When Your Breastfeeding Baby Bites

When Your Breastfeeding Baby Bites

So breastfeeding has been going wonderfully.  You and baby both seem to be getting the hang of it and have settled into a nice routine.  Then somewhere around 4-7 months, your baby gets their first tooth and the whole game changes.  I don’t know about you, but I have ZERO interest in my sweet little baby turning my nipples into a teething toy.  So what do you do?

I have been so fortunate to be able to breastfeed all three of my kiddos well into the teething stage.  In fact, I am still nursing my 1 1/2-year-old and he has a full mouth full of pearly whites.  I have employed one proven technique that has worked quite successfully with each of them.  This technique was so successful that baby one and baby two bit me exactly one time each and never repeated it.  Unfortunately baby three has taken his fair share of nips at me, but I’ll tell you more about why and what I did in a bit.

Breastfeeding Biting

The Stop Biting Technique

Fair warning, this technique can be a little heartbreaking, but as it usually works in one or two tries, it is not something that you should have to do often.  When the alternative is that you keep getting bitten or you give up breastfeeding altogether, I would argue that it is worth the temporary sadness you may experience.

So it goes something like this, you are peacefully nursing your little one and all of a sudden it happens…baby takes a nip at your nipple.

What happens next must be immediate, swift, and deliberate.

  1. Unlatch them from your breast
  2. Look directly into their eyes
  3. Loudly and sternly enough to startle your baby, say “No!  Do Not Bite!”
  4. Place your baby on the floor in a safe location and move out of their sight

More than likely your baby will cry.  Once the baby has settled down, go back to them, give him or her lots of cuddles and allow them to re-latch and finish eating.  The shock from that experience is typically enough for baby to understand that they do not want to bite you again.  As I mentioned, this was extremely successful for two of my children and only took once with each of them.  If for some reason, they try it again, then follow the exact same steps a second time.  This is nearly always effective and should allow you to successfully continue your breastfeeding relationship.

When It Doesn’t Work

In my experience, there has been one scenario in which my dear sweet baby turns into a chomping monster and even the above technique isn’t successful.  With my youngest, this happened multiple times when his nose was stuffy and he couldn’t breathe through his nose.  Think about it, typically when baby is breastfeeding, they are breathing exclusively through their nose.  Block their nose, and breastfeeding has got to feel like they are being suffocated.  It’s a miserable time for both mommy and baby and chances are, they may take a bite when they are taking a moment to try to catch their breath.  It isn’t intentional and will likely stop once they can breathe through their nose again.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of the links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission.  Doing so will not increase the cost of any purchase and does not influence my opinion.

In the Meantime, Here are a Few Tips to get Through Those Times:

  • Before feeding your baby, use Pure Saltwater Nasal Drops (saline).  I like these because they are one-time use and are less likely to get contaminated from re-use.  They are also really easy to take a few on the go in your diaper bag.  Place 2-3 drops in each side of their nose and wait 30 – 60 seconds.
  • After using the saline, suction baby’s nose before you start feeding.  I know it seems awful and I swore I would never buy one, but after a night with a crying baby that couldn’t breathe, I finally gave in and bought this and now I can’t imagine life without one!  Run!  Do not walk, and buy one today!!
  • Use a humidifier near their crib to add moisture to the air.  Be sure to check and change the filter often to keep the air clean.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and have lots of success getting your sweet little one to stop biting as soon as it starts!  Be sure to stay connected to all of the great ideas from The Crafty Organized Mom by signing up for updates.  When you do, you’ll also grab a free copy of our Family Meeting Guide + Meeting Printable!

The Friday Five – Breastfeeding

The Friday Five – Breastfeeding

Hello.  I would love to welcome you to a brand new weekly feature here on The Crafty Organized Mom – The Friday Five.  Each week, a group of five fabulous moms will come together to offer you some really great advice about an important parenting topic.  We will choose a different topic to feature each week so be sure to Subscribe to our newsletter so you will never miss a post.

This week we will be focusing on the important topic of breastfeeding.  While every mother will have her very own journey and relationship with breastfeeding, it can be so helpful to get the advice of other moms that have been through the experience before.

