"We'll just see how much longer mom nurses now." - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 07-04-2006, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS turns 8 months old tomorrow and his first tooth just broke through.

DH and I were very excited, but just about every family member that we told (well, everyone in HIS family, I must say!) said something along the lines of "You're not going to be BF much longer, ha-ha!" (his sister) and "We'll just see how much longer mom nurses now, ha-ha!" (his mom).

I was so surprised at this reaction that I didn't say anything to either of them. His sister I sort of wasn't that surprised by (she didn't BF either of her kids and seems a little prudish when I NIP), but his mom BF three of her four (his youngest sis is adopted). However, the longest she BF was about 8-9 months. But what really irritated me was how funny they all seemed to find it that in their minds I was going to "have" to stop nursing (yeah, right).

I guess my question is, is there anything new I need to know about BF now that DS is getting teeth? And does anyone have a good response to the next person who suggests that teeth=weaning?
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#2 of 15 Old 07-04-2006, 03:13 PM
 
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My DD has two razor-sharp little teeth and yes, she has bitten me. Hard. And I am not even tempted to stop nursing. It hurts, but it's a sharp pain that goes away fairly quickly. The important thing to do is to not let the little buggers keep biting. Biting usually happens for a couple reasons - either they are near the end of the feed and just playing, or it's near the start of a feed and your let-down hasn't happened yet, or you're trying to force them to nurse and they object. If it's near the start of a feed, grin and bear it. (In my case I have to make myself not react because DD finds me yelling "OWWW" highly entertaining.) If it's near the end of a feed, just take them off the boob. And if you, like me, nursed when the baby wasn't actually hungry because you wanted to "top her up" so you could do something for two hours without having to nurse, well... those days are over.

Postpartum doula & certified breastfeeding educator, mama to an amazing girl (11/05) and a wee little boy (3/13).

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#3 of 15 Old 07-04-2006, 03:20 PM
 
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I would say, "You just have to know how to deal with it if they decide to bite. (Then show them how to disengage his mouth from your nipple by putting your finger in the side of his mouth where his jaw hinges.). I guess if someone didn't know how to do that, then weaning would be a good alternative to getting bitten." Then pause for effect and look at their reaction. They probably will be silent or start to relate their own biting stories.
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#4 of 15 Old 07-04-2006, 10:46 PM
 
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You will be the one laughing several months or even years from now when you are still nursing! My DD cut her first tooth at 4.5 months, and we are still nursing at 9 months, she has eight teeth and more on the way.
Yes, I have been bitten, and I still get bitten from time to time. I have to be really careful about offering the breast when she isn't that hungry, because that is when she tends to bite me. Also, when she is cutting a new tooth she bites as well, so at teething times be extra careful to offer something cold before you nurse. Pulling their head in when they bite helps, but now that DD is older, she just pulls back on me and bites down harder, not fun, so now if she bites I just cut her off and say "You're done!" and then I won't nurse her until she is truly hungry.
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#5 of 15 Old 07-04-2006, 11:19 PM
 
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People have told me that they stopped nursing once their baby had teeth becasue they didn't want to be bitten. People have also asked me how I nurse when he has teeth and is now almost 14 months old. Ds #2 weaned when he was almost 3 and obviously had teeth. I try to explain especially to moms that my be nearing the teething stage that when a baby is ACTIVELY nursing their tongue is in the way and they can't bite you. They would bite themselves. When they start to play and pull their tongue back then there is the opportunity. Sometimes I do have little indents on the top from his teeth but that is just from the pressure. So I just pay attention and when he slows down and I feel him start to move I move quicker!
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#6 of 15 Old 07-04-2006, 11:20 PM
 
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only thing is learn to try not to scream when they bite......it can cause them to go on a nursing strike.

ds is 8mths old with 8 teeth (4 top, 4 bottom) and is teething his top two molars. He has bitten me since 3mths old, as soon as he did it, i pulled him off, told him "owchies to mommy", if he did it a second time, i did it a second time and added "next time no more num nums"........the third time I took him off and stopped nursing him. it works after a while, just takes lots of repetition.
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#7 of 15 Old 07-05-2006, 01:38 AM
 
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My dd is 9 months (10 months in a few days) and has 6 teeth. She has bitten me with 4 of thoes six....twice. Ok, 3 times, but 2 occastions.

First time... nurse nurse, pop off, nurse, pop off, bite. "ouch! that hurt mommy. No biting. " nurse nurse, bite. And I said "all done!" and set her on the floor with a toy.
Second time.........root, latch, pop off, bite. "ouch! That hurt mama! No biting" and set her on the floor. She was 8.5 months old both times. It's been just over a month, and she's gained new teeth since then.

If she had cried, I would have picked her up, but gotten up and moved around, or I would have gotten down to play with her. But I would not have offerd her a breast until nothing else would satisify her.

