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Hi, I REALLY need help with biting, nothing seems to be working!

(18 Posts)
TheSnickeringFox Sat 25-Jun-11 21:12:46

My 8mo has now been regularly (ie 3-4 times a day) biting me for over a month. He has broken the skin twice, agony! sad

Currently he only has his bottom two front teeth but I can see three at the top waiting to break through. I am concerned about serious injury confused as he clamps down really hard. He seems to have no idea of what he's doing; it's almost like an involuntary reflex.

I have tried ignoring and I have tried telling him no, but the former does nothing and the latter makes him cry or laugh depending on how tired he is but he doesn't seem to make any connection with the biting.

I really, really can't stop feeding him now - not when it means SO much to him and not after we had such a bloody battle to establish feeding in the first place.

Any other suggestions? Oh, and apologies to Albrecht who was so kind to me the first time I raised this issue smile

FlowerBee Sat 25-Jun-11 21:40:02

My DS did it almost to "test" it out. He eventually stopped doing it and never drew blood so i feel for you. I consistently said "no" firmly (after a sharp intake of breath!) and then turned over and ignored him for a few seconds and then re-latched him as though nothing had happened. Hope you get some more advice.

PacificDogwood Sat 25-Jun-11 21:43:41

This is what worked for me with biting DS3 and vicious DS4 shock: as soon as your DS bites you, pull him close in to you. Not only does that avoid the pain of trying to pull a tightly clamped-down mouth off your breast <<ouch>>, it occludes his nose and he will let go very quickly. He will also Not Like It grin and will learn not to do it again.... hopefully.

I also found shouting very loudly and jumping up, putting DS down and thereby stopping the feed taught them manners wink.

justbeme Sat 25-Jun-11 21:44:22

I think my Lo does this when he is teething too. It flipping well hurts doesn't it??! I say "No", and place him on the floor, which makes him burst out crying!! Today he drew blood on my leg whilst standing up (he's one). I wouldn't give up feeding him over it though. It happens very rarely.

PacificDogwood Sat 25-Jun-11 21:45:43

Oh, they both only every did it towards the end of a feed - I don't know whether that'd be true of your DS?? I kind of started anticipating it and was ready with the pulling-in/shouting combo.

DS4 was Something Else <<shudders>>. He is now 15 months, weaned 2 months ago and I had truly forgotten how awful it was at times.

TheSnickeringFox Sat 25-Jun-11 21:51:18

Pacific, he's a snacker and also feeds to sleep so it feels like we're always at the end of a feed!

MamaChocoholic Sat 25-Jun-11 21:56:32

dt1 was awful. bit me for 3 months, broke skin twice too. the best results I had were being consistent to always say "no", put her down on the floor and walk away. I wouldn't resume the feed anytime soon either. but in the end she just stopped soon after her top teeth popped through (at least, she has stopped for now, almost 9mo). I think it was teething.

dt2 has now taken over and has a penchant for biting then pulling off while clamped on. ouch. I need to get stricter with him, but I'm hoping that, as with dt1, it will stop once the next teeth come through.

much sympathy, it is awful. I also now have a small supply of expressed milk so I can take a break next time the skin is broken. feeding with broken skin was worse than the biting, imo.

coldcomfortHeart Sun 26-Jun-11 19:49:55

It is horrid. I felt it hard not to take it personally, somehow! I would watch like a hawk at the end of the feed (which was when it happened) and as soon as I felt a slight shift in his mouth (moving his tongue to uncover the teeth) I would jam my finger in and get out quick. After all the 'no', sticking him on the floor, suffocating him with my boob etc this seemed to work. Hope you find something that works for you.

sc2987 Sun 26-Jun-11 20:39:48

You have to be careful with shouting, as depending on the child you might scare them into a nursing strike. So I second the neutral 'no' and take off breast, or pull into you.

MamaChocoholic Sun 26-Jun-11 21:02:17

or alternatively, with my dt1, shouting can trigger a fit of hysterical laughter and a desire to see how loud she can make me scream next time hmm also not advisable.

TheSnickeringFox Sun 26-Jun-11 21:40:46

Sigh, I know I'm not supposed to shout but it's kind of involuntary sad

Gawd, I'm really tense feeding him at the moment, I hate that feeling of waiting for him to bite me.

On the plus side I really, really can't imagine my utter boob monster going on a strike...

JellyBellies Mon 27-Jun-11 12:39:10

With DS1 I would say no in a firm voice take him off and put him on the floor immediately and every time and would leave him to cry for abt 15 to 30s before picking up and feeding again. I found the consistency worked. HTH

ginhag Mon 11-Jul-11 11:21:03

So what do you do if your biter is really little? Ds2 is just 5 months and has bottom 2 teeth (started coming through a month ago.)

Now the top ones are starting. He is biting a lot. Yesterday my chest was actually spattered with blood. And I'm sooooo on edge all the time! However any of the above ideas just seem to really upset him and I'm worried he'll refuse altogether. With ds1,as he was a bit older when he got teeth, I think it was a bit easier to get the message across.

Grin and bear it? Sob quietly? Hope it stops soon?

MamaChocoholic Mon 11-Jul-11 14:53:44

dt1 was 5 months when the biting first started in earnest. I'd do enough to upset him a little, and then do exactly the same, consistently, each time. dt1 took 3 months before she stopped biting, but I think my lack of consistency didn't help. (also she found it hilarious the times she made me scream in pain).

with dt2, who was 7/8 months when it got bad, I also made sure that every time he didn't bite, even if it was because I'd taken him off before I thought he was going to, I praised him, made a big fuss, lots of kisses and cuddles. so the times he did bite, and I just stopped the feed and walked off, he really knew it was different to just being put down to play. I think it helped. I think the same would work for a 5mo, but it may take longer for them to make the connection.

it's awful, sorry. but I have now got past it with both mine and feeding is lovelier than it has ever been. hang in there.

TheSnickeringFox Tue 19-Jul-11 21:23:28

Hello, he's still doing it. sad

And now he has four teeth at the top too sad

Will he ever stop?!

MamaChocoholic Thu 21-Jul-11 19:53:57

I'm no expert. and dt2 has been biting again the last two days, but I'd gotten lax on doing the praise bit for no biting, so I'm hoping reinstating that will fix things again. but it has to stop.

does he bite at the end of a feed? when things were bad with dt2 I started cutting feeds short for a few days. once he slowed down, he was off, then lots of cuddles etc. it gave me a break from being bitten, and he seemed none the worse for it.

TheSnickeringFox Fri 22-Jul-11 09:23:37

Hi mama, thanks for keeping me company! Ds' biting seems to go in phases, so I think I've cracked it and then all of a sudden he starts biting again. Fingers crossed I'm a bit wiser to when he's likely to do it now and watch him like a hawk when it looks likely!

I think that he is biting more when a new tooth is just about to break through the gum. He started when the two bottom teeth came through. Then all of a sudden four came in at the top in rapid succession. They are all through now and the biting has calmed down a bit so I hope we will have a little break before the next ones!

I hadn't thought about offering praise for non bitey feeds. When do you praise? At the end?

MamaChocoholic Fri 22-Jul-11 16:12:58

yes, I make a big fuss at the end of every good feed when I remember. I think it helps because it increases the contrast between the feeds when he bites and when he doesn't.

have also found biting peaks just before a tooth pops through.

although not happy to be keeping you company, glad to know I'm not alone with serial biters. after reading online that most babies only bite for couple of days at the most and soon learn I was a bit hmm at my pair!

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