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Thread: Biting (OUCH!)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    9

    Unhappy Biting (OUCH!)

    Hi everyone,

    My 9 month old has two bottom teeth and the top ones are coming into view. I'd really like to continue to nurse, but every once in a while he bites me. There were three very memorable times where he drew blood and it hurt for a week, not to mention the anxiety about it happening again. I said "No biting!" very firmly and put him on the ground the first few times. The last time I pulled him into my breast (covering his nose).

    The second time he bit me I went on a mini nursing strike (I work full time but I pumped for his 5pm feeding and only nursed him at night). I actually was prepared to wean him because it hurt SO badly, but he stopped taking bottles and only wanted to nurse for a few weeks after my mini strike. Because of the last bite I developed a case of mastitis which is MISERABLE and I am just recovering and I'm still exhausted.

    I'm committed to nursing at least until his first birthday. I have an ample supply and I actually donate to a milk bank so I really don't want to stop nursing. It's just that I don't know how to solve this biting problem and it is weaking my resolve to keep nursing.

    Any thoughts/ ideas/ experience is appreciated!!!

    Liz

    lizandricky@gmail.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    1,368

    Default Re: Biting (OUCH!)

    Hi Liz,
    I feel your pain just by reading your email! I am so sorry you are dealing with this situation. Developing mastitis on top of things must have been very difficult and tiring. You were right to try pulling your ds into your breast and also putting him on the floor. These techniques have worked for many moms. Sounds like you need some more ideas, though! Some thoughts for you:

    Can you notice a particular time when this seems to happen? Is it when you or he are distracted? Someone else is talking or otherwise distracting you or him? Some mothers find that babies do this a lot at the end of a feeding when they are losing interest. If you notice he is nearing the end and he tends to bite toward the end of a feeding, take him off before it happens. If he is very physically busy while he is nursing (wriggling, squirming, rolling, etc.), you may want to wait until he settles down or take him to a quiet room to nurse. Is he having a particularly relaxing feeding with no signs of biting? If so, talk to him and tell him "thank you" and "how gentle he is" in a soothing voice. Praise can go far-even for a young baby! Also, do you think he is in any discomfort from the new teeth erupting? If so, you can plan to offer him a cool teething ring or something else soothing to his gums, right before you feed him. Some moms have found that a clean wet washcloth stuck in the freezer acts as a great sore-gum soother.

    As you have experienced, it is important to not abruptly limiting feedings, due to the risks of developing mastitis. Replacing his feedings with pumping would be very important to remember-I don't have to tell you this!

    I hope some of this information helps and you are feeling much better from being ill. Please let us know. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Biting (OUCH!)

    This happened to me with my first and let me tell you even pulling her to my breast did not work, once and I had to drag her off OOOUUUCCCHHH!!!!!

    So Screaching ouch, telling her "no biting" firmly, Placing her on the floor firmly and walking away while telling her "That Hurts, No NiNi if your biting" firmly all together was the key to my success.

    Hope this Helps
    Last edited by smnunez; January 23rd, 2006 at 08:24 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Biting (OUCH!)

    Quote Originally Posted by smnunez
    So Screaching ouch, telling her "no biting" firmly, Placing her on the floor firmly and walking away while telling her "That Hurts, No NiNi if your biting" firmly all together was the key to my success.
    Just be careful about raising your voice. Some babies are fine with it and it doesn't bother them. Other babies (like one of mine!) think it's funny to make mommy scream and screaming will actually reinforce the behavior. And, worst case scenario, some babies are super-sensitive and raising your voice could send them into a nursing strike!

    HTH!
    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Biting (OUCH!)

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you so much for your input (and sympathy!)

    The last time he bit me it was in the middle of the night. The time before was during the day with a lot of stimultation. (which is why I went on my mini nursing strike). I do shut the lights off and take him into another room to nurse when we're home. A lot of times if we're out I'll go to the car or try to find a quiet(er) place.

    He is definitely teething. I will try giving him the cold washcloth beforehand. He throws the cold teething rings clear across the room.

