Wednesday, December 7, 2011

When Your Baby Becomes A Vampire! What To Do About Teething Nursing Babies

Well, mom, you’ve just touched upon one of the ouchiest parts of nursing! Some babies begin to bite the breast during nursing when teething. This can be extraordinarily uncomfortable for mom and potentially dissuade mom from continuing to nurse. Babies engage in this biting behavior because the pressure of biting (on a teething ring, on a finger, or—unfortunately—on a nipple!) reduces the inflammatory pain associated with tooth eruption. It’s a tricky situation—you want baby to nurse as usual, but the biting just doesn’t fly!

I would suggest taking the following steps:
  1. Have your baby unlatch if she bites. Gently place your finger within the suck, and disengage the mouth from your nipple.
  2. Substitute a cold teething ring immediately.
  3. Put her back on the breast and if she bites again…
  4. Repeat!
This simple behavioral modification technique teaches baby that biting does not equal milk. Fortunately, this activity will cease over time once the acute inflammation from the tooth eruption ceases. If the above steps do not work for you, pump your milk for that temporary period, and feed baby with a bottle.