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Thread: 9 Month Old Hitting & Grabbing Breasts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default 9 Month Old Hitting & Grabbing Breasts

    I have been nursing my wonderful, gentle, calm 9-month old boy since birth. He had a lot of trouble with reflux at the beginning, but has outgrown some of it.
    He started on one 5-oz bottle of formula about a month ago at night when I was having continued trouble with supply. He also started solids at six months and eats very well 3x a day.
    We got through the biting phase . . . by just gently taking him off, calmly saying no and repeating that each time.
    BUT he has recently (last two days) started HITTING my breasts when I go to nurse him! Is he trying to wean himself? Is he not interested anymore? He is still nursing some the past two days. But tonight got fussy after his regular bottle; then he refused to nurse (I thought he might still be hungry). I gave him 2 more ounces in his bottle and he guzzled it down.

    Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

    (By the way, we do not use physical punishment and he is a very loving, gentle baby. His hitting almost seemed playful until he started also roughly grabbing my breasts and pulling on them as well. Ouch!) He seems maybe frustrated. What is going on?

    (I don't pump anymore so I'm not sure on supply).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: 9 Month Old Hitting & Grabbing Breasts

    My DD has recently started doing the same thing she is 8 months. She does not take a bottle though, so that part of it I am not sure. She does slap and pinch! OUCH! I just move her hand and tell her no, if she continues I just sit her down for a bit and then ask her to be nice and let her nurse again, if she slaps or grabs again I just do the same thing over and over. I think it may be that they are bored and do not just want to lay there and eat!
    Jennifer, wife to Brian, 4/4/06
    Mama to Jake, 9/10/02, Jaime, 6/11/07
    Joey and Jason, 12/20/10

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Where the Wind Comes Sweepin' Down the Plain

    Default Re: 9 Month Old Hitting & Grabbing Breasts

    At what point in the session does he start treating the boob like a punching bag? My ds does it when he's satisfied his initial hunger but isn't quite finished. It's like mid-meal entertainment. I think he just does it b/c he can. Ds loves to see his effect on his world now. It's fascinating to him.

    Are you feeling a let-down? (Some do and some don't at 9 months.)

    The more solids baby eats, so begins the weaning process. That doesn't mean bf'ing stops or that it's about to end. It's just that he's replacing some (not all) bm with other food. As this replacement takes place, your supply will adjust.

    My ds isn't exposed to ANY hitting, yet he still loves to rear back and slap my chest. I think he likes the noise and being close to momma, so when he's doing it to me, it's the best of both worlds. He's also doing it to faces, throwing things, just cause he can. This is the time when our job as parents and providing guidance and discipline really begins. All we need at this point are rules that prevent injury and accidents. (My ds is 9 mo too.)
    **Margaret**(the artist formerly known as mommamags) Mom to red- and curly-headed, blue-eyed, chunky-thighed Michael Thomas, 24 May 2007, 9 lb/22 in. As an infant, he was my little suckling pig. Now he's a total ham!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: 9 Month Old Hitting & Grabbing Breasts

    He probably is just trying to be playful. He probably thinks he's being funny. Don't take it personally and I definitely wouldn't assume he's weaning himself yet. I would just grab his hands when he does it and go about it the same way you would with biting. Tell him "no hitting" and stop the session for the moment and see how he reacts. He'll learn that it's not funny to hit you

    ETA: Sorry, I don't think I read closely enough If it does seem like he's frustrated, could it be a nursing strike? Is he teething?
    Last edited by JeannieBean; March 5th, 2008 at 11:59 AM.

    Jeanne (my middle name IRL)

    Mommy to two girls (M & M), born Sept. '07 and Sept. '09

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Re: 9 Month Old Hitting & Grabbing Breasts

    Thanks everyone!

    I think I will take your suggestions and approach it like we did the biting/clamping phase. I wonder if he may only be 'frustrated' because, as someone said he's halfway through the feeding and he's getting bored. He is going through this big awareness/discovery phase and he loves tickling his momma, so why not that? (I don't always feel the let-down anymore, but my milk is still there.)

    I'll keep trying and hopefully that will work!

    Goal: 12 months or beyond!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: 9 Month Old Hitting & Grabbing Breasts

    Sometimes babies will do that b/c it increases the flow of milk (which could be tied in with the fact that he gets bottles.) It's similar to doing compressions. It doesn't make it less annoying, but that might be the reason.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: 9 Month Old Hitting & Grabbing Breasts

    He could have figured out that it increased the flow (like when a kitten "kneads" on her mother's teat when nursing).

    To reassure you, this behavior is NOT associated with weaning. This is a helpful resource:

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