Chomp Remix: Another Biting Baby

Lately, I’ve been rereading old blog posts I wrote about my second son, who bit me terribly. I remembered him biting me as a young baby, but must have blocked out his biting streak around a year old. I read back through that post about coping with biting, and I can’t remember it, but feel certain those were difficult and dark days.673915993_eabef33055_m

My current baby is 8 months old and must be getting some teeth. He bites me every day, many times. My nipples are turning to leather.

Just like I recalled with #2 son, #3 son nurses better at night and first thing in the morning, when the room is dark and he’s calm.

I know when a baby is latched properly, he can’t bite because the nipple is drawn deep into his mouth. I know that I need to pay attention to him and be ready to pop him off if I feel his latch loosen, or if I sense him tighten his jaw.

But I have 3 kids now! Who has time to pay attention to any of them individually?

Thanks to all the research I did with my earlier kids, I know what the pros told me to do about this situation.

I just don’t have the time or the resources to execute these solutions right now.

I’ve been using my standby trick: draw the baby in to my chest when he bites and basically smother him with my breast until he lets go. My other boys thought this was hysterical and released their jaws to laugh at me. This baby gets upset!

Which sucks for him, I guess, but really, he’s biting my breast. I’m upset, too.

Other than the smooshing, I’ve just mainly been gritting my own teeth and bearing it. Since my baby is so into solids lately, I tend to just accept that he might nurse all night long (without biting, hopefully!) and have been offering him buttered toast to crunch instead.

Side note: The silicone chocolate bar teether is a HUGE hit with my baby right now.

Are you dealing with a biter? Leave us a comment to share your experiences.

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When Giving Feels Like Receiving

My friend’s pregnancy overlapped mine by a few months and, after my baby was born, I said, “Please let me know if something happens and you need any milk!” And I meant it. I had abundant breastmilk for my third baby, and everyone who knew me knew I was saving up to donate to a milk bankwoman with sparkler

This friend, C—, had some health concerns and was facing an early induction. I kept wishing there was something I could do for her.

Meanwhile, some relatives were coming into town to visit for Christmas and I found myself with an entire afternoon child-free to enjoy the city with my sister-in-law. The only problem? I had no idea what to do with her. 

We stood aimlessly in a store enjoying free samples and pondering what to do when my phone rang. C—‘s doula was calling. C—had birthed her baby, but had some complications and was in the ICU. Additionally, the baby was working through hypoglycemia. Could I bring a bag of breastmilk to the hospital? I wasn’t entirely sure what was wrong, but I heard her asking for what I’d offered earlier. If that would ease her worry, help her relax a bit and focus on getting better, then for sure I could help her.

As it turned out, I was due to pump anyway, and my SIL and I were a few blocks from the hospital. My SIL works as a doula, so she felt very excited about this helping mission. The whole thing felt very serendipitous.

I myself had had a rough birth four months prior, and as I walked through the labor and delivery unit with C—‘s doula, I realized I would walk past the very operating room where I’d been rushed a few months prior. I started to worry about how I’d respond to being there, but a great calm came over me because I was doing something different. I had been trusted enough to ask for help.

That felt very meaningful to me, and when I saw my friend hooked up to so, so many tubes, I just felt totally calm. C— had had so many challenges with her pregnancy and delivery and since her baby had come early, she just wanted the absolute best for him. While the hospital at large frowns upon informal milk sharing, the specific nurses helping C— supported her request and they got me a hospital-grade pump.

C—‘s doula took my SIL on a tour of the unit while I sat in the ICU to bang out a few bottles of milk for a brand new baby.

In that moment I was so happy to feel needed, so happy to have something that would put this new mama at ease. C—‘s baby was closely monitored for blood sugar levels and body temperature and C— later told me these few ounces of breastmilk helped keep him from the NICU.

And in giving that milk, I felt the weight of remembering my crash cesarean ease up a bit. That fear I carried remembering those early moments of my son’s life seemed to ease, since I knew he was now a robust baby with enough milk to share with this new, fragile friend.

After handing over the milk, my SIL and I decided to try a new cafe for lunch. On tap was a beer called Milk Maid, and we laughed, knowing for sure this was how we were meant to spend our day together.

Have you ever given breastmilk to a friend? Leave a comment to share your experience.

Emotional Diapering

cloth diaperMy wee babe is a pretty avid eater, which is super new to me because my five-year-old and two-year-old still don’t really eat food. They live on zest and vinegar, it seems. But the baby will chomp down entire bagels, whole servings of gefilte fish, any sort of meat you shred for him…he’s hungry!

I thought I would feel more wistful as he began to eat solids, but I didn’t. I find endless delight in his joy at eating. It’s so wonderful watching his face light up as he tastes something new.

You know what pulled at my heartstrings? His diapers! This morning, I had to actually shake a real poo into the toilet. My last baby is making real poop, and that sent me into a weepy state of blubbering motherhood.

almost took a picture and I almost called my mother. I might have if it were after 7am. Instead, I hollered down for my husband to come see the baby’s giant poo and got more weepy when he declined.

Doesn’t he understand? Our baby is growing up! Here, in his diaper, was proof.

I couldn’t spend too much time feeling all my feelings, because the other children began to swing from the rafters, so it’s really hitting me even harder as I reflect back on it. And then, of course, my rational mind is stunned that I’m feeling emotional about a dirty diaper.

I’ve been so conscious that this baby is my last one and try to cherish each moment. Having three sons, I don’t get to spend a lot of time doing anything apart from the gritty, hands-on work of parenting them.

I blink my eyes and a month has passed. I blink again and one of them has taken apart the pipes under the sink. I’m always so taken aback at the unexpected things that make me feel all mushy inside.

What unexpected milestones really pull at your heartstrings? Leave us a comment to share your experience!

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Mother’s Day Contest

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Happy Mother’s Day mamas!!
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I just took my boys to visit grandparents for spring break, but this coming weekend, my husband’s family celebrates their 130th consecutive Seder in Philadelphia. We do everything . . . → Read More: On the Road Again! This Mom’s Tips for Peaceful Driving

Pumping in Public: Harassment at the Theater

I’m pretty good at advocating for myself as a breastfeeding mother. I have a lot of years of experience at this, I know my rights, and I’m very resourceful. However, something happened to me this weekend that had me shaking, in tears.

My husband and I had a rare date night–tickets to a film . . . → Read More: Pumping in Public: Harassment at the Theater

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