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Thread: My baby bites like a shark!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default My baby bites like a shark!

    Hi all,

    My 9-month-old has gotten two lower teeth in the past 2 weeks and has begun biting hard. As I type this my right nipple is still throbbing painfully an hour after he nursed to sleep (and bit down hard). I have repeatedly tried saying "No biting, Kris" sharply, and setting him down on the floor. Today both in the morning and at night, he bit so hard I yelled out involuntarily loudly in pain and set him down instantly. Unfortunately he only bites at the very END of a nursing session so he is not upset to be set down. He smiles/giggles happily when I yell even though I am obviously upset and don't pick him back up for a few minutes. Not sure where he got the idea this is a game - I know he is doing it for a reaction, but I am at my wits' end. I had hoped to nurse to 12 months and even beyond perhaps, but this is starting to feel masochistic because I now dread nursing. I just never know when he is going to clamp down, and I find myself nervously anticipating it every session. I am seriously considering weaning and switching to exclusively pumping until 12 months if this does not stop pronto. Everything I have read online says babies always stop when you say no, set them down etc. Apparently not my little guy. All ideas are gratefully accepted.

  2. #2

    Default Re: My baby bites like a shark!

    You are right - most of what is written about biting and nursing says things like, "your baby probably won't bite, and if he does it won't be too hard, and it will only happen rarely." So flipping unhelpful for us mamas with babies who bite hard (like break the skin bleeding hard), often, and seemingly without remorse! Are you sure he is biting for attention? My daughter bites when she is having teething pain, not for attention. I have managed to reduce how often she bites by always making she has access to a frozen teether. She still bites, and at times hard (I wasn't kidding about the blood), but meeting her need to chew has made all the difference in the world. Now it is a once a week occurrence rather than once a nursing session occurrence. I'd suggest you try to offer a teether more often than you are, and when you do nurse keep a finger right at the edge of his mouth. He has to move his tongue before he can really clamp down, and if you learn what that tongue movement feels like you can quick pop your finger in between his teeth before he has time to chomp. Awkward at first, but it does work. I've had less luck reducing biting as she falls asleep, mostly because I think that has less to do with intentional teething are more to do with her latch becoming "sloppy" as she drifts off. I too, had visions of having to wean and exclusively pumping, and I am so glad we toughed it out. Things are so much better now. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: My baby bites like a shark!

    This has a few suggestions. See "when baby bites for attention" maybe.
    Also, have you tried watching to see when his swallows slow down and taking him off then?
    You could also try differential reinforcement by playing his favorite game each time he nurses without biting and not doing it when he bites. That way he may learn that good nursing behavior (I.e., no biting) is rewarded. Consider not reacting to his bites as well if possible. He might be looking for a reaction and not understanding your yells as a bad thing. Maybe try loud, fun celebration as a reward at the end of each no bite session and complete silence, no eye contact, no attention when he bites.
    Another idea is to try to teach him to communicate "all done." Maybe he thinks this is a way to let you know. I think my son does that sometimes if I'm not paying attention. I think I am a bit too persistent with offering or think he didn't mean to pop off.

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