Needs advice/encouragement! DD is biting

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-30-2010
Needs advice/encouragement! DD is biting
4
Wed, 03-23-2011 - 4:29pm

I am sooo frustrated. DD is 8.5 months and already has a tooth (bottom) and I think a second tooth is on the way. In the last couple days she has been biting and I don't know what else to do to teach her not to bite mami. *OUCH* doesn't even begin to describe how it feels. She gets so startled when I remove her from bb's and tell her "we don't bite mami". She then cries soooo much.....and then refuses to latch again. I don't want to wean her because I love to nurse. But I also want her to learn that it is NOT OK to bite mami. I know it is normal to go through this but it is frustrating and upseting :smileysad:

And what frustrates me the most is that I know she is hungry so I try to nurse, then she bites me so I remove her from the bb's and tell her that we do not bite mami and then she starts crying. So this morning after a few biting episodes, I tried giving her a bottle....well, she wont take a bottle from me and DH was not home to feed her. So here I was, home alone with an upset baby (and an upset and sad mami).

The other thing that upsets me is when DD starts crying because bb's were taken away due to a bite (or bites), that DH comes in room and wants to immediately comfort her and asks DD "is mami being mean to you?".

Lilypie - Personal picture
Community Leader
Registered: 06-10-2008
Wed, 03-23-2011 - 9:40pm

Laury, I"m so sorry you're having to go through this right now. It must be so difficult and frustrating for you. Biting while nursing is a phase that some babies do go through but usually it is a temporary phase and with some loving guidance, babies can be taught not to bite while nursing.

It sounds to me like you're already doing a lot of the right things. If you think it's teething related, have you tried giving her some pain reliever about 20 minutes before nursing to see if that makes a difference? Do you find that she bites toward the end of a feeding when she's done anyways? If that's the case, you may need to keep a closer eye on her for now to see if you can break her off when she looks like she's coming to the end.

You're doing exactly what we'd suggest in terms of removing her from the breast and calmly explaining that we don't bite. Afterwards, give her lots of love and snuggles and try nursing again maybe an hour later if you feel like she's still hungry. I'm not even sure I would bother with a bottle. If she gets a little less breastmilk for a couple days as she's going through this, she'll still be ok. It may not be an overnight fix for her to learn and I know it's really frustrating for you but she will learn soon and you guys will get through this. Just try to stay calm while it's happening.

I would absolutely be frustrated with your DH's reaction and calling you mean too. That's not helping things. Have you already sat him down and explained how you'd prefer he'd support you in getting through this? Is he willing to back you up here?

Here's some more good info on biting for some additional ideas:

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/older-baby/biting.html

http://www.llli.org/faq/bite.html

http://www.llli.org/nb/nbmarapr99p36.html

Hang in there! I hope this is a short lived phase!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-30-2010
Thu, 03-24-2011 - 2:18pm

Thanks for the advice. I already started reading the links that you shared and the info is very helpful. But when trying to put them into practice DD goes on a nursing strike :smileysad: She didn't want to nurse last night at all (tried 4-5 times) so we ended up having to give her a bottle. She did better this morning when she woke up. I was able to nurse on my left side for a good 15minutes but when I noticed that she was getting bored I removed her from the breast before the biting starts. I tried to have her latch to my right side but she didn't want to. Was more focused in chewing her teething ring. I'm just sooo heartbroken by all of this. I was in tears all last night.

Lilypie - Personal picture
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2009
Sat, 03-26-2011 - 1:17pm

Just wanted to check in and see if you were doing any better. I remember when my LO did this (he's an adult now), how persistent I needed to be! I used to bf with my finger right near the corner of his mouth so I could remove him as soon as I saw a hint that he might bite.

I also found it helpful to

Kathy Kuhn IBCLC ivillage lactation consultant Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura, Silas, and Charlotte

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-30-2010
Wed, 03-30-2011 - 11:52pm

Hi Kathy,

Thanks very much for checking in on me. It is very comforting to know I have advice, encouragement, and support from all of you.

Lilypie - Personal picture