Help please. My DS is a chronic biter while nursing. It's VERY difficult. He is 11 months old and I am desperate...I have tried pulling him in towards the breast (which does make him release the nipple but has not stopped the biting), I have put him down calmly and walked away for a moment, I have put him down less than calmly and walked away for a moment (I have done all this pretty consistently). He has heard endless variations on "biting hurts mommy, if you bite no nursies". Nothing seems to make an impact. I do not want to wean him. My older child nursed until self weaning at late 3 years old. I never had a biting problem with her. I am so tense and worried everytime DS nurses. My breasts have bite marks and bruises on them. Please if you've been through this give me your advice!
Here's what I did. If my kid bit me, I hollered, I put him down, and the nursing session was over. He did bite me a few times, but mostly when he had a new tooth coming in, and generally *after* he was done actively nursing--so if I cut the session short if I saw him just noodling around and not really nursing, that helped, too.
I never yelled at him about anything else before his first birthday (and very little after that), but this was non-negotiable for me.
I am the OP. Posting again in case someone with the same problem is ever searching the forums. I did resolve the biting issue, It happens only occasionally now. Yelling did not help (for us). It would make my DS laugh and my older DD (who is not used to me yelling) was pretty appalled. "Mom," she said "he's just a baby!" So I stopped yelling.
Here is what did work to stop the biting:
nursed with minimal distractions. No tv, computer, or reading for me: I focused completely on DS
I kept a firm hand on the back of his head. Whenever DS began to pull away/lean back--which is what he does right before he bites--I pulled him in very firmly towards my breast, this made him open his mouth wide instead of bite down. This done consistently for days and days finally began to have an effect.The first thing it did was help me prevent the biting, so I was in a lot less pain and less tense. The second thing it did was FINALLY teach DS not to bite.
I also talked with him about having "nice gentle nursies" ...whenever her nursed gently I would thank him and let him know that I appreciated it.
If any one else is ever going through a bad biting phase I hope this is of some help.
Just thought I'd share what worked for us in case anyone else needs ideas:
I found by accident born of extreme paranoia after several bad bites around age 8 -10 mos that if I kept my forefinger on the cleft in his chin, as soon as he changed his mouth in a way that I knew he was going to bite I could put a slight pressure there on that chin cleft and that would prevent him from biting me. I figured I could physically stop him if necessary, but it was never necessary - as soon as I pressed a little he would go back to nursing. That solved it after a very few repetitions. What I liked about it was that I got the sense that before that he truly did not understand what I was trying to communicate to him. He thought everything I did in response to a bite was hysterical. I shout and make faces? Hysterical! pull him into my boob? Hysterical! Speak sternly? Hysterical! Let's do that again Mum! But the chin thing got the point across without anger or discomfort for either of us, or even words. After a few days of doing this, I was able to relax and just nurse, and he never bit me again.
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