Baby is Biting, Hard, and I am Traumatized... :( - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 01-20-2013, 06:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello out there. I haven't been sure whether my current situation warranted a post in the BF Forum, because I thought I could just get through it and deal. But the situation is so bad that it's actually making me consider if I should stop BFing my second baby (now 8 months) and so I thought I would reach out for advice from the experts.
As said, baby is 8 months. Has been nursing really well since birth, also bottle fed by caregivers during the day, mostly milk, a little formula when my work schedule doesn't permit 15 oz of pumping - always pump at least enough for 10 oz (two bottles) during the work day.
SO anyway, baby is sick. He has a terrible cold, his nose is stuffed and I also think yet another top tooth is coming in.
He seems to be an early and intense teether compared to my first who I think only had two bottom teeth at this age. DS2 has three on top, two on bottom and I would wager at least two more are coming in with this cold/sickness. Fun!
So he has been biting me HARD, with these shark teeth. To the point of drawing blood on occasion.
And I am afraid to nurse him.
It was one thing when he was tooth free and would sort of clamp down with his gums, but this is really really bad.
For example, he just went down for his morning nap, and I tried to nurse but after afew sucks, he bit down... and I pumped a bottle and now DH is putting him down.
I am so freaked out that I am going to screw up our nursing relationship before either one of us is ready to stop.
I am not sure what to do.
DS1 never did this. He nursed happily and without a bite until he was 2. I am feeling really emotional about it, like I've done something wrong, and I think something will be wrong if I don't nurse any more today - I will be pumping to keep up the supply as much as I can but that seems like a temporary solution.
Thanks for any help.
The whole "pull in if he bites" strategy will NOT work by the way. There's no way my body can handle that pain. And it seems like if he bites once, he will probably bite again during a session.

loving momma to babyboy.gif born 11/2008, and his baby brother diaper.gif5/2012, just trying to stay balanced namaste.gif

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#2 of 9 Old 01-20-2013, 08:42 AM
 
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I have a biter too.  I can completely sympathize with you.  It is traumatic!  And it really hurts.  I don't have any complete solutions for you, but I can tell you what we have done.

 

My baby (who is now two, and still bites) always clamps down just as he is falling asleep, or soon after.  I've found, that contrary to standard breastfeeding advice, if I pull the nipple out of his mouth while he is still nursing, but after he has closed his eyes, that he usually won't clamp down.  Breaking the suction with my finger first always causes him to bite.  Can you predict at all what sets of circumstances cause your baby to bite?  Is it just the cold?  My baby always bites more when his nose is stuffed too.  I think it's because he's trying to breathe through his mouth, but doesn't want the nipple to pop out, so he clamps down with his teeth to hold onto it.  Maybe you can hold your baby's head very close to the breast while he feeds, so the nipple won't pop out when he takes a breath through his mouth?  

 

I've also found that part of the reason my baby bites is because he has a slight underbite which is correcting itself as he grows (and also possibly because he is still breastfeeding.)  When he closes his jaws, the nipple doesn't fit between his top and bottom teeth, it fits directly between them.  I don't know if this might be the case with your baby or not. 

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#3 of 9 Old 01-20-2013, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the empathy - sympathy? - and the advice! I am starting to see a pattern with the biting. I think it is definitely tied to the cold, and also to active teething, like, a tooth coming in. And he has been teething like crazy (makes the biting that much worse, ugh). The other thing that sometimes leads to a bite is if he's not really that into nursing. You know how babies sometimes just play with a bottle nipple in their mouths if they are not that focused on eating - he wlill kind of do that - except it it my body!
Honestly, I don't think I can push through it if this is not a temporary thing. I pumped bottles today, and gave him formula before bed. It was really REALLY sad and emotional for me to do that, and it is also really sad and emotional for me when he bites, along with extremely painful. I am so not ready to wean. And I don't think he is ready to wean either. That's what is so sad about this situation.

loving momma to babyboy.gif born 11/2008, and his baby brother diaper.gif5/2012, just trying to stay balanced namaste.gif

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#4 of 9 Old 01-20-2013, 08:08 PM
 
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Big hugs to both of you mamas!
Rozziemama, my DD flirted with biting too. I also found that pulling her in didn't help so I would stick my finger in her mouth, (sometimes practically prying her gums/teeth apart) to get enough room to pull my nipple out safely. Yes, my finger was bitten but it was nothing like the pain of the nipple bite. I would then put her down on the floor for a little while. I tried VERY hard not to react because the few times I just couldn't help myself, she giggled and bit again, harder!! So she bit, I'd stay neutral (while screaming inside my own head), quickly extract my nipple, then put her down. She would cry and once I got my breath back, I would offer again. Sometimes she'd bite again and sometimes not. Over a few days where I was very consistent, she stopped. She still slips up every once in a while but it's always an isolated incident. I did however work pretty hard to help her with the teething pain. Always had things to gnaw on and offered cold things. I also used infant Tylenol when she was really suffering badly.
I also had to be careful to nurse her in quiet places for months or she would get distracted and start biting. I'm sorry if this post is all over the place, I'm pretty wiped. I hope you find relief soon. I know my suggestions may not be right for everyone but they worked for us. Good luck!!
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#5 of 9 Old 01-21-2013, 08:09 AM
 
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I'm so sorry, my DD only bit my once while nursing and it was just a testing bite so wasn't even that hard, but still I yelped, detached her and set her on the floor for a minute while she was upset and cried. I offered her the breast again and that fortunately was enough for her to not try biting my breast again, but I know that doesn't always work greensad.gif She still bit my shoulder/arm/etc. at times when teething, but that was much easier to handle. I would try some consistent reaction and see if it gets better, maybe a neutral reaction, detaching and sitting on the floor and offering something that is ok to bite? I hope it gets better and I understand how fearful it makes you hug.gif
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#6 of 9 Old 01-21-2013, 09:14 AM
 
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I've had a couple of biting nurslings....Clove oil right after they bite & mineral supplements (clay, tissue salts, & raw milk) helped the most.  

