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Thread: seriously considering weaning

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Default seriously considering weaning

    I had originally planned on weaning at 1, but when DS turned 1, I know he loved to nurse too much for me to stop. And I read that WHO recommends nursing until 2. However, DS has been biting chunks out of my nipples. A few days ago, he bit what I thought was a large chunk off my nipple, but the day before yesterday, he bit an even bigger chunk out of my other nipple - I actually bled for 15-20 minutes and then had seepage blood for several hours. I have tried to set him away from me when he bites and praise him when he doesn't, but it hasn't seemed to help. DH and I have discussed the need for the consequence to be more significant, so I now get up and leave the room rather than just setting him down. And I make a huge to do if he doesn't bite me. But he bit me again just now. It is so painful to be bitten, so painful to nurse, and even painful to have anything touching my nipples (like clothing of any kind). I just don't know if I can handle being bitten anymore. I know he loves to nurse, and I love to nurse him, but not lately. Lately I am scared to nurse him and get more and more angry at him the more he bites me. I just don't know what to do. I will continue with the harsher strategy, but if that doesn't work, than I am going to have to wean him. Any more options for getting him to stop biting? If he doesn't, what is the weaning strategy that would work best to eliminate as much pain for all of us as possible?
    Please excuse my typos, I am always NAK.

    DS since 1/30/11

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Texas
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    Default Re: seriously considering weaning

    first, i'm sorry you're going through this. second, i would ask what is your best guess as to why he is biting? do you think it is teething related? does it seem like a game to him? is he bored/super restless? are their patterns as to when he is biting (only evenings, only afternoons for example). I ask because this info may help in getting it to stop. a child who is teething probably would need cold teethers before nursing, maybe many many different kinds, perhaps needs to be on advil more than he is now, etc. but if he's laughing, and thinks its a game..there are mamas here who have dealt with that i think. or if its boredom you might try distraction methods. if its at certain times/he's restless, maybe he needs to get more energy out, or maybe that particular feeding can be cut out.

    i hope this is helpful, and i hope more mamas can provide answers here, especially how to take care of your injury so you can heal and be pain-free. I think kellymom.com has some good info on taking care of the healing part.
    Christine
    Can't believe I've been and a full-time SAHM to Elena (5/2010) for over 2 yrs!
    Mami de mi preciosa Elenita
    http://forums.llli.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=32384&dateline=131170  7429 OakRoseCharms Free Shipping for LLLadies just pm me! My Blog

  3. #3
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    Feb 2011
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    Default Re: seriously considering weaning

    Thanks for the reply. He isn't teething. He does it when he is done on that side. It seems like a game sometimes. In fact, if he didn't "scrape off" the nipple, as I call it (that is what it seems like, just keeping his teeth atttached while delatchin) he will come in and actually bite it. But he usually has a smile on his face when he does that and I catch that behavior. He hasn't done that for a week now, just much harder scrape offs, taking chuncks of skin with the delatch. He doesn't do it when he is sleepy in the middle of the night or if he fell asleep before a nap.
    Please excuse my typos, I am always NAK.

    DS since 1/30/11

  4. #4
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    Texas
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    Default Re: seriously considering weaning

    I can only tell you what I would do if I were experiencing that, so take this with a grain of salt. I'd think you're probably a pro at judging how long a normal session usually takes so I would preemptively unlatch him, especially if its on that side and its towards the end (so his feeding on that side is basically over). You might pair it with something distracting, maybe a special song or humming, or telling him about going to play now, etc. Then I would either set him down so he could run off or take him away from the nursing area to some more distracting area, or even outside, possibly with snacks.
    IME at that age LO just wanted to run around and she was already testing limits, so if she was already full any messing around at the breast was just because she wasn't doing something else, kwim? I think also if it happens around times when he's getting rowdy, kicking, wiggling, etc, maybe just offer the side that does not get the harsh treatment, and hold off on the traumatized side until the next feeding.
    Christine
    Can't believe I've been and a full-time SAHM to Elena (5/2010) for over 2 yrs!
    Mami de mi preciosa Elenita
    http://forums.llli.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=32384&dateline=131170  7429 OakRoseCharms Free Shipping for LLLadies just pm me! My Blog

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Default Re: seriously considering weaning

    He just bit me again!!!! He had just started and he purposely bit down HARD. He drew blood again and the flap of skin that he cut open is seriously almost to the middle of my nipple. I am thinking I may have to go get stitches. I AM DONE!!!! I can't handle this anymore. I don't know what else to do. I can't seem to get him to stop. I am at my wits end.
    Please excuse my typos, I am always NAK.

    DS since 1/30/11

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Northern Cal.
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    Default Re: seriously considering weaning

    OUCH. This sounds really bad! I'm so sorry!

    I suppose you've already tried saying "NO!" pretty firmly (or even, I dunno, more than "firmly" - like you're in pain?) and unlatching? What happens then? Does he bite harder or does he stop?

    My experience with a biting nursling was a lot earlier - when Joe was about six months. And he did draw blood once, and it was awful. It was clearly a fun game to him. But at that age, I just stopped nursing him immediately, said (okay, shrieked) "No!" and then took a breather. Eventually he figured it out.

    You need to heal your nipple right now. You can take a little time off at this age, you don't have to decide today (obviously, if you get engorged, watch out for mastitis). This is definitely very challenging behavior and I can absolutely understand your frustration. I'd be pulling my hair out in your shoes too. So, take a little time off, let that nipple heal, and then you can see how he does without it and decide whether you might be willing to let him latch again (while you watch him like a HAWK).


