Your Baby has Teeth!

Your baby has teethWhen my first was born, I thought we’d have months and months until teething began and we had to think about nursing and teeth. I was wrong.

My son started teething around 2 months and broke the first tooth at 3 months old. The rest followed in quick succession, coming in three or four teeth at a time. We were teething pretty much non-stop until getting the 2-year molars at 15 months.

This is on the early side for most babies, but we repeated this pattern pretty much identically with each of my other two children. More often, teeth come in at a more leisurely pace.

Such early teething caused some issues with our nursing relationship. My son was so young, nursing was his only real comfort. But he was fussy and his gums hurt. He began to bite down on my nipple when nursing, or ground his gums back and forth. This was not a pleasant experience for me.

I remembered from The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding that it is important to not screech or scream when this happens as it can be a shock to the baby too, who is not doing this to cause me pain but out of his pain and a desire to have me make it better. They suggest pulling baby into your breast instead to cause them to break suction to breathe. Then, firmly but nicely tell your baby that it hurts or not to bite mommy.

This took a few times before my baby learned not to bite, but it didn’t take long even as young as he was. My local La Leche League group talks often of “nursing manners.” It is so true. He learned that my nipples were there for comfort and milk but not to be used as teethers.

I got an amber teething necklace for him at around two and a half months and that seemed to make a huge difference in his comfort. As he got older, and could vocalize more, he asked for it as he got his first set of adult molars at 6 years old.

Babies truly do understand so much more than we give them credit for. They are designed to be a symbiotic pair with their mothers. But setting boundaries and working calmly to find a way through the difficult times is key to a positive and happy breastfeeding relationship.

TaiLeah Madill is mama to three and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. She is passionate about volunteering with her local babywearing group and helping other families enjoy the benefits of wearing their little ones. 

Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.