Watch out . . they bite!

Out of everything I have faced through these eight months of breast feeding my little one, nothing has filled me with such terror as that dastardly bite of a little infant’s baby tooth. Sure, I’d heard about it. One medical professional told me that there was no way she was able to breastfeed after her child’s first tooth erupted at the tender age of. . .

. . . 6 weeks of life.

Thankfully, little L didn’t decide to make his teeth known that early in the game.  His first tooth erupted about a month ago. So tiny and innocent it was, that small beautiful jaw that would gnaw on my index finger when L was in tremendous teething pain. Then, suddenly: Ouch! I jumped and so did L. Suddenly the gummy jaw was not so gummy anymore. No, it was decidedly toothy. And soon it was teethy. And now, every so often, when I am feeding Lakshman and detach any miniscule part of my attention from his grasp, the bite arrives. I shriek! Then comes a sudden pain, more notable for how it surprises me than for any true damage that ensues.

But how can I stay upset with the little one when that sad look comes upon little L’s face, saying, “Oh no, did I hurt mommy?”

Of course, an equal number of times he looks like he can’t be bothered. “Oh yes, mom, I forgot about those pesky teeth.  You’re just so chewable. Ho hum.”

Does he know what he is doing or what?

They say that biting is a part of what babies do and they tell me (and I tell my patients) that the biting will end. He will learn to stop. Won’t he? I keep awatch to see when litle L will learn that biting mama is not nice.  And while praying for my own sanity, I pray that he doesn’t become the kid who bites.

He’s already banging his head around, which as I am reading is not necessarily abnormal behavior and can sometimes be self-soothing behavior for teething pains. Thwack, a bang straight into my head. Several times today. And the funny thing is that it feels like a sign of affection, kind of like a head butt from a good friend, only this time it’s my son. Of course, the head butting is affectionate, friendly, and often accompanied by a nuzzle or a “nuzzle your hair against my hair, mama.” Then it is just terribly cute.

But the biting has to stop. Really. Any advice for a mama who’s turned twice shy?