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Thread: We have a biter

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Default We have a biter

    So I knew I would jinx myself by saying my son hasn't bitten me yet to a friend. He's turned into quite the biter now. He'll start by sucking and starting to pull off then clamp down and scrape his teeth along me. The whole smooshing his face into my breast to get him to let go won't really work as by the time I've realized and had time to react, he's already off! So is my only other option flicking his nose or feet and telling him no and setting him down?

  2. #2
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: We have a biter

    IMO, flicking isn't an option. Flicking is just hitting by another name, right? And mamas who react strongly or emotionally or physically sometimes end up with babies who are afraid to go back to the breast, and then biting turns into a nursing strike. this happened to a friend of mine- she screamed when the baby bit her and the baby would not go back to the breast. She ended up weaning at 9 months, not by choice!

    When a baby bites, the best things you can do are:
    1. Prevent the bite by identifying when he is likely to bite, and taking him off the breast before a bite can occur. Most babies bite towards the end of a feeding when they are no longer feeding actively, and are just "playing around".
    2. If you miss the "I'm gonna bite" cue, and he nips you, remove him from the breast, tell him "No biting, hurts mama!" in a gentle but firm tone, and put him down. Don't pick him up or resume the feeding for a minute or so, at least. He should eventually realize that biting means the immediate end of his time at the breast, but it may take multiple repetitions before you really get this concept burned into his little brain.

    Good luck, mama! I know biting is no fun!
    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
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    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: We have a biter

    A friend of mine had a terrible biter, and she used to pull the baby in very quickly when she realized he was about to bite, and they have to open their mouths instead and then she could get him off before being injured, and it helped him learn to stop biting.

    I used to do the above #2 for my biter. Put the baby down and walk away for a minute.

    Flicking is hitting, and biting the biter...that's just wrong
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  4. #4
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Re: We have a biter

    Yeah, I wasn't really a big fan of the idea of flicking him, it was the suggestion someone gave me awhile ago if he started biting, it worked for them. I'll keep with the taking him off and setting him down after he bites me and hope that it works. Little stinker has been doing it ALL day, he's got 2 teeth coming in. He doesn't really give any cues that I can tell, he's constantly moving around the whole time and being distracted even in a dark room. Also is actively sucking and swallowing until the second he comes off. Thanks for the tips!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: We have a biter

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*stacyat View Post
    Yeah, I wasn't really a big fan of the idea of flicking him, it was the suggestion someone gave me awhile ago if he started biting, it worked for them. I'll keep with the taking him off and setting him down after he bites me and hope that it works. Little stinker has been doing it ALL day, he's got 2 teeth coming in. He doesn't really give any cues that I can tell, he's constantly moving around the whole time and being distracted even in a dark room. Also is actively sucking and swallowing until the second he comes off. Thanks for the tips!
    Mine is a biter too, and he is a very sensitive baby so I really don't want to overreact and have him go on a nursing strike. BUT, you mention teething. It's really, really hard for a baby not to bite when they are teething. You might notice him biting at everything not just you. What I do is treat the teething pain. Giving Tylenol or Motrin when he is especially bite-y has helped us.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: We have a biter

    I flicked and tapped. And No I don't really think it's the same as hitting. It worked for me. Actually much better than pulling him off and walking away. Because he was still in my arms, still attached and able to console himself at my breast if need be. Also he was able to look right into my eyes and we were able to communicate. He knew exactly what he had done/was doing that was upsetting me. My child reacted much more strongly to being set down.

    Way too lazy for formula

  7. #7
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    Default Re: We have a biter

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*djs.mom View Post
    And No I don't really think it's the same as hitting.
    I agree! But I wasn't gonna say it and start that debate on here because I figured I'd be in the minority That being said, I don't like the idea of it, but if setting him down alone does not work I will try it because people do have success with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*melissawoods View Post
    BUT, you mention teething. It's really, really hard for a baby not to bite when they are teething. You might notice him biting at everything not just you. What I do is treat the teething pain. Giving Tylenol or Motrin when he is especially bite-y has helped us.
    You know, I hadn't really put two and two together until you wrote this. I've been giving him motrin or tylenol when he first started getting a tooth in and had an ear infection at the same time. But the past two days, which is as long as he's been biting, I haven't given it to him because it's been two weeks now of it and it feels weird medicating him for that long. Also, he was super duper fussy regardless of if I gave it to him or not so I thought maybe it wasn't really helping. But maybe it was, because the two days I don't give it to him, and he starts biting while nursing! Before he was just biting everything else, but never while nursing. I'll try giving him some motrin today and see how we do. Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: We have a biter

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*stacyat View Post
    I agree! But I wasn't gonna say it and start that debate on here because I figured I'd be in the minority That being said, I don't like the idea of it, but if setting him down alone does not work I will try it because people do have success with it.
    Oh! I don't want to start a debate either. And I am sure I AM in the minority. But I did what worked for me and just thought I'd say WHY I thought it had worked. Not that I NEVER set him down. I did that but mostly after we established we had established that it was a problem. My first round of problematic biting was when he was between 8and nine months old. I didn't start putting him down and ending the session until he was after a year when his molars broke. By that point I felt I had established with him that biting was NOT OK.

    Way too lazy for formula

  9. #9
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    Default Re: We have a biter

    The cue they give when they are about to bite is very subtle. They will let go with their tongues and pull that back so they can bite. Really. Feel for it. I got to where I could pre-empt the whole thing because the minute I felt the tongue move, I would pop baby off. He also would get this look on his face that meant he wasn't really interested in eating any longer but was ready to play.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  10. #10
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    Jan 2011
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    Default Re: We have a biter

    i find it funny to hear people say "not to react too strongly"
    like i had a choice. LO but me once and hard. yep i screamed. scared the crap outta her, i held her and we both cried...it's been 4 months and she has not done it again (aside from sleepy scraping as she doses off)
    fingers crossed i didn't just jinx myself...
    Jenna, momma to Lillian (1/1/11)
    Cosleeping, cloth diapering
    milk donated to date: 3182 ounces

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