Monday, January 16, 2012

Vicious Booby Biter!

It's true what they say; before children everyone is the perfect parent. Kids are definitely humbling creatures, and so inevitably, along with the birth of my first child, came the realization that it wasn't all going to be a walk in the park. However, with experience and understanding of how that first baby ticked, my confidence soared as a mother. I had it in the bag (or so I thought). Then came baby number two. I knew NOTHING!

Apart from also having a willy, Baby number two is as different to our first as different can be. Some differences were apparent from day one. Others, however, have snook upon me as milestones are conquered, skipped, or trampled all over unexpectedly. More frustratingly for me though, are those problems that suddenly crop up in areas I had naively thought myself an expert!

One of our most game-changing problems thus far is our 11 month old's desire to bite. He's definitely in the midst of some intense teething and has been for a quite a while, so I sympathize greatly with the oral pain he is enduring. Nonetheless, biting the hand (in this case the boob) that feeds you is quite unforgivable!

Now my first baby sunk his teeth in once or twice, and he even drew blood on one of his nastier biting moments. I remember proudly showing off my battle wounds (i.e. the teeth marks on my aureole) to my husband, probably during a moment where I felt he needed reminding of just how much I go through as mother to his offspring....    

Anyway, the point I'm getting to, is, these bites never forced me to stop nursing. Actually I don't think the thought even occurred. I remember my Mum sharing with me how she'd stopped nursing my big brother once he'd started biting her at 9 months, and I admit to thinking that was a pretty drastic result. Mum obviously wasn't as hardcore as me to give up on the nursing after a few nips. My successful dealings with my first child had given me delusions of grandeur and because I felt myself somewhat proficient in the art of breastfeeding I never once imagined how another baby's biting could be harder to bear.

So with baby #1 we sailed through the biting with only a few stern NOs and some gentle dissuasion. He was a big booby boy and happy to give up the nasty nibbling in return for many MANY hours of booby comforting and snoozing and guzzling. I happily nursed him through my second pregnancy and for four more months after the birth. By this time he didn't need the goods he just loved the snuggles. After a few 4:00 am catastrophic tandem nurses, I finally weaned our eldest off the booby (he was about 21 months old).

In spite of still having a full time nursing boy, I missed my big kid. It was the right time though, and his sleeping and eating improved overnight. Now my second baby is also a big booby boy and has nursed a treat since birth. I think it's fair to say he was a natural latcher from the moment we were 'skin on skin' in the hospital bed. I was also a 'delusional breastfeeding pro' so maybe my experience made all the difference in those earlier days.

Baby #2 was a late teether and so there was no biting, not even hard gumming, until his teeth started coming in sometime around 7 months. That's when the first hard bite came. I remembered reading a baby book which advised; a stern NO, not too much to scare him, but loud enough to deter him. This always worked on our first, so I tried a sharp 'NO'.. and oh the tears! He's a sensitive soul, is our Baby. Much more so that our first. At least he turns on the water works at drop of the hat (and how it breaks our heart to hear baby cry).

Then followed the first breast feeding strike. I couldn't believe it. He was either scared of me, or cheesed off with me, and I got the distinct feeling it was the latter. His personality was already coming out a little earlier than expected, and we were noticing he held on to upset for sometime after an incident. Like he was holding a bit of a grudge. By the expression on his face I could almost read the sulky accusation 'you told me off''.

Anyway, the little bugger refused to nurse and my breasts were like swollen melons. It went on all day and for well into the night. The fact that he nursed to sleep made the whole evening a bit of a wash, so I had to abandon bedtime and leave Daddy and big brother all snuggle up in bed while I took on my more obstinate son head on.

We went to play. Topless play. I didn't have any better ideas, so I let the girls hang out with Baby in the playroom. He crawled around and played. Surprisingly he wasn't fussing or crying in spite of being both over hungry and tired. He seemed elated with the midnight play session. He approached 'dinner' many times to fiddle with his food and laughingly climbed into my lap over and over again. His mouth was right there and I made sure to dangle them temptingly near his mouth. Well it took a while, and it wasn't an easy sell, but eventually he bit (thankfully not literally) and Baby guzzled all he could from both boobs before falling fast asleep.

I think there were a few nips'in the following few days. And  not surprisingly I was a little hesitant to go with the stern 'No'. Instead I would move him away from me. He would cry in objection and climb back into my lap happy to nurse gently. Yay, success! I was a pro after all. Until last week.


No comments:

Post a Comment