Our 6 month old infant does not seem to understand that the breast milk feeding bottle is for sucking and not chewing or soothing. She does not suck it but chews it instead, despite having no teeth.

Sometimes her mother has difficulty breast feeding as she sometimes tries to chew her mothers nipple, though she sucks well if she is sleeping. She is correctly latched on to her mother's breast.

How can I train my infant baby to suck instead of chewing the teat of her feeding bottle?

I've also tried applying pressure to the bottle to generate a steady stream of milk, which she enjoys.

  • Has the infant used bottles just fine before, or is this an introduction to the bottle? Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 15:26
  • @balancedmama first introduction of bottle with breastmilk Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 16:33
  • 2
    Maybe he chews it on purpose - his gums may be itchy because of the teeth going out. This may simply feel good.
    – Dariusz
    Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 16:48

4 Answers 4


I had the same problem and corrected it. Let me give you the insights I learned during this process and some things I tried to get the biting to stop, which it eventually did:

  • The gums rise significantly before the teeth come out and affect the way a baby latches (to a bottle or breast).
  • At 6 months the baby starts eating more solids, which means they need less milk. If you wait for the baby to ask for the breast (they will nuzzle their head) there are much fewer bites.
  • If the baby bites, immediately remove the breast and say "ouch" loudly. They'll learn...
  • I also tried every kind of bottle out there. While we previously used Tommy Tipee with success, after her gums came up she wouldn't take it anymore. It turns out that MAM was the only one she really liked.
  • Breast pumping equipment is really hard to get 100% clean - around this time I bought a new falange and hose set.
  • Bought lots of teethers and generally were a waste of money, she liked only two: Sophie the giraffe and a teething ring with silicone textured beads.
  • She never really took a dummy... we bought every single last kind and all a waste of money.
  • As another poster said, make sure the flow is right for her age.
  • Also, have the doctor check out her mouth to make sure she doesn't have a lip-tie, tongue-tie or other physical issue. This is when we noticed out baby had a little lip-tie.

Best of luck!


Some suggestions you could explore:

  • Try another brand until you find one that works. A lot of people I know who breastfed and did bottle feeding had success with the Playtex bottles that have a disposable bag you put the milk in. I think the suction to the bag simulated the breast better perhaps?

  • There are corresponding ages for the flow speed so perhaps double check you have the right artificial nipple first. Maybe hers is a flow for newborns?

  • Mom should unlatch and withdraw the breast from their mouth fully when baby bites so baby associates biting with the breast being taken away. She should definitely not endure the pain while nursing as the nipple can get bruised making it even more pain to deal with.


I had this problem as my little one had poor suction anyway, especially when he was teething. Chewing is soothing to sore gums.

Rather than putting the bottle in baby's mouth, I put it to his lips so he had to suck it in. I would also stroke his chin at the same time. However, this only works if baby is hungry. As he was feeding, if he began to chew, I would remove the bottle. This is easy to see because there is no suction and no bubbles through the milk. Then I would present the bottle at his lips again to be sucked in.

He didn't really get frustrated as the bottle was always there to be sucked in. It takes patience and time but his technique really improved and his volume of milk. Hope this helps.


I think you may be overlooking the possibility of her beginning the teething stage.

The most obvious way to get them sucking is to help them learn to enjoy a dummy. My almost 6 month old son has finally taken to the dummy after ~5 months of spitting it out. As a result I think he complains less and has gained stronger suckling power, making feeds quicker in the process.

We've also used teething gels such as Calgel (I think) and given him various chewing toys.

If you're certain it's not related to teething, another option is to wait until your baby is truly hungry - not just ready for their next feed - distract them if you need them to stop crying and they aren't hungry enough yet.

Keep attempting to give the bottle to your baby and if they refuse to take it stand up and walk around with them so it's clear you're not trying to feed them, and then after a short while go back and try again. And repeat, until she manages it.

Incorporate some positive reinforcement into the situation such as “Yeah” with a big smile whenever they open their mouth with intent or make a positive move towards sucking.

Your baby will easily learn, once motivated by hunger and aware that the bottle is the only option. Unless there are some other health or development issues. As with anything, have a chat with your doctor about it as well.

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