    He started to cry when I screamed and put him on the floor. He's the kind of kid that doesn't cry when he bumps his head, but cries when some one rings the door bell.

    It's been a week since he bit me and I'm back to normal. We had day care issues so I'm home today and I've been nursing him all day. (I"m so jealous of SAHMs!) I've noticed that he doesn't take bottles like he used to. Now it seems like he waits for me. I didn't think I'd be going through these things this far into the game.

    I'm petrified of his top teeth coming in.... his little tongue can't cover them while he's nursing...

    Thanks again for your suggestions. I hope they work! Please tell me there's hope and he'll get the message soon!

    Liz

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston SC
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    2,601

    Default Re: Biting (OUCH!)

    I just got my first nibble yesterday, you could see it in Thomas big blue eyes, kinda like is this funny for you to? I really do not think that 8 months he has any idea that he can hurt me. I just smiled and took hom off, is that how anyone else handles it?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    4

    Question Re: Biting (OUCH!)

    Hi there - I am new to this, but in desperation so please help me anyone! I have a 13 month old boy who is a big feeder (still feed around 8 times a day). Now has four teeth and may well be getting more, though is not as miserable as he was with the others. Anyway, he has started biting over the last four days and I am bleeding and sore! Tends to do it mostly at his drink before his sleep-times when he is more tired, and no positioning changes help this (I feed without any distractions so he has my full attention). He bites before going on and then gets more and more frustrated as he doesn't seem to be able to figure out how to latch on at these times. Yes, he has a sipper cup of water, but has had this for a good while.
    This goes around in circles as he cannot sleep until he has had his milk (no other substitute works) and then of course is over-tired and more likely to bite.
    At times he laughs after doing it, but tends to get giggly/manic when tired. I have tried every type of discipline, but he does not seem to be getting it!

    So, help!
    Another point, is my nipples have been sore for the past week when he has been feeding (only) and since I have not had a return of my cycles I always question whether I am pregnant or not. I did a very sensitive pregnancy test (twice) and nothing showed up, so presume that this is not a cause...

    Thanks for any suggestions.
    Elizabeth

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Biting (OUCH!)

    Elizabeth,

    My son would frequently bite me before going to bed. I found that moving his bedtime earlier so that he wasn't over-tired helped as well as telling him no; then telling him no and removing him from the breast but not letting him play at all; if that all failed, then bed time with no boob. I would let him cry it out for about 10 minutes alone in the dark and then try the whole thing over again. A bath would usually calm him down a little bit and let him know that its bed time whether you like it or not. When he was biting he wouldn't go to bed lying with me or even fall asleep while nursing as he had in the year before this episode no matter how hard I tried. He would usually go through this phase whenever he was teething or going through a rough time with learning something new and then it would go away like it never happened. After it went away, everything went back to normal until maybe a new tooth or something.

    I hope this helps you. I know I had a really hard time with it and started worrying that the baby was trying to wean himself. I kept with it and we were able to continue nursing without problems (aside from some blood and tears here or there). Good luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Biting (OUCH!)

    Elizabeth,

    All I can say is that I feel your pain. If it's any consolation, Ricky hasn't bit me since that last time. He's started opening his mouth and popping off my breast. Bloody nipples is such awful pain... Be aware that it could turn into mastitis, which feels like the flu but needs to be treated with antibiotics.

    Please let us know how you're doing!

    Liz and Ricky

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    4

    Thumbs up Re: Biting (OUCH!)

    Thank you both for your advice. Well he is definitely teething no. 5 and he has decreased the bites markedly. As well, now when he starts (gives a warning nip to try it first)... I pack up the boob and say 'shop closed' or 'no' etc and he actually gets it now.
    So thank you for your support. It is very difficult to get any advice as every person I spoke to told me to wean him (insinuating that the problem lay with me) and laughed....not so hot when you are feeling emotional!!
    My boy is not immunised and so it is important for me to continue some semblance of feeding till he is two. Despite this all his routines are very dependent on the milk as is our relationship
    Will keep in touch
    Elizabeth

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