What to do About Mini Sharks
Mommy-hood isn't a town, it's a train. We go along for the journey but are left stuck at each station until we figure out how to get back on. Today is about station 4, otherwise known as the deep abyss.
Welcome to Sharkville
You're holding your baby and suddenly notice they have their first shiny new tooth. Your baby's smile went from cute gums to, "How much is that going to hurt?" The answer is, they won't, or they shouldn't. You may now have a mini shark but you are MAMA SHARK. And as the mama shark you get to set the rules for your mini.
Don't fear for your nipple. In other words, don't shyly hand it over to your mini. The problem with attempting this way is your baby may not latch like they usually do. You want to attempt all feedings the same as before. If you don't get a deep latch, your baby may graze your nipple with their teeth unintentionally.
Take a moment to ask yourself a question. "How do I usually unlatch my baby?" This is a big one. If you, like myself, pulled baby off with no thought about it what-so-ever then you have some adjustments to do. If you pull baby off their teeth will again graze your nipple. Your mini shark is not biting you, they were moved from a safe latch and are now holding on to get some more of mama shark's milk. You will want to allow your baby to unlatch themselves. If they have not done it on their own and you need to unlatch, take your pinky and slide it into the corner edge of their mouth. (You can do this on either side) By sticking your pinky in gently, you will break the suction and allow for your nipple to escape shark teeth safely.
Don't allow a shark attack. If your little one decides they want to eat and play you have a couple of options. The first option is to try BuysTabs. BusyTabs will allow your new toothy grinned baby to play while they eat without making your poor nipple the toy. The next option is to teach baby that biting is not allowed. You can do this by saying "ow" or "no" and unlatching your baby when it happens. By ending the session they will learn that biting means no more of mama's milk.
Jennifer Fletcher- Founder- Mother of 2 @NurseMeMama
Photo credits: @JonahNRO @Zazzle