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Thread: Baby getting a little violent when feeding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Default Baby getting a little violent when feeding

    OK, maybe violent is a strong word, but more and more often, I'm spending our nursing sessions being grabbed, slapped, scratched, squeezed, pushed, pulled, punched, and kicked. Then this week, the biting started. I am really not enjoying this. It's making me dread feeding her.

    My daughter is 5 mo, and she's also become highly distractible while feeding lately. I'm not sure if this is related to her extreme activity during feeding sessions or not.

    Does anyone have any explanation for why this is happening, or what I can do to curb it? I seem to be able to curb the biting, but not the hitting, kicking, etc.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,152

    Default Re: Baby getting a little violent when feeding

    Don't you love it when babies start to explore and interact with their world? Seriously, that's what I think is going on. The slapping/kneading/pulling/kicking isn't meant to be obnoxious- it's just baby's way of exploring her new hand skills, the texture of your nice soft skin, what it feels like to kick something... Charming, right?

    It may help to give baby something to play with while she nurses- like a toy or a nursing necklace. Nursing in lcalm, low-distraction environments, like a darkened bedroom, may also help.
    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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    Jun 2012
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    Default Re: Baby getting a little violent when feeding

    Oh yeah, I know she doesn't mean it and I know she's exploring. It's just...gah...!!! Not fun for me.

    The thing is, our night time nursing (she seems to be most "active" before bed), is pretty free of distractions. I nurse her with only a night light, everything else is pretty quiet. It's just general house sounds that are throwing her off, like my husband flips a light switch in another room or the dog walks by in the hall. But again, I could handle tthat if it weren't for the kicks and hits.

    Before bed tonight, I did hand her a soft, fuzzy blanket because I thought that might give her something to hold onto and would also be soft and soothing. It seemed to just furter distract her, although it was only our first try so maybe if we did it again she might get the hang of it as a lovey of some kind.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Baby getting a little violent when feeding

    My LO does those things also while nursing, and if I say ouch or turn my head away she finds it very funny I usually just grab her hand everytime she goes to move it towards my face, when she pulls away I let her, but if she reachs again then I will hold her hand again. Maybe you could try one of those soft rattles. WalMart has them, little animal heads on a soft handle that rattles quietly. It might be enough noise to keep her attention but not enough to take it all from nursing, plus if she hits you with it it won't really hurt.

    Mother of 3 beautiful girls, and expecting baby number 4 in July

    Elisabeth ~ 9/25/07
    Eliana ~ 1/08/09
    Elivia ~ 1/22/12 ~ EBF

    with all 3 still

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Baby getting a little violent when feeding

    Yeah, this is very normal but no fun. I also think babies learn early that grabbing, kneading, and hitting the boob brings down letdowns and keeps the milk flowing. Like a baby goat ramming its mom's udder.


    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.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2008
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    Victoria, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: Baby getting a little violent when feeding

    I feel your pain.

    Gosh, I can hardly remember what we did. My DS was so distractable at that age he would not even nurse in public. He would only nurse in a dark, quiet room, lying down. Always had to nurse him before going out and immediately after coming home.

    Maybe a nursing necklace would help? Other than that, maybe wrap a blanket cuddly blanket around her and take her into a dark room?

    Not sure what to do, but I know you'll figure out something. Good luck!
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  7. #7
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    Kempton Park; South Africa
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    Default Re: Baby getting a little violent when feeding

    I can definitely sympathize! My little one likes to grap my nose, lips, hair or necklace, and pulls and scratches me when nursing. Luckily no kicking or slapping... It's safe to say that the 1st few months of nursing are the relaxing, peaceful ones, even in spite of new mom issues with latching etc. Much more serene than feeding an older baby.

    Good luck, i hope some of the advice above works for your little one (and you!)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Montreal, Canada
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    Default Re: Baby getting a little violent when feeding

    Nursing, unless it's a dream feed, hasn't been peaceful for a long time.

    I have a theory that our LO's work out their developmental milestones at the breast before they do it in the world. I had all but given up on side lying when DD just turned on her side and latched herself. Then she would only nurse that way but while rocking and pulling off and relatching over and over again. Then she moved on to rocking back and forth with her arm out and smacking me each time she re-latched. She started to put her hand out for balance while sitting up shortly after. Now that she can sit up that's how she wants to nurse. She's also been pinching in a way that seems like she's working out her pincer grasp. She's still young and has a way to go with that but I think mom is probably the safest place for them to start exploring.
    Mama to Viv since 4/08/12 -- my all natural post-breast cancer miracle baby

    with just one breast. So far so good.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2007
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    Default Re: Baby getting a little violent when feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*vivsmaman View Post
    Nursing, unless it's a dream feed, hasn't been peaceful for a long time.

    I have a theory that our LO's work out their developmental milestones at the breast before they do it in the world. I had all but given up on side lying when DD just turned on her side and latched herself. Then she would only nurse that way but while rocking and pulling off and relatching over and over again. Then she moved on to rocking back and forth with her arm out and smacking me each time she re-latched. She started to put her hand out for balance while sitting up shortly after. Now that she can sit up that's how she wants to nurse. She's also been pinching in a way that seems like she's working out her pincer grasp. She's still young and has a way to go with that but I think mom is probably the safest place for them to start exploring.
    I never thought of it that way before! ....
    ~Sylvia~

    Wife to Nick, m. May 2005

    Mommy to Gabriel (b. January 2007, 8lbs. 15oz.), nursed 18 months.

    Isaac (b. August 2009, 9lbs. 1oz- naturally), nursed 22 months, through PPD/PPA and emergency gallbladder surgery.

    and Corban (b. March 2012, 11lbs. 6Oz.- naturally in the water), my NICU baby, still nursing strong at age 2!


    Daughter of God

  10. #10
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: Baby getting a little violent when feeding

    Get yourself a nursing necklace! Quickly!

    Way too lazy for formula

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