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Thread: Latching/Chewing on Mom's Face

  1. #1

    Default Latching/Chewing on Mom's Face

    Hello -

    I am wondering if anyone else has had this problem and how they dealt with it. My baby just turned 4 months and her newest thing is latching on to my face and shoulder (started heavily today). She goes straight for my chin, cheeks, or nose. It is not just chewing but a strong immediate suction. She is drooling a lot and seems to maybe be teething. She doesn't want to chew on toys or teething rings, just me. The first few times she did this I fed her and it worked. But the last few times she doesn't seem to be hungry or want to eat for more than a minute. Could this be a growth spurt? Today she is a little fussy and switches from smiling and laughing to fussy in a split second.

    Thank you,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Default Re: Latching/Chewing on Mom's Face

    Not exactly sure WHY they do it, but I wanted to let you know you aren't alone. My 2 months old latched onto my neck a few weeks ago and gave me the darkest hickey! I was so embarassed, but oh well! I recall in his case that it was just about feeding time, but he does chew on my jaw in between time too. Maybe it's just a sucking reflex kinda thing?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Latching/Chewing on Mom's Face

    Hi, Jennie.

    It's certainly frustrating & hard when baby begins to bite... It does sound like she's teething... The drooling, biting and her age are typical symptoms. This is (thankfully) a temporary situation. Of course, it's not necessary to wean. Hang in there... Here are some "tricks" that have helped other moms get through similar situations.

    You mentioned offering your baby some chew toys... Many times, a mom can offer a cold, wet washcloth, too... "before" she nurses. This can definitely help baby nurse better & help mom feel more comfortable. Keep offering, too. It sounds like she just wants to chew on mommy... Ouch! A simple, but firm "No, biting" can usually do the trick followed by something baby can chew on.

    Some things to try if she begins to bite during a nursing session... Generally, a baby's not really nursing if they're biting.... just trying to find any position to help their gums feel better. Some moms try to "anticipate" their baby about to bite (usually at the end of a feeding or if baby is falling asleep), they can pull them in towards themselves, rather than pulling baby off... since pulling off might cause some damage the nipple. Others can use their little finger between baby's teeth & gums to help baby let go if he's biting. Some even keep their finger "right there" throughout the entire feeding. Trying to stay calm while anticipating might be helpful... babies can sometimes pick up on this tension & react with biting, even clenching. Or, if baby's gnawing, a mom can try tilting baby's head back just a bit.

    If the biting is persistent, mom might try stopping the feeding... offer something baby "can" chew on... & give lots of praise. Babies don't understand that putting their teeth on mom's nipples (or other body parts, like in your situation) causes her pain... they associate nursing with comfort & security and, of course, hunger. A baby needs some time to learn to nurse with new teeth... unfortunately, it often comes through trial & error.

    Some moms try staying calm (at least as calm as can be!) when baby does bite while they're nursing, since many times a mother might inadvertantly cause her nipples to be damaged. Plus, sometimes the abrupt voice of mom can sometimes backfire with sensitive babies, who react by refusing the breast. If this ever happens, many moms find that if they bring baby in closer (partially blocking off the airway), this will make baby release the nipple. Others try slipping a finger between the baby's gums or teeth, for the same result.

    You might even...
    * Stop the feeding
    * Offer an acceptable teething object
    * Quickly put baby on the floor
    * Keep a finger near baby's mouth to quickly break the suction, etc.

    Hang in there! This is definitely a temporary, albeit difficult, sitiuation.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Latching/Chewing on Mom's Face

    Thank you. I will keep all of the feeding while teething advice next to me for the next few weeks/months.

    Glad to know my lo is not the only one to chew the wrong spots on mommy,

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Default Re: Latching/Chewing on Mom's Face

    My LO has started this recently. She has no teeth yet. I just thought it was cute like she is giving me a kiss? Sometimes when I tell her "give mommy a kiss" she will do it...sometimes...She also likes to "bite" my nose. I wasn't too worried about it, but I imagine when she gets teeth I won't think it's so cute
    Proud mom of 2:
    DD 5/2008 nursed for 3 years and 3 months.
    DS born 8/2011 nursing like a champ

    Sorry for the short responses...always, always, always NAK or holding a baby

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