My baby, the vampire

Both my babies have had a rather delightful habit of biting the breast whilst teething. With Jessica, it was only really with the first couple of teeth and the nipple shields took the edge off it slightly (although having one’s nipple firmly compressed within the shield is still quite unpleasant!) She was also quite quick to learn that biting meant that the feed stopped and she was calmly put down for a moment or two before she got to feed again.

My baby, the vampireSophie, on the other hand, has taken a little longer to learn that biting Mummy is really not so nice. I suspect my yelping the first couple of times didn’t help – it was probably fun to do it again and see if Mummy made that rather interesting noise. Even before the teeth had appeared, it was more a painful sensation than I remembered it being with Jessica and for a couple of days it seemed to become a bit of a game. I tried pushing her closer to the breast to encourage her to open her mouth more widely and latch better, therefore preventing her from being able to bite – no luck. I tried taking her off calmly and putting her down for a moment and despite her vociferous objections each time, she still didn’t seem to connect this with biting. I started to dread the feeds, not wanting to put her near the breast but as she would not take the bottle, I knew I had no choice. I tried teething gel and Calpol to ease her discomfort but for those couple of days that her teeth were really bothering her, I just had to grit my teeth and be prepared to break her seal and unlatch her very quickly as soon as I felt that little jaw tense in readiness for the bite.

Thankfully after a couple of days, she went back to feeding normally and my bruised nipples healed fairly quickly. However, when the next tooth started to make its appearance, the biting began again – only this time there was a razor sharp little tooth making it even more unpleasant! Again I think my surprised yelp (having almost forgotten about the biting) the first time she did it again made for an interesting response from Sophie’s perspective and probably didn’t help the situation and once more, I had a miserable few days of dreading feeds and being prepared to unlatch Sophie every time she bit (which seemed far too often for my liking). And once again, it just stopped suddenly and feeding went back to normal.

Fortunately by the third round of this, it seems that Sophie is starting to learn that biting equals interrupted feeding and we seem to be having less of a resurgence of vampiric tendencies – much to my relief as she now has teeth on the top and the bottom! There are still definitely moments when I am quite aware of those little razor sharp teeth feeling a little too close to the nipple for comfort and moments when it feels like she is gnawing ever so slightly (especially when she is sleepy and she loses her latch slightly). I’m keeping my fingers crossed though that we have now seen the worst of the biting whilst feeding but if anyone has any other tips that might be worth a try, I’d be very happy to hear them in case it does happen again!

My baby, the vampire - Little Hearts, Big Love


Linking in with Zena’s Suitcase for Breastfeeding Diaries:

Zena's Suitcase

6 thoughts on “My baby, the vampire

  1. I really enjoy reading your posts Louise, and her’s another great one from you this week. I love and admire the way you soldier on with what ever breastfeeding throws at you. When I bf my first child, 16 years ago now (blimey that’s a long time ago!) teeth were one of the things that scared me and I said I’d stop when he had them. It stopped in the end because he was weaned earlier and didn’t need it anymore. Fortunately I’ve not been bitten yet, but it’s good to know with some gentle perseverance it can be stopped. Thanks for your continued support with #BFingDiaries

    1. Thank you Zena – I might have been tempted to stop if Sophie had been willing to take a bottle but she likes her milk directly from mummy! She probably would have taken the bottle with some perseverance but I’m too lazy to faff around with sterilising and somewhat stubborn about carrying on with breastfeeding too! Lovely to join in with you again 🙂

    1. Thanks Freya – have thought about getting a breastfeeding necklace so might give that a try if Sophie seems inclined to try nibbling again! x

  2. Ouch! I’m lucky that my daughter was a very late teether, she didn’t get her first tooth until she was 10 months old and by then she was just about old enough to get the cause and effect of biting = no milk. I also used a teething necklace which might have helped. Although I now have the challenge of feeding a very chatty toddler who sometimes tries to talk during a feed, that’s resulted in a few nips and by heck it hurts!

    1. Ouch – haven’t had the toddler trying to talk yet although if Sophie starts making singing noises on the breast, it can be a warning sign that she might bite. Am hoping that she is starting to get the message that biting means the feed stops!

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