Monday, April 9, 2012

Teething Bites


See those adorable little teeth poking out of that sweet little mouth? Yeah, those little things are the source of a lot of pain, frustration, and worry. His first two teeth (bottom front teeth) came in fairly easily. He was cranky a few evenings and he drooled like crazy. But, then they came up and the cranky was gone! Currently, though, he has eight teeth coming in all at once.

The past few days have had a lot of screaming. But, that hasn't been the worst part.

When he got his first two teeth he bit me while nursing. I jumped three feet and he didn't bite again. But, now that he is getting even more teeth he has been biting every time I breastfeed him. Jumping hasn't helped. Stopping the feeding hasn't helped. If this continues weaning may have to happen...something I didn't want to do until he was at least a year old.

I've googled quite a bit about biting while breastfeeding and have found a lot of sources with ideas on why it is happening and how to prevent it. Some of these sources have only succeeded in making me feel like a bad mom.

I typically love Kellymom.com for breastfeeding advice. But, this quote made me so frustrated:

"If your baby is nursing properly, then you should not feel teeth, even if baby has a mouthful of them. And keep in mind that it’s physically impossible for baby to nurse and bite at the same time, because the tongue covers the bottom teeth/gum when baby is nursing."

So, my child who has been nursing successfully for the past 8 months all the sudden is not nursing properly? And, yes, the tongue covers the bottom teeth/gum, but his top teeth are the ones that are getting me currently.

The posts also says that most moms only experience this problem "for a couple of weeks." I'm sorry if this makes me a terrible mom... but, being bit on my nipple every feeding for a couple of weeks doesn't sound like something I can go through.

I have found some good advice (even in the article that made me cranky) and will try to make it work for a little longer. But, teething bites in my opinion!

When did you wean your child?
 Or, did your child bite during nursing and if so, how did you get them to stop?

My boobs and I thank you for your advice!

3 comments:

Kira said...

Man, this is making me nervous for things to come. No teeth in our household yet!

Jenni Bost said...

Don't worry about it too much... I've read (and heard) that not all babies bite while nursing. I guess that most babies might do it once or twice, but stop due to moms reaction. Not our case, but I'm still hopeful!

Jill W said...

I always said I'd stop nursing when they started biting, but I EP'd and didn't have to face it after all. You might try a nipple shield - Medela makes them, and you can get them at Babies R Us or Target here. It's a plastic guard intended to help with latching issues, but at leastit would give you some cushion.
I totally understand feeling mad and hurt by some of the BF advice out there. I had a nurse with my first, we called her White Trash Barbie, who was the lactation consultant. In the hospital, when my first child was one day old, she told me I should be able to figure it out, animals do it. After getting like zero help, and having a very lazy eater, I only EP'd for 6 weeks for her.
I don't have great advice on the nursing side. But the teething side...I gotcha! My second child gets his teeth in pairs or sets of four. Right now, I'm weaning from the paci and welcoming all four incisors. Try letting him have frozen waffles - we freeze leftovers from breakfast for dinner night. The waffle is soft and cold, gets him to eat something, and helps soak up the drool. My son eats anything that's still long enough, unless he's teething. So it helps me get him to eat. Also, the teething tablets are awesome. I'm not sure I'd you can still get them, due to a recent recall. They're a homeopathic tablet that dissolves quickly - like sometimes on you're finger. But we strongly prefer them over Tylenol or orajel. They seem to work well, and we like to reserve all Tylenol use for fever reduction only.
My youngest also likes carrot sticks to gnaw on, and that's helped tremendously with his biting. He looks a little like bugs bunny, but it works.
Teething biscuits are no longer the hard, dog bone type treat for babies. Now they're designed to be more like a Graham cracker. We got some Scooby Bones once for my oldest - they're Graham crackers that look like dog bones. They're hard and good for teething, but not so hot if you also have a dog. So we stick with Graham sticks - we open the package to let them harden over night to help with the "dog bone" style hardening.
Most of all, good luck and lots of patience prayers heading your way!

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