12 answers

HELP: 10 Month Old Biting During Nursing

Yes, she is teething but she has been teething for 5 months and it was never like this. Before she would just bite very rarely now for the last 2 weeks it has been more biting than nursing. Yesterday I decided I can't nurse her anymore. She has been exclusively breastfeed but uses bottles of pumped b-milk while I am at work. Of course she also has solids now also three times a day. If I stop nursing her I will not have enough b-milk for her because my pumping production has dropped off drastically and I can only get a max of 6-8 ounces a day and I don't have much frozen any longer. What should I do? My goal was to make it to 1 year with out formula so she could just go right to cow's milk. When she bites I have tried pulling her away, saying NO firmly, and then stopping the nursing for a short while. I have tried giving her a cold teething ring shortly before she nurses. I have made sure she is hungry but not too hungry and also that I am full so she doesn't get frustrated but nothing works she just keeps biting.

On the eve of Mother's Day I am feeling at a complete loss and am very upset. Any advice is appreciated.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My daughter started doing the same thing at around the same time. I asked my mom who told me she would tap my cheek right by my mouth with two fingers. I tried it and IT WORKED! I was suprised. For me taking mine off my breast just made things worse because she would get upset. Also, reasoning with a ten month old is very frustrating, they really don't understand you and in my experience it makes me more upset. The tapping thing works, i think, because if they know something irritating is going to get them when they bite, they will put two and two together. Hope this helps. Don't give up on breastfeeding, it is really hard at times but is worth every moment!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

You're doing the right thing... what worked for me was doing a "3 strikes and you're out" routine. If she bites tell her NO very firmly and pull away. Don't say anything else, don't be dramatic or tell her it hurts mommy. Just say NO BITING. Then offer your breast again (yes, it takes nerves of steel). If she bites again repeat. The third time she bites she is done with the meal.

I know this is SO frustrating, but if you are truly firm with her and let her know that she gets three chances to get it right and nurse nicely, I promise she'll learn in the next 2 days or so. Give it 3 days and if it's not mostly better you have my permission to cry and give up. Eventually all you may need to do is say "Ella... " in a warning tone of voice and she'll stop. Sometimes when my son was teething and he KNEW he shouldn't bite but he wanted to, he would get so frustrated that he'd cry, but he never bit me after we went through this at age 6 months. He's 11 months now and still loves to nurse.

Good luck! I'm sure she'll figure it out. The key is consistency, and let her have a second and a third chance right away to see if she can get it right before you stop.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter started doing the same thing at around the same time. I asked my mom who told me she would tap my cheek right by my mouth with two fingers. I tried it and IT WORKED! I was suprised. For me taking mine off my breast just made things worse because she would get upset. Also, reasoning with a ten month old is very frustrating, they really don't understand you and in my experience it makes me more upset. The tapping thing works, i think, because if they know something irritating is going to get them when they bite, they will put two and two together. Hope this helps. Don't give up on breastfeeding, it is really hard at times but is worth every moment!

1 mom found this helpful

My mom says that when they bite down to pinch their check a little. My little guy just started teething so I haven't run into this problem yet. I have also heard that when they bite down to take them off the breast and set them on the floor for a few seconds. Hope this helps and good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

the first time my son bit down while nursing, i tried the "saying no firmly" way and it didn't help. my cousin suggested the next time he did it, to lightly flick my finger under his chin and say no biting. it worked, he didn't bite again.

Oh I'm so sorry that you are going through that. My son used to bite me occationally when he was teething. What worked for us was to bring him closer into my breast just for a second and he would let go. Also check into kellymom.com. I got tons of great advice from that website. Be patient it WILL pass. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. Good luck. C.

Have you thought of joining La Leche League? They always had such great advice and support for me as I went through various stages of nursing.

I agree with pulling her into the chest. It won't hurt her- it just startles them enough to open their mouths. I did this probably 3 times with my daughter and she never tried to bite me again. Also, if she got a twinkle in her eye like she was thinking of biting me for "fun" I would say, "no bite!" and put her in the floor.

A great product for teething is the Baby Safe Feeder if you don't already have one. It's basically like a big big pacifier but you can unscrew the end and put fruit or cookies, etc in it (it is covered with net instead of a a rubber end to suck) and then they chew or gum on the food through the net covering so they don't choke. My daughter liked very cold slices of apple in hers, and peaches- though they are drippy and messy!
Here is a link: http://www.onestepahead.com/product/osa/307755.html

Another thing you might try is putting a numbing agent on her gums- like Baby Ambesol- right before she nurses.

Don't be discouraged- you can do it! Just like learning to nurse in the beginning, it takes patience to get through the teething stages! And regardless of what people say, teething is NO reason to give up nursing. There are so many things that you can do... I don't have a big list for you in the forefront of my mind right now, unfortunately. I will say that I nursed my daughter until she was 3.5 yrs and self-weaned and she had PLENTY of teeth and I was never seriously injured! Sounds like you are on the right track... just hang in there!

Here is another great site for nursing advice- There are moms on there who have been nursing kids for 10 yrs straight and will have much more in their bag of tricks than I do right now!
http://www.mothering.com/discussions/index.php
It is an online discussion forum for parenting. There is a HUGE breastfeeding section about 1/2 way down the page. You can read things without registering, but if you want to post a question, it takes about 24 hrs before they approve you to join. My name on the board is PixiesMommy.

Just remember, you aren't a bad Mommy for not knowing what to do. We've ALL been there!! We've all been up crying at 3am wondering if we are doing the right thing! (Heck, my dd is almost 7 and I *still* feel like that from time to time!) Have a Happy Mother's Day and feel proud of yourself that you have not only nursed for 10 months!! but survived what sounds like 5 tough months of teething. It *will* get better and you *can* preserve your nursing relationship! BIG BIG HUGS!!!

A.
aspiring IBCLC

You've gotten some great advice already but I just wanted to say hang in there! You've made it this far and you can get through this. If your daughter needs to bite something I've given my son a "chewy tube" which you can find online at www.beyondplay.com. I told him he can chew/bite on that but not me. When he's been teething it's been a challenge but I've found that nursing him through those difficult times really seems to provide him the comfort and security he needs.

C.:

Happy Mother's day..

Biting and nursing are not compatible- when she bites/ take her off the breast. talk to her/ tell her that biting is not acceptable. if you can anticipate when she is going to bite to can put your finger in her mouth so that she does not bite you.

P., RLC, IBCLC
Pres. Lactation Support Group, Inc
www.lactationsupportgroup.com

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