Nursing with teeth


Jack got his first tooth a few weeks ago (a front bottom one) and it’s been growing in really slowly. That’s fine with me since I’m so scared of getting bitten while breastfeeding! He clamped down several times before when he had no teeth and that already hurt, so I’m not looking forward to it happening with teeth.

The good thing about his bottom tooth coming in first is that while he nurses his tongue covers his bottom teeth, so I don’t feel anything sharp while he’s actively eating. He is growing in his top two teeth now (I can see them under the skin) and has bitten me a little three times in the last few days, and it’s scary to have a little pointy thing pressing onto your nipple! Luckily he didn’t bit down too hard, so I was able to do what the pediatrician said and stop feeding him and try to avoid eye contact or positive reinforcement for a little while so he learns nothing good happens from biting.

It’s sad because now I’m really nervous while he is breastfeeding during the day, and I watch his mouth like a hawk to try to tell is he’s going to stop eating and get bored and bite. At night it seems fine luckily. He also bit once when I offered him my breast but he wasn’t hungry, so I’m trying to be better about only offering if it’s been a while or he definitely seems hungry. I’m worried he won’t eat enough, but since he’s at the 50% percentile for weight I think he is getting enough food and hopefully can make up for it at the next feeding if I’m a little late in offering him my breast.

I’m not looking forward to feeling his little top teeth when those grow in though. Hopefully I won’t have the same experience as my friend who said her baby bit down and wouldn’t let go!

So to summarize what I do to avoid bites:

  • Remove my breast when it seems like he’s done eating
  • Don’t offer him my breast all the time
  • Keep my finger near his mouth so I can unlatch him quickly if he bites
  • If he bites, unlatch him and put him down and avoid any reinforcement (no eye contact, cuddles, talking) for a few minutes