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Thread: Teething/biting woes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    212

    Default Teething/biting woes

    So, my girlie has two bottoms and is working on tops and is pretty miserable. She's been up all night the past couple of nights and is hardly eating during the day. Super fussy. And a few hard bites have left me reeling...man, that hurts so bad! It hurts so bad that its almost like my feelings get hurt! Is that crazy? I have to take a minute to myself and regroup. I've been doing the "put her down and break contact for a moment" thing, but she doesn't seem to care. I try to catch her before the bites, but am obviously not very successful. We're giving teething tablets and Tylenol - sort of alternating them before feedings (without giving too much). Like I said, she hardly wants to eat during the day, so I'm actually thankful for her night wakings (usually I dreamfeed her because she'll sleep through) because at least she's gettin some milk. I'm also feeding her to sleep and during naps in tge daytime to get more in.

    Anything I'm missing dealing with this? My older son had no issues with teething whatsoever (plus, I EPed for him because of his medical issues), so this is all new to me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    84

    Default Re: Teething/biting woes

    I'm also going through the teething issues with my baby, and would like to hear what others do to stop the biting. She has even broken skin. I understand what you're going through, it does hurt, and even kinda hurts mama's feelings. I haven't given tylenol or tablets, she seems to just want to nurse all. the. time. (like when she was newborn.) When I try to break away for a minute, she screams bloody murder, and I'm not a cry it out mama, no can do. So here's what I do. Not sure if she understands, but I know she's a smart baby, so I try. Talk to her. Nicely, say before feeding, no biting, or please do not bite mama, and I will feed you now. And pay lots of attention while nursing, being gentle with her. It seems to be working. Teething rings and teether toys are great too, sometimes she loves them right out of the freezer. I give them often, if I don't think she's really hungry & just comfort nursing to prevent an accidental bite.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    168

    Default Re: Teething/biting woes

    I'm not sure how old your babies are but I went through a biting stage with my LO when he was about 9 months old (ish...not quite sure). Anyway, initially I tried the "no biting," putting him down and stopping the nursing session. It did not bother him at all and made no difference to the biting. Eventually, he was biting me at the start of every.single.session (except when sleeping) and I could not get a session in with all the "no biting" and stopping.

    A call to my local LL leader resulted in her suggesting that I not say anything but end the session, make no eye contact and simply set him down, turn all my attention away from him. Did it once and he cried. Hard. Broke my heart. But we resumed that session with no trouble (like 45 seconds later). Happened maybe 2 more times and then that was it. He still bites me once in awhile, on accident I think, when he sprouts a new tooth but it has never been a problem since then.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    465

    Default Re: Teething/biting woes

    Hi @3kidsmama, how old is your LO? Mine got his two bottoms at 4.5 mos. The biting started soon after (when he started teething for the tops). I was so afraid that he was too young, cognitively, to be able to understand the cause-effect. But he put it together after a rough couple days. When he bit, I said firmly "No biting!" and immediately put him down or gave him to dad. There was one day in particular where he was biting EVERY time just seconds after latching. It was impossible to relax for letdown, which I think contributed to the biting even more. You're right about it kinda hurting mom's feelings! I know this sounds crazy, since a teething baby doesn't intend to hurt you, but I felt like he was seriously violating the trust of the nursing relationship and it was really upsetting. I also needed to walk away sometimes. Anyway, after a few days of terrible sessions, when he finally latched and waited patiently for the letdown without biting, I praised and stroked him while he was nursing; when he gently released when done, I gave him lots of praise and cuddles. We've been bite free for almost two months (!) and I still praise and cuddle him when he gives me a gentle nursing session. Hopefully this works for you. If not, @evolvingmama's technique also sounds promising! Whichever techniques you use, the key is to react immediately, and always be consistent in your reaction, so that baby learns that biting = no more nursing/attention/snuggles/mommy time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    168

    Default Re: Teething/biting woes

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mercystreet View Post
    I praised and stroked him while he was nursing; when he gently released when done, I gave him lots of praise and cuddles.
    yes, yes, yes. can't believe i didn't say this too! praise is huge and jack got loads of praise while nursing and after for not biting -- to the point where he would unlatch and clap for himselfduring all his feeds (it was super cute and way better than biting!). the idea is to make biting = an unpleasant reaction and not biting = a very pleasant experience. (in our case, unfortunately, it seems that any attention is better than no attention and getting mommy worked up to say no is funny and not so unpleasant--hence the stopping + ignoring).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    212

    Default Re: Teething/biting woes

    Thanks for your replies!! (My daughter is 6 months old, BTW.) I think my next step is to try the stop + ignore idea, because saying "no" firmly and putting her down just makes her smile and giggle. So far I haven't really jumped or shown much emotion when she bites, so at least she isn't getting too much of a reaction, but maybe even saying "no" is too much. Unfortunately, it tends to happen towards the end of a session, so I'm not sure that taking that nursing break will matter to her anyway, since she isn't hungry by that point. I'm trying to anticipate better and end the session before she bites, but I hate to end it before she's really ready. I'll definitely start praising gentle nursing, also. That's a great idea!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Teething/biting woes

    Thank you so much for this post! LO is about to turn 9 months and has just cut her 2 top teeth. We had no biting with the bottom two but the top -- oy and ouch! I'll have to try evolvingmama's suggestion as putting her down results in smiles and a crawl to whatever new thing she spotted.

    One question though -- what do you do during night nursing, especially when nursing back to sleep? I hate to pull her off knowing that she might be up for another good while when we're both so tired. But the pain, oh the pain...
    Mama to Viv since 4/08/12 -- my all natural post-breast cancer miracle baby

    with just one breast. So far so good.

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