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Biting breastfeeders!

(8 Posts)
jenniferq Thu 01-Oct-09 08:51:33

Can anyone offer any advice on how to deal with my biting breastfeeder He is 10.5 months, and over the last month has got his first tooth (quite late, I know I should be grateful I havent encountered this before now!). He would often clamp down on the nipple annyway, painful but I could cope with it, but now there is a tooth involved it is excrutiating! I try just saying "NO" loudly and clearly...but he thinks thats funny and clamps down further while laughing hmm! I have to put my finger in and release his jaw! My DD started doing this with her first tooth at around 10 months, and I subsequently stopped feeding her. I had wanted to carry on with DS, but dont know how to get around it - any tips? Or do I just ahve to grin and bear it if I want to carry on? Thanks!

belgo Thu 01-Oct-09 08:56:03

With my ds, I kept my little finger beside his mouth so I could unlatch him immediately when he did this. It soon passed.

sleepsforwimps Thu 01-Oct-09 08:56:18

When my ds started doing this, I said a firm no, he too laughed and did it again.. so I started saying a firm no when he did it and promptly put him down. He didn't like that. Everytime he did it I imediately put him down, waited a minute then carried on feeding, repeated if he did it again, this did stop it as he cottoned on quick he liked his milk more than biting me.

jenniferq Thu 01-Oct-09 13:09:24

thank you! I think I want to know it will pass if I stick with it. So its good to hear that. I think I will try the putting him down thing - thanks both.

faffmaff Thu 01-Oct-09 13:20:52

I feel your pain!! Literally. DS is 5 months and has two teeth and all the No's and putting him down are having no effect... It's putting me off BFing - maybe we should invent baby gumshields.

thenameiwantedwastaken Thu 01-Oct-09 14:04:13

FWIW you can get nipple shields to protect your nipples (see Boots, Mothercare et al.). Some people advise against because they may affect your milk supply but maybe for a short bit of respite they'd be okay?

PrettyCandles Thu 01-Oct-09 14:14:01

First off, do you pull away when he does it? You need to squash him tightly to you. That makes it less painful for you, and often startles him into opening his mouth, especially if his nose is obstructed by the breast.

Say "No", as you do, and put him down. You can either end the feed there and then - no matter how much he has taken - or you can give him another chance. But not more than one chance.

Another thing to do is try to notice when he bites. My dd used to bite towards the end of a feed, particularly if I was encouraging her to take more. Once I stopped trying to extend the feed (and after a couple of No-and-put-downs), she never bit me again. Ds2, OTOH, used to bite at the begining of a feed if he wasn't ravenous (ie playing, I suppose), or part way through (ie once the first hunger was satisfied). He also bit more when actively teething. He needed several No-and-put-downs with each episode of biting. But fewer each time IYSWIM. If he was actively teething, I would make sure he hadn't been chewing on a teether before the feed, and sometimes I would put a bit of teething gel on his mouth a few minutes beforehand as well. Not immediately beforehand - numb nipples are disconcerting!


jenniferq Thu 01-Oct-09 19:35:44

Thank you, thats so helpful. I am beginning to feel a bit down about it, as I really really want carry on feeding him. This evening, for example, he sucked for about 30 seconds before a humungous BITE! I end up shouting NO as an instinctive reaction to the pain....and the louder I shout, the more he laughs!

Interesting what you say, though prettycandles about noticing when he bites. This evening I was trying to feed him while DD was in the bath, just sitting on landing outside the bathroom. And basically, every time she made a noise (chatting or singing etc) he it was sort of with distraction. I know he does it other times as well, but normally I get further into a feed before he does it. And I was also thinking in the morning he feeds for quite a while before he starts biting - so I definitely think it is associated with a) level of hunger and b) distraction. Re the latter...whereas before the tooth appeared he would flip off and turn roudn to see what his sister was up to when she makes a noise, he now just bites down it seems! So obviosuly I can try and avoid feeding him when there are distractions (though not always easy). I really might try the nipple shields - the fact it might affect supply would concern me if he was under 6 months and I was exclusively bf, but feel at 10.5 months when he is eating lots of solids etc it doesnt feel as critical (ie it wouldnt be a risk of it affecting supply and it all going wrong as a result).

Appreciate all your advice, I really dont want to let this beat me!

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