Biting Help, Please. Is She Weaning? Striking? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 01-30-2003, 02:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Every time during the day for the past three days that I think Meg (13-1/2 months) wants to nurse, she bites me as soon as I (try to) latch her on. She's doing it with her very front teeth and sort of dragging them along the nipple as she immedately pulls off. It hurts. She also gets this grin that says she knows she's doing something I don't like. My response is always an involuntary breath suck-in, then immediately put away the breast, tell her "biting hurts" and usually put her down but sometimes just sit her up on my lap. Often she starts crying, even though she must know after doing this over and over what is going to happen.

What's going on? Is she telling me she doesn't want to nurse every time she does that? She still nurses several times overnight with no biting. Help!

Analisa, Mama to Meg 12/12/01, Patrick 12/24/03, Catherine 12/24/03, Ben 2/26/06
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#2 of 22 Old 01-30-2003, 02:47 AM
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I went threw that with Kailey for a little bit, and if I remember correctly it was aboutthe same time as you are going through it now.

I did the same as you are doing, letting her know biting huhrts, and putting the breast away. Sometimes Kailey cried, sometimes she got mad, but I was serious about no biting. I think this phase lasted about a week or so, maybe 2 weeks. I know it is frustrating, but there really isn't much else to do, ,except wait it out. I think she will lead you in what her plans are. Kailey didn't wean after the biting(we are still going strong at 23 months). I thought the biting would never ned, but it did- THANKFULLY!

Hang in there, you're doing a great job!
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#3 of 22 Old 01-30-2003, 02:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, DD. I hope she's not weaning. Is this going to hurt my supply?

Woman of the Cloth, hee hee, hadn't seen that yet.

Analisa, Mama to Meg 12/12/01, Patrick 12/24/03, Catherine 12/24/03, Ben 2/26/06
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#4 of 22 Old 01-30-2003, 03:08 AM
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I didn't seem to hurt my supply and Kailey only bit during the day as well.

OT about supply... Kailey just got over adno-virus, but while she was really sick I developed a blister type ulcer on my right breast. I thought I was going to die it huurt so bad. SO Kailey hasn't been able to nurse except on one side for a week. I didn't ever feel engorged, and my supply seems normal now that she can nurse again- strange eh?

Sorry, I thought it so amazing I had to share
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#5 of 22 Old 01-30-2003, 03:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Our breasts are amazing things, aren't they? OK, I'm feeling better, more hopeful. Thanks, Hon.

Analisa, Mama to Meg 12/12/01, Patrick 12/24/03, Catherine 12/24/03, Ben 2/26/06
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#6 of 22 Old 01-30-2003, 03:52 AM
 
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Anthropological studies show a child's natural age to wean to be a minimum of 2.5 years. My opinion is that this is not her expressing a desire to wean. My son has gone through biting periods also. I firmly believe some of them were about teething and they did stop with a tooth appearing shortly afterwards. And then I think he thought it was funny at one point. He learned that it wasn't funny. None of them have lasted for that long and he still nurses frequently at 21 months.

: madrone - : SAHM to 12 y.o. DS, : 9 y.o. DD, and : 4 y.o. DS
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#7 of 22 Old 01-30-2003, 04:10 PM
 
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Naomi did the same thing. But she is not really that interested of a nurser anyway. She particularly bites if I initiate the nursing, so I don't. If she asks she doesn't often bite. No hehlop here, but I am thinking of you.
To deal with it I did the same thing you are dong.
As for supply, DD hardly nurses but recently she nursed about 8 times a day because she was sick and I seemed to have plenty of milk. Weird huh? After the NICU nurses had me all freaked out that my milk would never come in, seems I am really a good cow after all.
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#8 of 22 Old 01-31-2003, 10:38 PM
 
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Poor you! Sorry to hear about the little nipper -- we fortunately didn't go thru biting, but did go thru other annoying little behavioral phases around this age. If I recall, I also posted an "Is this weaning?!?!" post around this age, but sure enuf he got bored with the shenanigans and picked right back up to nursing every 3 hours b4 too long. I really think it's developmental for them to experiment with their powers . . . I'll be hoping that the Magnificent Meg chooses to use her powers for GOOD very soon!
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#9 of 22 Old 02-01-2003, 05:59 AM
 
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ella did the same thing (see, at least you are not alone! ). first, try and curb your reaction as much as possible. more easily said than done, i know, but she might think its funny that you react, not understanding completely that it hurts you. have something around like a teether to give her to say, "you can bite this. not mama." kids this age don't understand negatives ("no biting") or that they can hurt others. giving her something she CAN bite might not be what she wants, but she'll understand better than saying "no" or "hurt". i would STILL say that it hurts, but also offer her something she CAN do with those teeth, especially if she might be teething. in time, ella stopped biting. now our bit problem is that she likes to LICK my boobs after she is done nursing. eeee!
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#10 of 22 Old 02-01-2003, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much, mamas. Meg has not nursed during the day in three days now. I think the biting was an effort to tell me she didn't want to nurse and I was just misreading her when I thought she did...anyway I really appreciate the feedback.

Analisa, Mama to Meg 12/12/01, Patrick 12/24/03, Catherine 12/24/03, Ben 2/26/06
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#11 of 22 Old 02-13-2003, 11:04 AM
 
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I have no experience with ds biting me...YET. He is 14 months now and saying nonononon in the funny sing-song way I do. I expect he'll be pulling all sorts of silly stunts soon. I just wanted to letcha know it sounds like you're doing the best ya can and I bet she'll be back to day nursing soon.

