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On Call: Biting While Breastfeeding

Q. My baby bites me almost every time I go to nurse him. Needless to say, it really hurts. How can I stop him from doing it?

A. Every breastfeeding baby bites at some point  -- each one of my children has certainly done it to me! Most of the time they don't even realize they're doing it. Some babies are teething, and trying to comfort their gums. Others bite to get a rise out of Mom (clearly, it works). Usually, it's just a phase. What I've done with my baby in the meantime is get the message across quickly and clearly that biting is not okay. When I've been nipped, I immediately take my child off my breast, sit him up, and say "No biting!" in a stern voice. I wait a few seconds to put him back on, and if it happens again, I repeat the routine. Pretty soon, he gets the message that if he wants to be at the breast (which he does), he can't bite.If you're getting bitten a lot during one particular nursing session, it may be a sign that your child's not all that hungry. So button up, find something else for him to do, and try again later.

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