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Thread: 13 month old suddenly sinking his teeth into my skin - why??

  1. #1

    Default 13 month old suddenly sinking his teeth into my skin - why??

    Hi everyone,
    My almost 13 month old is suddenly sinking his 4 top teeth into my skin every time he nurses. It's painful, and I end up with 4 teeth marks at the base of my nipples. He's always had a bad, shallow latch (which stopped being painful only at 9 weeks, after his second tongue-tie clipping). But this is new.

    Is there anything I can do? I re-latch him again and again, but it's the same.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    19,894

    Default Re: 13 month old suddenly sinking his teeth into my skin - w

    When does he do it? At the beginning of the feeding or at the end?

    Generally the way to deal with biting is to a) prevent it if possible and b) discourage it. That means you try to figure out when the baby bites- perhaps at the end of the feeding when he's no longer really hungry and is just fooling around?- and take him off the breast before he nips. If he does manage to bite you, you immediately put him down on the floor, say "No biting, hurts mama!" and walk away for a few seconds or a few minutes. You allow him another try if he's hungry, but you repeat the putting him down thing if he bites again. Basically, you're trying to get him to make the following connection: biting = mama puts me down and fun nursing and cuddle time ends = maybe I shouldn't bite her any more. It takes time and persistence to get the baby to make the connection, so give it time.
    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
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    289

    Default Re: 13 month old suddenly sinking his teeth into my skin - w

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    When does he do it? At the beginning of the feeding or at the end?

    Generally the way to deal with biting is to a) prevent it if possible and b) discourage it. That means you try to figure out when the baby bites- perhaps at the end of the feeding when he's no longer really hungry and is just fooling around?- and take him off the breast before he nips. If he does manage to bite you, you immediately put him down on the floor, say "No biting, hurts mama!" and walk away for a few seconds or a few minutes. You allow him another try if he's hungry, but you repeat the putting him down thing if he bites again. Basically, you're trying to get him to make the following connection: biting = mama puts me down and fun nursing and cuddle time ends = maybe I shouldn't bite her any more. It takes time and persistence to get the baby to make the connection, so give it time.
    My 13 month old does this sometimes too, and it does hurt a lot! For us it only happens when she's at a weird angle, but sometimes no matter what I do it still pinches. I agree with doing both A and B above. And it does matter when it's happening, at the beginning or end of feeding, to me that would mean different things. Especially if it's at the end, to me that says "I'm done" or "I'm bored", or if it's the whole time off and on it might be a teething issue?

    Also my 13 month old unlatches herself to grind her teeth together! She hasn't bitten me yet, but it looks scary!
    and Mama to two little girls

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: 13 month old suddenly sinking his teeth into my skin - w

    Maybe teething related? If you think that could be going on, you could try other ways of relieving teething pain.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 13 month old suddenly sinking his teeth into my skin - w

    Thanks for your replies.

    He's not actually biting me. He's sinking his teeth in for the duration of the nursing session. It's like he's using his top teeth to hang on - but he never used to do this.

    He definitely is teething, but the four top teeth are already in, so would he be sinking those teeth in to relieve pain elsewhere in his mouth?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Cleveland, OH
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    468

    Default Re: 13 month old suddenly sinking his teeth into my skin - w

    My son started doing this around the time he started using sippy cups more regularly. You know the kind that are spill proof, so the baby has to bite down on it to open the valve? I am convinced that it taught him that the harder he bit down the faster the flow. I tested some of them once and was shocked at how much pressure I had to apply just to get anything out of them, it was crazy. Even when we transitioned to the sippy cups that were hard with open holes he still bit down on them leaving teeth marks, up until the time he transitioned to regular cups.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    April 2014

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 13 month old suddenly sinking his teeth into my skin - w

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mamadnyc View Post
    Thanks for your replies.

    He's not actually biting me. He's sinking his teeth in for the duration of the nursing session. It's like he's using his top teeth to hang on - but he never used to do this.

    He definitely is teething, but the four top teeth are already in, so would he be sinking those teeth in to relieve pain elsewhere in his mouth?
    My LO was doing something similar at that age. One thing that helped to some extent was to change our nursing position. But I think teething may have been part of it too. Eventually she stopped doing it. I never thought about the sippy cup being to blame as sassypants suggests - that's an interesting thought.

  8. #8

    Default Re: 13 month old suddenly sinking his teeth into my skin - w

    Thanks for the support! He does use a new spill-proof sippy cup now... I wonder if that's part of it.

    I guess I'll just have to wait it out and see what happens. And here I thought nursing pain was ancient history - doh!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: 13 month old suddenly sinking his teeth into my skin - w

    I know, it's frustrating when you're cruising along and everything is going great and then you run into a hiccup! Hopefully this phase will pass quickly for you.

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