Dear Daughter, why do you bite? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 06-28-2010, 11:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter will soon be 14 months, since she got her top 4 teeth around 8-9 months she picked up the habit of biting me when I'm nursing her. I've tried everything to make her understand that is not ok and that it hurts, from calmly saying no, it hurts mommy. To a more stern NO!, to stopping nursing for a few minutes, to putting her in her crib (that she never uses) and going downstairs and getting a glass of water and coming back, to making a sad face and telling her "ouch, it hurts".

She does this either when she's done nursing, then she will look up, look her teeth on my nipples and look up completely amused by my face that clearly shows I'm in pain while I try to free myself. Then she pulls away with the nipple still in her mouth or she does this when I'm trying to get her to sleep, she gets mad about it (even though she's tired) and I guess that's her way of showing it.

I can't deal with this anymore. This morning I got very little sleep and she woke up and I was nursing her still half asleep. I'm not a morning person at all, she bit me so hard and without thinking I smacked her arm, not hard or anything, but I've felt so bad about it all day. It was just a reaction, I had to check my nipple because I thought there might be blood, there wasn't but OUCH!

She did it again throughout the day on 3 more occasions. How can I make her stop? It's making me crazy.
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#2 of 9 Old 06-29-2010, 12:50 AM
 
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I don't have any advice, but I can sympathize. nipple biting is awful. My daughter did that for quite awhile and I tried everything. One day she just stopped and that was the end of it for the most part.

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#3 of 9 Old 06-29-2010, 11:01 AM
 
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mama, I can understand this one. Olivia has done this to me, though not as consistently as it seems your DD is doing to you. When it's happened with my DD, the biting seems to last 1-2 days and then she goes back to nursing normally, and it seems to be associated with teething. However, if I'm not careful she will bite me when she asks to nurse but doesn't really want to (is too distracted, wants real food not nursing, etc). I now assess each time I go to nurse DD, to avoid getting bitten. When I do nurse her, I make sure she is ready (mouth wide) and then shove my boob in there (graceful, I know) so she can't actually bite my nipple. She can either latch on or begin to bite at the boob (far less painful) and if the latter happens, we end the nursing session and try something else.

Hope you find something that helps soon, I know how frustrating this is!

~Erin~ totally in with Olivia! 5/31/09
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#4 of 9 Old 06-29-2010, 12:32 PM
 
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I know it's against your first instincts but:
I was always taught the way to respond to a bite (from a child, adult,or animal) is to push into the mouth with whatever part is bitten, and cover the nose of the biter. They will open their mouth to breathe and you can get free without tearing/pulling.

My DD found that pretty unpleasant and doesn't bite when nursing for reaction anymore. She does occasionally nibble when distracted or is asleep.

Also if she is enjoying the reaction it's most likely because it's new and uncommon to her. Maybe she'd enjoy some silly over the top reaction play. My DD and I like to pretend she can tip me over with a finger. I really ham it up and she giggles like mad.

At bedtime if she bites pulls and you don't want to rile her up by playing can you or a partner try walking her down to sleep?
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#5 of 9 Old 06-29-2010, 01:04 PM
 
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I know this is so hard. We've gone through a couple of different biting-while-nursing phases, one when my daughter was a bit younger than yours where I thought our nursing relationship might be over cos I was bleeding copiously and it was so so so painful. Like someone else said, the biting just stopped one day. I did all the things that everyone suggests, I don't know what if anything helped in the end.

In our case, I do think that the underlying problem was teething so I gave her teething tablets before we nursed. So you might try that. Also if she's reacting to your reaction by biting more or thinking it's funny, etc.-- I would not respond facially but more by putting her down/stopping nursing for a little bit.

Good luck and sending you vibes! This *will* pass but I know it's hard to find the comfort in that right now.

Daniela ~ Mami to Thalia Adelita (born 10/05/08)
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#6 of 9 Old 06-29-2010, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks mamas for the advice, I know at times it has been because of teething and others because of her being congested, but now is just because of her getting mad and/or because she thinks is funny.

HeliMom, i'll try that technique to free myself next time she does it. It makes perfect sense! I guess I could try games like that where I have an exxagerated reaction and see if she gets over it.

We do used to walk her all the time, she likes to be walked AND nursed at the same time haha, we don't call her Miss Demandy for no reason

I think when she doest it at nightime is because she's overtired, so I should make an effort and try to get her to sleep when she's still in happy baby mode. It's like DP one was playing a videogame and he had these cats that would join his team and do things for him. So he says "I have to watch they don't get too tired, because their fondness of me goes down" and I reply, "oh, you mean like Sophia?"
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#7 of 9 Old 06-30-2010, 03:43 AM
 
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Oh, the biting while nursing... I feel for you, it hurts... I've had to deal with this on/off. For a while, I believe it was mostly due to teething, as it went away on its own. The last 2-3 days though, out of the blue, she's found it funny to bite super hard a couple times (she has strong jaws now at 2years3months...), and see my face in agony... She bites so hard that trying to open her mouth with my finger doesn't work, but the trick I used is to gently pinch her nose closed, and she'll immediately open her mouth as she can't breathe... I end the nursing session right there an then after explaining to her that biting is not ok, and that it really hurts mommy. She's at an age where she understands it now.
When she was teething, and was also biting me and my DP for no apparent reason at times, I also told her that if she wanted to bite, she could bite a pillow instead, or the mattress, which she did a few times. I think it really felt good to her, so I really think she had a need to bite, but just didn't know what was appropriate to bite (ie no nipple or any bodypart...).
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#8 of 9 Old 06-30-2010, 09:13 AM
 
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I feel for you. I have experienced the same thing with my daughter who is almost 14 mo also, though not as often as you mention. She has 4-going on 5 teeth and has really clamped down a couple of times. Normally it's when she's either sleepy or just wanting to play rather than nurse. I do believe that she thinks it's more of a game bc of my reactionand will usually respond by laughing and trying to do it again. I will normally give her two chances then end the nursing session, explain that it is not nice to bite and that it hurts mommy, and put her down. It does reallllllly hurt, but try to stay calm even when your immediate reaction is to pull away, grab/smack at her etc. I believe the pinching the nose closed idea sounds pretty smart and may even remember that for myself. I just try to remember that this will pass and almost all kids go through this stage. Continue to try teaching her right and know that your efforts will pay off, mama!

Earth-loving, birth-loving, body-working, simple-livin' mama to two sweet girls and fiance to a hard-working man treehugger.gif namaste.gifbellyhair.gif

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#9 of 9 Old 06-30-2010, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks mamas for the encouragement, I was feeling pretty bad and almost thinking I should try weaning, but I did the pressing the breast against her face. She hated it and now have been doing the nose pinching, she gets mad, but I calmly tell her to not bite, that it hurts mommy and then give her a hug

I feel so lucky to have found this place, as I don't have anyone in real life who has the same parenting views. I mean, they have been saying "WOW! You're still breastfeeding since she's 4 months old"

Except for my mom who went from try to breastfeed for as long as you can, to always ask me if I still am lol
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