How we have handled teething

As I mentioned in our 9 month update, Wyatt currently has 6 teeth. I ordered how they came in on the chart below. The 7th is not far behind and has almost broken through. It’s the one indicated by the orange star.

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When he’s teething, Wyatt shows some obvious signs – crankiness, pulling at ears, biting, chewing, clinginess – but overall, he’s been a very good teether. We’ve dealt with the bad days by giving him Camilia “teething juice” as I call it, or Hyland teething tablets. Many friends told me that the tablets work better than the drops, but I find the drops way easier as there’s no mixing involved when we are out and about. We’ve only used Infant Tylenol a few times at night.  Teethers – especially the chewellery ones – have also worked wonders for us.

After taking Wyatt for acupuncture last week, I’m 100% convinced that it’s a viable option for teething relief. We saw an Acupuncturist who specializes in Pediatrics. When kids get acupuncture, the needles don’t stay put. It’s simply a prick and done. Wyatt didn’t cry and the difference in his demeanor was almost immediate.

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4 out of 6 chompers on my smiley baby.

We’ve had such a good breastfeeding experience until the teething phase. A few weeks ago, Wyatt bit me so hard that my nipple was dripping blood. For the first time, I could relate to women who have had sore, bleeding nipples earlier in their breastfeeding journeys. A grin and bear it attitude helped me get through it until it healed up.

I still love breastfeeding, but I cringe each time he latches when I know he’s about to get another tooth. It’s a hard situation to deal with. I feel like he bites because the counter pressure gives him some relief. In that case, I don’t want to get angry at him.

Other times, I feel like he’s biting simply to be naughty (i.e. when he’s goofing around instead of going to sleep). I’ve used a stern “NO WYATT!”, but he  always bites down harder. I slowly unlatch him and he always just laughs at me. When this happens, I put the boob away until he’s calmed down or shown signs that he’s ready to try again in a gentler manner. My feelings are hurt on top of my sore nipples. It’s been the weirdest emotion of motherhood to date. You know your child doesn’t understand that they are hurting you, but they are. You question why. You wonder what motivates them. You don’t want to upset them, but you don’t know how to enforce the boundary.

Do you have any advice for the biting? How do you stop them from chomping your precious nips? I’d love to hear what worked for you.

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15 thoughts on “How we have handled teething

  1. Charlotte only bites when she’s half-hearted nursing. When she’s quiet and focused, everything is great. It’s when she’s distracted and fidgety that I end up getting bitten. When she starts acting distracted, I just close up shop.

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  2. Biting: counter intuitive but pull his face into your breast. The brief shock of his airway being covered should cause an immediate release. (Note the takes just a moment, you’re not actually smoothing him 🙂 ) do it quickly and calmly and tell him you’re taking a break for a few minutes (or however long you need). Ugh. I’m so sorry.

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  3. This was ultimately why I stopped nursing at 11 months. I would have loved to continue, but Calvin was a biter. And he’d bite just to see me react. I tried for a month, every technique, and nothing worked. So I have no advice. But will be following this as a reference if I have another and they bite😯

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  4. I had to put him down after saying no. Every time until he stopped. Not fun. His latch changes when he’s about to get a tooth too and it’s lazy and shallow. Definitely rough but you will find your teething nursing stride.

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  5. Gus loved seeing me react to biting, even if I was stern and telling him no. What he DID NOT like was me refusing to nurse him again after a biting incident (that boy loved to nurse). Eventually I stopped reacting so dramatically, and would just unlatch him and tell him if he bit me again we were done for the session/night etc. And then if he did, I really would close up shop. Ultimately he’d cry and I’d have to nurse him again obviously, but I really only had to take it away a handful of times before he made the connection.

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  6. My nursing adventures ended at 6 months, and I have to tell you that one reason was because Charlotte had 4 teeth by that time and I was terrified to be bitten! That being said, I’ve been told that if you pinch their nose a little when they bite then they stop… Probably similar to the suggestion above to pull them in closer. Good luck, mama!

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  7. My boy laughed when I yelped and told him not to bite. Thankfully it wasn’t often and when he did bite more at around 18 months, he was doing it because he didn’t want to nurse and he was done. So my boobs went away, permanently. My girl, thankfully, she’s been pretty good about biting. Only once or twice so far and nothing too bad.
    I think I remember pushing my boy into my boob. No idea if it worked. Sorry.

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  8. Does he actually sit through acupuncture??? I had never heard of that my entire life. Oh, the life in the rich countries (hehehe). Back home, I just gave the girls some cold chewing toys… but they were pretty good and thanks to your chart I’ve just found out that their last teeth just came! SO GLAD that’s over!!!

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