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Thread: scared of biting

  1. #1

    Default scared of biting

    My six-month old DS has been biting at the end of nursing sessions off and on for a few weeks now. I try to say "NO" firmly and remove him from the breast and suspend the nursing session for 5 minutes. Sometimes, if he catches me totally by surprise, I scream. But it seems he hasn't quite learned yet not to do this.

    The hardest part is that I used to get extra sleep by side-lying nursing and co-sleeping part of the night (we start out with him in a co-sleeper basinette), and sometimes I put him back in there whenever I wake up. But a few 3 am CHOMPS have made me afraid to fall asleep with him, and I miss that time together and also don't want to lose any more sleep than I am already since he is usually waking up from 2-4 times per night.

    I've started being more vigilant and sitting up while nursing him at night and disengaging him after 10-15 minutes of nursing when it looks like he is going/gone back to sleep and seems quiet enough to settle.

    Any advice from you experienced ladies on how to handle this? Am I on the right track? Other techniques? Do you think I will someday be able to fall asleep nursing him again without worrying about the baby barracuda attack?

    Thanks,




    EBF-ing and pumping, part-time CD-ing, working, older, first-time mom

    DH: full-time dad

    DS: born 2/16/11

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Default Re: scared of biting

    Ugh. I went through this with Joe when he was about six months old. It was rough. The hardest part was not the biting, but the anticipatory fear that made me so jumpy during nursing sessions that I could barely latch the kid on!

    It sounds like you're doing everything right. Unlatch him towards the end of the nursing session when he's starting to get tired and more likely to bite. When he bites, unlatch him immediately and teach him that biting equals no boob. The hard part is that it can take a week or two for this lesson to really sink in. Joe did not respond to gentler, quieter methods, and only stopped biting when I treated it pretty melodramatically. How shall we say: he's not an overly sensitive child. This made it harder, too.

    I don't have much advice, as it sounds like you're doing all the right things, but I will say, it was a short-lived phase for us. A difficult couple of weeks at most. And since then, I can count the number of times Joe has bit me on one hand, and they were all when he was sick, congested, or had an ear infection (thus, not intentional). Hang in there. A little more reinforcement, and this problem will go away.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    251

    Default Re: scared of biting

    My LO went through biting phases of about a week each every time she was getting a new pair of teeth. The last time we went through this, it was so bad I was scared I'd have to wean. So, been there, done that. It's very important to be consistent in your response to the biting. Removing him after he bites and saying "no" is a fine approach, even through he is too little to understand the language you are using. Hopefully, he will come to associate the end of a nursing session with his biting.

    But what really helped me was just trying to observe the circumstances in which my DD bit. The last time around, I noticed that she only bit at the end of nursing when she had lost interest. I would take her off, put her on again a minute later and she would bite again (because she still wasn't interested.) Once I figured that out, I started removing her when I sensed she was losing interest, and also not offering to nurse unless she was acting like she wanted to. This was around six months when she was getting very interested in toys and interacting with her world, so it made sense that she was temporarily less interested in nursing. We got back to normal after a couple weeks.

    Anyway, I think you are on the right track with your response. Maybe try to avoid screaming when it happens (though I know it really, really hurts). You don't want your little guy associating nursing with upsetting mommy, you know? These days I say "no teeth on mommy," if DD bites, and set her down for a minute (though she only bites my shoulder, back, legs, etc, not my nipple )
    -Hannah

    SAHM-WAHM to lovely Lizzie, born at home 9/14/2010


  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: scared of biting

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lizziesmom View Post
    Maybe try to avoid screaming when it happens (though I know it really, really hurts). You don't want your little guy associating nursing with upsetting mommy, you know? These days I say "no teeth on mommy," if DD bites, and set her down for a minute (though she only bites my shoulder, back, legs, etc, not my nipple )
    This is true for a lot of babies. But just for the record, not with mine. Loud yelping was the ONLY thing that got the idea across to my little boy. Like I said, not so sensitive.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  5. #5

    Default Re: scared of biting

    Joes mom I am finding the same thing with my little one, which I find strange because other things ie. if you sneeze when he isn't expecting it he pouts and starts to cry, but when it comes to biting I have to be a bit loud about it for him to get it. He has a very interesting and sometimes very comical personality

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    64

    Default Re: scared of biting

    My daughter went through a biting phase and pretty much any reaction, including making her stop nursing for a few minutes made her laugh of all things! She thought it was absolutely hysterical. She finds me saying no in a stern voice comical in all situations so I know I am in for it down the road. Anyway, what actually ended up working for us was, when she would bite I would pull her in closer to my breast, for some reason this made her loosen her jaw again and go back to eating, without any laughter. After doing this for only a couple of days the biting stopped completely. She has done it on two occasions since then, and both times she got a tooth the next day. Each time I would pull her in closer and that would be the end of it. We don't bed share so I don't have any advice for the nighttime dilemma. Good luck!

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