By the teeth

Tooth #3 broke through the gums sometime yesterday. If you’re counting, that’s three teeth in a week and a half. I’m no expert, but this does seem to be a somewhat accelerated timeline – which is what the doctor told us to expect from a late teether. We noticed that tooth #1 had popped through on Monday January 18th, and #2 on the bottom was definitely out by Monday January 25th, and then yesterday, La spotted #3 on the top coming in. Since the top two and bottom two usually come in pairs, I’d bet #4 will be here soon too.

I can only imagine how fucking awful it is to be Ansel right now. After 10 blissful months of gummy happiness, he suddenly has three sharp, calciferous nubs crashing through his gums. That has got to change SO much of your world. He has maintained his affable nature beautifully through this. With one small exception . . .

It would appear that my nipples have become the target of his entirely justified teething rage. On Wednesday night I was home by myself putting A to bed. For a while now, he’s resisted laying belly to belly on his side using the boppy, which was our go-to nursing position, particularly at night for bedtime. He wiggles and writhes and I just kind of let him figure out what’s going to be comfortable, which is often some version of sitting up and straddling my leg, or laying on his back with his head turned to nurse. He was in this process of getting comfortable when he bit down. And I yelped. And he cried.

It was kind of awful. I figured though, that because he’d pulled off and gotten scared of my yelp, it might be enough to keep him from doing it again. But no, he ended up biting me a total of 4 times (3 on the right and 1 on the left) – each time, I pulled him off and told him ‘no’ and he cried the saddest cry. He seemed to only want to nurse on one side, and the more upset he got about being told ‘no’, the more the sobbing seemed to lead to biting. It was rough.

Last night, L was home and I was nursing him to sleep again. Things were going a bit easier and I was feeling confident but, nope, another bite down on the right. Then I switched sides and he got me on the left. Again, I pulled him off and calmly said, ‘no biting Mama.’ and again, he looked at me and cried in deep despair. After the second time, L came into the room and picked him up and calmed him. Once he was calm, we tried again. He bit only once more, and she again held him and calmed him before we asked if he wanted milk and put him back to nurse. I’m hoping that this tag team approach will work.

He hasn’t bit me at all during other nursing sessions (middle of the night, morning, or home from work) so I’m wondering if it’s somehow connected to going to bed in a different way.

I’m definitely soliciting ideas from anyone who’s dealt with this. I know he’s not doing it intentionally, and I definitely don’t think either of us are ready to end our nursing relationship. But also, between pumping 4 times a day and the biting, my nipples are hurting pretty bad today.

In sleep news, things are . . .ok. Both Wednesday and Thursday were average nights, with wake-ups at 12-1, 2-3 and 5-6. But, since he’s getting a mouthful of teeth all at once, I still call this a success. I’m withholding judgement about anything until the teething settles a little more. He has, however, taken 2 hour naps on his own in his crib or pack and play everyday this week. So, I do believe that some corner has been turned on the sleep path.

Finally, I have to tell you about the most awesome date L and I went on last week. Our good friend (and A’s fairy godmother) is moving to MN soon, and she is trying to soak up all the best people and fun before she leaves. She really wanted to book a karaoke room, so we found one in a sushi restaurant. But, it was only available from 3-6pm.

While this is a weird time on a Saturday to go on a date, it actually worked out so perfectly! It was easier to find a sitter, we were able to put A to sleep ourselves, and we went to bed at our preferred early hour. AND we sang so many show tunes, madonna songs, and early 80’s hits!

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9 thoughts on “By the teeth

  1. Wow all those teeth at once!!! So when Wallace was getting his first 8 teeth, he would clamp down when he was falling asleep while nursing. It usually happened only for a day or two before a tooth broke through. If I so much as inhaled, he woke and cried and screamed and I had to start all over again. I learned to just not react and the biting never became a habit. I doubt Ansel is realizing the connection between his action and your reaction. I’d say try the minimal or no reaction. You could do something really gentle like touching his cheek and helping him to unlatch and relatch if you need to. Say something gentle like “oh, you bit me. Let’s try this again.” Besides that the no response is currently upsetting him, it’s likely to eventually turn into a game for him. I hope it doesn’t last long and your nipples can make it through without any damage!

  2. The biting is hard to get around, but the good thing is… Bam! Many teeth at once means less drawn out crankiness! That’s what happened with dd1 too. Was hard, but over sooner. There were a couple times I shrieked “ouch!” due to the pain of a bite, and it scared the shit out of her, but she soon forgot about it.

  3. The MT didn’t cut his first tooth until 11 mos and got four in rapid succession too. I got bitten *a lot* too at that time and handled it as you have when alone. I didn’t find any real solution and now that baby A has gotten both bottom teeth (at 7 months) within 9 days the biting has arisen again. He cries like you describe Ansel crying so I’ve tried to simply not react (aside from the involuntary yelps that sometimes leap out). I honestly don’t know what better to do. I’m definitely feeling your pain and empathizing with poor Ansel and baby A. Their poor little mouths!

    That karaoke photo is the best thing ever. You two look so in-the-moment. Love it!

  4. That date sounds amazing. No advice on the biting–I worry this will be us in a month or few–but I will agree that multiple at once is way better than long drawn out one at a time. Good luck!

  5. C bit me for the first time this past week and I was so shocked that I didn’t really address it with her. It happened twice in one day and hasn’t happened since. I hope Ansel cuts you some slack. That shit HURTS. And teething SUCKS. Big time.

  6. Can I just say that photo is amazing and makes me wish I’d been in that karaoke room with you guys?

    Evelyn was also a late teether and got them all in succession like that. I want to say that although it was very hard around A’s age, she did much better when she was getting her molars than many of her peers did who got them earlier.

  7. I love your descriptions – calciferous! Poor little guy. Gia but me twice the week before christmas and I screamed (it drew blood once) and she screamed and then she never did it again. I hope he figures it out!

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