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Thread: 10 month old with one month biting after nursing strike

  1. #1

    Default 10 month old with one month biting after nursing strike

    So my son and I got through all sorts of issues early in our breastfeeding relationship- at birth he had oral aversion due to an emergency c-section and intubation due to meconium and birth depression and it took 3 days for him to eat anything except for by syringe. Then due to flat nipples and engorgement we had to use nipple shields for 2 months. Then I had thrush twice (baby too). Then I had massive oversupply with overactive letdown causing choking and gas. My record for pumping at that time was 17 ounces at a sitting. Then he got his first teeth around 5 months, and bit me a couple times severely, but taking him off and telling him no worked well, and it only lasted a couple of days. I EBF (pumped while at work) for 6 months until he started solids. He night weaned himself at 6 months (he LOVES his sleep) and I immediately got my period back 2 weeks later. At that point my milk supply started to regulate and I pumped about as much milk as he used in a day, instead of the crazy amounts I'd done before. Over the next 2 months, my supply dropped some during pumping such that I had to dip into my stash some, but he never seemed to have any issues when we were nursing, and I would nurse him only when we were together (no bottles).

    Last month I got a severe case of pneumonia, to the point where my doctor wanted to admit me and I refused. High fever, antibiotics, etc. I made sure I took no medications that would limit milk supply and took antibiotics that were safe, drank as much as I could tolerate it. I laid in bed and my husband would bring him to me. However, I could feel my supply was low. He then went on a nursing strike (I think because of the supply)- OK, I pumped as often as he had been eating, and got next to nothing out (1 ounce at a time) and kept offering, but he would arch and cry and scream, so I would give him what I pumped and really went through my stash and waited him out.

    10 days later I'm feeling better, pumping is not going great (about 2 ounces at a time).One day he finally decides he wants to nurse again, and that day goes great and I figure all my problems are solved.

    Then he decides to bite me. HARD. REPEATEDLY. I figure, OK, we've done this before- it looks like his top 4 teeth are coming through all at once. I tell him no, stop nursing when he does it. However, he seems to not really care when I pull him off the breast. He'll start crawling around and trying to get away without crying. He does it at the beginning, in the middle, at the end- it's completely unpredictable. He starts taking chunks( yes pieces) out of my breast) so that there is blood everywhere for me to clean up.

    I start trying all the things on kellymom. I try pushing him into (my rather ample) boob when he bites- this makes him bite harder. I try being sterner about saying no- he has no reaction. I yell in surprise one time- he starts to cry but bites again. I try putting my finger in between his jaw gently to unlatch when he bites- he cries hysterically like it hurts him (?from teething). I try giving him something to chew on beforehand and replace it with the boob when he bites and tell him to bites on this. I even tried flicking him on the cheek lightly once in desperation but he cried hysterically like I hurt him, and I'm not interested in doing anything that causes him to have that pain cry- I want him to feel safe with me. I try doing it only when he wakes up and is still a bit sleepy. NONE of this works. He really doesn't seem too interested in nursing. If he's sleepy he'll try it for a few seconds but will bite unpredictably and then really not care if I offer again or not. I try taking out most solids and bottles. He becomes dehydrated and has no wet diapers, and loses a pound, and still doesn't seem to care too much about nursing when I take him off. He won't take a sippy despite trying for the past 4 months, nor will he take any water in the past 4 months either.

    Anyways, it's now a month later. I continue to offer him the breast several times a day. If he is awake he doesn't really care and ignores it. If he is sleepy he will suck for a minute or two then bite. I continue to tell him no and take him off but he doesn't care too much. I don't wake him at night because when I try to even slightly wake him he wakes up all the way and screams inconsolably and is not interested at all (he has always preferred sleep to eating, even as a young baby). I have tried it in a bath, and in bed in the dark with zero distractions. I have tried lying on the floor with my shirt off and having him crawl around and offer it as he is playing. I've tried feeding him after giving him some pumped milk so he isn't too hungry and feeding him right after pump letdown so he doesn't have to wait. Lying in bed with him skin to skin and cuddling doesn't last long as he is all boy and has no interest in cuddling or staying still for any length of time, and if I try to keep him in bed with me he cries and wants to crawl around the room. Cosleeping is not an option as 1. He hates it because he wants to lie by himself without touching anything when he sleeps and if he doesn't have enough room he wakes up and cries 2. He crawls out of bed like lightning and I'm worried about safety when I'm asleep. We coslept until he was 4 months old but he is pretty particular and by trial and error found out he preferred to sleep alone past that age....sigh.