My First Breastfeeding Experience

I remember when I was a brand new mom and essentially all I knew about breastfeeding was that I was going to do it no matter what.  Social Media wasn’t nearly the powerhouse that it is today and the class that I took did little to prepare me for the actual realities of being successful at breastfeeding.  It was given by a nurse that preached how natural and wonderful it would be.  So I went in gung-ho and because of a poor latch, ended up engorged with cracked and bleeding nipples.  It took three days for anyone to tell me something was wrong because I just assumed I had to deal with it.

Thankfully I was able to get the support of a lactation consultant that corrected the latch and ordered me a hospital grade pump to give my nipples a chance to recover.  It took my daughter and me another month or so to get the hang of it and we went on to have a wonderful 10-month run.  But gosh, I wish someone had told me how hard it would be to start and how important getting help early was if it hurt.  It would have saved me a lot of pain and tears.  With my next two children, I was so much more prepared and confident and things went much better.  I asked for a lactation consultant to come and assess my latch early and it made a big difference.

I hope you will find some great wisdom in this post that will help you along with your own breastfeeding journey!

Katie Mac | From North to South

www.fromnorth2south.com

Full disclosure, I never had the intention of breastfeeding. I just couldn’t get myself comfortable with the idea. Then after joining some support groups online, speaking with those mamas and hearing about their journeys, I decided I would ‘give it a go’. It was the best choice I could have made. Our breastfeeding journey lasted about 6 months with my first. I rarely fed in public, and if I did it was under a cover that was a battle to keep on. With the encouraging words and support of my groups, I ditched the cover with baby number two and made it 9 months before he lost interest. By the time baby number three came along, I felt like I was an old pro. We are almost 10 months in and going strong.

I was fortunate to have such great experiences overall. There were definitely those days, those days when I just wanted to throw in the towel, run to target and buy some enfamil. Those days when my nipples hurt so bad I had to walk around topless to avoid any irritation. On those days I turned to my support systems. My husband, my mother and every other mother dealing with the same issue. Facebook groups are a godsend to moms. There’s a group for everything. Whether you’re a first time mom struggling with a latch, or a ‘seasoned’ mom who is dealing with a first time issue. The best advice I can give is join a support group and ask questions, share pictures and know that you’re not alone.

Vanessa Pak | The Four Pak

www.thefourpak.com

I think the key to being successful at breastfeeding is to just go with the flow (literally and figuratively!). I had every intention to breastfeed, but once my twins were born, they were four weeks premature and in the NICU for about a week and a half. Feeding at my breast didn’t come too easily for them, and I’m sure my feelings of being stressed and overwhelmed didn’t help. Luckily, they took to bottles very easily so I decided to exclusively pump and give them my milk in bottles. Pumping for two was not the easiest thing in the world, and my babies only got breastmilk for their first four months, but that was pretty good in my book! You have to remember that fed is best and you’ll get through whatever breastfeeding challenges come your way!

Erica Gilliam

www.ericagilliam.com

When I found out I was going to be a mom, I looked forward to being able to breastfeed.  I knew that it would be such a beautiful time with my daughter.  However, my daughter was born 8 weeks early and after being introduced to a bottle in the NICU, she had complete nipple confusion.  She would scream for hours and I became an overwhelmed, emotional mess.  After 2 months of trying, pumping, lactose teas and cookies, diminishing returns, working with multiple lactation specialists and nipple shields, I made the decision to let go.

While it was not what I had envisioned when becoming a mom, switching to formula was the best decision for both me and my daughter.  If you are a mom who is struggling with breastfeeding or simply can’t for whatever reason, know that you are not alone.  Everyone has opinions, but you must make the decision that is right for you and your family.

Tiffany Houseman | The Wholesome Housewife

wholesomehousewife.com

3 Important Things You Need to Know If Breastfeeding

#1 Baby should be checked for tongue/lip-tie ASAP after birth

With my first, I suffered through every feeding for 10 months until we finally figured out that Baby Boy had both a tongue AND lip-tie. They were causing my plugged ducts, nipple pain, thrush, unexplained fevers, and shooting, burning breast pain. First feeding after his laser surgery was nearly pain-free.

#2 Nursing can be uncomfortable at first

Even if Baby does not have either tie, it may still be a little uncomfy at first as your body gets used to the friction from nursing. Changing positions of hold can help and I highly recommend Earth Mama Angel Baby nipple butter!

