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Thread: 3.5 month old - biting, pulling nipple, latching on and off

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Exclamation 3.5 month old - biting, pulling nipple, latching on and off


    My 3.5 mo EBF son has always been a sort of rough nurser and I think I've allowed bad habits to form and I"m not sure a) why he does them and b)what to do about it.

    1. He bites, often multiple times during a nursing session. He does it more on the Left than the Right breast, but does both.

    2. He often pulls back or turns his head with the nipple still in his mouth and latched. Often he'll pull to the point of pulling the latch off and then relatch and he'll do this over and over. I try to hold the back of his head so he can't pull back and he can't turn.

    3. He latches on and off throughout a session. He has always done this and when he relatches he kind of slurps his way down the nipple, so at first it hurst a lot til he gets deep enough on the nipple. He always latches this way, perhaps because I've been too lazy to work on a better latching technique?

    A little background. I'm pretty certain I have OALD and have had oversupply issues in the past. I think this is why he's developed some of these habits and is also why I've let him slide down my nipple and turn and such without discouraging too much because I've felt that he's doing it to cope, but now he's getting bigger and stronger and my supply has balanced out some so I don't know why he's doing it.

    He'll do it either side lying or in a cradle hold, so its not just positional. At times it seems like he only really wants to nurse a couple mins and then is off and on because he is full? The behaviors are less likely to happen the longer it has been between nursing sessions. He is also more than happy to go at least 3 hrs between feeds and probably would be ok going longer if I required him to do so. So I'm assuming that between my OALD and his efficiency he gets what he wants in very little time, often under 5 mins. He is also pretty bad about it at night (i nurse him when he wakes side lying in bed.) sometimes I think he just woke for some other reason and didn't actually want to nurse. He'll also do a lot of kicking and flailing during these sessions, and grunting and smacking and slurping (which his daddy loves since it wakes him up.)

    I'm getting pretty sore again and the behaviors are getting worse, so I'll take whatever advice people have to offer.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    miles from nowhere

    Default Re: 3.5 month old - biting, pulling nipple, latching on and

    That is pretty typical for a baby who is trying to cope with a fast flow. I don't think it's bad habits as much as he is maybe still trying to slow down the flow by biting or pulling away.

    I know you said it's not positional, but have you tried nursing in a reclining position? Or even laying on your back with baby laying on top of you? That might slow the flow enough that he's not struggling to deal with it. Or you might even try letting the initial letdown flow into a cup (or towel if you aren't worried about trying to save it) and then latching him on once it slows down a bit.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”

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