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Thread: Playing with nipples

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    168

    Default Playing with nipples

    Really just venting here but OMG I'm about to loose my ever loving mind with the constant nipple playing and touching of my breasts while nursing. I swear to high heaven that my child has never, not once, in the past 19 months nursed without touching the other breast. It started when he was 10 months old and someone told me to wait to address it until he was 12 months when nursing was my supply was firmly established and I would be less likely to prematurely wean him due to limits. Worst.Advice.EVER. The habit was so set by then and I have never been able to break it. And, for the last few weeks it is making me bat**** crazy. I.cannot.stand.it! I dread nursing. I avoid it. I say no a lot more than I want to be (which NEVER goes over well). I know the things to try and to be consistent. It's just such a bad habit at this point. I want to wean entirely just to stop the madness but I'm not going to because I don't really want to wean and I know he isn't ready. Just need to vent; DH would tell me to wean if I moaned to him about it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,952

    Default Re: Playing with nipples

    So sorry, mama! Twiddling drives me bonkers and I wouldn't have lasted 2 minutes with nursing if either of my kids had gotten into the twiddling habit.
    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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    May 2013
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    Default Re: Playing with nipples

    It sounds like you are experiencing some significant irritation from this behavior! It is really annoying that is for sure, especially when you want to set limits but not wean. I wonder if by this age it is okay to set limits in a straightforward, non-emotional way? I say the non-emotional part because that has been my experience. I don't have a constant twiddler but a hair puller and a face scratcher. Ugh his sharp little nails that never get smooth no matter how much I trim them! And mostly when he is falling asleep so to put limits on it then is essentially waking him up. So I get really irritated and want to say, "listen you little !$%^%$&, cut it out!" Haha! I'm no expert at setting these limits though - early on I used a toy for distraction but at this point nothing is as exciting as mommy's hair, face, jewelry, nostrils, teeth, etc. He even slaps me occasionally in his sleep nursing. Ugh!!!
    We and with our little monkey, born 9/30/2012.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2012
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    2,209

    Default Re: Playing with nipples

    Just reading the title to your thread made me shudder - fortunately my little one only occasionally twiddles but your little one's behavior would drive me bonkers!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Ontario
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    Default Re: Playing with nipples

    My 20-month old is always trying to play with the other side. Drives me nuts, especially at night. I've been telling her for months to stop every time -I think it's just a toddler 'let's see what I can get away with' thing. I almost always have my arm or hand clamped down over the other breast to discourage it. One day it'll stop, right?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Montreal
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    109

    Default Re: Playing with nipples

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    So sorry, mama! Twiddling drives me bonkers and I wouldn't have lasted 2 minutes with nursing if either of my kids had gotten into the twiddling habit.
    Wait, you mean twiddling is not something ALL toddlers do?? Oh, lord... I thought there MUST be some evolutionary explanation for it... DD twiddles obsessively, picks at my skin, scratches, sticks fingers wherever there's a hole, tried to TOUCH my EYEBALLS, etc etc.

    It's like a mindless tic. If I ask her to stop scratching or picking at me, she will... For a few seconds, and then, absentmindedly, it begins again. Keeping my shirt closed on the other side, becomes a battle, especially if I'm in public.

    Now you're telling me this is just a bad habit I've let go on for too long! Hahaha. Oh well, I think I'll just keep repeating "gently, gently, stop scratching me please, thank you...." for a while longer. These kids....
    Mama to a sweet kitty born July 2012.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Playing with nipples

    There is an evolutionary explanation. Or in any case, a biological one. It is one type of kneading behavior and may help increase milk flow. But that does not mean all children will do it, or that it is only done due to a child needing an increased milk flow. However, I am not sure I agree it is a habit that could have been broken at some younger age but is now entrenched. It is a very common variation on normal nursing behavior. The behavior may come and go, but I have never heard of this behavior being trained away? I will have to research that.

    There also may be another component that has to do with comforting, because (anecdotally) it appears that, if allowed, many children who have weaned entirely and in some cases, never nursed at all, want to hold or fondle their mother's breast as they fall asleep or require comforting.

    Here are a few things I have personally found helps with what I call "twiddling:"
    Holding babies hand, or letting them hold my hand or fingers. It seems to help if I keep my hand or fingers moving. And I usually have to take up their hand over and over again repeatedly.
    giving them something else to hold and again, keep it moving around.
    switching sides, sometimes repeatedly
    distracting baby from the twiddling with singing or talking to them, while they nurse
    keeping nails short as the scratching is the worst! (Hey, we both need that nipple please don't shave it off!)
    Breast compressions should help in theory, but it has never helped in my personal experience.
    Remembering that this part of childhood is short, and parenting is long. Now that my older two are long weaned, I know that there are moments I wish desperately that I could pull my child back on my lap again and nurse their troubles away, even if they twiddle.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; April 23rd, 2014 at 11:55 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Virginia
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    Default Re: Playing with nipples

    If ti makes any of you ladies feel better.. it does stop My first twiddled as well and it drove me nuts from about 14 months on. He did stop after about a month or more of my constantly covering my other boob and telling him no. Sometimes he will try to mess with my nipple absent-mindedly and I have been able to explain that I don't like how that feels and please do not do that. This too shall pass. DS1 is 3 BTW.
    FT working momma to a 9/11/10 busy boy and 11/13/12 happy little man.
    Also wife to hubs since 8/23/08, bonus momma to H (girl) -99 and G (boy)-03

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    New Jersey
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    Default Re: Playing with nipples

    Could be worse-my daughter is an acrobatic nurser and regularly shoves her toes in my mouth and nose while attempting to nurse standing on her head. And those are stinky and sharp! Ah, the things we are willing to endure for our little nurslings....
    mommy to Ellie - 2/28/13 8lb 3oz 19.5in

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    29

    Default Re: Playing with nipples

    Funny! My son loves to explore my mouth and scratch my gums, but he only does it on occasion. However, he spends the rest of his waking non-nursing time trying to poke me in the eyeballs...

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