STOP Baby Biting When Breastfeeding

Get tips for how to stop baby biting when baby bites when breastfeeding. Understand the reasons why baby does this and get lots of ideas for how to stop it and prevent it in the future.

Baby breastfeeding in a reclined poisition

A common fear among breastfeeding mothers is being bit while breastfeeding. Being bit always hurts, but being bit on the nipple brings extra pain.

The good news is not every baby will bite while nursing. The bad news is that many do try it at lest one time. Among my four children, three bit me. One of those three persisted in the biting.

Let’s talk about what why baby bites when breastfeeding and how to stop it.

Reasons Baby Bites When Breastfeeding

There are several reasons baby bites the breast when feeding.

  • Teething or about to teethe: When baby gets new teeth in, clamping down on something helps alleviate pain for a bit.
  • Feeding position changed: Changing a feeding position can change the way milk flow happens, so if you have changed the feeding position, this might be why baby is trying to bite down.
  • Milk flow: If your milk is flowing too slowly, your baby might bite down out of frustration or out of some effort to try to get milk flowing faster.
  • Seeking reaction: Your baby might bite down to see what kind of reaction she gets. Baby’s are little scientists and always testing cause and effect. This might not be the first reason your baby ever bites, but it might be a reason baby does it more than once.
  • Ear infection: If your baby has an ear infection, it si possible he will bite down in response to the pain that can come with feeding with an ear infection.

How to Stop Baby Biting When Nursing

The best way to solve any problem with your baby is to identify WHY it is happening and address the why. Sometimse the only way to identify the WHY is to experiment with solutions until you find something that works. Othertimes there might be an obvious potential why you can address.

Here are some things to try to stop baby’s biting during a nursing session.

Alleviate Teething Pain

If you suspect your baby is biting down because of teething pain, address that pain. You can try giving some pain reliever before a feeding and waiting to start the feeding until it has kicked in. If you are feeding solids, you could try doing solids first while you wait, or you can simply give your baby 20 minutes after waking before feeding your baby.

You can also give your baby something cold to chew on before you start to feed your baby. The cold can soothe baby’s gums. This will give your baby a chance to get the biting and chewing out of the way and it won’t be on you.

Change the Feeding Position

If you recently changed your feeding position, go back to the old position that did not include biting. If you did not recently change your feeding position, consider changing it up now to prevent biting. Feeding baby in a more reclined position can help change that latch to one that makes it harder to bite down. You can see what this position looks like in the main photo for this post above. Try different positions and see if one helps.

Start Your Flow Before Feeding

If your baby is frustrated by a slow milk flow, express milk before allowing your baby to latch. That way when your baby starts sucking, there will already be a steady flow and baby will not be frustrated and won’t need to practice patience.

If baby seem frustrated by flow, it is always wise to look into your milk supply. You don’t want to have a low milk supply and not know it.

>>>Read: How To Increase Your Milk Supply FAST

Distract Your Baby

You might be able to avoid your baby biting down on mom if you distract your baby. You might do that by talking to your baby or give your baby toys to play with while breastfeeding. Many mom’s find a wearing a teething necklace can help distract the baby enough to get the feeding done before any biting happens.

Remove Your Distractions

It is possible that your baby wants more attention from you and bites in order to get it. If you feel like this might be the case, remove your own distractions while feeding your baby. Talk to your baby and praise your baby.

It can also be wise to remove your distractions just so you can watch for signs your baby is about to bite down and stop it before it happens. Then you can watch for a pattern. Does your baby tend to bite at the end of a feed? Then end the feeding before baby decides to bite.

Be Ready to Stop Biting Immediately

Along the same line of thinking, be ready to stop your baby from biting immediately. Immediately unlatch your baby and remove your baby’s mouth from your breast. You can notice a change in your baby’s jaw, tongue placement, swallow pattern, chin, seal, and even eyes (my third child got a glint in her eye and looked at me before she bit me).

Stop the biting immediately to avoid sore nipples.

If you cannot get baby to unlatch, try quickly pulling your baby closer to get baby to open her mouth and unlatch.

Give Your Baby Something Else to Chew

There is a way of correcting children called substitution. If your baby bites you, unlatch and give your baby something to chew on, like a teething toy. Make it clear that chewing on you is not okay, but chewing on the teething toy is okay. Biting and chewing isn’t bad behavior. Biting and chewing you is not okay.

Tell Your Baby No

This step has some controversy with it. Some people caution that telling your baby no or responding to the biting can make baby upset and even lead baby to stopping nursing all together.

My third child bit me for the first time when she was 20-21 weeks old. I firmly told her not to bite me and that it hurts mommy. She clearly didn’t understand every word at that age, but she did not try to bite me again until 46-47 weeks old. It didn’t stop it forever, but it gave me 25 weeks of no biting, which is very worth it.

It is not uncommon for the mother to respond loudly the first time she gets bit. You don’t really expect it. When my youngest bit me for the first time, I was very surprised and exclaimed “Ow!” That response startled Brinley. She did not bite me again until I tried to force her to nurse when she was not interested.

My Experiences

You can read about my experiences with my babies biting me in as they happened in these posts:


Being bit while breastfeeding is not a happy event. Follow these tips to stop your baby from biting you again so you can continue your breastfeeding journey until you are ready to wean your baby. With some diligence and consistency, you can continue to have success with breastfeeding your baby!

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