Breastfeeding Problem: Nipple Biting

You may have experienced your baby biting your nipple during breastfeeding. This is something which is experienced by many other breastfeeding moms. The bite may be quite painful and you may even scream. Many moms have discontinued breastfeeding due to increased incidence of such biting.As such, it will be useful to know how to stop and prevent nipple biting by your baby. But first let’s find out the causes of nipple biting or why babies bite nipples. There are several reasons for these and it usually happens toward the end of a breastfeeding session. Babies usually tend to doze off when they are full during breastfeeding.

And when she is falling asleep, she may also bite your nipple as she loses control of the suckling action. As such, you have to watch out the movement of your baby during breastfeeding and pull her off your breast in time. When full, she also tends to play around with your breast and nipple.

Again when your baby is kept waited when she is hungry, she may bite your nipple in irritation. Also if the baby is not getting milk from your breast, she will get agitated and bite your nipple. So if there is long gap between two breastfeeding sessions, you may first feed the baby by expressing some milk before putting her onto your breast.

Distraction may be another cause for nipple biting. When the baby’s senses begin to develop, she gets easily distracted by sounds and movements in the surrounding and may turn her head around and bite your nipple in the process.

If your baby is irritated due to conditions such as blocked nose and ear infection, this may again cause nipple biting. Lastly older babies bite when due to itchy gums when their teeth begin to appear.

Now coming to the nipple biting prevention, first you have to learn when the mouth and tongue movement of your baby when is about to bite. And when she is about to bite, you can put your little finger in her mouth. And then, remove her from your breast.

To avoid distractions, feed your baby in a silent room. Pull her off your breast before she is too full. Also, giving her a teething toy before and after breastfeeding will also prevent nipple biting.