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Thread: 7.5 month biting at beginning of session

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Default 7.5 month biting at beginning of session

    7.5 months, 2 bottom teeth in at the same time & has now been biting at the very beginning of every session for almost a week. I finally stopped nursing and switched to pumping 2 days ago. My nipple has a nearly calloused cut on the bottom that hasn't begun to heal due to his biting. He won't latch on the right as that side barely ever has flow. Even with heavy hand expression it just dribbles. I've tried everything I can think of to get him to knock it off. "No bite", teether or something else cold before, pulling him off, different position. Different position really doesn't work because he will only settle to nurse when lying down in quiet, dark room. He eats table food, not seriously, though. Whenever we eat, I put whatever we're eating in front of him. More of it goes in the mouth than the lap lately. Since saturday he's been getting bottles exclusively. I still offer before giving a bottle. His pattern is bite, suckle, suckle, pull off (while scraping). Then bite, suckle for a few more tries, then pull off. About the 3rd or 4th try he stays latched. I thought it was something I could just grit my own teeth & bear but, I can't. And because he gets the bottle more often now he has a preference so when I offer breast he will open wide around but cries open mouthed & will not latch. As soon as he gets the bottle he grins & starts chomping on it, then drinks. I want to believe its a phase & we'll work through this like we did at 3-4 months (2 week strike). Any ideas how to get him to not bite or just have to wait it out? Was hoping to make it at least a year & most to whenever he felt like stopping. So far pumping milk hasn't taken a dive & started galactogogues saturday. Should we take the table food more seriously & encourage him to eat more heartily (whatever that means for 7 months). Maybe this is more of a vent than a plea for help. I'm sure in another week his teeth will stop moving & we'll be back to normal.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 7.5 month biting at beginning of session

    Ouchy!!! Seriously, in your shoes, I would consider contacting a lactation consultant (preferably an IBCLC) and getting some hands on help with latching, as it sounds like your little guy needs some "retraining" in a good latch and there's nothing like having a pro there in person helping out. I'd be worried that pumping and bottle feeding exclusively would not help because he's not getting any training in how to latch properly there, and he can chew on a bottle nipple without repercussions. Thus, it could hasten him "forgetting" how to properly latch. ETA: I think it's really common for babies to need a little retraining around teething-time. I know I had a serious adjustment period with Joe, when he bit me a ton, but we did work through it.

    Are there any times when he latches well? What about the middle of the night when he's almost asleep or asleep? One thing I have learned is that good latches actually TRAIN babies in how to latch. So the more often you can breastfeed well, the more likely the next time the baby will remember the right way, etc. Any time of day or position that is better, nurse as much during that time or in that position as possible, to try to retrain your baby to latch well.

    In the meantime, are you using any antibiotic ointment on your broken nipple? It might help it heal up better, which will help as well, because when you have a bite mark on your nipple, even a good latch may hurt, causing you to believe that the latch is worse than it really is, you know?


    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
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    Default Re: 7.5 month biting at beginning of session

    Thanks for the encouragement! Our pediatrician has an IBCLC on staff, was hoping to put that off due to crappy insurance coverage but may be necessary if we're going to make it longer than 8 months. I know the bottle doesn't help but it does make him smile & that's just hard to take away these days! He will not latch correctly. I can feel him pulling his head back to get the nipple in the front of his mouth. We've never had any issues with latch from the get go. He was wriggling his way up me about 45 minutes after my c section & the nurse didn't have time to show him how, he just went for it. I didn't realize it had been getting lazier as we went on. The only issues I've had with breastfeeding haven't been with the actual feeding part, just the pumping. I now truly understand the women who do have difficulties with their babies gumming their nipples to death in the beginning & their reluctance to continue. Even when sleeping he bites or purses his lips & turns his head. I did try the techniques recommended to help get a good latch but those are the times he just sits with his mouth opened wide, not biting down, not latching, just crying. We try that for about 5-10 min, then I give in & give him the bottle. Tried spoon, syringe, straw, cup but all he wants to do is hold whatever we're trying to use & bite. I've tried pumping to let down first, spraying everywhere while he's not latching & still nothing. Just squirting some in his mouth to make sure he wants to nurse & he gets all happy & nestles his head to my breast but then it's either the biting or not latching. I offer at least once an hour when we're together. Less yesterday as it was incredibly raw & think a bleb has now formed on the top side.

    As far as my wounded nipple, I put lanolin & milk on it when walking around & before pumping a little mama bee belly rub to keep it from sticking to the sides. I'll call the pediatrician in the morning & make an appointment for us.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 7.5 month biting at beginning of session

    about seeing the IBCLC.

    some other ideas:
    give him something he can actually chew on - a cold teething ring, a wooden toy?

    to help heal your nipple - leave it out to dry, as much as possible (all the time at home).

    good luck! update us!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 7.5 month biting at beginning of session

    It happens. babies get comfortably acclimated to the feel and taste of the bottle and they are reluctant to continue nursing. Pumping will ensure he has your nutritious mamma's milk. and he might want to suckle for comfort in between feedings.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 7.5 month biting at beginning of session

    I would definitely see that IBCLC, because I don't want you to end up exclusively pumping if you can help it at all!! And it does seem that he has developed a pretty strong preference for a bottle at this point. I would definitely be seeking help, before resigning myself to a life of pumping. Hopefully you can work through this and get back to nursing pronto!!


    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
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    Default Re: 7.5 month biting at beginning of session

    We're going to see an IBCLC next week. We've gone back and forth on his bottle preference since November when I returned to work (schedule doesn't help, either. 80 hours in 8 days 4-10hrs, 2-12hrs, 2-8hrs, all overnights). It's usually when he's having some pretty terrible teething going on. I thought I was OK with resigning myself to pumping but it hit me today I already miss our nursing relationship. It's easier to comfort him, feed, get on with daily life, get him to sleep, etc. It's even more heartbreaking when he nuzzles my chest to comfort nurse (which I didn't realize he did, I thought he was just all about the food) then arches his back, crying like I'm pinching him because he can't bite down. When we've battled the bottle preference in the past we've really pushed more skin to skin, baths, never putting him down, the last bad one was in January and took 2 weeks. We're making that push again, just a tad more difficult with him wanting to be independently mobile all the time. He's at least gotten to eating every 4 hours so bright side is that I don't have to pump as often as I did in January. Thanks for the support!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 7.5 month biting at beginning of session


    that sounds hard, mama!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 7.5 month biting at beginning of session

    Thanks, its certainly not my favourite time but sure it will get better soon. He's no longer biting but also now no longer latching or even trying to latch. Also - I asked an LC my mil knows who said at his age the biting can't be unlearned? I know all the breastfeeding info out there tries to be positive & supportive & that's a negative way of looking at the issue but could it be true? We did the "bite bite bite" repetition with his toys & the "no bite" before nursing to no avail obviously. He does understand no, hug, milk & kiss so we know he understands some english!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 7.5 month biting at beginning of session

    i'm not a LC, but anything can be unlearned. i hear what you're saying about maybe the support is being too rosy, and i don't know anything about the biting in particular, but all behaviors are learned and shaped all the time. right? so. i don't believe it.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

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