Many mothers are always at a loss for what to do when their baby starts using their teeth while breastfeeding. However, there is no need for panic since baby bites during the nursing window are quite common. Understanding the reasons why your baby bites during breastfeeding is essential to prevent further episodes. Here is a brief guide on why babies bite and the possible measures you can take to keep your loved one in check.
Reasons Your Baby Bites While Breastfeeding
Babies bite for a whole lot of reasons, however, teething debuts at the top position. Teething can be a painful and uncomfortable situation for your little one due to sore and swollen gums. Usually, babies will try biting as a way of easing the pain.
Furthermore, distractions can also cause your baby to bite. This is mostly common in older babies who are starting to get interested in their surroundings. The damage is often unintentional and tends to happen when they turn to look at something and forget they are still breastfeeding.
Additionally, your baby might fall asleep while they’re still latched on, biting unconsciously in turn.
Your baby may also bite as a way of finding more milk. This happens especially when your supply is falling significantly during the late stages of nursing; your little one will either bite to get a better hold or with the hope of drawing more milk.
Moreover, your baby might have contracted a cold or an ear infection that makes it difficult for them to swallow milk properly. As a result, the baby might be tempted to bite to suckle better.
Note that, babies may also bite out of curiosity, or because they are not latched on properly especially during the end of a nursing session or between active nursing sessions, it is always important to ensure your baby is latched on properly; it’s not possible for babies to suckle and bite at the same time.
How to Prevent and Respond to Baby Bites
There are various strategies you can use to prevent your baby’s biting behavior from becoming a culture.Firstly, if your baby is teething, offer them a teething toy or something cold to bite on, this will help them relieve the pain and feel better.
Secondly, a distracted baby may not be interested in suckling anymore, this might be an indication to let them play or explore. However, if your baby is still too young to explore, consider walking, rocking or lying with them in a quiet room. You can also decide on a place with fewer distractions and low light for breastfeeding sessions so nothing gets the baby’s attention.
If your baby has the habit of sleeping while breastfeeding, you’ll need to always be alert for when their jaws start to weaken and ease them off your breast before they doze off.
Alternatively, you should put your baby away, probably on the floor, for a while immediately following a bite to discourage them and recover from the pain
Finally, remember not to react offensively by screaming when your baby bites for this may either scare or encourage them. Again, do not yank the baby off your breast when you feel them biting because you might worsen the damage. Instead, it advisable to hug and compliment your baby, showering them with praises when they latch on properly to encourage positive behavior.
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