Biting!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-26-2008
Biting!
3
Fri, 05-07-2010 - 6:54pm

My 11 month old, Dylan, just got his first tooth a couple of weeks ago. His second tooth (both are bottom center teeth) came in last weekend. The biting is becoming unbearable. I've read the page at kellymom, but I'm just not getting any relief. I had planned to breastfeed until 18 months or so, but I'm starting to contemplate weaning. Any advice or encouragement would be appreciated.

Basically, he started to chomp down before he had teeth. He would clamp down on my nipple and jerk his head to the side in a ripping motion. It hurt, but I was able to get him to stop by pinching his nose or smushing his face into my breast. Now that he has teeth, it hurts like hell from the very second he bites. I'm still able to get him to unclamp by pinching his nose, but there's pain already. After each bite, I try not to react because that just makes him laugh. If I yelp accidentally, he'll giggle and start blowing raspberries. I give him three bites on each breast before I cut him off. He's biting so much lately (the last three days or so) that I'm worried he's not getting enough milk. He nurses before every nap (3x/day) and before he goes to sleep -- that's it. Should I increase feedings to make sure he's getting enough milk?

I'm extra worried because he's allergic to dairy and soy, so he's not consuming either with his solids. He does eat a pretty wide variety of foods otherwise, though, including lots of veg, fruits, an avocado every day, some meat, and a lot of grains/beans/lentils.

I guess another possibility would be for me to go back to pumping. I'm not too thrilled about this, though, because I never got a lot from my pumping, and it was hard to find the time. Plus, he's completely off the bottle now, and I'd hate to have to put him back on it. Or could he drink the expressed milk with a straw? I don't know, he hasn't had expressed milk since he was 7 months old.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2009
In reply to: myitkyina
Sat, 05-08-2010 - 7:53pm

Ugh some LO’s really get into biting and are resistant to measures to get them to stop.

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

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
In reply to: myitkyina
Sun, 05-09-2010 - 3:48am

There could be two reasons he is biting.

One could be that because he is in some pain from teething, he feels the need to clamp down on something with his gums. Have you tried a teething gel or pain killer before a feed? Or even let him chew on a cold teething ring before a feed?

The other reason is that a baby can bite when bored. This is more likely to happen near the end of a feed. Because an eleven month old baby can be a very efficient nurser, this could be after five or ten minutes. So even if feeds are shorter than they have been in the past, he may be getting enough, or making up for it with a longer session at other times of the day.

If it is boredom, if you watch closely, you may be able to predict when he is getting to that stage and unlatch him beofrre it happens.

Some mothers push the baby's face into the breast after biting so that they have to let go. I myself used to just put the baby down straight away, and that nursing session would be over. I did not let them wait a bit and continue. Using this method, I never seemed to have a lot of trouble with biting.

Watching him to determine the cause will help you solve this and it need not be the end of nursing.

Teresa

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-26-2008
In reply to: myitkyina
Thu, 05-13-2010 - 7:45pm
Thanks for the advice! The biting is getting a bit better. I think part of it was teething, and the rest is him trying to be playful (he alternates biting with blowing raspberries, for example). He still bites some, but not as hard usually. I feel like I can continue breastfeeding now, while last week I felt like giving up. Thanks for the encouragement.
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