Take a Bite Out of Mine

There are always challenges in breastfeeding. It’s just a given. While the sucking of the boob and the giving of the boob to suck may be natural, it’s still a “put Tab B in Slot A” situation and some bumps are bound to occur.

In following her tradition of being absolutely nothing like her brother, my darling daughter likes to bite.

It took one loud yelp with the Count and he never showed his teeth again. HRH Princess Peanut thinks it’s a game. A funny, funny game where Mommy yells loud and she laughs, and laughs, and laughs.

At first I was very gentle with her. I thought, like an idiot, that she would realize I was in pain and stop. Lately, on having to apply yet another coat of lanolin and/or neosporin to my nipple, I’ve gotten stern.

I need to clarify that when she bites, she is neither malicious nor devious. She really, really thinks we’re playing.

I put on my Big Girl voice and tell my precious daughter “No! No biting Mommy!”
She giggles and goes for another nip.
Her face turns from the sweetest smile to the utmost of betrayals. Her bottom lip quivers, her eyes well up with tears, and she is wounded to the depths of her soul. Bluebirds fly to her shoulder to sing and console her. Butterflies shoot out of her ass. A halo appears over her head and a black pointy hat appears on mine, while a hairy mole grows on my chin.

The girl just isn’t mean by nature. And despite the situation, she has no intention of hurting her beloved mother and can’t possibly understand why I am using the tone of voice usually directed at her brother.

I feel an inch high when I yell at her. But I have bite marks and bruises on my nipples. Mostly on my right nipple. For some reason, she likes to try out her EIGHT teeth on that one nipple much more than the other.

Some of you may think this little one is pulling one over on me. But I swear to you, she’s really doing the “I’m just a baby, I don’t get it” thing. But this has been happening for the past few days, and I KNOW she’s very smart-So it’s got to click soon, right?

Or do I just want to believe she’s innocent and sweet? So much so, that I’m letting her get away with it??

Maybe this is just one of those turning points. She’s going from baby to toddler now, and I find myself beginning the real start of discipline with her. Lately she’s been in trouble for standing on her ride-on Princess car. For pulling the cats’ tails. For pulling her brother’s hair. For climbing onto the couch and then climbing on it’s arm and trying to stand. For stealing her brother’s juice box straw and sticking it in the CD player. For eating rocks. For dismembering a snail. For trying to take knives from the dishwasher.

Hang on…I’m seeing a pattern here.

You’d think on my second child I’d catch on to the “testing us” thing earlier.

Hooray for blogging. But seriously, I’m happy to take suggestions on stopping the biting. It’s not enough of an issue for me to wean, but my boobs have already been through enough here.


  1. Landon does the exact same thing. I tried the stern approach….he reacts just like your Princess. So, finally I started removing him from my breast when he does it. No yelling, no reaction at all. It’s not fun for him anymore. He rarely bites anymore and lately he stops himself just before I feel too much pressure.

  2. I was unable to breastfeed up to the “I have lots of teeth stage” (but that’s another story). However, my sister and I had a discussion about this while I was still pregnant. Every time her son bit her, she would gently thump him on the nose. NOT to hurt him, but to get his attention. She didn’t yelp or anything, and she said it only took twice and he never did it again. He just decided it wasn’t fun that way.

  3. I have never been in this position because I only nursed 6 months. But I remember a friend saying she would just remove her daughter from the breast and then she stopped biting.

  4. Sweet Pea was the same as the Count and I think it was a mistake with her in the first place because she had just cut her first two teeth and didn’t know where they ended. I have read about pressing your child into the boob if they bite, but that seems kinda dangerous in a suffocating sort of way. I imagine that removing Peanut, as suggested above, would be quite a deterrent once she catches on to what’s happening. Or you can even tell her why you’re taking the boob away. She’ll get it.

  5. Blogging is so much cheaper than therapy.

    My toothless daughter also likes to bite.

    She then looks up at mommy as she yanks nipple to prove that nipples are in fact just as elastic as rubber bands.

