Unfortunately in the past few weeks since she’s got in her first four teeth, Bella has also developed a bad habit: biting me while nursing. In the past couple of days as she’s been getting in another tooth, it’s been especially bad.
Sometimes the nipping seems accidental. She’ll start drifting off to sleep and her jaws will clench and her teeth will sink in. I yelp. She starts awake and begins to howl. No biting! I say, firmly. And she cries and cries and cries.
Sometimes, though, it seems more deliberate. This morning when she switched sides she just bit down instead of latching on. I said Ow and put her down on the floor. She screamed and screamed, tears, snot and drool streaming down her red face. Later, at nap time she acted as if she was afraid to nurse, had to be coaxed to the breast. And I must confess that I was a little afraid too to after the recent run of biting.
Last night after she bit me a second time, I tapped her on the face. I didn’t want to, really, immediately wished I hadn’t when she looked at me with this horrified betrayed look. I shouldn’t have; but I was so frustrated. If she doesn’t stop biting me, I’m going to have to wean her. Nursing isn’t a pleasant experience for either of us when it is a battleground of wills.
Danielle Bean recently had a long discussion about this subject on her blog and so I’ve seen a pretty wide spectrum of advice. I’m just not sure what will work for Bella and me.