I really really wanted to feed my DS2 for at least a year, as I did with DS1, but I think I am just about ready to admit defeat. He has been so difficult to feed for one reason or another over the last few months, and now he's taken to biting. It really really hurts.
He seems to do it because he's annoyed, sometimes because I'm talking and distracting him, sometimes I think because the flow has gone slow. A breast feeding counsellor suggested I pinch his nose when he does it, but my reactions have been too slow so far (mainly because I'm doubled up in pain at the time or concentrating on stifling a scream because we're in a public place).
Anyway, today DH sensibly pointed out that I don't have to bfeed him and why don't I just give up and move him on to bottles. And to be honest there seem to be a million practical reasons why this is a good idea. It's just I don't really want to give up and end on a bad note. I feel like I've let my baby down by not somehow making this work and sticking it out. But I am also very fed up with struggling on like this. Is it time to let it go?
I'm sorry you're feeling frustrated. BFing can be like this sometimes.
If you remind yourself that it's always within your power to stop whenever you want to - and that you don't have to justify your decision to anyone - then it might help to relieve the irritation a bit and help you to focus on what it is that you really want.
Biting is very painful and extremely annoying - but most babies do it around this age, and you can train your DS to stop (if you think you want to carry on BFing). As you've correctly diagnosed, the key is to react quickly and decisively, every time he bites. Take him off the breast immediately, say 'No!' quite firmly, and stop the feed - do something else. (If you're feeling mean, you can refuse eye contact for a few minutes as well ). If you do this absolutely every time he bites, he will get the message pretty quickly (ie, within a week or so).
Also, if he bites hard enough to make you scream, don't worry too much about stifling it! If he hears you shrieking, it might well act to reinforce the other anti-biting tactics you're using. Babies usually hate sudden yelling, especially from their mothers.