Breastfeeding During Your Baby’s Teething

Breastfeeding During Your Baby’s Teething
Breastfeeding During Your Baby’s Teething

Breastfeeding a teething baby can be a daunting prospect for many parents. The thought of those tiny, sharp teeth coming into close contact with sensitive areas can make anyone nervous. However, rest assured that teething doesn’t automatically mean you have to stop breastfeeding. In fact, continuing to breastfeed during this phase can be entirely manageable, allowing you to maintain your breastfeeding journey. Let’s delve into everything you need to know about breastfeeding while your little one is teething.

Signs of Teething in Breastfed Babies

Teething typically begins around 4 to 7 months of age, although some babies may start as early as 3 months. While some lucky infants experience minimal discomfort, others may exhibit classic signs of teething, including:

  1. Red and Swollen Gums: Teething often causes inflammation in the gums, leading to redness and swelling.
  2. Increased Drooling: Your baby might turn into a little drool factory during this time.
  3. Biting and Chewing: Teething babies tend to explore the world with their mouths, so expect more biting and chewing.
  4. Loss of Appetite: Discomfort can temporarily reduce their interest in feeding.
  5. Sleep Pattern Changes: Teething can disrupt sleep routines.
  6. Irritability: Your little one may become fussier due to sore gums.

Challenges and Solutions

Challenges and Solutions
Challenges and Solutions

Nipple Biting

One common issue faced by breastfeeding moms is nipple biting. Teething babies may inadvertently bite while nursing. Although this can provide relief for their teething pain, it can be quite painful for you. If your baby bites, break the suction immediately and offer a cold washcloth or teether. If they root again, attempt nursing, but avoid persisting if they clamp down once more.

Latching Problems

Teething discomfort can make latching challenging for your little one. Sore gums and aching mouths may cause them to struggle during feedings. Be patient, and allow them extra time to latch properly. Remember that their discomfort is temporary, and with practice, they’ll adapt.

Why Continue Breastfeeding During Teething?

  1. Comfort: Your breast has been a source of comfort for your baby since birth. During teething, they may seek solace in nursing.
  2. Nutrition: Breast milk remains the ideal food for your child. It provides essential nutrients and immune benefits.
  3. AAP Recommendations: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least a year, alongside solid foods after six months. Teething should not alter this recommendation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Breastfeeding During Your Baby's Teething
Frequently Asked Questions about Breastfeeding During Your Baby’s Teething

Is It Safe to Breastfeed When My Baby Is Teething?

Yes, it’s safe to breastfeed while your baby is teething. Teething might cause some discomfort for both you and your baby, but breastfeeding can still provide comfort and nutrition. If you’re worried about pain or discomfort while nursing, you can try different positions to find what works best for you and your baby.

What Should I Do If My Teething Baby Bites While Nursing?

If your teething baby bites while nursing, gently remove them from the breast and say “no” firmly. You can also try offering a teething toy or chilled washcloth to soothe their gums before resuming breastfeeding. Consistency in your response will help them understand that biting is not acceptable.

How Can I Help My Teething Baby Latch Properly?

To help your teething baby latch properly, ensure they are in a comfortable position and try to relax yourself as well. You can gently massage their gums before nursing to alleviate some discomfort. If your baby is having difficulty latching due to sore gums, you can try using a nipple shield temporarily to ease the process.

Why Should I Continue Breastfeeding During Teething?

Continuing breastfeeding during teething offers numerous benefits. Breast milk provides essential nutrients and antibodies that help boost your baby’s immune system, which can be particularly beneficial during teething when they may be more susceptible to infections. Additionally, breastfeeding provides comfort and can help soothe your baby’s teething pains, fostering a sense of security and bonding between you and your child.

Breastfeeding During Your Baby’s Teething

Breastfeeding during your baby’s teething is not only safe but also beneficial. It allows you to provide comfort and nourishment to your little one during this challenging phase. So embrace those little teeth and continue your breastfeeding journey with confidence! 🌟

Remember, every baby is unique, and your experience may vary. Trust your instincts and seek support if needed. Happy breastfeeding! 🤱🏽

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice regarding your baby’s health and development.

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References:

  1. Healthline: Teething and Breastfeeding
  2. La Leche League International: Teething
  3. Nuby US: Breastfeeding Your Teething Baby