Many new mothers tell me that they plan to nurse their babies
for six months, or until they get teeth. With the AAP (American
Academy of Pediatrics) now recommending nursing for at least
a year, it makes sense to reexamine our ideas about breastfeeding
babies with teeth. I have had two babies out of six who got
teeth at four months, so if I had weaned them at that stage,
they wouldnít have been able to nurse for long at all. And yes,
I have been bitten a few times. The most memorable time was
right in the middle of a breastfeeding class. I was trying to
get my squirmy seven month old to settle down and be still while
I was teaching, and I absentmindedly tried to get him to nurse
without really looking at him. Apparently he decided that he
wasn't getting nearly enough attention, and besides, he didn't
really want to nurse right then. He chomped down hard and I
jumped about three feet off the chair. The mothers in the class
got to see a vivid visual demonstration of biting, and I never
tried to nurse him without paying attention to his signals again.
He went on to nurse for years and never bit me again.
babies never ever bite at all, and most who try it once or twice
usually respond to your startled reaction by never doing it
again. I realize that we're talking about a very sensitive portion
of your anatomy here, and that getting bitten even once is one
time too many! However, biting is rarely more than a very short-term
problem, and I can honestly say that in nearly 25 years of working
with nursing moms, I have never known of a single case of a
baby actually biting a nipple off completely. Now, don't you
feel better about the whole thing?
some babies, it is a little harder to break the biting habit,
but all babies, no matter how old, can learn not to bite.
baby who is latched on and nursing properly cannot bite the
breast. If the nipple is positioned far back in his mouth, and
his lips and gums are positioned about an inch behind the nipple
on the areola, then his tongue will cover his gums, between
his lower teeth and your breast. If he is actively nursing,
he canít bite Ė and if he is biting, he canít be actively nursing
at the same time.
babies bite because they are frustrated: their gums hurt, they
are tired and fighting sleep, they're bored,or they are upset
about something. They also bite because they think it's a funny
thing to do - they'll chomp down and then grin at you. They
think they're playing a new game, and get their little feelings
hurt when you make it clear that you don't find it at all amusing.
are some tips on how to prevent biting: