How to Breastfeed a Teething Baby
Breastfeeding is one media of building an inner bond between mother and child. All mothers definitely want their children to get the best through breast milk given. In fact, for some mothers, the breastfeeding process is full of struggles and challenges. For example, struggling to facilitate breastfeeding in the first few months, but then another problem comes, such as the baby often bites and even pulls the nipples when the teeth start to grow.
All that the babies did was only to reduce the pain in his gums. This makes breastfeeding a painful and uncomfortable thing. Also, when a baby grows teething the baby will usually become fussier and want to suckle more often than usual. The teeth will begin to grow usually when they are 4 to 7 months old.
Breastfeeding the babies when their teeth start to grow will be a challenge for the mother. But the mother should not worry, this can still be resolved without stopping the breastfeeding or fear that the nipple will continue to hurt. Another reason babies often bite their nipples is that they can’t wait for the milk that doesn’t come out of their mother’s breasts. Or, they have finished breastfeeding and wants biting something else.
One of the signs of the appearance of teeth in children is their behavior. They sometimes become fussy, often crying and always likes to bite whatever. The baby will release a lot of salivae which is useful to cool the gums. These are slightly swollen due to the process of growing teeth, the baby will feel a little pain in his gums, his appetite will also decrease and maybe he will experience a little fever.
Tips on How to Breastfeed a Teething Baby
When the teeth of the babies grow, they will be fussier and often cry than usual. It is possible because of a fever. The gums also look swollen red and cheeks around the mouth rash that makes it uncomfortable, especially when breastfeeding. Mothers need special strategies so that the breastfeeding process can still be fun for both. The following are helpful tips on how to breastfeed a teething baby.
- Give the safety toys to bite. Babies biting the mother’s nipples during breastfeeding as an attempt to relieve pain and itching in her gums. To stop it, the mother can provide a chewy textured toy to bite before and after feeding (teether). It is recommended to cool the toy first so that a cold sensation helps soothe the pain in the gums.
- Massaging the gums. Try before breastfeeding to massage your child’s gums with your fingers. Make sure the mother’s fingers are washed clean and then wrap them with clean gauze and do a massage gently on the gums. This is intended to provide comfort in the swollen and reddened gums due to the appearance of the teeth. That way, when breastfeeding the child will not bite too many nipples.
- Slip the finger. Tucking your finger between your baby’s mouth and nipples helps prevent the baby from biting the nipple while breastfeeding. The trick put the index finger or little finger of the mother into the corner of the baby’s mouth between the gums. Switch by sliding slowly when the baby looks to be biting the nipple. Mothers can also release the breasts momentarily from suction when the nipples start to feel sore.
- Change the position of breastfeeding. This tip is also beneficial to do. Mothers can try changing the position of breastfeeding since this can prevent the nipple from swelling due to the bite of the child. The wrong breastfeeding position can only make more bites. Try to choose a comfortable breastfeeding position and allow the mother to make eye contact with the little one. mother and child will find a comfortable position after trying various positions.
- Control your response. When the mother feels the bite, it will naturally respond spontaneously due to the pain caused by the bite. But try not to keep the baby away suddenly when he starts biting. Because maybe the mother’s nipple is sucked even more tightly. This makes the nipple interested and feels more painful. Moreover, try not to scream loudly when your little one starts biting. This reaction can surprise him and can make him no longer want to breastfeed or even repeat the bite because it is considered a game.
- Don’t force her to suckle if she doesn’t want to suckle. Often, a teething baby doesn’t want to suckle tend to just bite the nipples.
- Give milk. Usually, the child grows teething to feel anxious and fussy when breastfeeding. When a child begins to refuse to breastfeed, it is still necessary to continue to offer the mother’s breasts but avoids to force them. If they do not want to suckle directly through the breast, then mothers can initiate to give them milk through the feeder cup or spoon.
- Give any reward to the babies if they do not bite during breastfeeding. This can also be convenient breastfeeding tips for mothers with children who start teething. If the child has a large number of milk teeth, the mother can give her a gift of hugs, kisses, and praise.
It is normal for the baby to feel pain when their teeth start growing. The first tooth that will appear is usually the lower two incisors. Followed next by 4 upper incisors. A 14 months baby still does not have a tooth, this could be the sign of “ectodermal dysplasia”. This disorder is also related to hereditary factors. Check with your pediatrician and teeth immediately.
Sticking position for breastfeeding a teething baby
Mothers need to know the best position to breastfeed the baby to minimize the risk of being bitten. Here is the list of things to do for you.
- Set the position to lightly lean back, it is created a relaxed and comfortable position.
- Raise a bit the legs and place them on the foot clamp.
- Put a pillow on the lap for increasing the baby’s comfort.
- Use pillows to help support your back.
- When nursing in a sleeping position, place a pillow under the mother’s head.
- Make sure the baby’s face and body are facing the mother’s abdomen during feeding.
- The baby will have natural reflexes and the ability to attach to the right position. Do not rush and stay relaxed so that the baby can do the attachment properly during feeding.
If the baby’s nipples have blisters, immediately take the following tips:
- Drops the blister nipple with breast milk
- Use a breast pad and regularly replace it
- Ibuprofen and acetaminophen to relieve pain
- Compress with warm water several times a day
- Ointment prescribed by the doctor, rub to the injured nipple rinse when starting to breastfeed
- Soak in a salt solution around 1 minute
If your nipple continues to hurt even though you have tried various ways to deal with it, you should consult a lactation consultant or doctor. Some hospitals provide lactation consultants. There may be other reasons why the nipple hurts when the mother is breastfeeding, for example, broken nipples that need further treatment. Immediately check if the mother has a fever, inflammation, swelling, or signs of infection appearing in the breast.