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Thread: Breastmilk on teeth at night & Feisty nurser :(

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Northeast Pennsylvania
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    Default Breastmilk on teeth at night & Feisty nurser :(

    My 18-month-old (She will be 19 months this week) has a new habit while nursing. She likes to use the arm that wraps around me to grab, tap or scratch at my side, she uses the arm on top to grab, tap, scratch my chest and at times grab at my face AND she also like to kick her feet and if possible use whatever is close by...couch, arm of chair and at times even me to push off of while she is latched on. At first I was able to handle it for a bit and she would fall asleep, but now, it is like Chinese water torture and I lose my patience quick. I have grabbed her feet and held them...I have held her hand, I have used the boppy to block her other hand but I am at a loss.

    I love nursing my baby girl and want to continue...at least to age 2. However, when she does all of this...I get so upset that I can cry and I just want to put her down immediately and quit nursing. Does anyone have any suggestions? Someone else has had to go through this!

    Also, my daughter had her well visit today and I asked her doctor is nursing before bed could damage her teeth and she said...unfortunately, breast milk also has sugar which can give her cavities. So, while I brush my daughter's teeth twice a day...morning and night I am worried about cavities since my teeth were horrible growing up. My husband, on the other hand, has excellent teeth.

    Her doctor suggested I use a wet washcloth to run my finger over her teeth but she does not understand how hard it is for me to get this kiddo down to bed at night. I still nurse her to sleep which usually works great and she sleeps all night. If she wakes when I put her down...I have to stand there for a bit and usually she falls asleep. So, I am afraid if I wake her by wiping her teeth off...I am going to be there all night trying to get her to bed.

    My daughter has her first dentist appointment tomorrow. So, I guess I will see what she says.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!
    Thanks,
    Jaime
    Jaime
    First time mommy to Lucy Madison, born 8/25/2010.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    6,562

    Default Re: Breastmilk on teeth at night & Feisty nurser :(

    I think the dentist is going to agree with your doctor. But I do not. My 3.5 year old has no cavities and she night-nursed until she was 2. And we actually didn't really start brushing her teeth every night until she was 2.5, I would guess. My 14 month old gets her teeth brushed every night after dinner but nurses on demand all night. She has seen the dentist already, at 11 months I think - to try and help bolster big sister's confidence - and he didn't even ask me if she nurses at night.

    Have you seen this?
    http://kellymom.com/ages/older-infant/tooth-decay/

    ETA: Sorry about the nursing acrobatics. I wonder if you set her down and stopped nursing, what she would do? Or do you think her bedtime is too early and she is not really sleepy? I just get back up when Trixie is acting like that and wait until later to see if she will go to sleep.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,271

    Default Re: Breastmilk on teeth at night & Feisty nurser :(

    I predict that the dentist will agree, in which case he/she will be just as wrong as the doc. Breastmilk is unlikely to cause decay unless your child is particularly prone to tooth decay due to defective enamel or something. A far more important source of dental decay in children is their daily diet- juice or milk in bottles/sippy cups, constant snacking on sugary/starchy snacks.
    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!"

  4. #4

    Default Re: Breastmilk on teeth at night & Feisty nurser :(

    When any of my 3 children have gone through the irritating, fiddly stage you describe I have put them down for 2 mins and gently explained why I am doing so. Whether they understand the language or not is obviously dependent on age but either way this seems to have worked for me and mine xxx

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Breastmilk on teeth at night & Feisty nurser :(

    Also, my daughter had her well visit today and I asked her doctor is nursing before bed could damage her teeth and she said...unfortunately, breast milk also has sugar which can give her cavities. So, while I brush my daughter's teeth twice a day...morning and night I am worried about cavities since my teeth were horrible growing up. My husband, on the other hand, has excellent teeth.
    No, no no. Even the american dental association & the AAP says breastfeeding is GOOD for teeth and that there is no evidence longer nursing duration makes a child more prone to cavities. A child being prone to tooth decay is due to heredity and/or issues that occured in utero and/or having the mouth colonized by the bacteria that causes tooth decay, none of which has anything to do with nursing at night or any other time. There is an excelent discussion of this issue in the 2010 The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.

    See: ADA: http://www.ada.org/3143.aspx and Pediatics Journal: http://www.pediatricsdigest.mobi/con...20/4/e944.full

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    S.C.
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    6

    Default Re: Breastmilk on teeth at night & Feisty nurser :(

    I too am going through the fiesty nurser! My son is 16 months old and it's like he wants to dance an Irish jig whenever he starts to nurse! In fact my nipple is actually sore this week from where he has tugged and pulled while making like River Dance! I am not sure what to do either. I have tried the holding of the feet and hands to no avail. Just wanted to let you know you're not alone!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Northeast Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Breastmilk on teeth at night & Feisty nurser :(

    Good to hear that I am not alone. My local lactation specialist told me to make a breastfeeding necklace to keep her busy at night. I still haven't made one yet but she has calmed down on the fussiness for now. As far as her teeth...I am still brushing her teeth before I nurse her to sleep and also in the morning. She fights so bad with brushing her teeth that I cannot imagine trying to do it after nursing. I will read the articles referenced above and do some addiitonal research. The dentist said that she had no cavities but it does look like the top front teeth are a bit discolored. The dentist said she has a prominent frenum so I now have to brush those top four teeth vertically. I am hoping the discoloration fades. When she was at her dentist they did not even try to clean her teeth though...just a quick look because she was screaming at the top of her lungs and fighting. :P
    Jaime
    First time mommy to Lucy Madison, born 8/25/2010.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    132

    Default Re: Breastmilk on teeth at night & Feisty nurser :(

    My 19 month old is a fiesty nurser.
    When ever she is hurting or annoying me, I just unlatch her and tell her - "That hurts, Abi." or "That's annoying, Abi. Stop." If she doesn't I unlatch her and or give her a light spank on the diaper. She gets it and backs off.
    TW
    <Abigail 9/6/10>

  9. #9

    Default Re: Breastmilk on teeth at night & Feisty nurser :(

    I have a 14 month old and am going through the EXACT same thing with my little guy. He has always been a little more grabby than my other two children but lately he has been scratching, pulling, and pinching at my breasts. They actually look like I let someone punch me with tiny fists and claw me with cat claws. As an added trouble in our ordeal, my little guy is also using my nipple as a chew toy. I have been trying to channel all my patience and praying that eventually as I take him off, say no, and encourage him when he is nursing well but it is VERY hard sometimes.

    Hang in there, I know that it must get better.

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