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Thread: Help me make it past a year!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Unhappy Help me make it past a year!

    I know I don't really belong in this forum because my little guy is only 11 months. But we are having some issues and I really need a pep talk from some extended bfers. I have always had every intention of nursing Zach well into toddlerhood, but things have been so hard in the last couple of months that I find myself entertaining thoughts of quitting - even counting the days until he turns 1. Our biggest problem is biting and its been going on for 2 months! I've tried everything (except hitting him or pulling his hair - I can't do that) and he'll have 3 or 4 good days and then he goes back to biting again. I am so tense now when I nurse him. I dread nursing time now and that makes me so sad. Not to mention the pain and having to change blood-stained shirts all the time. As a last resort I have been curtailing his nursing frequency trying only feed him when he is really serious about nursing. Its working okay. He doesn't seem to miss the "snack feedings" during the day. And at least he hasn't broken the skin in about a week. BUT now he's started to wake up more frequently to nurse at night. (At least he doesn't bite at night.) We had been at a point where he slept at least one 2-3 hour stretch every night, but now he's up every hour or more again. I am exhausted and I've had a cold for 3 weeks that I can't seem to shake. I just want to cry.
    I'm sorry for complaining, but I am just so discouraged right now. I hate feeling so negatively about nursing my sweet little guy. I want to keep nursing. I will keep nursing. But the biting and the pain and the not sleeping are starting to take a toll on me. I just don't know what to do.
    Thanks for letting me vent if you got this far. Any advice would be appreciated.
    Katie
    Just one more fanatical cloth diaper convert...
    Mom to Morgan (01/10/04) and Zachary (07/12/06)
    What are M & Z up to now?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help me make it past a year!

    i dont have any advice mama, just
    Click here to find an LLL leader near you...or call 1 877 4 LA LECHE for help now.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help me make it past a year!

    FluffyN,http://forums.llli.org/images/smilies/smile.gif

    Biting is rough. So are Molars. ONe thijng at a time. Let me address the molars 1st because we always do better when we are coming from a place of empathy. All teething is hard but this and the next set of teeth come in 4 at a time and all 4 of these have to actually push out an actual hole in the gum. It IS brutal and it may be a month long process. Hang in there, stay focused, and USE MOTRIN. DJ at this point welcomed it. Where was the baby that during the brutal breaking of the top two teeth was refusing and choking on the medicine? GONE. My one year old would open wide for the meds. He WANTED to sleep.

    Biting especially to the point of blood is hard. It's hard because it's eroding the trust in a special and loving relationship. I honestly am impressed that you are pushing forward. I have dealt with biting and have done it all. I have set him down and walked away, I have tapped his chest and I have flicked.I won't debate what works and what doesn't because IMO the important point that the child gets is that he has upset you and that the said behavior will now impede his ability to get what he wants. My son ALWAYS wants to nurse to make up so we always do it in the end...but I have gotten out of bed and left him w/DH, handed him over in the living room and gone to take a shower, when it's that bad I allow myself to have the anger and get back to it when I am not feeling violated. When he is in my lap and I have no one to hand him off to and he has gotten tapped or flicked, he is usually very upset right in my arms and I still stop the session long enough and with enough of a reaction that he understands that I am hurt and upset. It means I pull him off and react strongly IMMEDIATELY.
    I must say for me the biting was always either boredom or teething and not nearly has hard to deal with as the getting slapped in the face and having the hair pulled all of which if dealt with consistently, seems to stop. Not that some other thing doesn't come and replace it....but at 17 months he really hasn't bitten at all in the last 3 months and I don't think I've been slapped in the face in that long either...Now I just have someone who is climbing to the highest point on the couch.... Good luck to you and I think your idea of elimninating any session that isn't "serious business" is a good one! Keep us posted!

    Way too lazy for formula

  4. #4
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    Aug 2006
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    Default Re: Help me make it past a year!

    I tend to agree with most of what Shelly wrote, particularly on the teething. As for the biting, I personally would not flick my DD, but ITA that the important thing is that the child understands you are upset and the behavior will result in him not getting what he wants. I would and have immediately stopped a nursing session if my DD so much as nips at me. She gets one warning and if she does it again she is done nursing. I literally remove her from my nipple, redo my bra, pull down my shirt, and set her down. If she asks to nurse a few minutes later I tell her she can but "No biting Mommy." This has worked for us but it sounds like your issue is more serious than we've ever had. I also think it is a great idea to limit the "snacking" nursing sessions.
    Reading over your post, it actually sounds like you are starting to beat the biting problem! So that's good. The more frequent night nursing IS probably molars-my DD did the same thing. Pain reliever can definitely help. And coffee in the morning for you!
    So sorry you're having so much trouble. You are a great mama and we will always be here to support you.

