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Thread: Help!!!! Biting baby.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    4

    Unhappy Help!!!! Biting baby.

    HELP!!!!!!!
    DD is 10 months old and we are having major problems with biting. She started about a month ago and I have tried saying "no biting" and putting her down. She cries and gets very upset about it. But then when I start nursing again (whether it is 30 seconds later or 30 minutes later) she bites me again. Every time she gets this adorable little look in her eye before she does it and I ususally am able to stop her from really chomping down so it is really just an annoyance and not painful. And she thinks the whole thing is so funny. We only nurse in the AM before she goes to daycare, in the evening when I get her home and then whenever she wants during the night. She never bites in the middle of the night, just during the nursings she is wide awake for. And she bites in the beginning, middle and/or end so I can't figure it out. I don't know what to do. It's making me want to quit nursing because I feel like she doesn't want to do it anyway.
    What does this mean? What do I do? I'm thinking of weaning because of this but I'm only 1/2 ready to do that.
    HELP!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Help!!!! Biting baby.

    Oh, man -- biting is the WORST. I had a persistent biter, too, and it was sometimes intensely frustrating. And it is really hard to find support for continuing to nurse a baby who bites. I had to explain it to my unsupportive DH this way: "When you do something that annoys me, I want you to stop doing it. I don't want to DIVORCE you. Similarly, when DS bites my breast, I don't WANT to wean him -- I just want him to stop biting me."

    It's good that you can catch her before he has the chance to bite hard -- this will save your nipples lots of trauma. But it sure does take a lot of the pleasure out of nursing, when you have to watch like a hawk for that telltale gleam in baby's eye.

    The biting also made me worry that I was raising the next Attila the Hun -- didn't my precious son CARE that he was hurting me? In fact, it seemed clear that he found it really fun to make momma yelp.

    A couple things to try: when she tries to bite you, take her off and end the nursing session, but also immediately redirect her to a toy that is safe to bite on: "No bite num-num; bite this toy instead." Actually put it in her mouth and close her teeth on it. This kind of redirection, if you are consistent with it, will eventually sink in, and one day she will thrill you by taking her urge to bite to a toy instead of to your breast.

    You can also try helping her understand your pain. The next time she sneaks a good hard bite in, despite your efforts to prevent it, then go ahead and react but really play it up in terms she can easily see and understand. Cry. Wail with sadness. Show her the bite mark on your breast and give an Oscar-winning performance about how much it hurts and how sad you are when she bites. You just might be able to get it into her head that her fun game HURTS you. And because your baby loves you more than the world itself, this will encourage her to begin, gradually, to master that biting impulse in order to protect you.

    Just don't expect an overnight cure. I know the books and all my friends say that a baby will try biting once or twice and the quickly give it up if handled correctly. Good for them, but it didn't work that way for us. My son outgrew frequent biting by 15 months or so, but through the rest of our nursing relationship, he still very occasionally gave me a little nibble, just for mischief. I nursed him to age four despite it, and have absolutely no regrets for doing so.

    --Rebecca

  3. #3

    Default Re: Help!!!! Biting baby.

    I love your explanation to your DH. I will remember that one!
    Mother to Emily June, b. Sept 18, 2005 and Lucy Quinn, b. 1/20/2012

    “Buy the ticket, take the ride."
    Hunter S. Thompson

    Excitement on the Side: Who doesn't love a confident woman with long boobs...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    27

    Question Re: Help!!!! Biting baby.

    This sounds so much like what I am dealing with, but my DD won't nurse, she just looks at me, chomps, and fusses when I try to keep her on the boppy...she refuses to nurse, and I end up giving her a bottle...I am so afraid that our nursing relationship has been damaged, and I'm starting to think that it might not just be the teeth, but the nipples on the bottles that she takes at the sitters...I'm just wondering how you are doing now? Has this gotten better for you?

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