Biting babies

Kathryn - posted on 12/07/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My son is almost a year now and he does not stop biting... I am nursing him still and am having trouble weaning him off. He uses it more as a comfort and refuses to take a bottle from me. I am at a loss on what to do because I want him to be healthy but the bites are so painful and have become more frequent. Please help!

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Katie - posted on 01/09/2010

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My son used to bite quite a bit and once I could not reach him, to get him off of my shoulder(he left bruises and drew blood that one time. I flicked him under his arm(that was the only place I could reach, I tried saying no, ouch and pretended to cry none of it worked!) to shock him(he didn't cry or anything he just let go) He is doing much better with the biting, although now that he is teething again I'm not sure if it will continue...

Laura - posted on 01/09/2010

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I know a lot of people don't agree with it, but my nieces and nephew and my son all got the "no biting, biting hurts" lecture and after several sharp reprimands they got bit back. Instantly, in place of the reprimand. Not hard enough to hurt, but enough to shock them. My sister never had to say it again and neither did my husband with my son.
My girl is a biter too, but just when nursing (for now lol). I tried the not reacting, then she would just look right at me while she did it and hold it longer. Usually it was near the end or when she wasn't really hungry to begin with. I do the same as the other ladies, a sharp no, that hurts mommy, and take her off/switch breasts and if she bites again she's done. (Gracie is one also, started the biting maybe a month ago.)

Stephanie - posted on 12/08/2009

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When my son first started biting me during nursing I immediately got online for answers. I read that Children usually bite during nursing for 1 of 3 reasons. 1 they are teething, 2 they cant breath because their nose is stuffy, 3 they want attention. As for what to do about it; the article said to let the baby know they were hurting you and then set them down. If they insist on biting they get cut off for a while. So, I went ahead and let myself exclaim loudly, usually a fast intake of breath if you know what I mean. Followed by a sharp no, and "That hurts mommy" or "OW" you get the drift. I would then set him on the floor for a few minutes and let him cry. After I felt he had had sufficient time to get the association of biting means he stops nursing, I would pick him up and put him to the other breast. If he bit that one I would go through the same routine, but this time I would not let him nurse again for 5 or 10 minutes. He picked up the lesson pretty fast. After a while All I had to do was make a pained sound and he would start crying like he was hurt. Now if he bites its usually an accident, and all I have to do is gasp and he realizes what he did. I also agree that while biting back can teach some the lesson, others take it as n ok behavior and continue. You never know which it will be until its too late. If your child continues biting you even after you have tried everything you can think of, I would consider weaning, if you are worried about nutrition, pump. Good luck!

Louisa - posted on 12/07/2009

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PS, I forgot to say that I've been using a sipper cup with my little one and he's pretty good at drinking from it. I've found that the breast fed babes don't tend to like taking a bottle unless you've co-fed them with one from time to time from when they're very little. My bub got used to using the sipper cup for drinking water. I'm just weaning him from his lunch time feed now (as I go back to work early next year :( ). They certainly don't seem to drink as much as you think they'd probably take from the breast but if he's a good eater with his meals and has met his weight milestones then I don't think you have anything to worry about, he will be getting a lot of the nutrients he needs now from solids.

Louisa - posted on 12/07/2009

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My son is also almost one. From time to time over the past few months we have had a few biting issues with him. For a short period he was biting me while I was nursing him, and I hear you, it hurts! When he did that, I tried not to react with a loud "ouch" (easier said than done, I know, but they generally think a reaction is funny) but with a firm "No!" and took him off the breast straight away and put him on the floor. If they really want the milk they won't bite - they only seem to do this when they're playing as they're disinterested in the feed (they can't bite when feeding properly as the tongue will cover their bottom teeth). I found that this would happen when i breast fed him right after solids at breakfast or lunch time so I tried delaying the feed for about half an hour or so when he might be more interested and that seemed to help. Now he's into pulling up on me when I'm sitting and biting me on the leg. Still working on that one but at least it's not as painful as a bite on the nipple! Good luck :)

Nicole - posted on 12/07/2009

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I definitely would not bite my baby back. They learn by imitating and you need to teach them that no! means no! My daughter was biting me during nursing and it was because she was teething, is that a possibility for him? Maybe try not nursing as often, offer a sippy cup or solid food instead - please don't bite your child, though. I'm sure you won't. Good luck!

Sarah-Jayne - posted on 12/07/2009

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I am not sure if this will help with biting there, but when my son started biting i bit him back, not hard but enough to get the point across. I only had to do it twice before he stopped altogether and he isn't a year old yet! I hope this helps a little, if not maybe try taking him off anytime he bites and I know he'll scream and it'll break your heart but he will learn, babies are wayyy smarter then we give them credit for =)

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