Biting while breastfeeding...

Melissa - posted on 11/06/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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my second little girl is almost 13-months and we've developed a problem of her biting me while she nurses. She only has her two teeth on the bottom. She only nurses at night and sometimes during the day for security. I've been having to give her a pacifier again to keep her soothed. I hate doing that at this late of an age, but at least she is only taking it at night. She doesn't use a pacifier during the day at all--I don't like to hamper her developing speech.



I had hoped to do baby-led weaning with her and she is slightly upset... but I've tried everything I have read for how to deal with biting and it does not work and she bites pretty hard. She thinks it is 'funny' no matter how I react. I don't wish to make her afraid of the breast from scolding or what not (I also fail to see the point of scolding a 1-year-old... lol.)



When I give her the pacifier, I try to mimic the cuddling and security she gets at the breast (we mostly co-sleep)....but I wish for her to get my milk still. ANY advice or ideas how to handle this would be wonderful...



[I should include that I have never had much success with pumping... :( ]

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Allison - posted on 11/06/2010

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I am breast feeding my almost 15 month old daughter and I find that she bites when she is getting a new tooth! She now has eight.. four top and four bottom. Ive come to learn that the best way for me to handle this is that when she bites as hard as it may be I try to calmly say "no biting, that hurts Mommy" and then I take her away from the breast for afew minutes. She gets upset and usually stops biting after afew times of doing this. I also found that if I were to make a sound from being hurt she found the reaction funny and would keep doing it to get that reaction. I dont think they understand yet that it hurts but they can understand the routine of biting and being taken off of the breast. Ive been biten many times and have had broken sore skin.. My Sister inlaw and I joke that I now have boobs of steel! lol :) I have started weaning but still nurse before naps and night time. Good luck!

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Whenever my daughter would bite the boob(s) while feeding, I would gently take my thumb and index finger and squeeze her chin around the jaw line, to indicate to her that I do not appreciate her biting. I tell her, "No biting," while I do the chin squeeze. I would take her off the boob for a few minutes, she understands biting equals no boob milk. My daughter is 15months and still breastfeeding. The only time she bites me now is if she is really excited and will bite me accidentally or if she is drifting off to sleep and will accidentally grind them a bit. Good luck! Also, my daughter did bite more while she was teething, lots of ice cubes and icy pops helped. We also have little remedies homeopathic teething tablets but I've only used those on her a few times, they do work wonderfully but out of my own preference I only give them to her when its pretty bad, otherwise I would rather use the ice cubes or other cold methods.

Charlotte - posted on 11/07/2010

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this us probably no help to you what so ever... but you never know! my nine month old had a bottle of expressed milk last week and my mum just let her play with the bottle and chew it etc, he few times i fed her after that she bit me! i just pulled her away but didnt say anythingf and a few days later she has totally stopped. i defo think it was because of the bottle... luckily it was a one off so no more bottles again!

Melissa - posted on 11/07/2010

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@Melissa G. - yup, on ALL counts. hence, the confusion. She's got a ways to go on the upper teeth or any around it. She did do a lot of pre-teething, though. I'm confused... all the usual things worked with my first daughter--she nursed until she was almost 3 years and never had much of a problem biting the breast (though, she went through a phase of biting people fingers n faces, oy...) I've gone through the route of taking the breast away as many as 6 times in a row and she still doesn't get it... :( still trying, though... not giving up...

Rachel - posted on 11/06/2010

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Hi,my opinion about biting is very simple,if you bf her and she's try to bite,pinch her nose(i've got this from my mom,and i've try it once).or just make sound that you hurt and tell her not to bite or no milk.That what i do with my 14,5 month girl(am still bf).I tell her if she bite me,I'll change her milk to formula milk,and she understand that.since then,she's never bite me whenever I gave her bf.hope this will help.regards

Melissa - posted on 11/06/2010

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I'm guessing she's getting more teeth in so are you treating her pain? Also, when you take away the breast do you explain that it hurts mommy, and she can't nurse if she bites, etc? At 13 months she should be able to understand that pretty well. Ok, and key here, are you then re-offering the breast while telling her if she bites it WILL be taken away again?

Melissa - posted on 11/06/2010

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@Rachel & Emily - yeah. regular schedules of pumping through both girls never seemed to work much unless I was taking a natural milk enhancer or something (fenugreek or mother's milk tea, etc). I'm at a point where I don't get to pump much anyway... I was also down to producing on only one side because she played favorites... she wouldn't even take the other side when she was drousy/desperate, lol.

yeah. keep trying to put the breast away, but she gets VERY upset and still doesn't get the point almost 3 weeks later.... I got desperate and here we are. :(

Emily - posted on 11/06/2010

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I agree with Rachel on all counts. More pumping tends to create more milk, although if that does not work please contact your local LLLI for more information.
My son went through a brief biting phase. I would say, "If you bite, you can't nurse," and put him down. Some experts suggest immediately giving something to the baby that they SHOULD bite, so they know that if they are in a biting mood, they have special things to bite. Putting my son down worked within a few days.

Rachel - posted on 11/06/2010

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if you are expressing and not getting much some mums find this however some find the more times they express the easier it becomes and the more they get. have you tried not giving her back the breast after saying no until you are ready to start again if you try taking it away every time she bites it mostly works

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