All nursing moms dread the moment when their sweet nursing babe that has been all gummy smiles and bright eyes until this point, sprouts their first tooth! Don’t get me wrong, getting teeth is a big step for our babies, and I was so excited for my son, as it meant there was a whole world of foods he was getting ready to explore, but what would it mean for my nipples? And then it happened…
My son bit me, and hard enough to draw blood.
There is no perfect way to deal with biting. The experts say “don’t yell because then you will scare the baby and they might go on a nursing strike” which is horrible, because I have a goal of nursing my son at least 2 years, so I didn’t want that to happen, and yet it is very hard not to let out a shreak when your nipple was just bit, and those cute little teeth dragged from the base of your nipple to the very tip, leaving a nice little slice in their wake.
Our biting season went on for 2 weeks, which may not sound like much but 2 weeks is a LONG time to have your nipples munched on several times a day, every day. For a few days I even resulted to pumping and giving it to him in a sippy cup, more because I was afraid of being bit than the actual bite itself. I think the worst part for me, was that he would bite me, and I would immediately take him off and give him a very stern “no, that hurts mommy” and my sweet, precious son would laugh! Even though I KNOW that it isn’t logical, and he didn’t really understand what I meant, that really hurt my feelings.
If your are going through a biting season, there are so many things you can try. My sister-in-law swears that her son bit her once and she screamed and that scared him enough he never do it again (like I said above, experts don’t recommend that technique). I was advised by one friend to pinch the back of his arm or leg so he would’t know it was me doing it but he would begin to associate the bite with mild pain (as I’ve said before, no judgment here) and what I found worked best for me was, I would immediately stop nursing, and put him on the floor facing away from me for a few seconds, maybe a minute and then try nursing again later. Also be very aware during your nursing sessions, watch your little one’s face and mouth for signs that they might be done and a bite is coming. That way you can take them off before IT happens.
Whatever you choose to try, I want to encourage you by telling you that it doesn’t last forever. Your baby will catch on, and he or she will stop biting. It may be a few days, or it may be 2 weeks, but your nursing relationship can continue, and your nipples will heal! Hang in there mama you are not alone in this biting season!
We would love to hear from you! Please share with us what helped you and your baby during your own biting season? Any techniques you know of that may help the process? Leave us a comment below!
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