    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Default Re: Help me make it past a year!

    My son is the same age as yours and we had been having the same problem. I had been using nursing pads again to pad the scab. I too had been counting the days until his birthday, passing him to DH because of the anger factor, tensing up. He would always bite right before he latched on.

    Lately I have been waiting until he opens wide and then kind of "shove" my nipple in as far as I can. This has been helping tremendously.

    Not sure how your lo's biting occurs.

    Maybe this will help?
    Benjamin 07/13/06
    Brooklynne 07/14/09

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    139

    Default Re: Help me make it past a year!

    I have an 18 month old daughter and she was a biter. So much so that I am now considered the biting expert at our LLL meetings. LOL My dd would bite to the point of drawing blood and it was right around a year that she started it. She rarely does it now. I found that telling her sternly "no that hurts mommy" and then ending that nursing session worked the best. I would often have to go pump so I wouldn't lose my supply but I made it work. She eventually got the point. I also used that Lansinoh ointment. That worked wonderfully for me. It healed up the teeth marks fast. The best advice I can give you is to be patient and remember that it's just a phase. I'd make sure when you nurse to have as few distractions as possible. I had to send my older two kids (8 & 10 years old) outside at times so that my LO wouldn't be distracted. Make sure he's truly in the mood to nurse and not just going to snack and bite. As for the night wakings, we went through that too and still do at times. Remember they are growing faster now than they ever will again and it takes a lot of calories to grow. Sometimes those growth spurts hit in the middle of the night! Good Luck!!!
    Cathy

  7. #7
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    Apr 2006
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    Default Re: Help me make it past a year!

    I don't have much experience with the biting issue, but I definitely do with night waking . My DS was similar to yours at that age, waking constantly all night (about 12 times per night ). If you think it might be teething, definitely try some pain reliever. I also read No Cry Sleep Solution when my DS was that age, and did find some very helpful things. While it definitely didn't get us to sleeping through the night, it did get us back to a usual three hour stretch at the beginning of the night with maybe a couple more two hour stretches after that. The biggest part for me was teaching him to fall asleep on his own laying on the bed (rather than me rocking/bouncing him or falling asleep at the breast) at the beginning of the night. I used ideas from the book to do that. If the night waking is NOT primarily due to teething, then that might help.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Help me make it past a year!

    I dealt with biting issues with my 3rd child when he was about 14 months and while upsetting for awhile he hasn't bit me in ages. You mentionned that he isn't missing those nursing "snacks". Maybe he's biting to let you know that he doesn't want to nurse right then. Hope you feel better soon. I always told my lo to kiss me and say sorry (even if he couldn't yet) so that he got the idea -- being the youngest he's very use to having people hurt him and then kiss him and apologize.
    Laura, proud vbacing, ecological breastfeeding mommy to four ages 8, 6, 5, and 2. That's Kate nursing her doll, Adam.

    The Seven Standards of ecological breastfeeding: (1) exclusive breasfeeding for the first 6 months (2) pacify baby at your breast (3) don't use bottles and pacifiers (4) co-sleep for night feedings (5) take a nursing nap (6) nurse frequently day and night; avoiding schedules (7) avoid practices that restrict nursing or separates you from your baby. The average return of menstruation for ecological breastfeeding mothers is between 14 and 15 months.

  9. #9
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    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: Help me make it past a year!

    Thank you for the kind replies, everyone. Things have been going a little better in the biting arena. In the last few days, he's only bit me once or twice daily and not too hard. No blood! Yay! I think we're finally starting to see eye-to-eye and settling on a more scheduled nursing routine.
    When he does bite, I immediately put him down on the floor for a few seconds and then we go do something else. We'll continue nursing after 10-15 miutes if he is acting like he still wants too, but he usually seems to forget all about it. I know the biting is just a (rather long) phase, but I am really looking forward to it being OVER!

    As for the night waking, I'm not sure if it is teething. I know molars are the next ones, but he just got his last incisor so I think it will still be a few weeks before we see any. I had been giving him motrin just in case and it didn't seem to have any effect. The worst part of the night nursing was that my nipples are so sore and chewed up from the daytime biting that I can't sleep when he's latched on - too much pain. So when he nurses every 20 minutes (like he did monday night) I get no sleep at all even though we are co-sleeping! Last night was better though. He woke up maybe 9 or 10 times which is much more normal for him. I have read the No-cry Sleep Solution and want to try to implement some of it after DS turns 1. Sleeping "thru the night" is not even my goal at this point. I just want him to wake less - maybe 4 or 5 times a night instead of 10!
    Katie
    Just one more fanatical cloth diaper convert...
    Mom to Morgan (01/10/04) and Zachary (07/12/06)
    What are M & Z up to now?

  10. #10
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    Sep 2006
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    Default Re: Help me make it past a year!


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