Heather
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#12 of 22 Old 02-13-2003, 01:03 PM
 
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Hi Meg's Mom,

Dd went through this too, complete with the adorable little devil grin... After explanations ("that hurts Mama!") and redirection didn't work, I used a tip from the Sears' that worked GREAT. When she bit, I'd smoosh her face inwards, toward the boob. She'd let go, sputtering and laughing, after a few seconds. Took some willpower since she would keep the bite for those few seconds, but solved the problem quickly.

Definitely not related to a desire to wean. Just a little toddler onset thing -- "hmmm, is this allowed? It's not! Yet, I do it anyway... what happens now?"
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#13 of 22 Old 02-13-2003, 02:05 PM
 
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I think this is a *very* 14 month old thing to do, LOL. I remember DD doing this at 14 months and going to LLL and hearing about all the other parents with kids the same age hitting the same thing. We tried everything to stop the biting and nothing worked, she just stopped herself about a month later. BTW, she is still nursing occasionally at 4 years so I don't think it was a sign to wean, LOL! DS hit this around 16.5 months, but I knew it was coming, so I'm just riding it out (he also doesn't bite nearly as much, but just as mischeviously!)

Kay

 

 

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#14 of 22 Old 02-13-2003, 02:16 PM
 
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just realized ds bites me allllllll the time and has been for months! just not on the breasts....shoulder, legs, face....when his mouth is hurting or when he is trying to give me a clue like "mom I need to poop" or "my teeth hurt and I want to nurse NOW!!!!"
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#15 of 22 Old 02-15-2003, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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CL, interesting. Meg has just started biting me all over the place, as well as her clothes, my clothes, herself. It didn't occur to me (duh) that it might be an effort to communicate something other than, "I'm a pain".

Analisa, Mama to Meg 12/12/01, Patrick 12/24/03, Catherine 12/24/03, Ben 2/26/06
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#16 of 22 Old 02-16-2003, 04:36 PM
 
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Meg's Mom, at 14 months they're definitely starting to move into testing boundaries. While it may well be communication, it could also just be "is this allowed?" (And if it is communication, is it really communication you want to encourage? Ouch! !)

Have you tried smooshing? It really works.

What's up with teething, btw? Dd was definitely very mouthy in general when she was teething.
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#17 of 22 Old 02-16-2003, 05:53 PM
 
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I'd say, no it's not a communication you want to allow, but I just have to point out that in my experience with ds he only bites when I am distant, made him wait too long and he has been trying to communicate in other ways, or he is in dire need of my attention all the sudden. He has been a very active and agonizing teether too. He got 8 teeth in 8 weeks over the summer and is working on his first molars...AiYiAi! It's been a living hell with the teething and biting lately. He is constantly biting his fingers and teething objects where his molars are trying to come in, this is how I know he is in a lot of pain. I agree at this age (14 mo) they are trying out new behaviors too. You'll know in your heart what is going on, if you really watch them and listen to your mama instincts. Also, sometimes hindsight really is 20/20 here.

Good luck to you!
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#18 of 22 Old 02-17-2003, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I just always think she's teething, so I don't know. Testing behaviors lately? Definitely. Hmmm.... the problem seems to have resolved itself by offering to nurse less frequently...

Analisa, Mama to Meg 12/12/01, Patrick 12/24/03, Catherine 12/24/03, Ben 2/26/06
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#19 of 22 Old 02-19-2003, 09:58 PM
 
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I feel your pain. There is no pain like a deliberate bite!
I had this same problem with dd when she was 12 - 15 months. She was teething and sick and starting day care all at once, so I think the biting was a reaction to emotional and physical stresses. My LLL leader also suggested that dd might be communicating to me that nursing was no longer the answer to every one of her needs - and I think this turned out to be true.

We have tapered off in our number of nursings, and she usually asks for "na-na" verbally now. If I want her to nurse I ask her "do you want na-na?" instead of sticking the boob in her mouth. Once bitten, twice shy!!

In retrospect I think the biting was part of her asserting herself within the nursing relationship - teaching me to wait until she asks, or at least check in before hauling up my shirt.
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#20 of 22 Old 02-19-2003, 10:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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BabySlinger, that is exactly, exactly the conclusion I have come to for Meg. Exactly. Wow. "Hauling up my shirt", hee hee.

Analisa, Mama to Meg 12/12/01, Patrick 12/24/03, Catherine 12/24/03, Ben 2/26/06
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#21 of 22 Old 02-20-2003, 01:08 AM
 
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Maybe a little OT, but I find it validating to hear all of this . . . I have never offered nursing to ds -- I have only nursed on request since day 1 (and of course the manner of the request has changed tremendously over time!), and was surprised and a little stung to read that some here think of "don't offer, don't refuse" as WEANING. I just thought I was being responsive and not pushy! To each her own, is my only point!
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#22 of 22 Old 02-20-2003, 12:36 PM
 
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Glad you feel like you've figured it out, Meg's Mom!

Since I go to the archives so much to research various issues (thanks MDC!) even though it may not apply here I just want to say for the record that with dd, it was a boundary thing. Aside from very early on (like her first week), I'm like Breathe, and only nurse when dd asks. ("Milk" was one of her first signs, at like 6 month old, so communication wasn't an issue.) Dd did the biting thing just when she was doing other boundary-testing behaviors -- can I grab the lamp? No. Can I throw the heavy rattle? No. Can I put the pillow on the floor? Yes. Can I...? All of these were accompanied by little grin and watching me closely for my reaction -- which was exactly her expression when she bit.

Of course, it could all be wrapped up in one thing -- Meg chooses to do the boundary-testing when she has needs other than nursing, rather than when she really needs to nurse.
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