Skip to main content

Once Bitten, Twice Shy

(This post was written a couple of weeks ago but for some inexplicable reason, I never bothered to publish it.  So here it is.  Late.)

For the past two weeks, I have been Baby Loquacious's chew toy.  Seriously.  At one point, she bit down so hard that it actually broke through my skin, leaving an open wound.

OUCH.

Of course I consulted with all the usual suspects (Kelly Mom, Dr. Sears, every forum on Google that talked about biting babies), and I tried to follow the tips.  The "don't say ouch" doesn't work because, frankly, it hurts like h*ll and your first reaction is probably some other four-letter word, so "ouch" is really a far better reaction than anything else you might be thinking.

Some suggested pulling baby in tighter (read: slight suffocation) to cause baby to release her clamp on the nipple.  That only sort of works, because a) I don't have the heart to suffocate my baby, even for a second and b) Baby L can hang on for a while, and if you're mean to her she will bite even harder, and drag her teeth all the way down the length of your nipple area before releasing.  Yes, it has happened, and on more than one occasion.  It's a miracle I still have boobs and my clothes aren't soaked in nipple blood.

There have been several who have offered the suggestion of cold rags, cold teethers, frozen bagels... all the stuff that one might use to reduce gum swelling.  Sadly, Baby L has zero interest in teethers and cold rags of any kind.  She liked the frozen bagel, but somehow she managed to gnaw at it long/hard enough to actually melt it, and she started eating the thing.  Bread causes constipation, so I'm not keen on giving her too much of that.

I was getting desperate.  I mean, here's a kid who nurses 4x/night *plus* several times during the day.  That's a lot of opportunity for biting.  With my already-tender, open-wounded nipples vulnerable to touch, every latch was causing me to grimace.  And yet, I couldn't risk stopping for fear that it would lead to weaning.

So what's a girl to do? Well, I did always stop nursing for a minute (or five, or an hour or two) post-biting.  I also told her in a firm voice that biting was painful, not okay, and that Mommy was hurt.  Unfortunately, the firm voice thing didn't work so great because I'm pretty sure Baby L thought that this was a game.  Ceasing to nurse was only a slightly better strategy; if Baby L was hungry, she'd cry when I pulled away.  If Baby L was just being playful or wanting to stimulate her gums, then pulling away meant nothing to her and she'd simply move on to something else to do.

What finally worked was the Gerber Infant Tooth and Gum Cleanser. Prior to any nursing session, I dutifully brushed her gums with the finger brush on, and she would navigate my finger all over her mouth, chewing all the while.  Because of the finger cover, it didn't hurt much at all, and Baby L was able to get her itches scratched before feeding time.  This resulted in fewer bites, and only slightly more nursing interruptions whenever Baby L felt the urge to chomp; she would take my finger and put it into her mouth again, rubbing it against her gums until the discomfort subsided.  Then she would latch back onto me, and would nurse until she was in need of a scratch again.

PS - Weeks later, this is still my best strategy to curb biting, although sometimes I do use the "quasi-suffocate" method on occasion.  May your nipples be spared!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Gone with the FLLO - Traveling with the Clek FLLO

In previous posts, I've already detailed the awesomeness of Clek's FLLO seat, so no need for redundancy here. The true test of its greatness lies in how well it travels, since it is meant to be a "compact" and more portable version of the gargantuan FOONF.

Now, to be clear, we purchased a Clek WEELEE bag to transport our car seat on our flight to and from Maui, *and* we checked our car seat with our airline, which I know is a big CPS Tech no-no. They argue that any car seat that has been checked is as good as crashed, because the potential rough handling of the seat by the carrier compromises its integrity and could damage it internally. My experience (now that I've done it) is this:

a) The Weelee bag is very well padded and sturdy. Once I had the seat properly placed inside the bag, I felt that it was as good as any seat in a styrofoam-packaged box. The bonus, of course, is that unlike a box, the Weelee has a telescopic handle and deeply-grooved, rugged wheels, …

Outgrow. Outlast. - The Finale of Our BF Journey

To be completely honest, I almost didn't write this post. While I'm usually fairly open about my opinions and parenting choices, I've held this one pretty close to the vest in recent years, because it is a more controversial - and personal- decision than most others. Sadly, it is one that many Western mothers are also unfairly judged for, despite it being completely natural in many other parts of our world.

The choice: full-term, aka "extended," breastfeeding. Little L and I chose to continue our nursing journey beyond age 2, and 3, and even 4. In fact, we only weaned a couple of weeks ago. We had already stopped nursing in public and nursing on demand several years earlier, but it was only recently that Little L was ready to completely wean from her nighttime and early morning sessions; she had finally outgrown her need to drink from my milk. The most clear signs of this were her growing desire for "privacy" and alone time, and her "nye-nye"

An Eyeliner Switcheroo

For the past several years, I've been a very loyal Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eye Liner fan. I mean, I use the stuff every single day, and I like to do dramatic wings on my eyes, so I need a quality eyeliner that is high pigment, won't smear, and has an amazing fine-tipped brush that will let me draw my eyeliner wings to a very long, dramatic tip. My standards are exacting when it comes to liquid liner. 

That said, my wallet hates me for it. Those amazing liners cost $30 a pop, and they only last a couple of months at the rate that I use them. 
So, as any responsible adult tries to do, I've attempted to save money and find a cheaper alternative. I've used all sorts of liners sent by IPSY, or bought at my local drugstore. Unfortunately, every attempt I've made has resulted in great regret. The brush applicator was too wide or too short. The eyeliner smudged too easily. The pigment wasn't dark enough. You get the idea.
However, I think I've finally found m…