Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Friday 23 March 2018

When Breastfed Babies Bite - 5 solutions

I know some of you winced in pain just reading that title. Me too. I've been there before. I'm there again. I've been blessed with children who are completely affected by the eruption of teeth in a way that only biting down on the nearest thing can relieve....and multiple times a day this includes the source of milk. I have silently screamed. I have bled. I have DEFINITELY asked Google about plasters for nipples. I have persevered...

When Breastfed Babies Bite - solutions to help and a Lansinoh Breastpump review

With my first child, Arthur, the biting started at about 7 months old. At the start of every breastfeed he would clamp down. The first time caught me by such a surprise I yelped, which he found hilarious of course and proceeded to do it every.single.time.

I began to dread feeding him and became desperate for a solution. If I tell you that I came to breastfeed Arthur until he was over the age of 2 yrs then you can safely assume we found a way.

Now here I am, with a 7 month old Charlotte and the biting has started. Exactly the same, at the start of every feed.

Thankfully, there are a few things I learned from last time which can help...

Solutions for when your breastfed baby decides to bite!

  1. Try going back to basics and feeding in a dark, quiet room with lots of skin to skin. Sometimes babies get overstimulated, or they are just too busy to relax and feed

  2. Don’t shout or yelp - sometimes this is easier said than done, but often this reaction can make the biting worse because your baby will either think it is funny and try it again...or they will be frightened and may refuse to feed thereafter.

  3. Be calm and firm. Say “no biting” if they clamp down and then stop the feed. Praise them when they latch on correctly and feed well.

  4. Do not pull your nipple away when they bite. This can lead to further damage as they clamp down. Instead, push your baby’s face INTO your breast. This will make them open their mouth enough for you to remove your nipple. This saved me SO many times. You could also try placing your finger into the corner of their mouth to loosen their latch.

  5. Express your milk for a while - it may be that none of the other solutions work and you need some time away to heal and to break the biting cycle. This is where expressing your milk can help, and your baby will eventually come back to the breast with encouragement once the biting stage is over. Most babies tend to bite during the day, but not during their sleepy night feeds so it may only be necessary to express for daytime feeds...

Expressing your milk:

It can be hard to get into the swing of expressing, especially if you are not used to it. When you breastfeed, your let down is triggered not just by your baby latching on and sucking but by the release of the Oxytocin hormone - some mothers find it hard to let down their milk for a breast pump as opposed to their baby. Looking at a photo of your baby can help.

Lansinoh single electric breastpump

We have recently been sent a Lansinoh single electric breast pump to try. The breast pump has 2 phases to help stimulate the let down of your milk and maximise the amount of milk you are able to express. It starts with a rapid suction - just like your baby would do, in order to trigger the initial let down. The next phase is a slower suction speed to mimic the deeper latch from your baby once the milk starts to flow. This slower speed has 6 suction levels depending on your level of need. 

A few additional bits of info on the Lansinoh single electric breast pump:

  • BPA and BPS Free
  • ComfortFit™ soft silicone breast cushion – for a secure seal and comfortable fit resulting in more efficient pumping
  • 6 adjustable suction levels – with easy to use +/- control buttons
  • LED indicator – so you know exactly what suction and phase settings you’re on
  • 2 phase technology with let down button – ‘let down’ phase: rapid suction to stimulate and initiate milk flow; ‘expression phase’: slower, deeper suction to maximise milk flow
  • Quick and easy expression – designed to mimic baby’s natural feeding pattern for an efficient pumping experience
  • Simple to clean, assemble and use – hygienic design guaranteed against milk entering the tubing; no need to clean tubing
  • Includes NaturalWave® Teat for the bottle  (with cap) – helps maintain established breastfeeding patterns
  • Pump, Store, Feed – one bottle to pump, store and feed for convenience and ease (sealing disc for storage & NaturalWave® Teat included)
  • Mains or battery operated – 6 AA batteries (not included)

My Verdict:

Initially I had two reservations about this breast pump - whether the 2 minute rapid suction to stimulate let down would be enough, and whether the breast cone would 'fit' with my smaller size.

Neither of these were a problem, for the following reasons:

1) The letdown phase can be re-initiated if 2 minutes is not long enough ( it wasn't for me as my breasts take longer to work for a pump than a baby) by pressing the let down button again. Similarly if let down happens sooner than 2 minutes then the second phase can be started quicker by pressing the button. Really simple, really easy and actually worked pretty well. It took away any of the hard work by basically mimicking how a baby feeds anyway. Perfect!

2) The ComfortFit™ soft silicone breast cushion fits inside the breast cone and gives a comfortable fit for various sizes. Worked really well. The actual nipple stayed free from touching the sides (important), and as long as the suction level wasn't too high then just the right amount of areola was drawn into the breast pump for it to be effective.

I found that I didn't need to go above suction level one for the pump to work effectively for me. It was comfortable to use and once milk flow was established it was pretty quick.

With a single pump, you can have an issue of leaking on the opposite side (similar to breastfeeding!) I find that wearing one of these milk catchers helps to avoid milk wastage, especially if you are trying to save every last drop!

Another great thing about this breast pump is the NaturalWave® Teat for the bottle - Charlotte can be quite fussy about bottles and it has to be something that closely resembles my actual breast and nipple. This teat was spot on! The shape is exactly how most breast tissue reacts when drawn into a baby's mouth and my little munchkin guzzled down the milk I'd expressed in record time without any fuss. 

My only issue with this product was the instruction booklet. The images were so pixelated that I found it really hard to follow the instructions at first and the download on the website was unavailable. If you are here looking for some advice, here are some closeup photos of how the parts fit together:

Lansinoh single electric breastpump parts and instruction pictures

You can buy this breast pump on Amazon here (affiliate link): 

Pin me:

When Breastfed Babies Bite - solutions to helpWhen Breastfed Babies Bite - solutions to help When Breastfed Babies Bite - solutions to help

Disclosure: We were sent the Lansinoh breast pump in return for an honest review

Follow me:

Other posts you might like to read:

How can you support my blog?

If you have enjoyed reading my blog and would like to support me further, any of the following would be hugely appreciated: