Bite Me

My baby boy, my sweet little innocent toddler who just turned one, has a problem. He bites. My kid is “that kid.” At first, he just bit me. More specifically, he just bit my nipple. The pain in breastfeeding usually goes away a few weeks after the birth of your child. But, the pain comes flooding back with just one nip. (Pun intended.)

What’s worse than the bite, is my son’s attitude about the biting. He bites- I yell. I put him down. He laughs. Not the reaction I was hoping for. I’ve tried many tactics; the stern voice, ignoring him, flicking his lip. Nothing works. I asked the doctor. Unfortunately, he wasn’t much help either. He suggested the same things I’d already tried. Then the moms weighed in. (The moms- otherwise known as the women who have been there- done that.) Their plan: bite back. It seemed silly. It’s like catching your child slapping his sister, and punishing him by punching him in the face. Okay, that’s a bit extreme, but you get it. I held the high ground for weeks, taking my licks, er, bites, as they came. That is, until last Thursday.

Last Thursday, around lunchtime, my baby and I went to pick up my five year old from preschool. While we waited for the kids to get out, the baby and I played on the floor with the other two babies at the day care. My toddler scooted his way over to his little friends, slapping at them in glee. They slapped back. The adults intervened. We set them up with a new activity, but they found their way back to each other. My son inched over to the baby girl. He grabbed her head in his arms in a snug embrace, pulling her face towards his. It started as a sweet, wet kiss and very quickly turned ugly when he bit down on the soft flesh near her right eye. She screamed. I screamed. I stuck my finger between his teeth, attempting to pry his jaws loose. He released his bite. The baby girl was now hysterical. I tried to comfort her and discipline my baby as best I could. And then, I did it. I bit him back. It was a gentle but effective little bite on his finger. He looked at me, astonished and then angry. He cried, not from the pain but from the insult.

Three days went by without an incident. Until last night. He struck again. We were nursing in bed and he bit me again. I jumped up, yelling at him and telling him “NO!” His response? He laughed. I sat up, not making eye contact. He climbed over me to get my attention, and when that didn’t work, he bit down. Hard. On my right shoulder. He had positioned himself in a way, I could not get him to let go. I hollered and woke my husband who had to pull him off me. This time, I forgot all about biting back.

My husband says this is a sign I should stop nursing. But, what’s to stop him from biting other babies?

What works in getting a toddler to not bite? I’m all ears. Though, they may be bitten and bleeding…

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Amy
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 08:53:06

    Ouch! Most the sites I’ve seen say it’s just a stage, and not to shriek or yell at risk of it becoming a fun “game” for attention. Frustrating though. Tell him “no”, and set him in his crib for a baby time-out? Who knows! But personally I don’t think it’s related to nursing at all. 🙂 Good luck, momma!

    Reply

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