My Infant Has Started Biting Me When I Breastfeed Her: How Can I Start the Weaning Process?

My Infant Has Started Biting Me When I Breastfeed Her: How Can I Start the Weaning Process?

A mom writes in asking for advice on the topic of weaning. She says her six-month-old daughter has started biting her during feedings. The infant has teeth, and this mom is in pain. She wants to know how to start weaning her daughter off of breastfeeding.

Home Guide Expert and mom Sharon Henry weighs in with some advice below.

My Infant Has Started Biting Me When I Breastfeed Her: How Can I Start the Weaning Process?

Mamas Uncut fan asks:

“How can I wean my 6-month-old from breastfeeding? My daughter is six months old (almost seven months). Currently, I breastfeed her, but lately, all she wants to do is bite me when I try to feed her (she has teeth), and it hurts so much I don’t think I can continue to breastfeed. Does anyone have any advice on how to wean a baby? I’m a first-time mom.”

– Mamas Uncut Community Member

Advice from Sharon Henry

My Infant Has Started Biting Me When I Breastfeed Her: How Can I Start the Weaning Process?

Ending breastfeeding abruptly can be emotionally traumatic for both mother and baby, so ideally it should be introduced gradually over a period of a couple of months. This gives both mum and baby time to adjust to the change. Gradually weaning your baby off breastfeeding will help your milk to diminish much more slowly too, which will be physically more comfortable for you.

The first step to ease the process of weaning a baby from breastfeeding is to invest in the right type of bottle. Medela teats eliminate nipple confusion and flow preference so that your baby still has to work for their milk similar to breastfeeding. The teat is designed to allow babies to control how much milk comes out, which is different from how other teats and bottles have a set flow amount. It supports the similar feeding behavior of the baby as it allows them to suck, breathe, and swallow as learned on the breast. The teats are similar to a nipple, which makes it much more comfortable for babies.

My Infant Has Started Biting Me When I Breastfeed Her: How Can I Start the Weaning Process?

You could start by expressing some breast milk, add a little formula and a little boiled water once a day as the last feed of the day for a few days to allow your baby to adjust to the change whilst continuing to breastfeed. Your baby will feel fuller for longer, and you will get the added benefit of getting more sleep during the night.

Over the next two months, continue to breastfeed and gradually use the bottle more often. During this time, if you haven’t already, start to introduce your baby to food. Your baby may refuse solid foods if they are too hungry, so give a little bottle, then some food. Start with foods that are high in vitamin C, iron, and energy. You can steam, bake or cook vegetables in water, allow to cool, mash them and feed it to the baby or try rice cakes, rusks and fresh fruits. There are many different foods you can introduce at this stage but bear in mind that your baby may not be ready for cows milk or butter.

[Images via Shutterstock]

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