Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bad Advice


I keep meaning to post this story about some pretty stinky advice I got from someone. Ayden was at the doctor's office getting a wart removed, and I asked the nurse a breastfeeding question. She happens to be a breastfeeding counsellor and their office is focused on becoming breastfeeding friendly (a UNICEF initiative that focuses on positive and supportive social supports for breastfeeding moms). I asked if she had any advice for helping me to get my (then) 9 month old baby to stop biting me when he is breastfeeding. Ayden never bit me, but Riley has been doing it since his very first latch an hour after birth. OUCH. So this nurse at my doctor's office says, "If you take his pinky finger and put it in your mouth, when he bites you you can bite down with your teeth, just enough to let him know what it feels like. If you do it every time, eventually he will probably stop."
EXCUSE ME???? You want me to BITE my nine month old baby in order to teach him not to bite? And you want me to use this technique because it is likely that 'eventually he will probably stop?' I'm sorry. You are a retard. I was polite about it, but I thought she was crazy! No way am I biting my nine month old baby. Period. Isn't that stupid?
The worst of the biting was 0 to 4 months, then his digestive system seemed to mature and I was able to eat cheese and milk again, and he was able to pass gas without clamping down with his jaw. But he still bit me fairly often until 9 1/2 months, when he finally became old enough to connect A and B, and I would sternly say NO BITING! and put him on the floor and refuse to pick him up for a few minutes. I would do that for non-nursing biting too, which he did a fair amount of--on our shoulders, arms, stomachs, and legs. I think he just liked the feeling of biting down, and didn't realize it garnered any type of effect on anyone, until I started with the NO BITING and putting him on the ground. He stopped for about 2 months, and now he's slipping it in again. And now his teeth are bigger, and sharp! Now he seems to do it when he REALLY wants to breastfeed and is cranky, overstimulated, or overtired, and does it just when he initially latches on. Jeepers does it drive me crazy. It makes me tense all the time, because I never know when it will happen and when it won't. Once he settles, he's fine and latches properly and doesn't bite, but I don't know what to do because he isn't aware that he is biting.
Anyways, anyone have better advice than 'bite his little finger?' It only hurts for a second, and he isn't doing any damage to my breasts, but it sure would be nice if he would stop!

6 comments:

Roboseyo said...

bite his toe?

Louise and Gary Chapman said...

I was told to flick their cheek. I did it once to Kai when he bit me while breastfeeding and he started crying like crazy and I didn't think it was a very good idea after that. LIke you, I then just gave a firm/loud `NO'. I'm at the `fun' stage where Koen hears something fun and swings his head around with my nipple in his mouth. Yup, good times.

Asheya said...

Pull him close in to your breast as he is biting, so that he can't breathe through his nose. This will cause him to open his mouth. You don't want to do things that can harm the breastfeeding relationship (like anything painful, such as biting his finger!), and pulling him away can make him bite down harder.

Not being able to breathe is uncomfortable enough that along with a firm 'no' you may be able to communicate your own discomfort. I did this with Elias & Eowyn, and it worked, but they were not chronic biters. Hope this helps!

Dana said...

Grrrrr... there is so much horrible advice to breastfeeding mothers floating around out there! Gah!!

The best advice I've heard (I had intermittent biters) was what Asheya said as well as giving them a mini "time out" like you said. Sorry I can't contribute anything new. I hope this phase passes quickly!

Deb said...

I wouldn't bite, but I applied pressure to her hand with my fingers just to give her a sense of what she was doing. It seemed to work, but she wasn't a chronic biter either...

I heard of one lady who was so shocked she yelled and hit her kid totally as a reaction, then felt REALLY bad afterwards, but said that kid NEVER bit again... NOT recommended, but it seemed to be effective!

Caryn and Dan said...

I saw a dog once that yelped loudly and then bit at its pup while it was nursing(obviously got bitten by the pup...), so maybe this lady got her advise from a K9??? Sheesh. Seems weird to me. What about when her kids have tantrums, does she get down on the floor and tantrum right back at them?

If all we did as parents was mimic our childrens bad behaviours, imagine the choas that would create in our society. We would all be a bunch of tantruming, poopy, weepy, biting, whiny, teasing, and immature adults. LOL!