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Painful breastfeeding - baby has teeth

  1. #1
    december05 is offline Registered User
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    Apr 2011
    Hong Kong

    Painful breastfeeding - baby has teeth

    My 11 month old son has two newly sprouted bottom teeth and it hurts when he nurses now!
    I think his latch needs fixing he's only latching in the nipple now - which is strange considering we've been nursing this whole time without problems,!
    Please help!

  2. #2
    Gataloca's Avatar
    Gataloca is offline Registered User
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    Jan 2010
    It is not a latching problem, he is just exploring his teeth and using your nipple as teething toy.

    It might take some time, but he will need to learn not to bite you. It is painful, but try not to scream when he hurts you (cause he might find it fun and keep doing it, or might get scared and refuse to feed again).

    What I used to do when my boy bit me was to hold his head and push it toward my breast. This would block his nose, and he would be force to release the nipple (without pulling it). After that, I would tell him firmly "no biting!" and let him feed again. Then I would repeat if he keeps biting. My boy eventually learned that if he want to feed, he cannot bite.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    Oct 2007
    North Point
    My daughter was an early teether - she had two teeth before she was 4 months old (3 months 3 weeks, nearly 4 months) and had 8 teeth by 7 months old. I successfully breastfed her until she was 15 months old and had something like 16 teeth!

    For me, what I did was fed her only when she REALLY was hungry/drinking. If she started getting wriggly or playing, too bad, bye bye ;) She was a fast and efficient feeder even before that so I knew she didn't NEED all that "comfort nursing" which was when the biting/playing/using me as a teether occurred. I never did anything other than that and it worked for me. I think it mainly would work if your child bites when he has finished feeding rather than when he is starving hungry. If he bites at the beginning of a feed before filling up his tummy, it wouldn't be so effective,

  4. #4
    GeoDenise's Avatar
    GeoDenise is offline Registered User
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    Jan 2013
    hong kong
    Hi december05,

    We reached out to our breastfeeding expert from the wonder La Leche League for some advice for you and they came back with the following reply:

    "Great work on breastfeeding your baby until 11 months! As some of the other posters have mentioned, there is no problem with your baby's latch; he is just getting used to his new teeth. This is quite a common thing to happen when a baby first gets teeth and it doesn't mean you can't continue to breastfeed, you just have to make some small adjustments so that he learns not to use them so it is uncomfortable for you.

    You don't say if it's just painful when he first latches on or if the pain continues throughout the feed, but it sounds as if he may not be opening his mouth as wide for the initial latch and this is causing it to be a bit shallow or 'on the nipple'. If that happens, you can try just taking him off the breast and re offering it while helping him with your finger to open his mouth a little wider so that he gets a good mouthful of breast and then a good latch. If this doesn't help, please give one of our Leaders a call or drop us an email with more details and our Leaders can give you some other ideas to try."

    Hope that helps!
    Gataloca likes this.

  5. #5
    candyman's Avatar
    candyman is offline Registered User
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    May 2012
    I have been breastfeeding my daughter till now. She is almost 2yrs old with a full set of baby teeth.

    The thing is:

    only feed when you are sure they are truly hungry. Hungry babies never bite.
    When they bite, press the head towards your breast and they would let it go.tell firmly: no biting and be cool and angry
    Take care of your nipples well if there is a wound. Let it air dry. And put on some lanolin. The wound will heal very soon.
    And your baby will get the idea that nipples are only for milk. Not for biting or playing with.

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