Biting in Breastfeeding

Posted by Anonymous on - 1 reply

Hi, my 9 month old bites me pretty much every day now. He's got 5 teeth (top and bottom). He draws blood when he bites. I recently got and treated nipple thrush and also developed mastitis because I was avoiding feeding because I dreaded it! When he bites I've tried the following:

1. Squealing. This was involuntary at the beginning and it gave him a bit of a fright
2. Firmly saying 'No' in a tone of voice that he understands is not good and makes him a little sad for a moment
3. Firmly saying 'no' and refusing to continue the feed for 30 minutes

None of this works. I have also tried expressing but it's very slow and hard to find a chance to do it because I also have a 3 year old so sitting down for half an hour is difficult. Plus, after half an hour I still only got 50mls of milk out. Even after I did this he absolutely refused to take a bottle from me or my husband and I even let my 3 year old try (supervised of course!). He won't take hypoallergenic formula from the bottle either.

Weaning is going fine and he takes solids well, using both his hands to eat and taking some food from a spoon.

He has a milk allergy so I'm supposed to keep up the breastfeeding. Help.

Users' Replies

Apr 25, 2017 10:23 AM


Thank you for your message to WellVine about your breastfeeding concerns. It sounds like you have a great deal happening for you and your baby and that it may be good to consider more in-depth support from an IBCLC to talk through all the things that are going on. Here are some thoughts on your concerns:

• Biting can be awful and it sounds like it’s particularly dreadful for you. It sounds like you’ve been trying a number of strategies to prevent this happening. Just in case there are some useful additional ideas please find this good resource from La Leche League.

• Expressing when mothers are feeling stressed, worried etc is almost guaranteed to result in minimal milk in the pump as the hormone of relaxation, oxytocin, is important for getting milk flowing. I wonder if there is a time of day when you have help with your baby and toddler at all? Trying to find a calm time and space when you’ve recently been cuddling and relaxing with your baby would help to optimise oxytocin and hopefully the milk flow and volume too. Some mothers also find that they are much more successful with hand expressing than with a machine pump. Here’s a link about hand-expressing that may be helpful to review:

• Bottle refusal on top of everything happening must feel like the final straw! You mention that weaning is going well and I wonder if your baby is taking a drinking cup alongside their food? As babies become older they can potentially 'skip' the bottle stage and just go straight to a beaker from c.4 months. The designs without valves appear to be easier for babies (and are preferred by dentists). Could your baby have their milk in a cup instead and have this in their highchair perhaps if they’re happier taking a cup there?

• I hope that you have now seen the end of mastitis and thrush. Just in case, here are some very good resources on both in case you have not come across them before:

I really hope that some of this information is helpful to you.

With best wishes,
Sharon George IBCLC