I’ve been a bit MIA the past week. That’s because I’ve been on and off the phone with the breastfeeding center lactation consultants–my one-year-old has been biting.

The poor thing is teething and is taking it out on my nipples. I was unprepared for this as my older son ever bit me a handful of times. I was able to just smoosh him closer into my chest, he’d laugh, let go, and life carried on. But this guy? Ouch.

He started sort of nicking me every now and again. Ok, fine. I’d say, “Ouch!! Don’t bite Mommy! That hurts me!” and pull him from my breast for a bit before trying again.

He progressed toward clamping down each and every nursing session, multiple times per session. I got so I was afraid to nurse him–sitting very tensely with shoulders up practically to my ears. I had to watch his face every second, waiting for his jaw to tense and signal he might clamp down before I could stick a pinky in there to save my nipple.

(We know that when a baby is latched on properly, he can’t bite because the nipple is positioned too far into his mouth, so a clenched jaw is a telltale sign something’s about to go wrong)

By the time my breasts were bloody, my husband handed me the phone to call some professional help.

The plan we came up with was for me to keep offering the breast when Felix got hungry. I could bear two bites per nipple before I needed to end the nursing session, and after each bite I was pulling him off to look him in the eyes and explain that he was hurting me. Little mime that he is, he took to yelling, “Ouch!” before I could explain it to him.

Not wanting to compromise my supply (because after several days of each nursing session cut short, my body was sort of on the fritz), I chose to pump after getting bitten and my husband fed our son expressed milk while I applied a warm compress to my breasts. It took forever! Setting up the pump, pumping, cleaning my stuff…all this after I thought I was done pumping!

Eventually, I noticed we made it through a late-night session with no biting. Such relief! Then, the first nursing session of the day was pain-free as well. It seemed like he bit me more during his wakeful, active nursing sessions, but before naps and nighttime sleep he drowsily nursed away.

I used Neosporin on my poor nipples, but had to wash this off before nursing sessions, so that took a lot of time as well. What a hassle this teething jag has been!

I am happy to say that, even though the tooth has not sprouted from Felix’s gums, the pressure seems to have shifted and he’s back to pleasantly nursing. I certainly hope to never experience that sort of biting ever again.

Did your nursling ever bite you? Leave us a comment to share how you managed the pain!

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