afraid of teeth...more afraid of weaning - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-24-2002, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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my little piece of breastfeeding baggage is that my mom weaned me at 9m because i was a relentless biter. my older and younger brothers weaned on their own around 10m. my dd is 8m old, has 4 top and 2 bottom teeth...and LOVES to chomp. i've been trying to pull her in when she bites, and while that works well for stopping that bite, i have a bigger problem...

nursing used to be such a sweet time for us. it still is some of the time, but when she's in a biting mood...i get very tense and feel like i'm on guard the whole time. the bites don't hurt nearly as much as the hurt of missing that soft, gentle, relaxing time with her. my goal was at LEAST 12 months if not much longer...but i'm so afraid that just my tension will create a weaning situation. please, any advice????

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Old 01-24-2002, 05:02 PM
 
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Autumn ~
I remember the biting. It really does ruin the whole tender moment, and makes it impossible to relax during nursing. It is like shock treatment- you never know when the next zap is going to come!
What you could to do is refuse to nurse her after she starts biting. Usually when the biting starts during a nursing session, the hunger is taken care of and now they are just chomping on you. If dd was really hungry, she would not be focusing on biting you, so chances are that she has had her fill. If you think she is still hungry for some reason, try again in a few minutes. Tell her *ow, that hurts momma - gentle - no biting* Don't give a huge yelp(I know it is hard not to) because that reaction may be too entertaining!!!
If you are really comitted to nursing(and it seems as if you are) then you know that there is more to it than just the emotional wonderfulness. You know that the nutrition is just as important especially the first year.....so if you stick it out, and keep reinforcing that you do not like the biting(by pulling her off and giving it a rest)eventually she will get it. Biting will be of no benefit to her if it ends the nursing session.
At 21 months I can honestly say that I have those tender nursing moments with dd every day, and I would have missed out on the amazing dynamics of our relationship the way it is now, had I given up when she was biting me so much. It will stop. It is not a fun time, but if you are truly committed to the extended nursing, you can both get through it. The rewards are immense.

ALso, forgot to add, when the biting starts during your nursing session, you can pull her off and hand her something to teethe on. Tell her*you may bite THIS, not momma* She WILL get it at some point. So if she is teething and just needs to chomp, you will see her happily go to town on the teether and not you!
Good luck, be patient, hope this helps you.
JR
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Old 01-24-2002, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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jr - thank you thank you thank you! i have been ending the nursing sessions when she bites, but its so good to hear that doing that may eventually teach her not to do it. your other tips and comments were also tremendously helpful and encouraging. i have a few teethers that she likes in particular, so i will have to link one to the sling so the i always have it close by.

thanks!

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Old 01-25-2002, 10:27 AM
 
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Autumn - Feather gave really great advice, I really could have written that entry myself. I have a 28 mo who still nurses a great deal - I still think to myself how great it is to have an experienced nurser so we both can relax during those quite times. The only difference I had with my son was that when he bit the first time, it was HARD and I let out a big scream and cried, which turned into us both crying. I don't think it was a bad thing though since he seemed to understand that it hurt me and the biting-while-nursing phase only lasted about a week (or two?). The stopping breastfeeding and offering a teether EVERYTIME they bite works wonders. I would offer the teether and say, "Bite on this, not Mommy", just as Feather suggested. Good luck. I remember really questioning whether I could continue BFing with this little vampire, but it soon passed and I couldn't be happier.

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Old 01-25-2002, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks kim - i did the teether trick last nite. while ella was a little perplexed at first, she settled right in chomping on and tugging at the teether (that could have been me! ah!). she has sprouted 4 new teeth in the last two weeks, all upper front, the last of which is only patially cut. my hope is that i'll be able to relax once she's not experiencing as much discomfort.

again, thanks both of you for your advice and support! i really needed it.

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Old 04-03-2002, 02:41 PM
 
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my dd goes through phases of biting me everytime she cuts some new teeth. she's 15mos now and working on her molars. I know her teeth hurt her a lot and she bit me yesterday 2x. I didn't react well because it took me by surprise. now she doesn't want to nurse. When I offered this am she pulled my shirt down over my breast and said, "no", sadly.

I'm heartbroken. I'm afraid she will wean. I keep trying to remind myself that it's just her teeth and we will go back to normal when she feels better but what if it doesn't? I'm not ready for her to wean.

Also, I'm afraid my milk supply will disappear. She usually nurses a lot (she's not too interested in food) and when I try to pump I don't let down so I'm uncomfortable too.

