Teething Daughter = Bleeding Nipples!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2006
Teething Daughter = Bleeding Nipples!
Mon, 09-21-2009 - 2:24pm

My daughter (12 months) has been teething for the past 2 weeks - and in the past 3-4 days, she's gotten her FOUR top-front teeth.

As we've been going through this teething process - she bit me SEVERAL times while nursing. ... Each time, I yelped, "OUCH!" (Mainly because that was my reaction when she did it!) ... I'd look at her and firmly say, "No biting!" ... Then put her down for a second.

She would look at me with a shocked look on her face, then promptly burst into tears ... I'd wait a second, then scoop her up, cuddle her, and try and resume nursing. (Sometimes she'd nurse just fine - other times, she'd bite me again, and we'd repeat the above scenario.)

However, in the course of going through that - she actually broke the skin on my nipples twice - causing me to bleed a little bit - and also form scabs on my nipples.

SiggyJuly2010.jpg Siggy July 2010 picture by nrnotes

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Mon, 09-21-2009 - 3:54pm


Would suggest making and using some All Purpose Nipple Ointment (APNO). The APNO will help speed healing and hopefully keep thrush away.

you can make your own APNO with recipe from our (former) CL Paula:

"make your own OTC APNO cream, using hydrocortisone, lotrimin and polysporin. We used a 1/8 measuring spoon from a dollar store measuring spoon set, and took equal squirts of each and put into small sealable container. Blended well (with toothpick) and applied this after each nursing. This "recipe" was giving to my dd by an LC friend and it worked wonders. It does NOT need to be washed off - if you see any ointment remaining next nursing or pumping time, just wipe it away with damp cloth."

You will also probably want to do salne rinses and some of the other nipple healing measures here: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/nipplehealing.html

"Not really biting, but scraping teeth or indentations

Teeth scraping, uncomfortable latch, or indentations on your nipple tissue from the teeth is not all that uncommon. It seems to be worse for most moms right when the teeth first cut through, and before they have a chance to wear down some and become less sharp. Babies may also change their latch a bit when they get new teeth, as nursing can feel different to them with the new teeth. With time, baby will learn to nurse better with the new teeth and you won't be so aware of them. Here are some suggestions that have helped other moms:

* With an older baby, the weight of the baby can cause baby's mouth and teeth to "drag down" on the breast tissue. See if you can position baby so that her weight is supported well. Use pillows or a chair with arm rests to support her as much as you can. When she is nursing on the left side, bring her bottom in a little bit closer and vice versa. Don't let her nurse in a position that lets her weight and gravity cause her mouth to pull down on your breast and nipple. Try moving her body slightly in different ways (higher, lower, side to side, etc.) till the pressure on your breast is lessened.
* Latch baby on and position her head so that it is tilted back more to get the pressure of the top teeth off your breast. For example, if baby is nursing in the cradle position on the left side, bring her body toward the right a bit. This will bring baby's chin up, with her head a bit cocked back, and that moves the pressure of baby's top teeth off the top of the nipple. Don't let her chin rest on her chest.
* Some other ways to get baby's head tilted back more: ask your child to look at you while she nurses, or hold a book up high to read to your child and have her look at the book.
* When you support your breast with 2-4 fingers underneath and thumb on top, push in against the chest wall with your index finger just before offering the breast. This will cause the nipple and areola to point down more, so that they don't rub against baby's upper teeth. This technique is often suggested for moms who have nipple soreness due to their nipples rubbing up against the roof of baby's mouth.
* Ask baby to open WIDE and show her with your own mouth. Tell her that it hurts mommy and ask her to try again until it feels better.
* A generous application of lanolin before and after feeding may be helpful, as will rinsing your nipples with cool water after feedings. When babies are teething they produce more saliva which can be irritating to nipple tissue. If baby is eating solids, sometimes food particles left in the mouth can also irritate nipple tissue, so it may help to rinse out baby's mouth or give baby a sip of water prior to nursing.
* Any time you experience soreness, go back to the basics of latch just as you did in the early days.
* It's also possible that some of the tenderness is a result of ovulation or an impending menstrual period. Many moms of older babies are more bothered with latch on and baby's teeth during these times."

more on bitng and preventing biting: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/older-baby/biting.html

Take a look at the info and follow up with questions.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2006
Mon, 09-21-2009 - 4:06pm

Thank you so much!

SiggyJuly2010.jpg Siggy July 2010 picture by nrnotes