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Thread: 9.5 month old biting, and striking

  1. #1

    Default 9.5 month old biting, and striking

    Well, I see there are quite a few posts out there related to this topic, but they're dated and I don't have time to read through all the responses. Plus, this gives me a chance to air my grievances.

    My son had become an ok nurser. In my, not very experienced estimation, it has always been more about food than cuddles. But, we were able to nurse in weird places, and frequently.

    Almost 2 weeks ago my 9 month old son started his nursing strike. A week before that his nipple biting had really taken off. He has 4 teeth on top and 4 on bottom, and I believe he is working on the canines, so "biting hurts" is what I would tell him. After one such incidence I calmly set him down, inspected my nipple to show him it hurts and he cried. I picked him up and hugged him reassuring him I was not angry, but it would seem that was the last straw for him.

    He has been cleared by doc for any possible health reasons. I've spoken with my lac consultant. I've scoured the web. In the first 2 days I was able to sneakily nurse him on 2 separate occasions while he was very drowsy, now not even that works.

    He bucks, he cries, he pushes and he kicks. And when the nipple cleared the lips, he bit.

    I should mention I am with him all day. I don't work. I'm pumping and giving him bottles. At first, I always offered to nurse first, but after a week of that, the refusals seemed to be getting stronger. So I stopped being forceful (putting him in a hold with my boob in his face). Also, he loves real food.

    I don't know what to do now. I'm going to keep pumping. I'm going to keep giving him bottles and solids. I know some might say these things will take away a reason for him to go back to nursing, and I don't disagree, but I'm torn.

    I want him to nurse, but I don't want to go backwards. Solids are the way of his future, and he needs to get milk, even if by bottle I'm not going to let him get too hungry. We experimented with that a little, and all it produced was a very angry little man. It seems like a fools errand to take backwards steps to try to get him to nurse when I don't know if those steps will even work, and if they do, knowing it's all temporary anyway makes me not want to force the issue.

    But I'm sad!! And I want him to nurse again. It's how I envisioned ourselves. Nursing until he wanted to stop... at 4 years old or something like that.

    So, I repeat, I don't know what to do and I'm sad. I sit around topless. Sometimes he pinches my nipples and grins. Today he banged a stacking cup against my boob. Is this progress? haha ahhhhhh! at least he's not crying.

    Will he ever come back? Is he telling me he is independent? Am I still in trouble for telling him he can't bite? Is a bottle just too easy, sorry mom?

    While I believe I've tried a lot of things, I am soliciting for advice. Thank you so much for reading this!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,606

    Default Re: 9.5 month old biting, and striking

    I'm so sorry, mama! Nursing strikes are awful. Your experience isn't uncommon- a lot of babies stop nursing following a bite and a reaction from mom. Yours sounds like it was remarkably calm, so please don't beat yourself up over it.

    The best thing you can do is to continue to offer to nurse. Try offering in different positions, different locations (the bath is good), and at different times of day. Try doing lots of skin-to-skin cuddles. Try instant reward techniques, where you express a little milk onto the nipple before offering the breast- that way baby will get a taste if he latches on. Try offering at night when your baby is drowsy or even asleep- a lot of babies who resist during the day will nurse at night when they are too sleepy and relaxed to put up a fight.

    Obviously you have to keep feeding him. The only thing I would say about the bottle is that you don't want it to be too much fun for him. So don't let him drag it around the house with him, or drink it while playing. Try to give it to him in your arms, cuddled close. That way he doesn't get the idea that the breast is boring, whereas bottles are fun and can be combined with other activities.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: 9.5 month old biting, and striking

    I am in a similar situation, but my babe is 8.5 months and has an ear infection instead of reflux. We're on day 4 now. He only takes expressed milk from a sippy cup now. Every time I offer he gets mad and bites if the nipple goes past his lips. I wonder what the statistics are on strikes (how common it is, how many babies never come back). No advice, just sympathy.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 9.5 month old biting, and striking

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bowleskimberlyb View Post
    I am in a similar situation, but my babe is 8.5 months and has an ear infection instead of reflux. We're on day 4 now. He only takes expressed milk from a sippy cup now. Every time I offer he gets mad and bites if the nipple goes past his lips. I wonder what the statistics are on strikes (how common it is, how many babies never come back). No advice, just sympathy.
    Update... my babe's strike lasted six days. I just kept offering, low key, and one afternoon he decided to nurse. He made a move with his jaw like he was thinking about biting, and was looking at me, so I just tried not to react. Then he started nursing like nothing ever happened! We're on day three of normal nursing now.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 9.5 month old biting, and striking

    update: it has been a month and my son still won't nurse. I'm pumping and bottle feeding. I'm exhausted right now and feel really low.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,606

    Default Re: 9.5 month old biting, and striking

    I am so sorry, mama. You have been working so hard and it's not fair that you're not being rewarded for it.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: 9.5 month old biting, and striking

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bowleskimberlyb View Post
    Update... my babe's strike lasted six days. I just kept offering, low key, and one afternoon he decided to nurse. He made a move with his jaw like he was thinking about biting, and was looking at me, so I just tried not to react. Then he started nursing like nothing ever happened! We're on day three of normal nursing now.
    That's good to know! I hope laochsmama will be able to get through this too.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    171

    Default Re: 9.5 month old biting, and striking

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*laochsmama View Post
    update: it has been a month and my son still won't nurse. I'm pumping and bottle feeding. I'm exhausted right now and feel really low.
    I know how it feels..I remember when DD started doing this before she weaned. I can't say how long it will continue but I hope you'll get through it.

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