How to Nurse a Teething Baby, According to a Lactation Consultant
When your baby’s chompers start coming in, you can still nurse...but do you want to? We chatted with a lactation consultant to solve three of the most common challenges.
When Your Baby Bites Down
Ouch. If you can anticipate what’s coming, then try sticking your finger in their mouth, suggests International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Leigh Anne O’Connor. Or if the bite happens, take your baby off and say, “You don’t do that, that hurts me.” Then, put her down and avoid eye contact for about 30 seconds (so she knows she did something wrong). “But don’t yell and don’t make it into a game, just try to remain as emotionally neutral as possible.” Then when you pick your baby up again say, “You can nurse but don’t bite me.” You’d be surprised at how much babies can understand even at four months old, says O’Connor. You may have to take her off a couple of times to get the point across, but if she still continues to bite, then she’s done with her feeding.
If Your Baby Is Having Trouble Getting Milk
It’s all about getting the right positioning. “When nursing is going well, the tongue extends over the bottom teeth (which are usually the first ones to come in) and the top teeth are sort of resting on the breast,” says O’Connor. You can also help a teething tot by making sure that you’ve got a good latch.
When Your Teething Baby Wants to Nurse More Frequently
Teething hurts, and for some babies, the only real relief they can get is from breastfeeding. Nurse your baby when you can and when you can’t, try giving one of these tried-and-tested teething remedies a go. (One mom we know swears by breastmilk popsicles to soothe sore gums.)