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Any extended breastfeeders out there who can give me some hope?

(9 Posts)
JoinTheDots Wed 21-Sep-11 10:42:28

DD is almost 13 months, not going to be weaning off BM for a while because she is addicted and eating nowhere near enough solids for me to cut feeds out. I am OK with this most of the time, but recently, she has become so pinchy, scratchy, bitey and generally unpleasant to feed, I am losing the will!

I have tried taking her off the breast at bad behaviour, or not reacting, but neither has been working and I have been doing it for about 4 weeks. The frequency of the scratching and poking fingers in my nose and mouth (and then gripping, and pulling her claws nails out again) means she is on and off the breast for ages before she settles into the feed with me trying to teach her not to be like this.

We have tried feeding in quiet places with no distracting toys or people about, with no effect. She even does it in the night when she is basically feeding in her sleep, it wakes me right up, and I get resentful of my already broken sleep becoming even less peaceful.

Is it a phase? Has anyone come out the other side? Argh, someone give me hope!

I was wondering if I was feeding her when she was not really hungry, so messing about, but I am only feeding her when she asks (she can sign for milk, or will try to help herself...)

EauRouge Wed 21-Sep-11 10:48:26

Ah yeah, I don't miss that phase grin It does pass. If it didn't then I would still be BF DD1 who is almost 3. As they get older you can teach them 'nursing manners', DD1 knows that if she doesn't sit still and be gentle then the feed is over. I felt really bad once, I yelped and she cried and said "I didn't mean to hurt your booby" sad grin but she's much better at sitting still now.

I found that just perseverance was the key- no yelling or naughty step or any of that stuff, just a quiet 'sit still, please' and then unlatching her if she fidgeted too much. Hang in there, it'll pass smile

BTW, I read somewhere that sticking fingers in your mouth is a sign of affection if that makes it any easier to bear grin

organiccarrotcake Wed 21-Sep-11 13:21:35

LOL eau well in that case my DS adores me grin. Actually, he always does it with a huge grin (which doesn't do the latch any good at all!!). But it's lovely.

Yes, OP, I've been through the same thing. I have scratch marks on my boobs for 4 or 6 weeks until I managed to stop him. Gentle perseverence worked - gently removing the hands with a "don't scratch, that hurts" and if it persisted I unlatched and moved away. Keeping his fingernails short meant that he at least didn't hurt so much.

He's much better and I think for my son it was a bit of an experimental phase (at almost exactly the same age actually). He was finding that his body could do loads of things and he wanted to keep doing them while feeding! He's now started trying to climb up onto my shoulder while attached (ie by "walking" his feet up over my shoulder) which I'm not so chuffed about, but it's much better than the scratching/fingers up nose etc.

I was at the end of my tether and getting to the point of wondering how I could continue, but it really did pass with some continual work, and he's much better now (15 months).

Hope this gives you some faith.

Paschaelina Wed 21-Sep-11 13:27:16

My son's a pincher - the underside of my upper arms are mostly his target. Before that it was hair-pulling, mouth stretching, you name it, he's done it. Each phase passes usually within a month or so. I'm looking forward to the pinching going but slightly nervous about what its replaced by.

effingwotnots Wed 21-Sep-11 13:32:44

My ds has just entered this stage (15m). He is learning to just help himself and If I try not to react, then I get the pulling at clothes and pinching. My neck and chest look like I've been mauled at the moment. Just got to ride it out I guess.

I'm really hoping he starts to get more interested in solids and drinking from elsewhere other than me!

organiccarrotcake Wed 21-Sep-11 13:34:08

Oh gods, yes, the pinching. I'd forgotten that. That wasn't a nice phase but it stopped pretty quickly.

JoinTheDots Wed 21-Sep-11 18:00:36

Thank you all. I shall keep gently encouraging her to be gentle with me and just remove her when she bites. Roll on the age when I can negotiate with her and insist on manners!

organiccarrotcake Wed 21-Sep-11 21:03:09

smile It will be fine - soon!!

AngelDog Wed 21-Sep-11 22:49:03

Yes, I'd forgotten the pinching. Ouch!

I don't think DS was ever quite this bad, but during the pinching stage I did a lot of 'pinching hurts - touch me gently please' and taking his hand and using it to stroke me gently. Eventually I'd just pull an 'ow' face and he'd immediately start stroking me. smile

As other people said, it does get better.

20 m.o. DS is currently into trying to stroke my chin with his foot, or interrupting the feed with requests for the songs he wants me to sing. hmm

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