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I am almost in tears over my ds' persistent biting.

(11 Posts)
Gincognito Thu 06-Oct-11 10:37:21

Right, I've posted about this before under a different nn so I'm really hear to vent as I don't think there's much I haven't tried. I'm sitting with my back to my ds having shouted at him. He's crying and I'm feeling quite upset.

He bites me EVERY day. So far today he has bitten my nipple, hard, 5 times. He has top and bottom teeth (he is nearly 1) and has been biting for several months. I've had open cuts. His latest trick is to clamp down and hold on for as long as possible, even when I hold his nostrils closed. That sounds awful but obviously I did it gently and it was the only way to get him off without injury.

It's making me feel angry towards him sad When I tell him off he thinks it's hilarious and when I allow him to feed again (it's literally the only way he goes to sleep) he often grins at me and then bites me hard.

I don't want to give up, but I'm running out of ideas sad He's screaming hysterically now, I feel like an awful mother.

You have my sympathy, DS1 went through a phase of doing it.

You just have to be really firm 'no, that hurts mummy' and end the feed.
I used to pull DS1 into my breast which would make him open his mouth, because they can still breathe through their mouths while they are biting you.

I really hope he stops soon sad

Gincognito Thu 06-Oct-11 10:57:49

Hi Ali, thanks for the sympathy. Have tried the pulling in thing but by god he holds on as long as possible before letting go!

I spoke to my lovely MIL about bf'ing a while back and she told me my dh had learnt to bite for longer by breathing through his mouth. It seemed funny at the time but obviously my son is taking after his father sad

He's gone to sleep now. I held him while cried for a while and then when I saw he was exhausted I let him nurse again because I knew he was too tired to bite.

The problem is the feeding to sleep. He doesn't bite when having normal awake feeds. I just have no bloody clue how to get him to sleep otherwise. He's such a fucking awful sleeper.

TruthSweet Thu 06-Oct-11 11:59:25

It may be that stopping feeding to sleep is a way to stop the biting (or at least working on getting him sleepy before nursing).

There are other ways to get a baby/child to sleep and I wonder if doing some of these while cuddling/rocking/lying down with your son might help him feel sleepy enough to nurse with out the biting.

It might be he doesn't want to nurse when he is awake but to play and biting is his way of saying that.

I am willing to be completely wrong about this BTW! It's just a thought smile

So he's biting when he is tired and feeding to sleep? It is tough, DS2 is only 6 months and he already does this a bit. I have wondered if it is actually to do with stopping milk flow when they are full but want the comfort of nursing.
Yes to mouth breathing, I found pulling him in stopped it because his mouth would be covered too, because yes otherwise he can just hang on with his teeth and keep breathing.

Is he cutting any teeth? That was often a factor with DS1.

I can't remember exactly when we did it, but we did separate the BFing from bedtime sleep, and started doing a big feed right after bath, and then a story and cuddles. Generally one of us would then have to sit by his cot for half an hour or so while he dropped off. That phase only lasted a short while though, and then he would go to bed happily.

Keep posting if it helps, I really do sympathise because it isn't just about then biting, it is the sleep and everything around that as well!

MamaChocoholic Thu 06-Oct-11 18:47:19

huge sympathies, each of mine bit for months, and I had cuts too.

what finally worked for me was not just saying no, but remembering to give lots of praise and cuddles each time they didn't bite. I'd read this somewhere and thought it sounded silly, how does a (then) 8 month old know they're being praised. but desperate women try anything, and amazingly it worked in just a few days. I think I'd finished too many feeds by just finishing, putting them down, and getting on with our day, and saying "no" and putting down wasn't enough contrast. when I started giving praise and cuddles on the good feeds, there was enough contrast for the babies to start learning.

dt1 was the worst for feeding to sleep and biting. often deliberate, but she would also bite out of habit as she fell asleep and fell off the nipple slightly. in the end I started feeding earlier, then putting her in her cot and lying on the bed right next to her so she could see my face, my hand through the bars, stroking her back and singing/talking to comfort her. it helped that she couldn't stand up back then, and there was some crying, but every time I tried to go back to feeding to sleep I got bit again and I just couldn't take any more. she bit much more rarely in the feed-back-to-sleep middle of the night feeds, thankfully.

LetTheSlaughterBeGincognito Fri 07-Oct-11 23:37:01

Thank you all for your comments. Definitely some food for thought.

I think he is biting for a few reasons.

1. When he doesn't want to nap, as truthsweet suggests. I think he is beginning to make the move from two naps to one as we are really hit and miss at the moment. I think maybe I need to leave it longer between taking him up for a nap.

2. Teething. Have ordered an Amber necklace.

3. As MamaC says, biting as a reflex when falling asleep and coming off the nipple slightly.

4. because it's funny to hear the noises mum makes sad

Feeding to sleep - honestly, honestly, I just can't seem to get him to sleep any other way. I've tried offering a dummy, a comforter, tried stroking/tickling, reassuring. He just becomes hysterical so quickly. Inconsolable by anything other than bf'ing. Combined with his biting and we have had a lot of tears recently.

AngelDog Sat 08-Oct-11 00:43:11

Do you have a rocking chair? Could you try a gradual withdrawal type process whereby you feed him whilst rocking / singing / using a cue. Then you could try doing the rocking etc without the feeding bit.

Does he ever sleep in the pram or sling?

Transitioning to 1 nap is always tough - you have my sympathies.

LetTheSlaughterBeGincognito Sat 08-Oct-11 09:49:13

Dang, just lost a long response.

Sling - yes, but he is getting heavy (he is on the 91st centile so I reckon nearly 24lbs). We currently have an ergo which I find uncomfortable to use when I put him on my back as it cuts my flabby stomach in half blush.

Pram - only when the stars are aligned! He's had maybe ten naps in there since he was born.

We don't have a rocking chair, we're moving soon though so I'll give it some thought. The main reason I started feeding to sleep lying down was because he woke up the instant I put him down. It's true though that this was a while ago so he may have changed. He also wakes up fairly frequently and only accepts boob to resettle - I think he is definitely the type to need resettling in the initial manner.

Sorry, I'm talking myself out of everything. I am listening, I promise.

MadameJ Sat 08-Oct-11 19:57:53

Hi, just wanted to say I am in the exact same position, DD (9months) has actually made me cry tonight as she bit so hard and would not let go regardless of what I tried, in the end DH actually had to pull her off and then to top it off she bloody laughed at me angry.
I also feed to sleep because it really is the only thing that works and believe me I have tried every other method that has ever being suggested.
I am now resorting to wine in the hope it numbs my nips before the next feed grin

AngelDog Sun 09-Oct-11 21:06:00

I'd keep giving different things a try even if they've not worked before as you never know when babies change.

DS started sleeping in the car at about 9 months. He started reliably sleeping in the pram at about 11 months. I have no idea why either happened when it did. confused

We have one of these chairs which isn't technically a rocking chair but it has a good bounce. I know loads of people who have them so if you know someone, it might be possible to borrow one to see if it works. <clutches at straws>

I think the action is not too dissimilar to a sling. DS sits on my lap with his head nuzzled into my shoulder. It got a lot easier when I started using a song as a sleep cue - before that he'd try to climb off my lap if he felt excited, but after using the song, he'd at least lie against me calmly even though he needed the motion to get to sleep.

Sympathies again on the sling - DS is a 98th centile boy and it's not comfy, even with a well designed sling. I find the Ergo pretty uncomfortable now.

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