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Breastfeeding and Teething

When your baby's first tooth comes through you don't have to stop breastfeeding

Posted: 16 October 2008
by ThinkBaby

Some women are put off by the thought of breastfeeding a baby with teeth, and particularly worry that their baby may bite. Understandably therefore, many feel that the arrival of teething is the milestone that signals the end of feeding by breast.

Breastfeeding during teething and beyond
Sometimes teething can be the reason your baby is off his milk feeds but in other cases, being able to suckle, even for a couple of brief extra feeds a day, can be a comfort to some teething babies.
First teeth usually arrive around five or six months, although they may appear earlier or much later, and often cause a nursing mother no discomfort whatsoever.
A baby with teeth won't necessarily bite, though some will be keen to try their new teeth out on whatever's around. You might well find that these bites take you by surprise - perhaps a nibble on your shoulder when you're comforting him or indeed, when you are feeding. It might hurt a little, but unlike a toddler's deliberate gnashing, a baby is only making a small tentative bite so you are more likely to be shocked than seriously injured!

What to do if your baby bites you during a feed
If your baby does bite then try not to make a big fuss about it.
One way of dealing with it is to break your baby's suction from the breast and say 'no', firmly but not harshly before starting the feed again. If your baby bites repeatedly you may need to end a feed or two after a bite before he gets the idea that biting is inappropriate.
Your baby should quickly get out of the habit of biting during feeds (as he should with any other biting at this age or as her gets a little older) if you react as above, not making a big deal of it, but by being firm. For more, read Babies and Toddlers who Bite.

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