Content Map Terms

Teething and Biting


baby waiting for his first tooth



Being bitten by a nursing baby hurts! Does that mean you have to stop breastfeeding once your baby's teeth come in?

Absolutely not.

Breastfeeding helps every part of your baby's development and should be continued for as long as you're comfortable. If your baby bites down, there's no need to stop. Instead, help your child learn not to bite by removing the breast and saying loudly and firmly, "Ouch that hurts! Please, no biting!"

Your baby's first tooth is likely to appear at around six months. Once teething starts, it will continue for about two years.
Some babies have no problem with teething. Others become uncomfortable and fussy. Teething does not cause fevers. It does often cause increased drooling.

To :

  • Use a bib to catch drool. 
  • Wipe your baby's face and neck often to prevent chapping and chafing. 
  • Give your baby a clean, chilled wet face cloth or cold, hard teething ring to chew on. Check the condition of teething rings frequently. Throw away any teething rings that are cracked or worn. Teething gels and ointments are not recommended.
  • Avoid giving teething cookies or biscuits. These can lead to tooth decay. 
  • Give your baby extra love and patience throughout the teething process.

Teething Necklaces: Babies and Toddlers can be hurt by necklaces marketed and sold with the promise of preventing or reducing teething pain. Pieces of the necklace can break off, creating a choking risk, and there is also risk of strangulation. Parents and caregivers should avoid placing a necklace of any kind on a child under 3 years of age.

Resources & Links:
Quick Tips: Successful Breastfeeding 
Reducing Biting in Teething Babies
Teething Products
Teething: Common Concerns

VIDEO: Admission to Postpartum - Keeping Your Baby Skin-to-Skin
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VIDEO: Breastfeeding Positions
VIDEO: Hand Expressing Milk
VIDEO: Latching Your Baby

Last Updated: August 10, 2013