Saturday, April 10, 2010

The battle of the bite

In just over a week, THREE new teeth have popped out on the top gum, and I have a feeling that fourth one is just under the surface, ready to complete the front quartet of incisors.

First he got his outside incisor on the left side, followed a day or two later by the middle incisor next to it. This morning we discovered the outside incisor on the right side, so I can't imagine that whole in the middle will remain for too long.

No big deal, other than a couple of crying fits and a few nights where, for the first time in months he sought snuggle snack comfort at 3:30 a.m., right?

I'm afraid we may not be that lucky.

Turns out intentional bites to the nipple -- with teeth on the top and bottom -- are impressively more painful than the oops-I-was-half-sleeping-and-couldn't-have-intended-to-bite-you bite from a month ago.

He's bitten me a handful of times in the past week, but only sporadically. It is clear to me, however, that he is testing his boundaries with these new toofers, because each time he bit me it was after he had gotten his fill of milk and while he was looking straight up into my eyes, as if to say, "let's just see what THIS does."

And I have tried to scold gently and without sudden jerking or screaming. That, in and of itself, proves quite a challenge.

However, he has gotten me really good twice so far. Twice he has bitten so hard and so suddenly I swore bloody little bite marks must remain after such bolts of white-hot pain. And twice I have been unable to refrain from yelping. The first time, just before bedtime, Chicken put on his unhappy weenus face only briefly before my nearly on-key rendition of "Mary Had A Little Lamb" lulled him back to drowsy comfort. (No idea why, but that song nearly always works to calm him down.)

The second time, this morning, was different. I howled so loud at his second chomp (he smiled at me as he tested the waters with his first little nibble, after which I calmly but firmly told him, "Mama ouch, NO bite," and then I let him reattach, like the masochistic idiot I am), I scared the bejesus out of the little guy, and he immediately dissolved into an inconsolable sobbing mess, alternating desperately between frenzied wails and frantic hiccups for air.

So we both have some learning to do here: Chicken has to learn that biting is NOT OK, and I have to learn some more effective ways to deal with his experimental nipping of the nips.

Anyone have some tips for breaking a nipple-biter of the habit? Let's keep this PG, please.

Chicken is eight months, two weeks old.


MEM said...

I stopped nursing right as Charlotte got her first tooth, so I was never the victim. My Mom had consuled me that if that should happen - I should react loudly (Ouch! That hurts!), unlatch, end the feeding, and walk away (putting the baby down in a safe place). She said that it needs to be dramatic and immediate. That was her method and apparently she was only bit once or twice by each of us. I've read many tips, some include a nose flick or something that I'm not that comfortable with. Try the Kelly Mom website - there's always great advice there. Good luck!!

Becki said...

Everyone I have ever talked to about this said the exact same thing as your other commenter. I did this with DS, and was only bitten once or twice. Apparently it works well.

Mayday28 said...

I dont know if this really works but i remember my Aunt had a very similar problem with her daughter, she used some kind of shield....

good luck, i expect you to have all this figured out for when i need advice, hehehe!