Breastfeeding Your Teething Baby
Find tips to help you nurse your teething baby.
Your baby will begin teething sometime between 4-7 months. Some moms may find it hard to breastfeed when baby's teeth are coming in. That's because babies can experience discomfort when teething and will change their position or latch to avoid hitting their sore gums. Babies may also try to relieve soreness by biting. When either of these things happen, it can cause nipple pain or discomfort.
WIC breastfeeding staff can give you ideas on how to keep breastfeeding your teething baby. Here are a few examples of things you can try:
- Give your baby a cold, wet washcloth or cold teething toy to soothe sore gums.
- Massage your baby's gums with a clean finger.
- Try different breastfeeding positions to ensure that your baby's weight is well supported when baby is latched on.
- Make sure your baby is properly latched.
- Before babies can bite, they must move their tongue to avoid biting themselves. If you notice your baby's tongue moving, stick your finger in the corner of baby's mouth. That way, baby will bite your finger and not your breast.
If your baby bites you, try not to react in a way that may startle or scare your baby. You can tell your baby firmly, "no bite." Then turn baby on your lap, facing away from you for a moment. Babies learn quickly not to bite down if the feeding is stopped.
If you are having difficulties, contact your WIC peer counselor, who can offer more support or information.