Let's talk about biting.

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AmyJo86268's picture
Joined: 12/08/07
Posts: 1406
Let's talk about biting.

DS1 bit me one time I didn't do anything about it and he never did it again. DS2 has been biting me for a week now, not everytime, usually the daytime feedings. I am sure he's teething again. I've just kept a finger close to break the bite if he starts, but I'm very sore (bruised like) from his new bad habit. He doesn't clamp down for a long time, it's like he does it then stops before I can react.

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

Every now and then DS bites me. I unlatch him, even if he's already stopped biting. If he's truly hungry he'll go back to nursing and won't bite. If he does bite me again, I unlatch him and he's done! He gets mad that the magical boob has gone away and I don't usually have to deal with biting for a few more days. I think he's bitten me once this past week. I unlatched him, told him that hurts mama, and put the boob away because that time it REALLY hurt. He did it in front of company too! lol.
KellyMom has a useful article on nursing manners, including one on biting!

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

DD got her first tooth at 3 months. She was giving me gummy bites starting around 2.5 months. I couldn't do much about it at that age other than what you're doing. I just kept my finger close. After her teeth broke through, I got a couple real bites. I quickly started to recognize her bite face. She wasn't doing it to be malicious. She was just bored. So, I made sure she got down to business and didn't let her linger. She stopped once her teeth were good and in. Every now and then, I'll get a bite still. Usually because she's just screwing around. Now she's at an age though that I can sternly say "No biting", end the session, and put her down. I make an exaggerated sad face, which sometimes makes her laugh, sometimes makes her cry. I may have to re-evaluate doing that though as it has turned into me comforting a sobbing baby after she's bitten me :rolleyes:.

Joined: 01/25/02
Posts: 2023

My oldest bit me once about a week before her first tooth came through (she was 10.5mo) and I yelped and scared her and she never did it again. My boys have been awful biters, the twins being the worst. I often have sore nipples from all the biting. I have not found any magic cure and try to take it away once they have bitten, which is sometimes harder when his brother is still nursing.

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

My DD bites when she's teething. I have tried a lot of tricks, and nothing has had a lasting effect. I think the thing is that she's not doing it to hurt me, she's doing it because she's hurting. Of course, she does need to understand sooner than later (especially at almost 16 mos!) that even if she's hurting doesn't mean it's ok to hurt me... but, mostly, when I try to reprimand her, she laughs. It seems to work better if I just ignore it. She's bitten other body parts now and then, and when I tell her that hurts me and not to do it, she laughs and tries to do it again. Amazing, because I swear, she seems to understand so many things, and this one just works totally opposite. I hate to believe that my almost 16mos old wants to hurt me...but who knows!

Joined: 07/11/06
Posts: 253

Rather than a finger, if you can get into the habit of pushing him/her into the breast it will cause him/her to unlatch. Counter-intuitive, but it's what is recommended. I always found it worked instantly, and I would get a look like "What?". Twice in a row and I would put him down and stop nursing for a bit. That seemed to help over all. I know it isn't an easy fix, but at least know that it is likely a phase, and as perplexing as it is, it will stop! Best of luck!!

AmyJo86268's picture
Joined: 12/08/07
Posts: 1406

I really want to hang in there, but today has been awful. I inded up flicking him in the cheek and we both cried then I gave him the other side and just kept unlatching every so often, the next session was better but I'm very sore Sad

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

"OntarioGal" wrote:

Rather than a finger, if you can get into the habit of pushing him/her into the breast it will cause him/her to unlatch. Counter-intuitive, but it's what is recommended. I always found it worked instantly, and I would get a look like "What?". Twice in a row and I would put him down and stop nursing for a bit. That seemed to help over all. I know it isn't an easy fix, but at least know that it is likely a phase, and as perplexing as it is, it will stop! Best of luck!!

I've heard this works for a lot of women. It didn't/doesn't for me. My boobs aren't really big enough/the right shape (?) for it to work.

Joined: 07/11/06
Posts: 253

"TiggersMommy" wrote:

I've heard this works for a lot of women. It didn't/doesn't for me. My boobs aren't really big enough/the right shape (?) for it to work.

Really? Hmmm... Mine aren't really all that big. What a pain (quite literally!!) that it doesn't work for you!

kirsteng's picture
Joined: 10/19/02
Posts: 644

Hang in there! :bighug: I know how much it hurts to get bitten, but after having bf 3, I also know that it's just a phase. It always seems to start around that age, and I found with mine that it only lasted a couple of months.

I agree with taking him off immediately and not letting him nurse for a few minutes. Gives you a break too.

What I do to unlatch is a bit unconventional I think: I plug his nose! My little guy is 27 months now, and when he has a bad latch etc and I want to unlatch him, I just plug his nose gently and instantaneously he lets go (he has to or he can't breathe). It's not painful for either of us, and it works after literally 1 second.

GL!

Joined: 04/30/09
Posts: 2257

"Marite13" wrote:

My DD bites when she's teething. I have tried a lot of tricks, and nothing has had a lasting effect. I think the thing is that she's not doing it to hurt me, she's doing it because she's hurting.

Em seems to bite mostly when she's teething too. Sometimes it's a boredom thing or a "lazy latch" thing where she's tired but lately she's been doing it A LOT. DH wonders if that's a sign that it's time to wean, which I told him no as she still wants to nurse. I think he just feels bad when she hurts me.

AmyJo86268's picture
Joined: 12/08/07
Posts: 1406

I don't get why people say it's time to wean when they start biting. If they need formula for a year then breastmilk for a year would be the same. I don't want to quit if we can make it through. He's only bit me about once a day and I say "no biting" put the boob away and we just try again later.