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Tips & Guides

Why babies bite nipples while breastfeeding? Here's what you can do to prevent cracked nipples.

One form of communication between you and your baby

The baby's appearance, how the baby drinks breastmilk, the amount and frequency of urine and feces output and the baby's body weight are indicators of whether enough breast milk is being produced.
Baby's frequent crying and slight engorgement of the breast do not indicate that insufficient breastmilk is being produced.
Breast milk production increases and the amount of breast milk stabilizes as you continue to breastfeed.

Reason why babies bite nipples

Your baby may sometimes bite your nipple when he gets used to breastfeeding.
This is nothing to worry about; it’s not a sign that you’re not producing enough breastmilk or that your breastmilk doesn't taste good.

'Exploring sucking or exploratory sucking' can be seen 3 months after the birth. Even though he should be hungry and ready to nurse, your baby will roll your nipple with his tongue, smile with the nipple in his mouth, and may seem to play without concentrating on breastfeeding. At that time, your baby may bite your nipple, but it doesn't mean that he hasn’t had enough breastmilk or doesn't like breastmilk any more.
It's a phase in which the tongue and lips start moving in various ways, and your baby explores and enjoys moving his tongue and lips.

Although this varies among individuals, your baby will cut his first tooth about 7-8 months after birth, and will sometimes bites your nipple during breastfeeding at this time as his gums feel itchy.
This is tough on you, as it certainly hurts, but your baby isn’t refusing to drink breastmilk. Don’t scold your baby, but treat him well.

Breastfeeding becomes painful when the nipple is bitten and injured, either when your baby is exploring and cutting his first tooth. When that happens, take care of the nipple appropriately, following guides for care.

How to care for your nipple?

Nipples soreness is perfectly normal in the beginning stages of breastfeeding. Don't you worry cause it will go away when your milk starts coming in and your baby has learned to breastfeed, in other words learned to properly latch on. The most important way to prevent cracked or sore nipple is to ensure that your baby is positioned correctly and latched on well on the breasts. Intense pain and soreness that won't go away indicates that you need to make adjustments to the baby's positioning and latching. So don't endure the pain and continue breastfeeding without adjusting. You can save yourself a lot of pain in the future! The best way to start breastfeeding is to get professional help and advice from a public health nurse, a lactation consultant, your doctor or midwife. 

So can you ease the soreness on already cracked nipples? 

While you're on your way to finding the comfortable position, you can ease the soreness of your cracked nipples by expressing a few drops of milk and rubbing them on your nipples after nursing. Apply a suitable amount of lanolin after feeding. To boost the healing process, avoid washing your nipples with soap cause it dries the skin and avoid using lotions and creams on your nipples, unless it is advised by your health care providers. Keep your nipples dry between feeding time by wearing cotton nursing pads. 

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