I haven’t done many of these types of posts lately. Personal posts seem to be few and far between anymore, but that is going to change. I am going to start adding some in here and there. Today, I’ve got a topic that sounds silly when you hear it, I was scared to breastfeed my baby. Huh? How can anyone be scared to breastfeed their baby you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.
Yep, that’s right have you ever breastfed a baby and gotten bit? Sure, if your baby has teeth you probably have. But, this is different. Babies sometimes bite by mistake when nursing and they first get their little chompers but nope, not my little lovebug she think’s its a game and thinks its the funniest thing on the planet.
Razor blades. This is what their brand new itty bitty baby teeth feel like when they purposely latch on only to bite, and pull back followed by laughter. It’s funny to them but to us mamas, it’s like someone is cutting us with a razor blade or scissors. It’s painful!
At first I thought okay, she just got her new little teeth it must be by mistake. The first time she did it she wouldn’t nurse for the whole day and when I’d try because she would be crying and wanting to nurse she would scream even more and try to latch on but couldn’t bring herself to. Why? I screamed the first time she did it, I let out a really loud and sudden “OUCH! Don’t bite!” and it scared her. Needless to say she started pulling on her ears, screaming and crying for a long time so after a few hours of her protesting nursing (she did eat other food) I rushed her into the clinic thinking SHE HAS AN EAR INFECTION! All the pulling on her ears, which was something she never did, had me really worried. Not realizing that a few hours prior I had let out a huge scream after being bitten — her ears? clear, and while we waited at the clinic what did she decide to do when we got in the exam room? NURSE.
Since then, which was about a month ago now it had happened quite a bit, and I would be so scared to nurse her because I knew it was coming. Every time she would unlatch to look at me and giggle, or gibber at me I’d cringe expecting to be bit! I’ve been finally able to get the biting under control but know this is something a lot of mamas struggle with.
One question I got asked a lot in a mom group I’ve been discussing this in was, how do you know it wasn’t an accident when she was biting?
How did I know it wasn’t an accident?
- It usually happened when she was almost finished nursing on one side, she would pull off, latch back on and BITE. Hard, then pull. Followed by laughter. Even if I didn’t even give her any reaction.
- She kept doing it. Reaction or no reaction. Thus = not an accident but a game.
How did I stop this behavior?
I simply gave her 150% of my attention and watched her ques. It’s the only thing that worked. When she nurses I rub her face, her hair, I talk to her, I snuggle her. I make sure everyone knew I was nursing her so they’d keep the noise and distractions at a minimum and I go to another room if needed. When I know she was close to being done on one side I simply switch her to the other side, and continue on with overly giving her my attention. When I see she is close to being finished I follow her ques and when she unlatches at that time, that was it. Nursing session ended, both of us are happy.
Often, when I’d nurse her I’d be watching tv, or on my phone or talking to my hubby or another one of the kids would be at us. She wanted my full attention and she was demanding it in a rather painful way, but it worked. I did so much research to see why she could be doing this as I’d be doing the same thing since she hit about 6 months and started to be an acrobat during nursing sessions. She’s older now, shes turning 1 in less than a week so our nursing sessions are much shorter and fewer these days so it makes sense I tuck the phone away, I turn the tv off and I simply just enjoy our moments together.
To a lot of people breastfeeding is a baby’s source nourishment. Especially, once they hit a specific age. Although I don’t care what others think or say, People online always say things like “you know after 1 that’s so gross! they can use a cup or bottle!” Going through this with Mia has made me realize it doesn’t matter what anyone BUT that baby feels because if the babies need it and want it, why should we stop just because a baby hits 1, 2 or 3? It’s clear very clear to me now that Mia feels the same. Our nursing sessions are more than just her getting milk.
I have 7 other kids, and this is our time. This was her way of telling me, mama it’s our time! It’s rather sweet when you think of it, even though it was painful. I love breastfeeding, she is my last baby, and this time is very special so we are going to soak it up as best we can for however long Mia wants to.
She eats 3 meals a day, and if she wants to nurse she will nurse. This is what us mamas do and the bond, oh that bond! It’s something out of this world.
If you are dealing with biting, it could very well be by accident. I’ve had babies bite by accident during nursing and it happens only rarely. Never have I had a baby do it on purpose, think it was funny and have it continue, until now. Try these things below and see if any of them help your situation.
- Nurse in a quiet room
- Put away the phone, turn off the tv
- Give baby your full attention
- Talk to your baby
- Do ALL of the above 100x more than you normally would during your nursing sessions.
Most of us do these things anyway, however I was guilty of always having my phone in hand and a tv on while cuddling with her and talking to her, and this wasn’t okay with her. If these don’t work and your baby doesn’t think its a game or funny, you may want to make sure they are feeling well, not having any ear problems and rule out teething. Sometimes babies do bite during teething, and need to be reminded that oops! that hurts, don’t do that (which they may also feel is a game so tread lightly!)
If you have dealt with this too, and found something else that worked feel free to e-mail me and let me know! I’m always open to suggestions and may even add them in here!