    If I thought it would do any good, I’d yank on her nipple just so she’d know how it felt. But, alas, the sane part of me gives in.

  6. I also never made it to the biting stage of breastfeeding, but I have a friend who has gone through it twice (and she’s one of the most AP parents I know). She recommends telling her “No bite!”, taking away the boob, and setting her down.

    It has worked for both of her kids. They learn that if they want to play games while at the boob, then they clearly aren’t hungry and are done.

  7. My son, Lochlan, went through a biting stage at five months. Thankfully, he didn’t have teeth then (and at 9 months, still doesn’t!) but still, it hurt. I would give a yelp, say NO firmly and cover my breast for a couple of minutes and then resume feeding. If he bit again, I would do all of above again. It took about a week before he stopped completely and he hasn’t bitten since.

  8. I forgot to add that Lochlan thought my reaction was hilarious but I would ignore it.

  9. If you come up with something, please share! I don’t breastfeed, but my daughter seems to have taken a shining to grabbing and squeezing (and HARD) both of my boobs- especially the left, right on the nipple. It doesn’t feel good. In fact, lefty is sore right now. I’ve just pulled her away. Kind of yelled ouch- and regretted it after the tears came…

    My pediatrician suggested (when I told him she had a hitting problem) that I tell her know firmly and just walk away. He said she’s doing it for attention (good or bad) and if I give her none, it will stop. It did work with the hitting. I wonder if that’s a solution for the nipple grabbing, and maybe for your daughter’s biting?

  10. I have a confession to make. I feel a little big guilty right now. Bunny did this to me. The exact same thing.

    I stopped nursing her.

    It happened when she was 10 months old (almost 11) and I was three months pregnant with the Bean. I am very embarrassed to say that I got mad at her. I just said, that’s it… I’m done with this and I stopped.


    Now you know the truth about me (or have you always suspected.)

  11. I went through the same problem with Thomas and tried everything I could find on the subject. Sad to say, I quit nursing about a month later. The pain was too much, PPD was kicking my ass and I was getting very little sleep. I’m not saying that is your only option – maybe try the LL or something.

    By the way – my new link is http://www.troll-baby.com, just to let you know!

  12. one of my twins did this (although interestingly, i CANNOT remember which one), and i followed the advice i received from a friend. i said “no bite”, touched her mouth and stopped the nursing session. this was especially noteworthy for her since i would still be nursing her sister (my sanity depended upon my nursing them at the same time, lest i became a revolving door of breast milk). it took three times and she stopped doing it.

    but man, those bites feel like such a betrayal. here you are giving everything to this kid and what does she do in return? she fucking bites you? i remember feeling like i wanted to throw her across the room. thankfully i did not and my twins have almost lived to their fourth birthday.

    good luck.

  13. dude, stay stern. what’ll you do if she bites it off???

  14. I have to say that I did the pressing the baby to the boob thing. It only takes a couple seconds and then he would release. Anytime Jack was teething he would start to nip and after doing this a few times he would stop. It was more of an annoyance for him, I think, and he didn’t get a reaction from me (which I think can actually make the problem worse). I got this advice from my breasfeeding group and when I first heard it I swore I wouldn’t do it! But it worked, and both of my nipples are still intact!

  15. When Bella was of an age that she could have a rudimentary understanding of cause/effect, and she started biting, I would first holler, and that would startle her…on the rare occasions when she’d bite again, I’d say “no biting,” and put her physically away from my body. Yes, she cried and clambered her way back, but I would hold her off for 5 minutes or so, even if I had to get up and walk away. Then we’d try it again. There may have been a time or two when I had to do this twice in a row, but I never had to do it a third time, and it didn’t take more than half a dozen “if you bite the boobie, the boobie goes away” sessions to make the lesson permanent.

    And it’s easier on *you* than yelling. I, too, have one of those “it’s a game” kids.

  16. i was lucky cos my children didn’t get teeth till after i stopped feeding. but my daughter tells me she yelled & gave her little son a small smack on his bottom the first time he tried it(he has 4 teeth). She says he hasn’t really tried it after that.

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