Biting when unlatching : help needed - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 02-07-2005, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
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My DS (14 months old) has this thing lately... when he unlatches, he grabs my nipples with his teeth and yanks on it! I think it's due to teething issues but it's really started to hurt badly.

Sometimes he does it, and then wants to nurse again. And then sometimes he'll just do it when he's done nursing.

Any advice for me? I tried the tactic of "No nursies for little boys who bite!" tactic and wouldn't let him latch on again after he bit me, but he got pretty mad and sad and I have to admit I gave in. :

I can't tell when he really wants to nurse, and when he is just going to nurse for a second and then bite me!!

Oh, I should mention that I have a really, really low supply - just a few ounces a day - due to breast reduction surgery, so he's primarily bottlefed, and nurses mainly for comfort (or whenever I can get him to, LOL). Nursing him or bottlefeeding him is the only way to get him to take a nap usually (and for obvious reasons I prefer to nurse him to sleep).

Thanks in advance for any advice. He only has 4 teeth left to come in, so hopefully it won't last long.
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#2 of 3 Old 02-07-2005, 07:28 PM
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When DD went through this, she bit a little when she was awake but really chomped down if she was near sleep. I got in the habit of inserting the end of my finger along my nipple in between her teeth right before she unlatched. I also had to hold her head a little - sometimes I got bit from her turning away and unlatching. When she was fully awake, I'd do the same thing, but accompanied by a loud "OW! No biting!" if she bit me and putting her on the floor. Only for a moment, with cuddles after and a quieter discussion to please not bite mama. I thought the immediate loud reaction was easier to understand at that age for us, rather than refusing to nurse for x amount of time. A few OW's stopped the daytime biting (some are more persistant) and the vigilance and unlatching finger solved the sleeping biting. Twice I actually got a wound from the bite before I perfected it. But the stage did pass.
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#3 of 3 Old 02-08-2005, 03:47 PM
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I really feel your pain. About two weeks ago my 19 month old son was doing the same thing--I nicknamed it "flossing off." We have had biting issues on and off since he first got teeth at 3 1/2 months, but this was awful. He had both my nipples raw and bleeding for nearly a week (It was a low point in our nursing relationship). It was painful to both nurse and pump. I think it was related to teething (although a lactation consultant recently said it could also have been related to thrush--although I do not think that was our problem--no symptoms). He has not done it since. Unlike regular biting, I could not predict when it would happen -- he would just use his teeth as he was unlatching. Hang in there.

Jane -- married to Ernie since 1993, mommy to Jonah (6/03) and Noah (11/06), m/c 1/09 and 10/09 and finally due with our little girl (8/10)
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