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The Great Biting Nurser Caper

January 25, 2010

Help! For all your nursing mommies out there, I have a great blunder I need to solve! Evangeline has taken to biting me while she nurses. That’s not the blunder. That’s normal from what I understand. The mystery is how to react to this biting in such a way as to make her stop!

Let me break it down for you. Lately when these incidences occur it goes something like this:

(quietly nursing and doing fine)

Evangline: slurp slurp BITE

Me: OOOOOOWWWWWWW!!!! NOOOOO!!!!!! DO NOT BITE ME! (in a stern voice that is definitely out of the norm while looking her in the eye so she knows I am talking to her)

Evangline: Hahahahahaha!! (all the while thinking, my mom just yelled like a crazy person and it’s the funniest thing ever!) hahahahahahaha!!!

Me: Great. My parental authority is being undermined by an infant. Awesome.

So yeah, the whole scare tactic thing is NOT working! I’ve also tried gently reassuring her that biting while nursing is not appropriate. Same response. The more harsh I get in the yelling, the more response I ellicit from her. Oh geez. Luckily, this doesn’t happen all that often. I don’t think she’s doing it on purpose, but more out of “I don’t know how to fully control my body yet”. But once is enough to never want that to happen again!

Anyone have any brilliant ideas?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 25, 2010 3:49 pm

    Eight-month-olds are of course much more likely to laugh than desist the offending behavior, upon being sternly reprimanded. Not too surprising there. ๐Ÿ™‚ It seems a logical approach would be to punish the behavior, and NOT reward it. I guess that would mean to simply pull away whenever she does, and DON’T make any other response, not even making eye contact.

  2. January 25, 2010 3:53 pm

    Well, one may well expect an 8-month-old to laugh instead of desisting the offending behavior, upon being sternly reprimanded. ๐Ÿ™‚ I guess the approach would be (a) not reward the behavior, which means, don’t scream or talk in a weird tone of voice or whatever else makes her laugh, and (b) “punish” it, which would mean simply pulling away and not making eye contact.

  3. Kristy Caver permalink
    January 25, 2010 4:45 pm

    Hi Elisabeth! Both my kids did the occasional bite, sometimes enough to draw blood. The moment I felt any teeth, I flicked their cheek (which is in very close proximity to the culprit – teeth), said no, and took my breast away. I would wait a moment and offer again. It usually worked great. If not, I would assume it was boredom or teething and move on to another activity. Evangeline will learn quick that biting is the number one way to “lose her lunch!”

    • January 27, 2010 3:55 pm

      yowza! bleeding nipples do not sound fun! Luckily, she hasn’t gotten that bad yet. I tried your cheek flicking technique and same result:( I will keep trying though!! Thanks for checking in:)

  4. January 25, 2010 8:40 pm

    Hello again! It is funny when you’ve been through it and hear it again. You always remember the first good nip!

    What I did and what I have heard our local LLL leader suggest is to not pull away and don’t (as hard as is it) give a reaction. What you do is pull the baby into your breast; not to smother, but to give a feeling of “I can’t breath when I use teeth”.

    Also you can try to pay attention to the nursing change, from nurse to bite. Sometimes if I am paying attention I know when she’s just about to do it. Our leader made a great comment that a baby/child can’t nurse and bite at the same time.

    The reason for the no reaction is because you either get a child so scared that they don’t nurse AKA go on a nursing strike or, like ours, like the reaction so much they do it again.

    I hope this works!

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