Sunday, September 20, 2009

Breastfeeding a toothy baby

While it may be hard to tell from the picture, the BabyBeast popped a couple of teeth out on the bottom

Since it's been on my mind lately (and on my nipples), I thought this would be a great time to address breastfeeding a baby with teeth, especially since I've already heard from one well-meaning family member, "I guess this means you're done with breastfeeding!"

The simple fact is, the teeth never touch me when he's nursing. They're on the bottom, which means his tongue covers them (and believe me, I am one happy MommaBeast about that). And he hasn't made any efforts to bite me while nursing (or even shortly after nursing, in the sip-and-contemplate stage of his nursing sessions).

What about when his top teeth come in (and yes, there are little gum-bumps already)? Well,, THE breastfeeding site, has some answers to that. And just in case you need the information backed up, the La Leche League provides some wonderful information here.

I plan to allow the BabyBeast to self-wean. I will let him breastfeed as long as he wants to (and, in fact, the WHO and AAP recommend breastfeeding continue for at least two years, although it can continue beyond that point as far as the mother and child desire. While I don't see myself nursing a kindergardener, I am comfortable having a nursing toddler who can use whole sentences to ask for nursing.

Teeth are such a small thing in a nursing relationship, and they definitely shouldn't end it... especially not when the baby is only 5 1/2 months old, like my BabyBeast.

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