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#8 of 15 Old 07-05-2006, 01:53 AM
 
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Jen,

I feel your pain mama...I have had so many people say things like "well we will see just how long you will nurse once he gets teeth," or "once a baby gets teeth the don't need to nurse anymore."

Well Jack got his first tooth at 3 mon...by 4.5 mon he had 4 teeth and he bit me so hard once that I really should have had a few stitches...quite a lot of blood and I was unable to nurse on that side for a few weeks...anyway...I knew that our nursing relationship was a risk if I didn't find a way to stop biting...essentially in a loud voice I said..."we don't bite Mommy, that hurts mommy's body." and I would put him down for a few min...for a baby who was always held and was super high needs being put down was very upsetting for him...soon the biting passed and here we are with a great nursing relationship at 14 mon and Jack has 12 teeth and 2 more cutting right now...and Jack doesn't bite and Jack still needs mommy's milk...

Don't let anyones uneducated insights discourage you from continuing to nurse...stand in your truth and power and give you baby what you know is the very best

Keep up the great work
-Lori
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#9 of 15 Old 07-05-2006, 02:38 AM
 
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Ya know, everyone told me the same thing and they thought it was hilarious as well. Irritated me to no end!

Well you know what? DD is 14 mos and has only bitten me twice. That's it! She's got 9 teeth with the tenth on the way. . yet she never was much of a biter. And the two times she did bite, she did it because she was teething. So who gets the last laugh now? You got it. . this nursin' mama right here!

Mama to Boy (2) and Girl (5)
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#10 of 15 Old 07-05-2006, 01:35 PM
 
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A lot of people don't realize that the babies tongue covers the bottom teeth while they are nursing. They also don't realize that the baby isn't sucking right on the nipple, the clamping pressure for wont of a better word is behind the nipple where it's actually pretty insensitive. Unless the child is actively intentionally "biting" that pressure is not going to hurt.

After nursing 3 kids I got bitten a few times. I think most of the time it's accidental. My reaction was so instantaneous and loud with my kids that they figured out it was a bad thing pretty quick - lol. I can't keep quiet when I get hurt.

My one piece of advice is to watch out for when they fall asleep at the breast. If the nipple slips part-way out of the mouth and then they startle and clamp down right on the nipple WOOOWEEE lol does that hurt!

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#11 of 15 Old 07-05-2006, 01:58 PM
 
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We've got 15 teeth and are still nursing.

Don't let your child hear you go ouch. They tend to think its funny and try to get a reaction.

I've had mama's tell me to gently thump their ear when they bite. Thats kind of not NFL, but i spose it would work.

We just unlatch and walk away. If he's going to bite he doesn't get to nurse.
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#12 of 15 Old 07-05-2006, 02:13 PM
 
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I've often heard it said to not let the child hear a reaction to the bite but I think an honest response can be very effective. My honest response is to scream, pull the baby off the boob and yell owe! Baby cry's, mama cry's and you go on. I suppose if you are having a toddler biting issue then they may think your reaction is funny but I don't think babies at the age when they first get teeth are on that level and a quick immediate response will get the message across much faster. I think giving them no response at that age is more likely to develop a biting problem as toddlers.

Just my .02

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#13 of 15 Old 07-05-2006, 02:50 PM
 
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My kid got his first tooth at ten weeks. Um, not like I was going to stop nursing!

In my experience, most babies learn quickly not to bite because they don't get milk when they do. Playing, though -- that's a whole 'nother story. And the clamp-the-teeth-in-and-rear-back thing was AWFUL.

I agree with the PP that expressing pain is fine. Babies are sensitive to social cues; they can absolutely learn to not do things that cause pain.

mama to Max (2/02) and Sophie (10/06); wife to my fabulous girl
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#14 of 15 Old 07-05-2006, 02:57 PM
 
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Ya know, I don't see how ppl think they're funny sometimes. Those comments seem pretty rude to me (but, hey, I AM sensitive) .
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#15 of 15 Old 07-05-2006, 09:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your stories and words of advice! I feel like now I know better what to expect and how to deal with it.

It's just always so surprising to me when people are unsupportive. When I was pregnant and people asked if I was planning to breastfeed, I had many women I knew predict that it probably wouldn't go well for me, because it hadn't gone well for them. They'd tell me stories about how their "milk didn't come in" (followed by the story about how painful engorgement was. : Hello?! That's your milk!) I learned that most women who "failed" at breastfeeding were unprepared and uninformed (So I overprepared by talking to everyone I knew, taking a class and reading about ten books! ). I figured out that responding to their tales of their own failure and prediction of failure for me with questions like "Wow. What did your lactation consultant advise?" usually shut them up, because it turned out they tried to BF for about 2 days before throwing in the towel.

Anyway ~ now I feel better prepared, because I know more discouragment is coming. Thanks again!

P.S. I also feel I need to say that both my mom and usually my MIL have been super supportive, which is cool. My mom even bought me my pump and accessories as my shower gift!
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