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Thread: 12 m old using teeth while nursing, not biting. Help??

  1. #1

    Default 12 m old using teeth while nursing, not biting. Help??


    my son is turning 1 tomorrow. For the last 4 days he has been using his teeth while nursing. It's not a bite. It's more of a constant scrape, like he's keeping his teeth almost closed the whole time. He's sucking the nipple through his upper and bottom teeth... I've tried pulling away, I've yelped "no" and "ow". I don't know what to do. I plan to ease into more pumping and bottle feeding but I can't switch him over 100% immediately. He's doing this every time. My nipples hurt non-stop and I'm cringing now when he's hungry. He's bitten me a few times before but not often, though he did break skin and made me bleed. This scraping his teeth on my nipples thing is awful. He's been teething and has 7 teeth so far, expecting #8 any day now. Also, for the last 4 days he's been waking up at 1am wanting to nurse and then again around 4am (normally sleeps till 6am).


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 12 m old using teeth while nursing, not biting. Help??

    Yikes, that sounds rotten! You're doing pretty much all you can do, in terms of reacting. Maybe you can work on preventing? When it's time to nurse, try modeling a wide-open mouth and not letting him latch on until he's really gaping? Wish I had something better, but that's all I can I think of! Hang in there, mama. I hope that tooth pops through soon.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 12 m old using teeth while nursing, not biting. Help??

    Thank you, I will try that. He's started mimicking a lot lately so this idea might actually have a chance (I stick my tongue out, then he does it, I clap, then he claps etc). Good suggestion! Thank you. Half the time when I yelp he thinks I'm trying to be funny and he smiles... Hah! Not exactly the reaction I'm looking for. If I act too hurt and sad then he cries. I must say that I have been very lucky though. He latched on like a pro first time and breastfeeding has been really successful this whole year. It's his birthday today and I'm really proud that we've made it a year. Wish me luck!

    Any additional ideas still welcome!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default Re: 12 m old using teeth while nursing, not biting. Help??

    I think I would try modeling the appropriate behavior and trying to get him to open wide to fix the latch, too.

    If that does not work, or if you think baby is maybe deliberately teething on you a bit, I would respond the same way I did to an actual bite. So, I would try not to react at all (for exactly the reasons you mentioned above--baby either thinks it's funny or scary) and just take baby off the breast, say something calmly about baby not wanting to nurse right now, and then try again after a pause. That's what I did during my daughter's brief biting phase at 7 months, and also what I did when she sort of experimentally scraping her teeth on me a bit at 14 months. It worked for us really fast, because A) my kid loves nursing and anything that interrupts it gets her attention, and b) my boring reaction to made it so that she didn't think it was fun to keep trying!

    The increase in night waking also sounds pretty normal, too, especially if he's currently teething. My daughter's sleep was really fitful at around a year of age! I generally just rolled with it when my daughter started nursing more at night, because it's the best form of nighttime comfort I could offer her.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

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