    I have been pumping whenever he eats and often more but even with fenugreek and tea and extra fluids I can't get more than 2 ounces at a time. I feel like I have plenty though, even though I'm no longer responding to the pump, as I feel pretty uncomfortable when I wake in the AM. If I pump more often than a few times a day, my nipples go into vasospasm and start to hurt and start turning blue, including even with changing suction/speed/phalange size/using a hospital grade pump. Once I had such bad vasospasm after pumping through this I developed a sore there. I have changed the membranes and used 3 different pumps and even tried a manual pump to no avail.Not pumping is never going to be an option as I work full-time and have done so since he was 10 weeks old. I have now blown through my stash and have started him on formula for 1-2 feeds per day for the past week, much as I don't want to. He seems to like it fine but I am very unhappy about it.

    Has anyone ever made it through biting for this long? I know it's rare to self-wean before one year, but this kid just doesn't seem to care that much for the breast anymore and seems to regard it as some sort of chew toy. I am a very stubborn person and he seems to have inherited that and won't do anything he doesn't want to do (see the oral aversion even at birth) I am committed to pumping to give him some breastmilk until 12 months, but I had really been hoping to breastfeed to one year and beyond and am pretty sad that that doesn't seem to be in the cards for us unless something changes. My lactation consultant who has helped me through all the other stuff is out of ideas. Has this ever happened to anyone? Is this a stage he might get through? I am feeling less that it is a stage now that it's been a month....

  2. #2

    Default Re: 10 month old with one month biting after nursing strike

    Oh wow, that sounds SO hard.

    At this point, does he have any good nursing sessions at all? Or does he basically just bite instead of nurse every time?

  3. #3

    Default Re: 10 month old with one month biting after nursing strike

    This is soooo crazy!!! I just emailed a local LLL leader about the exact same thing!!!

    My baby is going to be 11 months old next week and he has refused to feed since Aug. 27.

    I offer and he bites!

    He won't even suck any more. I have been pumping and I only get 4-6 oz a day now.

    My concern is if I have to give him formula to supplement - because I haven't been. He has been eating solids and drinking what I pump with the occasional sips of water. His dirty diapers and wet diapers have been normal.

    So I wonder if I have to supplement or can we just continue on until his first birthday?

    I feel for you dad3mass - for all that you have gone through - it's very hard and sad. I think this is my last baby and can't believe that our last session was a month ago and even then he was screaming! I though as you had that we would be feeding right on past his first birthday.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 10 month old with one month biting after nursing strike

    Glad to hear I'm not the only one. My mom told me that I did the same thing around his age, and she was very hardcore LLLI member back when breastfeeding was not as well supported as it is now in general, so that makes me feel a little better. She too had been planning to nurse me for as long as mutually desired but apparently my view of how long that was was far shorter than hers...... she never could get me back to breast after 9 months old after trying and trying after a nursing strike. So although it's rare I guess it's proof that it does happen and I guess stubborn is genetic........My husband has been very supportive and gave me a good pep talk tonight that if the baby's happy and not upset about not nursing, that that is important to consider (not just my feelings), and that any amount I can pump and give him is great and another day closer to 12 months that he gets some benefit.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: 10 month old with one month biting after nursing strike

    i'm sorry we don't have a ton of good advice for you ... this sounds like such a hard situation.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: 10 month old with one month biting after nursing strike

    I would suggest trying to pump more often. I suffered through literally 9 months of severe pain while EPing for my fourth baby. Vasospasm, sores, everything. What worked was to never use anythng other than a hospital grade pump and to use the largest horns possible. Took a couple months to resolve, but finally, I could pump pain free. I had no choice. Pumping 6 times a day for 120 minutes is best for your supply when faced with an older baby who will not nurse. So sorry. I know how hard it is when you want to nurse but your baby won't.
    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!

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