GUEST POST BY: Bri (an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Registered Nurse and Certified Educator of Infant Massage)
It’s no secret that the road into parenthood can be rocky but I have a secret weapon to smooth out your journey.
Hey there! I’m Bri. I love teaching about all things boobs, babies, and breastfeeding. One common theme I’ve noticed is that many parents are terrified of tiny baby teeth. They ask if they need to wean their baby and stop breastfeeding at the first sign of teething. My answer: no way!
I want you to meet your breastfeeding goals. Nothing so tiny in size is going to derail you! Plus some babies start teething at a young age when breastmilk is still the main part of their diet. Weaning before one year of age means you’ll need to supplement with stored breastmilk or formula, which may not be your goal.
So are you ready to do this? Here we go. Here are my top 3 tips on baby biters:
First, not all babies bite! Lose the fear and don't rush to wean. We get so scared that we HAVE to wean before teeth but I have literally seen babies born with teeth. Don't be afraid and don’t restrict feeds. Instead, feed more frequently so your baby isn’t ravenous when she first comes to the breast.
Second, think about pain relief before breastfeeding: The main reason your baby clamps down on your nipple while teething is to try for a bit of relief. Instead, help decrease her pain levels first. One trick is to freeze breastmilk in an ice tray, pop one out and let your baby suck on it in a mesh feeder. (Frozen peas can also work, for babies over 6 months). That way those gums will be numbed up beforehand and then your baby won't be so tempted to clamp down for relief. Another one of my secret weapons? Baby massage (click here to learn more).
Third, if your baby bites, stay calm! Gently but firmly say “NO” three times and then end the feed for a few minutes. If the biting continues, try a new position that will keep your baby latched deeply (Baby can't bite if she’s properly latched!). Put away your distractions, such as your phone, and keep eye contact with your baby. Especially watch towards the end of the feed, as this is the most likely time for biting to happen.
P.s. Clamping down because of a fast flow is DIFFERENT. Reach out to an IBCLC Lactation Consultant for help with that.
There you have it! Need to dive deeper? Listen in to my Breezy Babies Podcast that talks all about Baby Biters. Still, having troubles? Try the Back To Mom Breastfeeding Bite Guard that can help provide a barrier between your breast and those tiny teeth.
You got this!
Bri is first and foremost a mama like you. She lives in Utah with her husband and 3 kiddos while trying to balance being a business owner of the company Breezy Babies. Her kids love it when she massages their feet and backs. (They ask for it nightly!) She believes in empowering families with natural techniques while teaching about all things boobs, babies, and breastfeeding. She can be found teaching on these topics on her Insta @breezy__babies, on her website breezybabies.com and also on her Breezy Babies Podcast.