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Thread: getting through teething

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Question getting through teething

    Me and my husband were discussing the best time to start weening our now 10 week old. I don't even want to think about it really. I am just so happy to be past the painful begining and still be nursing, I enjoy it. He said that he was reading about when to wean and read that most woman stop nursing when the baby starts teething because the baby bites and obviously hurts. So my question is what are your stories, how did you nurse with a teething baby, what are your tricks. I want to have a plan set when this does start happening.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: getting through teething

    Good question! Teething is kind of miserable (more so for the baby, I'm sure!), and it is a good thing to learn about before you find yourself in the thick of it.

    Our personal teething situation was that when my son was teething, we had two nursing-related problems. First, he tended to change his latch to a shallow, pinchy one that felt very irritating to me. Second, he wanted to nurse much more frequently, especially at night. I think teething discomfort/pain tends to be worse at night, and he needed soothing and comfort, and so of course he wanted to be at the breast.

    Some babies do "chomp" or bite the breast as a response to teething discomfort. And I won't lie to you -- it hurts! But if your child steps on your bare toe or elbows you in the ribs when he hugs you, do you stop giving him hugs? Of course not -- you teach him how to hug without hurting you. The same thing is possible with breastfeeding ... it just takes patience.

    When your baby starts teething, sit down to nurse with a chew toy or a frozen washcloth, and if he starts to chomp etc., then give him the toy and encourage him to bite on that instead. I also found that during heavy teething times, nothing worked as well as just treating my son's pain with tylenol, ibuprofen, or Hyland's teething tablets.

    I'm so glad to hear that you are enjoying breastfeeding your growing baby -- best wishes for a long and happy nursing relationship in months to come!

    --Rebecca

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    23

    Talking Re: getting through teething

    I totally agree with the 1st post. My son had 2 teeth at 5 mos. Unfortunately, the top 2 came in 1st. You hardly notice the bottom teeth if you have a good latch, but babies really dig in with the top. Educating them not to bite you takes a lot of patience. However, like all things in parenting, everything is a phase and it does get better. And just like nursing the 1st few weeks can be painful until you get de-sensitized, you surprisingly get used to the teeth. I was not ready to wean at 5 months. I really wanted to do at least a year. After I survived those 2 top teeth, I felt like the worst was over. Still bf now--he's 21 mos. and the back molars are coming in! Hasn't bitten me since he was about 8 mos old.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    65

    Default Re: getting through teething

    While it is true that many moms get discouraged when their baby starts teething, it is definitely possible to nurse through teething! I am currently nursing my 16 month old son and many moms nurse for several years, through ALL of their child's teething! If the baby wants to bite at the breast there are things Mom can do to gently teach him not to do that. I noticed that with each tooth, my son's latch changed a little bit until he got used to the new tooth, all I had to do was go back to the basics and make sure he was opening his mouth wide, etc.

    Have you considered letting your child decide when to wean? Weaning often goes the most smoothly, for both mom and child, when the child is allowed to take the lead.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2006
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    65

    Default Re: getting through teething

    When my ds teethed he would get the whole set at once. Both top teeth came in at once and so on. To help them come in faster I took extra calcium. It seemed to work, cause the teeth would take a day to come in. My son also changed his latch. He would nurse a lot at night because the sucking soothes the mouth. Right now his teeth next to his first molars are coming in. I usually don't get enough sleep for a couple nights and than after they're in ds and I sleep together for awhile to catch up on some rest. At least theething doesn't last forever I always say to keep my spirits up. To pervent the biting down really hard try puting an ice cube in a wet wash cloth that the bb can chew on before nursing. It numbs the mouth enough so that the bitting down really hard doesn't accure. Try looking up some tips on the lll web sight too if you need more info.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: getting through teething

    I guess I was lucky that my baby's teething didn't seem to affect her breastfeeding. She chomped once I think and I let her know that it was not ok. It seems intimidating to think about how you will get through it now, but you will get through it if you have realized that it is easy and enjoyable and the best for baby.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    58

    Default Re: getting through teething

    My dd is a late teether and didnn't get her first chompers until 11 months old. The bottom 2 incisors came in first and it did not affect the nursing at all as her tongue is between the teeth and the nipple. When her top 2 incisors came in, it did affect the nursing. She first time she bit me, I basically did the same as when I was teaching bite-inhibition to our dog : I said "ouch" and withdrew, i.e. in the baby's case detached the nipple and covered up. She immediately became upset, so I hugged her, spoke to her soothingly, explaining that she can't bite me (hoping that her language comprehension was sufficiently advanced to understand maybe some of what I was saying) and then offered to nurse her again. She has only bitten me one other time since then, about a week after the first incident, and I did the same thing. It's been about 6 weeks since the last incident, so I think she has learned.

    The shallow latch, however, that is all scratchy and low-grade uncomfortable, still occurs pretty frequrently. I find that simply changing the angle by repositioning her body relative to mine or detaching and relatching her does the trick. The shallow latch tends to occur when she is half asleep, so either of these activities results in her either waking up more and paying attention or nodding off completely - either way the problem is fixed.

    I would like to think that any baby that wants to nurse can be trained not to bite - the trick is just communicating with each other effectively. With a small baby, this can be tricky but it is not impossible.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2006
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    683

    Default Re: getting through teething

    First, keep the mechanics of nursing in mind. A baby cannot bite you if they are actively nursing because their tongue is cupped around your breast. Most babies don't bite more than just a few times and most do not do it on purpose. You can teach a baby that biting will not be tolerated

    If you find that your baby bites you, it'll probably be at the beginning or end of a feeding. In these cases, there are measures you can take to prevent a bite from happening in the first place.

    I certainly wouldn't let teeth or teething interfere with your breastfeeding relationship. Both are doable!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    66

    Default Re: getting through teething

    22 months.... not one problem nursing while teething. Don't worry.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    16

    Default Re: getting through teething

    On occasion my kids bit. Let me re state, "on occasion". It seemed to be an accidental reflex type bite. Most importantly was that nursing was the ONLY was to soothe the teething babies. Nothing else worked for my kids including tylenol. Just like when they bumped their heads or got sick. The only thing that soothed them was nursing. I wonder how moms make it through the baby flu or other illness without "mama's baba's". One mistake I made with my youngest was when he accidentally bit me. I wasn't expecting it and neither was he, but i jumped and yelled, "OUCH" he thought this was extremely funny. So he tried to bite because it was funny to get a reaction like that. Not funny. So it then took a couple of bites with me completely ignoring it for him to get that he wouldn't get a reaction out of me......... other than that, my 3 other kids didn't go biting me constantly or anything. Just like previous post, just cuz they accidentally get ya in the ribs while hugging, doesn't mean ya stop hugging them. Great point. Gen

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