    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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    43

    Default Re: seriously considering weaning

    My son started biting me around 8/9 months. Well he gummed me pretty good when he was 4 months too and that hurts pretty bad as well. He bit on and off and would scream and cry when firmly saying NO and setting him down and walking away. Then around 13/14 months he took biting to the next level. He did the teeth scraping that you are describing and would bite so hard I honestly didn't think I could control myself to not wack him in the face and off my breast. I feel your pain. I was so tender and raw from the biting and scraping. Walking away started to not phase him anymore, which made it worse. I would dread nursing him and found myself purposely finding distractions for him to delay nursing. He is now nearly 19 months and we are still nursing and seem to be in the clear with all the biting. I'm not sure why my son bit, he was getting molars at the time he was really doing damage to me but he more so seemed to enjoy giving me pain. It was almost like entertainment for him. I also have a daughter who is 19 months older so I made sure to provide him with extra time in the day incase it was jealousy. The biting only got worse. This is what I did and it really seemed to work. I would nurse him with my hand resting right by his cheek gently resting my hand in a very loose fist fashion with index fingerpointing to the corner of his mouth. He would give me a look moments before the bite or scrape. When he started to chomp I would jam my index finger into the corner of his mouth so during the chomp he would bite the inside of his cheek. I would hold my index finger in even when his jaw would let up and glare at him with anger and say NOOOO bite!!! I would firmly place him down on the ground and walk away. I would wait a full minute and then go back if he was crying. Sometimes he didn't cry and didn't seem to care so I would not offer to nurse at that moment. It was hard sometimes at naptime and I felt like I was jamming my finger and walking away and attempting to nurse for the entire nap! If he bit at bedtime trying to go down for the night I would leave and have my husband put him down. Most times he screamed and screamed for me to to come back even in Daddy's arms. I did not feel bad letting him cry in Daddy's arms because I was done with this game. I would sit down and recollect myself. Sometimes it was a few minutes and sometimes I would leave him with daddy for a good 5-10 minutes. If I heard a lot of the gasping sobs I would feel bad and take him from my husband and he would nurse right down. There was a span of 3 days where he fell asleep with Daddy rocking him and didn't nurse again until sometime in the night. Eventually he learned that he prefered the comfort of my breast and did not want to sob in daddy's arms or get a finger in his cheek and bite himself. He still teases now and then but he only gently rests his teeth on my nipple so I can feel it and looks at me and gives a laugh. I look him right back and say...You better not cause that's a NO NO. And that is all it takes...lol. I'm not afraid to nurse him anymore. We made it through the worst, hopefully.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    199

    Default Re: seriously considering weaning

    I have calmed down a bit. When he bit me tonight, I couldn't even stay to say no, I was so upset I was worried I would do something to him. I was already hurting from him nursing on a sore breast and then he just chomped down as soon as I looked up to talk with DH. I put him down on the ground and told DH he had to put him to bed. I told DH I was done. I think he is worried about nutrition (since DS doesn't like milk), but said I can choose to do what I think is best. I enjoyed nursing up until these past few days. Maybe if I give myself a break of 2-3 days then I can be healed a bit more, and maybe he will want to nurse nicely.
    I have been saying no, putting him down and waiting to nurse on the other side, praising him when he doesn't bite me while pulling off, putting my finger close to his mouth to stop the latch early (but I don't always catch it soon enough), and today I have been leaving the room entirely rather than being in the same room while he cried. I was planning on continuing the harsher leave the room method until Wednesday, but I don't think my nipples can handle any more. It is excruciating to nurse him even when he doesn't bite.
    I can't make him bite his own cheek because he doesn't have any side teeth yet, just the front 4 on top and bottom. I am sure he isn't teething because I don't see any swelling or teeth showing close to the surface.
    I think taking a bit of a break might be the only thing I can do right now to keep our nursing relationship going and not seriously harm my son. I am getting very resentful to him and this last time when he bit me, everything was all in a blur. It really scared me how angry I became. I can't do that anymore.
    Last edited by @llli*firsttime; April 1st, 2012 at 10:27 PM.
    Please excuse my typos, I am always NAK.

    DS since 1/30/11

  9. #9
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    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: seriously considering weaning

    Biting is really hard. Because it violates the trust in a very very intimate relationship. Part of the problem at that age is that they have all these new teeth and they aren't really sure how they work or why your nipple doesn't fit the way it used to. And part of it is there is no actual language. I think it is really really important for you to let your child know that you are hurt and angry. At 14months you are really JUST beginning to do the dance. Up until two months ago you baby needed you for all things nutritional. Now is the time to begin to set limits and to begin to insist on nursing manners. NO BITING is a big one. But just like anything else it really does need to be taught. With my son I would abruptly move him off my breast put him on the floor, look him right in the eye and say NO BITING very loudly and very firmly and then get up and walk away. And most of the time he would cry. And that was fine. He needed to understand that I was upset and the what he had done was not OK. That will or won't happen based on your reaction. So let it be known. You are an equal partner in this relationship. And nursing is very very important to him. So it puts you in a very good seat in terms of negotiating. Let him know you are serious. I would do the same thing, look him right in the eyes at the begininng of each nursing session and say NO BITING. It's not an overnight thing. But consistency does work. We made it through. Remember that he is a baby and he is learning. But don't feel like those things mean you have to tolerate being bitten. You don't. But your child can't be expected to stop or know or understand the pain he is causing unless you make it known to him. Good luck. KUP.

    Way too lazy for formula

  10. #10
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    Default Re: seriously considering weaning

    Also at this time it's a good idea to rework on your latch. By 14months both you and your child have gotten comfortable and probably a little lazy about your latch. For starters always make him open very wide and shove as much breast as possible in his mouth. That way if you DO get bit it will be your breast and not your nipple. Every time your baby's latch slips to the point of just nipple, stop, pop off and get the wide mouth again. Also do that any time you feel him clamping.

    Way too lazy for formula

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