Anyone have any great ideas?
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Old 04-03-2002, 03:40 PM
 
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Sorry Seawen to hear of the nursing strike. It can be really difficult. I would continuing to offering the breast, she is just a little shell shocked right now, which may be what she needed to stop biting you altogether. After the initial biting phase every six month old (or so) goes through, you should not have to worry about the biting. So maybe this will put an end to it (the biting) without putting an end to the nursing. I don't think after fifteen months that your milk will dry up all that fast, but since you are uncomfortable, keep trying to pump. You will let down, you just need to relax, take deep breaths, and maybe look at your dd at the same time. I worry about being engorged since I tend to get plugged ducts when I am like that, which has led to an infection on one occassion. I will look at my LLL Leader Instruction Manual when I get home from work tonight and see what other things it mentions for a nursing strike ( I am not a leader, I just liked having the book since it was so informative, and listed all the medications that are contraindicated for BF). Good luck and keep offering.

Kim
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Old 04-03-2002, 05:07 PM
 
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Thank you Kim. I'm afraid it is a nursing strike.

I really think she wants to nurse but between my reaction and her teeth hurting she just won't let herself. She pulls on my shirt to ask but when I scoop her up into my arms to nurse she says, No! It's so sad and so frustrating for both of us!

I worry about engorgement etc too. I've had mastitis 2x, both from a plugged duct. Your right about needing to relax. I just don't seem to be able to....

without let down I'm able to pump a few oz off each side- that should help right?

Thanks again
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Old 04-03-2002, 08:17 PM
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If you keep getting too engorged try putting raw cabbage leaves over your breasts (but cut hole out for your nipples or they'll get burned). Leave these on until they begin to wilt a little - it really helps. Old home remedy.

As for biting - the other suggestions were great - also, try taking deep breaths while nursing - it relaxes both you and your child. Less stress for both of you, and less biting as a result.
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Old 04-04-2002, 06:25 AM
 
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Hey Autumn!

I went through a really hard time with dd and biting. It was around 10 months and she was cutting 6 teeth all at once (her first teeth I might add). She was biting ALL the time.

I got to the point of holding my breast while she nursed so I could quickly cover the nipple if she tried to bite. It was terrible. It took a very, very long time for me to feel comfortable nursing her again. But...I was totally determined to keep nursing. I reminded myself that others have gone through it - and survived!

What made matters worse was that dh's parents were in town that week and she's not an advocate of nursing, let alone nursing a 10-month-old. It doubled the anxiety for me because I couldn't always nurse away from her. I could only imagine what was running through her mind KWIM?

Anyway, I think feather said it very well. It will pass. And it's worth it. You know I feel that way because I'm still nursing dd at 20 months!

Another suggestion I want to make is before you nurse, give her some ice to chew and num the gums, or give her some homeopathic teething tablets, or rub her gums for her. Help her to ease the discomfort before she latches on.

Good luck honey!
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Old 04-04-2002, 11:28 PM
 
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thanks hb for your sage advice about the ice. we were at the co-op tonite and ella took the frozen oj out of the cart and started sucking on it. h,mmm, ya think she's teething again?

she has actually been much better about biting lately. i followed everyone's advice. having a teething toy nearby helped, but even just handing her the edge of my shirt worked - anything but my boob, please!

the NEW painful thing is scratching. even with her nails clipped, she has managed to create a large patch of raw, red skin on my left breast. she used to lovingly pat, which turned to squeezing, which has turned to constant scratch scratch scratching. she only does this when nurisng on my left side (so, scratching with her left hand). i've tried to give her things to hold onto but this hasn't worked. i'm seriously thinking about putting her in mittens to nurse, at least until she breaks the habit!
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Old 04-05-2002, 03:14 AM
 
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Autumn - Inac does the same thing. Even though he's 20mo he's getting hisleft eye teeth and boy is it taking forever. I use clove oil. I just put a little on my finger and rub it on the raw gums and quickly offer the breast - it tends to be bitter and "hot" at first, yoou could dilute it with a few drops of bmilk to sweeten it, it won't lessen the effectiveness. I use it too for my wisdom teeth (which I'm having looked at finally, I figured if you can do it being as dedicated to nursing as I am, so could I). You can get it in the coops Herbs for Kids brand "Gum-omille" it's clove and chamomille oils. Or if you want I have two bottles we'll never go through all of it!! For Inac when he was ellas age it only took one drop. It helped to sooth my nipples too b/c of it being an anagelistic(sp?). Inac scrathes and tweeks my nipples so raw that sometimes it hurts from the heat of his hands before the reach the nipple. I grin and bear it though - I never got comofrtable puting lansho--- balm/salve, didn't want unknown herbs etc in his system.
anyway sorry for being so long winded
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