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Fed up of being bitten...

(11 Posts)
balletmoo Thu 02-Jun-11 12:31:08

Hello all,

I guess I just need some support as I am feeling a bit low.

My DS is 9 months old. I'm still breastfeeding much of the time, but he is teething furiously and when he teethes, he tends to bite me.

I've tried the usual advice of taking him off the breast when it happens, putting him down, no eye contact, Calpol / bonjela / anbesol half an hour before feeding etc etc, but this time it just isn't working. I thought I would get a break after the top two teeth came though but he must be cutting some others as the chewing has continued.

In addition, he's really suffering with these next teeth. He's of food and milk, he won't nap, wakes up much more than usual at night (and when he feeds, it's all tears and screams when I take him off when he bites, which just makes it all worse...).

I would ask my OH to do the feeds but DS has been refusing bottles since he he was 7 months old and a doidy cup in the middle of the night will be carnage.

I'm not sure what else to do. I'm feeling really low because I want to keep BF but I'm not willing to be chewed raw any more...

MamaChocoholic Thu 02-Jun-11 14:56:58

I can offer sympathy, if that helps?

dt1 has been biting me for 3 months, she's 8mo now. everything I read says babies don't bite for long. well mine does sad

I do find when she's hungry she bites less, so on bad days I try and space her feeds, but she's not off her food. also I tend not to feed to sleep on those days, but rock her (it takes a while, and a bit of crying which I don't like, but I'm holding her, singing/talking to her, and I know if I offer her to feed she will just bite). I do use calpol and I've found I need to be really consistent, taking her off at every bite or it gets worse.

If you're worried about his intake, have you tried freezing milk like a lolly? haven't tried it, but apparently they like the cold and it gets milk into them.

failing that, you've probably already seen this page?

Albrecht Thu 02-Jun-11 15:19:41

Perhaps we need a being bitten by our baby support thread? Its crap isn't it?

We've been waiting a month for the 2nd top tooth and his sleep is awful at the best of times... I'm actually starting to worry about the total amount of calopol etc he's had recently.

I do find he bites more when not really hungry towards the end of the feed so once he comes off, that's it I don't offer anymore. Also at the start when he's hungry he'll bite into me like a nice big burger, I find if he has to suck the nipple into his mouth from far away he's less likely to bite.

Do you have any damage? I had to let it heal, during the day feed on one side and express from the other (also bottle refuser here but he needs practice with a cup anyway). I did feed at night as otherwise I'd get too uncomfortable and also he was a nightmare to settle. Dh sometimes walks up and down the hall with him which will get him drowsy eventually.

I don't want to give up either and ds hardly eats solid food (might change when this blinking tooth appears?) so would be a hassle anyway.

organiccarrotcake Thu 02-Jun-11 17:58:20

Gosh, I really feel for you. Biting like this on an ongoing basis is pretty rare and having had the odd nip I really do sympathise sad

Kellymom has some info: www.kellymom.com/bf/older-baby/biting.html

I like the lolly idea but also I would say to try other things before nursing him (whereas most nursing mums try nursing first when baby complains, which of course works a treat mostly!). So, walks in a sling or pram, try to offer some toys, and also teething foods like frozen banana. Some babies like dried apicot to chew if they're able to cope with it. If he's not hungry for milk, comfort in other ways may get him through. It will pass but it's horrible sad

MamaChocoholic Thu 02-Jun-11 18:27:27

Albrecht my vampire baby drew blood twice and feeding through the healing was SO painful. I don't trust that I could feed two babies from one side while it healed (perhaps someone more knowledgeable knows?) so I am now slowly building a stock of frozen ebm in case it happens again.

organic I agree spacing feeds by distracting is useful. at the moment a bit tough for me. the dts have hit separation anxiety and dt2 has become a big comfort feeder; dt1 wants to feed every time she sees her brother there. I don't want to deny him because she will bite me, but don't want to feed her as often as him.

haven't tried frozen banana though, good tip there thanks smile

RitaMorgan Thu 02-Jun-11 20:56:13

My 10 month old is biting fairly often (most days) and has been for a month or so now. Saying NO, taking him off etc isn't having an effect. He hasn't drawn blood but my nips are constantly sore now.

He also tends to bite at the end of a feed, so now I try to take him off as soon as he isn't actively suckling anymore.

negrilbaby Thu 02-Jun-11 22:13:44

My DD (11 months) is also a biter. She seems to push the nipple against her teeth whilst feeding and I often have teeth marks on the nipple once she's finished.
It gets much worse when she is teething - she has 6 teeth at the moment. If I let her fall asleep when feeding then she has been known to clamp down and I have to wrench her jaws apart in the gap behind her front teeth.
She also bites whatever part of me she can reach if she wants feeding during the day. It really is like having a badly trained terrier arround!

Albrecht Fri 03-Jun-11 10:45:29

Yes I have little bite marks down on my right shoulder and arm as that's the side I usually carry him on. I know he'd doing it cos he's hurting and doesn't know any better but its hard not to react too strongly. sad

MamaChocoholic I know, I'd become a bit forgetful how much bf could hurt when you've been damaged. I think the single breast would ramp up production after a day or so to have enough for them both but them when you went back to using both breasts, you might end up with too much milk being produced by that one for another day or so. No experience though, can't imagine dealing with two! Does your dt2 not bite then? Interesting, I suppose its not our behaviour thats caused it then?

MamaChocoholic Fri 03-Jun-11 21:49:08

dt2 only bites rarely and recently. he prefers to pinch and scratch hmm with my controlled experiment I can confirm our behaviour cannot be to blame for biting, sleep, interest in solid food, or propensity to fall off beds - the dts differ greatly in all these aspects grin

Albrecht Mon 06-Jun-11 09:22:49

Mama That is a relief to hear actually, as ds is not much interested in either sleep or solids and sometimes I do wonder if I'm doing it all wrong. We've put our mattress on the floor as he likes to throw himself about so much...

OP, I was reading something at the wkend that said teething gels etc that numb the mouth might contribute to biting as they can't feel what they are doing as well - like after you've had a filling.

MamaChocoholic Mon 06-Jun-11 13:12:08

glad I can reassure you smile my biter is my better night sleeper, worse napper, loves her solids and has no fear of heights. firmly believe babies come with their own personalities.

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