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Thread: Bitting Concerns

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    132

    Default Bitting Concerns

    My daughter - 2 and one half months - has been breastfeeding exclusively and gaining weight like a champ.

    She has always been a bite-er. She usually gives one hard bite upon first latching on then lets go and continues feeding normally.
    She does not have tounge tie and otherwise latches on okay.

    I think she does this because my breasts are so large and her mouth is so small.

    I had planned to go to EP once her front teeth started coming in, but I know I realize I don't want to and would rather continue breast feeding as long as possible.

    Can we re-learn to avoid the bite during latch as her mouth grows?
    What else can we try?

    Any suggestions are appreciated.
    TW
    <Abigail 9/6/10>

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,983

    Default Re: Bitting Concerns

    Ouch!!

    A couple of thoughts:

    - IMO, "biting" at 2.5 months is not the same as biting at 6 months with teeth. It sounds more like a latch issue. I would encourage your baby to open her mouth wider when she latches on. Try opening your mouth and "show" her how you want her to do it (you'd be surprised, even young babies respond to this), and then tilt her head back more before latching her on, so that her chin is up a bit more -that might take the pressure off the front gums. Don't be shy about seeking hands-on help from a lactation consultant or LLL leader about this - can you go to a LLL meeting? This is the sort of thing that might be easier to help with in person.

    - If you can get your baby to latch on correctly, then you can simply refuse to nurse unless she latches on right, and if (heaven forbid) she really clamps down, you just stop nursing, put her down for a minute (yes, she may cry) and then try again. This is what I did when Joe got his front teeth and started biting me. Babies learn cause and effect quickly. After three days of this, he never bit me again. Now he is a toddler with a mouth full of teeth, and he NEVER bites.

    - As you say, her mouth is small right now. I wonder if the clamping will naturally ease up as she gets bigger. A newborn's latch, no matter how correct, feels a lot more "clampy" than the latch of an older baby. So, who knows, it could be that by the time she gets teeth, it will no longer be an issue!

    - Definitely don't give up on this and go to EP. The idea that you can't nurse once your baby gets teeth is just wrong. Yeah, your baby might bite you (or not - many never do), but it's a behavior that can be dealt with, quickly. No need to wean or EP.

    I definitely think getting some hands on help from someone experienced with breastfeeding would be a good idea. If you don't want to hire an LC, definitely look into LLL meetings.



    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

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