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Thread: Biting - please help.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    928

    Default Biting - please help.

    My 19 month toddler is biting. He hasn't done this since he was tiny and didn't know any better. I haven't been able to nurse him for two days now because as soon as he latches, he clamps his teeth down - deliberately, while looking at me. Tonight he even said 'mommy bite ow' afterwards so he knows what he's doing. I suspect he thinks it's a game, or maybe it's an experiment to see what he can get away with or what my reaction will be. I've tried to respond the same way each time. I stay as calm as I can and say, 'No biting. Ow, that hurts Mommy' and then I put him on the floor, walk away and get busy in the kitchen and ignore him for about a minute, which he doesn't like but I believe he does understand why it's happening. After that, I get him involved in a new activity.

    The first time it happened, I let him re-latch and he just kept doing the same thing, so I'm stopping the nursing session at the first bite so it doesn't become a game. A friend told me this meant the end of nursing for her. Is there any solution? What else should I be trying? I'll be heartbroken if I can't fix this because he loves 'kikis' and I don't get the feeling he's ready to stop.

    BTW, I don't think he's teething or sick.

    And another BTW! This is happening in the midst of a lot of developmental leaps, night waking, refusal to take naps and separation anxiety. Does that have something to do with it?

    Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to explain the whole situation and what I've already tried.
    Emma

    J from Aug '06 to Nov '08 and S from April 2009

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    213

    Default Re: Biting - please help.

    I was having a similar problem a few months ago!
    In my situation it seemed like she almost forgot how to latch on properly.

    I did what you did, you know what, she's back to fine now!

    I think he's testing you.

    He understands enough to know that he's hurting you. Have you tried saying 'It hurts mommy and she doesn't want to give you kikis when it hurts. Do you want to stop kikis?'
    My guess is he'll shake his head no...

    Good luck!
    (((((purplemonkey)))))

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    584

    Default Re: Biting - please help.

    I think pp is right. He understands so you can talk to him about it. They r so much smarter than we know. Remember that all kids test their boundies, that includes BFing.
    wife , mom, maid , cook , taxi. All in a days work

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    928

    Default Re: Biting - please help.

    This morning, he didn't want to nurse because he was busy playing and this evening he didn't ask and we had people here and he ended up in his room reading bedtime stories with Grandpa before I realised and now he's asleep. So he didn't even get to latch on today and I'm worried I won't have any milk next time he tries. How long can you go without nursing before you lose your milk? I feel full and slightly sore on the left side, but I packed my pump away months ago. I'm really worried this will be the end of nursing and we're going to England in a few weeks and I really want him to have the comfort and security of nursing while we're there, but I don't want to force him to nurse if he doesn't want to. How can you tell if he's ready to wean as opposed to just experimenting with boundaries?
    Emma

    J from Aug '06 to Nov '08 and S from April 2009

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    213

    Default Re: Biting - please help.

    Don't worry about losing your milk just over a day! I went away for a three day weekend, came home in the middle of the night and my nursling latched on...

    As far as how long before you know he's ready to wean, can't tell you! She hasn't weaned yet (at 3).

    The feeling slightly sore sounds quite normal, can you hand express a little for your comfort? He'll probably be back on tomorrow though! or later today (so confusing with timezones...).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    928

    Default Re: Biting - please help.

    He nursed yesterday morning , bit me again last night and wouldn't even latch on this morning .

    I think he's more likely to bite in the evening because nursing makes him sleepy and he's been fighting sleep recently...and anything that he associates with sleep. I'm putting all my efforts into keeping the morning nursing because he usually snuggles up in bed with me and nurses calmly, but I'm dropping the evening one because that's when he giggles and wiggles, hums, twists, kicks his legs, pinches my nose, twiddles my hair...and bites. I'll miss it because he's a funny little character and that was a special time of day for us. I'm just glad we took pictures last week before we missed our chance. Luckily my husband is a photographer, so we have literally hundreds of beautiful (and funny) nursing pictures to help us remember.

    I just hope we can keep the morning BF. Is it common for toddlers to drop a feed a time until they're down to once a day or once every two days? He only has one side per feed so that means each breast will only nurse him every 2 to 4 days, which doesn't seem like enough to keep producing milk.
    Emma

    J from Aug '06 to Nov '08 and S from April 2009

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    584

    Default Re: Biting - please help.

    Maybe try waiting until he's really tired and ready to give up at night. he maybe biting like you said because he isn't ready for sleep. i tried to force LO to nurse once and she bit me too. Just because i thought she should she wasn't ready too. Never did that again. Don't give up he maybe just busy for the moment and go back to it soon. Have you tried nursing him after he falls asleep? I have done that and my LO will latch on for a few minutes
    wife , mom, maid , cook , taxi. All in a days work

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    928

    Default Re: Biting - please help.

    Update: He didn't even latch on for 4 days and I thought that was the end of nursing for us, but yesterday morning he nursed both sides...for about 45 minutes and almost made me late for work! Who needs showers or breakfast? I'm just absolutely thrilled to have my little 'kiki' milky boy back!

    I realised he was not 'naturally weaning himself' as my husband believed. He was actually upset about 'ouch' and needed a lot of reassurance that the kikis were 'all better now' before there was any chance he would nurse again. It's kind of odd because I didn't even raise my voice, I just said 'ouch, that hurts mommy' when he bit, but he has a very clear understanding that ouch means pain. So we found a quiet place with no distractions and talked about it very calmly and he poked my breast and asked 'ouch?' a few times to make sure it was really all better and then lay down and opened his mouth really wide and let me help him latch on, which he hasn't done for months. He nursed really well this morning and this evening too, so we're right back on track and I am soooooo relieved! I really thought that was the end of BF for us. It was a truly scary experience.

    I have to say I am stunned at the body's ability to keep up with this level of ebb and flow in demand - but I am (probably unsurprisingly) ravenously hungry today!
    Emma

    J from Aug '06 to Nov '08 and S from April 2009

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    250

    Default Re: Biting - please help.

    Whoo Hoo! Way to go mamma! Bet your glad to have your nursling back. The body is a truly amazing thing, so glad all is going well for you again. Keep on keeping on!


    Mother to Zayne 19/8/06 2.56kg


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