Hi everyone. I wasn’t sure exactly where to put this but I am open to help! My little one is 13 months and we are still lucky enough to be breast feeding. I keep hoping he will self wean to make it easy but this may the breaking point. We only feed in the morning and at night. Recently he has started gripping my nipple with his teeth and pulling out on it. Almost as if you were trying to scrape the last drop of ice cream off the popsicle stick. It hurts. A lot. And it’s not even when he’s finished feeding that it happens. I’m open to ideas! Thanks everyone!
Biting does hurt, uggh. I remember those days
Is the biting happening at the beginning, end, or throughout the nursing session?
If it’s happening at the end, it could be that the session is over and he’s a little bored. Or, I remember my pediatrician telling me it can often happen during teething. Since he’s 13 months, is it possible that he could be getting some teeth? She also mentioned that when a child starts to bite (mostly older infants), to end the nursing session. Not give it too much attention, but maybe a short statement like “it seems like you are done nursing now”.
Any other nursing mommas have any tips?
He is getting teeth and he did biting early now it’s the scraping and pulling with the teeth. It generally happens at the beginning and when I end it he loses it. If I let him go again (I’ve been trying to figure out what works) he nurses for a normal length of time.) it could just be a phase and I will try just ending it and I’ve been doing my best to not react. Sometimes it’s hard! Open to any ideas to try and I’m happy to keep reporting back!
I had a similar situation and some friends told me it was time to quit BF altogether, but I just wasn’t ready. If he’s clearly still eager to nurse, maybe pull him away gently and calmly, but firmly say “no teeth” then count to 5/10 in your head so it gives some space and he gets the idea, then continue. Babies understand even if they don’t fully get the language.
Try these tips when working with a teething tiny!!!
I nursed my first son until 19.5 months! He was , let’s just say, addicted!!! He would be waiting for
Me to get home from work to nurse! I think when the child starts biting, they may be done with the nursing for that session and just be playing around a little bit. It is totally totally normal. I Definitly feel your pain and can relate. I would say once you start feeling the biting, maybe try and distract him with a toy or game and end that session and try to get him Involved with some
Sort of other activity. Hope this helps!
These situations are never easy because you want to breastfeed, and it’s hard not to take this behavior personally. There are many reasons why it could be happening. It could be boredom during the feeding, especially if you’re distracted with something else while nursing. It could also be jaw tension that your child is needing to workout. Giving them harder solid foods to chew on may help. Also taking them to a bodyworker to work on any contributing structural issues might be needed. From a behavioral standpoint, simply telling your child that biting hurts you and if they continue to do it, then nursing will end is very effective. If they bite again, calmly unlatch them and quickly explain why and acknowledge their feelings if they express anything to you about it.
Hope that helps!!
Jacqueline Kincer, IBCLC