Baby Checkup: Nursing FAQ

by Patty Onderko

Baby Checkup: Nursing FAQ

Whether your baby is teething, eating solids, or drinking cow’s milk, read these answers to common breastfeeding questions

You’re far from engorged, you’ve got the latch-on down pat, and your baby has been growing well for some time. Now you’ve got a whole new batch of breastfeeding questions.

My baby is teething, and I’m worried. Will she bite me? “Biting is not that common,” assures New York City lactation consultant Susan Burger, Ph.D. But if your tot does chomp down, quietly remove her from your breast with no reaction whatsoever (easier said than done when it feels like your nipple was just pierced with a steak knife) and set her away from you for 10 to 20 seconds, recommends Burger. “It takes only a few separations for the baby to understand that biting means removal from Mom.”

My baby is starting solids. Should I breastfeed him before or after meals? Whatever you prefer. Studies show your baby will eat about the same amount either way.

I plan to breastfeed beyond the first year. Do I still need to introduce cow’s milk at age 1? “Breast milk is more suitable for an infant,” says Burger, so there’s no need to feed cow’s milk simply because your baby is 12 months. But if you want to offer it as a supplement, that’s fine, too.

My baby doesn’t like to be covered up anymore when she nurses. How do I feed her in public? Try loose or stretchy tops that drape around your baby’s mouth. And remember, in most states you are allowed to nurse wherever you’re allowed to be, cover or no cover!