 

Also, less biting in stimulating environments with other children & outside.  More than simple distraction (I think), like a release of excess energy & tension.  

 

As an abuse survivor, I do not tolerate pain gracefully.  If they make a game of watching my reaction to the pain, I get a teething remedy & bottle of chamomile tea promptly and make my distress clear.  After a few cycles of repeating the interruption of nursing and seeing my hurt reaction, they both learned to control the impulse.  

 

The minerals & oxygenation of their bodies seems key in supporting the teething aspect.  The congestion I've addressed with ozone, essential oils, and other dust control measures.  

 

But using their teeth to "test & experiment" on me, not an option for long whatever developmental phase they're in.

 

My sympathies for being bitten so hard!  I've wept for the better part of an hour after an incisor clamp down.

 

A low dose of Ibuprofen (through the breastmilk) gives them relief until I can compensate with other measures too.

 

It can and will get better! 

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#7 of 9 Old 01-21-2013, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is such sensitive, thoughtful advice - thank you!
Thank you really to Everyone who has replied - this reply really got to the heart of my emotional and physical experience with the biting.

I realized last night I was literally anxious to the point of breaking into a weird stressed out SWEAT on offering him my breast. It really took me by surprise, the intensity of my reaction.
I just nursed him to sleep (he woke up miserable too early from an afternoon nap) in my arms and the room was very peaceful (except for his own distress at being awake!) - and he did not bite. It was 2:30 pm and the first time I nursed all day since 5 am, which is somewhat concerning for the milk supply... He drank 5 oz of the bottle I pumped at bedtime last night. So we'll see. I hope it ended today. I am going to be very thoughtful about when to offer him my breast vs bottle and he will have to really be asking for it if I am going to nurse him in public or a stimulating environment from now on.
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Originally Posted by MotheringBliss View Post

I've had a couple of biting nurslings....Clove oil right after they bite & mineral supplements (clay, tissue salts, & raw milk) helped the most.  

Also, less biting in stimulating environments with other children & outside.  More than simple distraction (I think), like a release of excess energy & tension.  

As an abuse survivor, I do not tolerate pain gracefully.  If they make a game of watching my reaction to the pain, I get a teething remedy & bottle of chamomile tea promptly and make my distress clear.  After a few cycles of repeating the interruption of nursing and seeing my hurt reaction, they both learned to control the impulse.  

The minerals & oxygenation of their bodies seems key in supporting the teething aspect.  The congestion I've addressed with ozone, essential oils, and other dust control measures.  

But using their teeth to "test & experiment" on me, not an option for long whatever developmental phase they're in.

My sympathies for being bitten so hard!  I've wept for the better part of an hour after an incisor clamp down.

A low dose of Ibuprofen (through the breastmilk) gives them relief until I can compensate with other measures too.

It can and will get better! 

loving momma to babyboy.gif born 11/2008, and his baby brother diaper.gif5/2012, just trying to stay balanced namaste.gif

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#8 of 9 Old 01-21-2013, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Also: do you really give a bottle of chamomile tea? That is such a good idea and I have never heard of it before.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MotheringBliss View Post

I've had a couple of biting nurslings....Clove oil right after they bite & mineral supplements (clay, tissue salts, & raw milk) helped the most.  

Also, less biting in stimulating environments with other children & outside.  More than simple distraction (I think), like a release of excess energy & tension.  

As an abuse survivor, I do not tolerate pain gracefully.  If they make a game of watching my reaction to the pain, I get a teething remedy & bottle of chamomile tea promptly and make my distress clear.  After a few cycles of repeating the interruption of nursing and seeing my hurt reaction, they both learned to control the impulse.  

The minerals & oxygenation of their bodies seems key in supporting the teething aspect.  The congestion I've addressed with ozone, essential oils, and other dust control measures.  

But using their teeth to "test & experiment" on me, not an option for long whatever developmental phase they're in.

My sympathies for being bitten so hard!  I've wept for the better part of an hour after an incisor clamp down.

A low dose of Ibuprofen (through the breastmilk) gives them relief until I can compensate with other measures too.

It can and will get better! 

loving momma to babyboy.gif born 11/2008, and his baby brother diaper.gif5/2012, just trying to stay balanced namaste.gif

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#9 of 9 Old 01-21-2013, 01:41 PM
 
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Oh Yeah, 

 

I get the chamomile in bulk and make it often, they drink it cool with reverse osmosis water.  

 

Lots of dialog about why...and letting them feel my teeth and playing mama bear biting games helps them understand too.  

 

My DH is great at reinforcing the necessity of their self-control by speaking to them assertively, then playing lots of physical testing type games with them.  Better they bite him than me I reckon (thicker skin and all)!

 

Your little guy will eventually get it....it is so very hard!

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