto her face with its mouth open and begins sucking at her lips. Sometimes it happens during sleep time too. Some mothers don’t even realize they have been bitten, but others do recognize them immediately after they happen. If you are bitten, it will hurt like hell. You may feel dizzy, nauseous, faint and even vomit. You might not be able to feed your child properly due to pain.

How Do I Stop My Baby From Biting Me While Nursing?

You need to learn how to stop baby from biting while nursing. There are several ways to do so. Here are some tips:

1) Try to keep your chin up and try not to let baby latch on to you.

2) Don’t make any sudden movements while nursing your baby.

(Don’t move away from him/her either.)

3) Never leave the room where you are feeding your baby unless absolutely necessary.

(For example if there is another person in the house or if you see a knife lying nearby).

4) If you do need to get up and leave the room, try to make some sort of noise so that your baby will not latch on to you suddenly and painfully.

(Say something like “I’m leaving now” out loud to your child before exiting the room.)

5) Never allow anyone else to help you feed your baby unless they have been trained how to, as they might not know how to safely help you.

6) If you feel like your baby is about to bite you, try to physically pull your face away from the baby’s mouth.

(Try not to panic while doing this.)

7) If you are having a hard time remembering everything, try writing a list on a piece of paper.

(Make sure to add anything else you might think of later.)

8) Try using some grippy nursing pads or even make use of a nursing scarf.

These will help to keep your baby from being able to reach your skin with his/her mouth.

9) If none of these tips work for you, then you might want to consider weaning altogether from breastfeeding.

(Make sure you have checked with a doctor before doing so however.)

What Are Some Other Remedies That Help With Baby Bites?

If none of the tips above are working for you, then there are still other things that you can do. You can speak with a doctor or Lactation consultant for some additional guidance. Here are some other remedies you can try:

1) Try to keep your baby calm before attempting to feed him or her.

This can be done by gently rocking them in your arms, singing to them or patting their back.

2) Try to feed your baby when they are not too hungry.

If they are too hungry they may get too impatient and try to bite you.

3) Make sure your baby is swallowing enough of your milk.

If the flow of your milk is low, they will become frustrated and more likely to bite. (You could try massaging or hand expressing some of the milk to let down.)

4) Try to nurse in a quiet, dark area where there is little distraction.

Sources & references used in this article:

Effect of counseling program on early postpartum breast feeding by nursery mother by A Ahmed, N Mohamed, T Mahmmed – International Journal of …, 2016 – researchgate.net

The Nursing Mother’s Companion, with New Illustrations: The Breastfeeding Book Mothers Trust, from Pregnancy Through Weaning by H Harrison, A Kositsky – 1983 – Macmillan

Exploring women’s perceptions of pain when breastfeeding using online methods by K Huggins – 2017 – books.google.com

Daily coping strategies for patients and their families by L Caes, K Abbott, S Currie – 2019 – researchsquare.com

What You Need To Know About MRSA and Breastfeeding by A Muñoz-Furlong – Pediatrics, 2003 – Am Acad Pediatrics

A new bit on toddler biting: The influence of food, oral motor development, and sensory activities by WIMRS Aureus – blog.euphoricherbals.com