or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Breastfeeding › Breastfeeding Challenges › Teeth and boobs...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Teeth and boobs...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Ok, so maybe this is a stupid question and not nearly as serious as most of the threads in this forum, but...

DD is almost 7 months and her first two teeth are just popping out on the bottom.  If she's latching correctly - which we finally got to after some work that led to some thrush, which thankfully went away - these new neighbors shouldn't be a problem, right?  Because the tongue goes between the teeth and the nipple, right?  And then her upper lip runs blocking when her upper teeth start showing up, right?


Just today we had a couple of serious "Ouchie!!" moments, but I feel like that was when she wasn't really nursing, just playing with the nipple (should I be discouraging this?).  I feel like I've heard that I can "train" her to not bite by exhibiting a negative reaction when she does (not that I had to think about my reaction - cause man, that hurt) - kind of like with the puppy :).  Is this a commonly held view/experience?

post #2 of 11
Yes! Biting is something that can be discouraged and avoided most of the time, as you can't nurse effectively and bite at the same time, so biting typically occurs at the end of the feeding or when they're just playing around. eyesroll.gif And teeth aren't a problem, either; you can still nurse comfortably even when your baby has a mouthful of pearly whites! smile.gif
post #3 of 11

My DS has a whole bunch of teeth now, and we're still going fine. We did have to deal with biting, but it didn't take long to get him to stop. There isn't necessarily anything wrong with the baby playing with the nipple, but after they're done nursing, they are more likely to bite, and I've found it best to avoid the bites in the first place. With DS, as soon as I started seeing signs that he was no longer interested in nursing, I ended the session myself. When he bit, I got him off the breast (if she doesn't want to let go, gently press her face into your breast and she'll have to), firmly told him to be gentle, and ended the nursing session. If he wanted to try again, I reminded him to be gentle and let him, but biting again resulted in the session ending. He learned pretty quickly that the end result of biting my nipple was the end of the nursing session, so he stopped biting when he was actually wanting to nurse.


Oh, and be careful with your reactions. DS finds dramatic reactions to anything to be very interesting and funny, and it gives him a reason to do whatever he did over and over again, whether it's biting my nipple, or yanking out his sister's hair. I've also known a few women to have issues with their babies getting scared and going on nursing strikes after the mamas shrieked over bites. Ime, calm and matter-of-fact works out a lot better.

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reassurance and advice! 

post #5 of 11

Definitely try to not have a very loud, scary reaction to the biting.  That can actually cause a nursing strike.


Definitely discourage by ending the session when they are done.  When I would get bitten, I would immediately put baby down, and sign for "hurts!"  then I would say, "no teeth!" and then pick baby back up and cuddle.  The worst bite I ever got was when my son was 18 mos old and we were taking a nap.  We both fell asleep, his latch loosened, and when he automatically tried to grab my nipple w/his mouth again, he chomped down.  Hard.  I ended up w/a bloody nipple, and a few days later had to open up a duct w/a needle, and squeeze (almost passed out from the pain) really hard until a long string of hardened milk came out--looked like a string of spaghetti.  After that it healed up and all that time I had to continue nursing on that side so I wouldn't get in way worse shape.  Word to the wise--don't fall asleep, lol.


All that aside, I would never not nurse a toddler just because of being afraid of teeth.  You will both learn.  :o)

post #6 of 11

We had a nursing strike issue here. (but it was impossible not to scream when she bit down, and at four months, she was too young to connect the biting with the screaming) But we got through it.


Be very consistent, and don't put up with pain. (Ina May Gaskin suggests thinking about what a mama cat would do: express displeasure, and stop the kitten.) But I do have the problem that when I say "No biting" in a stern voice, the girls think it's really funny. So...working on that. But the biting is resolving.


Also pay attention to latch: with the new teeth it's taking time to get the latch settled down to not scrape my nipples a bit. But it gets there. If a latch hurts, I unlatch and relatch.

post #7 of 11

I've had two babies who bit when their top and bottom teeth came in. It was a two-day event with each child, then it was over. And I know we're supposed to be calm and quiet, but there was no way to not yell when I got bitten. It HURT. It left me tight and scared for my nipples each time it was time to feed the baby. I called LLL both times and cried, it was that stressful. Sometimes you just can't remain calm! For mine, I think the yelping with each bite is what made them stop biting. It was upsetting for us both, as my yelling out startled and scared my daughters, My daughter now is teething, but no teeth yet, and has chomped with her gums and I am getting worried about how teeth will be with her. But we'll get through it, as always. I also read that you are supposed to pull baby towards you so that she'll have to open her mouth to breathe...but the only thing I can think to do is GET HER OFF OF ME!!

post #8 of 11

Hi there.


I just wanted to say thank you for posting this. I breast fed my two kids and I have really enjoyed reading this information.



<a href="http://love-baby.co.uk/">breast milk storage</a>          

post #9 of 11

I agree with the advice about trying to not have a loud or scary reaction. 


The first time I got bit was when my oldest son was 5 months old and I will never forget it.  He chomped down so hard that I screamed, "Noooooooooooo!" Terrified, he unlatched and started crying his eyes out. He was afraid of me like I was some kind of monster and refused to nurse the rest of that night. 


Pulling baby closer so that their face presses into your breast really works.  My daughter did not chomp down hard, but she would nibble with her sharp little teeth.  I  would do this with her and she eventually stopped the nibbling.


I have a 7 week old baby boy and praying.gif that when his teeth come in that my nipples will be safe.

post #10 of 11

In addition to the advice above, if baby is starting to just play, the milk flow is probably not there, so think about switching sides. This has worked for me!

post #11 of 11

My DS began getting teeth in around 4 months, he had a full mouth by 12 months so I had a lot of experience with teething and nursing.  I'll say nothing made my son laugh more than the instant reaction he got from me once he was done nursing to just "see" what would happen if...I was advised by a LLL leader to immediately take him off the breast the moment he bit down, set him on the floor and say "ouch" in a stern but nice way.  I believe we have 3 instances during my 18 months of breastfeeding because he quickly learned if he hurt mommy then dinner time was over. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Breastfeeding Challenges
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Breastfeeding › Breastfeeding Challenges › Teeth and boobs...