Crippled Nipples

My sweet baby boy has two bottom teeth sprouting. Initially, I was over the moon excited for him ... anticipating a new world of finger foods, toothbrushing and tooth-filled smiles. I've been overly confident that the teeth wouldn't interfere with our nursing because it has never hurt for me, not even in the beginning. I never had to even consider lanolin, nipple creams or soothers.
In the past week, he's occasionally been grazing my nipple with these new budding teeth, but it hasn't been anything I'd classify as 'pain.' I can't believe women end nursing over this, it's not that bad.
Until today. I got bit. Twice. The pain is in the same category as stubbing your toe or being scratched by a cat. It made me want to throw something across the room. Unfortunately for Carter, he was the only thing in my hands. I'm kidding, little bugger (aka piranha) is fine. I wish I could say the same for my nipple. My initial reaction was to scream, pull him off, then find him blinking up at me with a gigantic smile. I had no idea it was possible for human teeth to be so sharp. Or maybe I gave birth to a baby that belongs in Twilight?
So now we have a problem that I should have seen coming, but I've been completely unprepared for. To keep him on breastmilk, I'd have to pump every time he's hungry. Anyone who pumps knows this is a crazy amount of work, especially while you're taking care
of a hungry baby at the same time.
I don't have any milk stored. I could try to teach him not to bite, but I'm pretty sure this is the way he's been latching ever since he was born, and now his teeth are just getting in the way ... is it really possible for him to relearn his latch after all this time? Do we make a switch to formula? Am I going to be able to do this? The thought of suddenly ending nursing makes me really sad and nervous. I envision an entirely new relationship between me and Carter emerging ... how can I not offer him the breast for comfort and nourishment? It's the way we operate. I hope kisses and hugs are enough from here on out, I'm really going to miss my little baby.
I'll keep you updated on how this works itself out.


  1. My 8 month old bites --it's getting old -- I feel your pain -- literally

  2. Meghann, I have the book "The Nursing Mother's Companion" by Kathleen Huggins, R.N., M.S. and here is what shes says about biting and nursing. Hope this helps. My baby is only three months, so I'm sure my turn is right around the corner. LOL

    Kathleen Huggins states

    1.Avoid letting the baby snack at the breast during this period of biting.

    2.Just before feedings, offer the baby a cold, damp washcloth or a chilled water-filled teething ring.

    3.While you're nursing, keep your finger ready to end the feeding. Watch for a change in your baby's nursing pattern; as soon as he stops taking long even sucks and begins short choppy ones, end the feeding. If you notice a playful look on his face, end the feeding.

    4.If the baby has your nipple between his teeth, pull him in close to your breast to partially block his nose; he'll release the breast to breathe. Many persistent biters give up when they realize that biting triggers this uncomfortable position.

    5.If you resume nursing and the baby tries to bite again, he is obviously not hungry any more. End the feeding.

    -Again these are the words of author Kathleen Huggins. I haven't had to try these tips yet so I cannot say if they really work, but maybe they will help you.

    Good luck Meghann

    ~Deanna from facebook

  3. Hi Meghann,

    My little boy is 7 months old and I've have need bitten three times. Most of the other mommys I talk to say that they usually don't bit, but if they get bored or are fussy they will sometimes bit down and OUCH!!! Keep trying.....don't give up I know it's painful and if it keeps happening talk to a lactation consultant.

  4. Thank you guys for the advice! I'm going to try it out. I also read something that said put him on the floor as soon as he bites, I did this all day, I think it hurt his feelings. I think the main thing I've learned is that if he bites, he's not hungry