As soon as a mother delivers her baby the first thing on the agenda is what the baby will eat. You begin breastfeeding and you enjoy the feeling of accomplishment it gives you. Then your baby starts teething and you can’t stop admiring those two little teeth. So cute, aren’t they? Then they bite you as you breastfeed and the fun ends there.
Babies actually begin biting during breastfeeding way before they begin teething. It is actually a precursor to teething. It comes as a result of itchy gums before the teeth come out. You may be thinking that gums are harmless but it can actually be painful. So what can you do to get your baby to stop biting you?
Remove your breast when they bite
Whenever the child bites take your breast out of her mouth. She will cry at first and you will feel guilty but with time she will come to associate the biting with the disappearance of the breast and hopefully she will stop.
Add a little ‘punishment’
Others may indeed realize this but then get crafty. They can choose to bite once they are satiated! If you remove the boob now they will have a lot to keep them going until the next feeding by which time you will probably have forgiven her.
In such instances you can take it a notch higher and maybe flick her cheek a little right after you remove the boob. Ensure that you use the word no on her so that she gets the idea that biting mummy leads to some kind of repercussion on her side.
Nip it in the bud
Babies learn very fast and they sponge up everything. Once they start biting and you don’t say anything they will continue with it since it gives them pleasure and a little soothing. If you let them continue with it without any reaction they will not be aware that it hurts and you don’t like it. Begin showing them it is wrong as soon as they start biting so that they stop sooner.
This whole process will leave you feeling guilty at first for ‘denying’ your baby nourishment but it will benefit both of you. You will be in pain less often and the baby will start her lessons in boundaries and discipline early in life.
It would also be great to provide the baby with clean things to bite on like teething rings, a banana or cold foods like yoghurt that would ease the teething pain and discomfort.