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Q&A: How can I teach my baby that it is not OK to bite me while breastfeeding?

Wendy Goldenthal, Certified Breastfeeding Counselor


Q My 4 month old is teething and has started using me as his pacifier. How can I teach him that it is not OK to bite me?

A Around the age of 4 - 6 months, your baby's first tooth is coming in. During this time, it's comforting for baby to chew and suck on anything within range, and sometimes that can be you. Basically, when a baby is nursing, it won't hurt. However, when a baby is biting, a baby is NOT nursing. When your baby bites, simply say "NO!", break the suction with your finger, and take the baby off the breast. 2 minutes later, you may put baby back. If this occurs again, say "NO!" again very firmly and take baby off again. Generally it will take only once or twice for baby to stop. It's important to remember that when a baby is biting, the baby is NOT nursing. And the baby may be biting (nibbling) simply because of his teething. Because it feels good.


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A Certified Breastfeeding Counselor with eight years of experience. She is the founder and owner of Nursing Mothers Supplies, a website where breastfeeding mothers can purchase breastfeeding supplies and get a little advice as well.

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