#3 It’s worth sticking out

Some mamas can’t produce enough milk or have health issues themselves preventing a good breastfeeding relationship, but in most cases that’s not the case. Your milk is important for baby, and nursing releases feel good hormones to relax you. Don’t give up, Mama, it’s so worth it!

Betsy Smith | Bug and Baby Girl

www.bugandbabygirl.com

I was as surprised as anyone when my son’s first birthday came and went without weaning. I had planned to stop breastfeeding at a year and, believe me, friends, family, and strangers made it clear that I “should;” some because they thought breastfeeding a toddler was strange and others because they were convinced it was dangerous for the pregnancy I was carrying.

But, unsolicited advice aside, my son, my doctor, and I were all happy, so I decided to roll the dice. Everything I read told me that he would, likely, self-wean during the pregnancy and, if he didn’t…well…I figured we would cross that bridge when we came to it.

Well, he didn’t. So we crossed the bridge.

And, because motherhood is nothing if not surprising, I realized that the hard choice I thought I was making was actually the easy one. So many times, I watched them together, seeing the comfort that my son took in being at the breast with his baby sister, and wondered why the world had tried to keep this secret from me. This “hard” thing was easier for my two sweet babies, who never had to question their place or whether there was enough of me to go around.   And it was certainly easier for me than having a one year old ransacking the house while I nursed a newborn all day.

To everyone’s surprise, I nursed my babies side-by-side for another two years. And, like so much of my breastfeeding journey, it wasn’t at all what I expected. It was so much better.

~

I hope you have enjoyed this post and have found some great inspiration from some amazing moms!  Be sure to stay connected to all of the great ideas from The Crafty Organized Mom by signing up for updates.  When you do, you’ll also grab a free copy of our Family Meeting Guide + Meeting Printable!

Pumping While Traveling – Guide to Traveling Like a Pro

Pumping While Traveling – Guide to Traveling Like a Pro

The time has come. You are back and work and are planning for your first business trip away from your little one. Or perhaps you want to spend a night away with your husband. Whatever the circumstance, taking a trip away from your baby and maintaining your milk supply can be difficult. It doesn’t have to be as big of a struggle if you know what to expect and follow these tip for pumping while traveling.

I have been incredibly lucky with my youngest regarding my ability to keep breastfeeding. We are at 17 months next week, and I have no plans on stopping unless he stops on his own. I am one of those moms that LOVES breastfeeding and HATES pumping! Being able to breastfeed my son, rather than pumping has made all the difference in how long we have been able to continue breastfeeding this time around.  Recently I have made a few trips away from my baby. As I didn’t want to risk losing my milk supply, an effective pumping strategy was in order.

Before you go

Make sure you pack everything you will need.  Having everything you need will help reduce the stress that is possible when you need to pump while traveling.  In addition to a few “must have” items, you may want to consider a few extras to make your experience as pleasant as possible.

An Example Packing List Might Include

  • Breast pump and related tubing (My absolute favorite for pumping on the go is this pump. It is on the expensive side.  However, if you will be doing any amount of frequent travel, it is a must in my opinion).
  • Battery pack if your device supports one (If you can’t swing the pump mentioned above, some breast pumps have an optional battery pack accessory like the one shown here. If you think you may need to pump away from an electrical outlet, this could be a viable option)
  • At least one full set of pumping bottles (If you have concerns about cleaning between sessions, you may want to increase this)
  • Covers for pump bottles (I liked the option of being able to just screw on the cover if I wasn’t immediately able to transfer my milk to a storage bag).
  • Milk Storage bags
  • Sanitizing wipes (Great for when you can’t do a full clean)
  • Microwavable sanitizing bag
  • Burp cloth (to dry your breast and wipe any excess milk left on the breast shield)
  • Small soft side cooler bag
  • Ice packs
  • Nursing cover (you never know where you’ll need to pump. A nursing cover can give you some much-needed cover while still allowing you to see what you’re doing)

Finishing Touches

If you will need to transport milk back home with you and you expect that you can accomplish this without dry ice and an overnight FedEx shipment, I recommend packing all of the equipment you will need to keep it cold when you depart. Depending on your destination, it may be convenient to run out and pick up a few ice packs and find a place to freeze them, or it may be impossible. Alleviate any stress by getting what you need before you leave home.

If you will be bringing ice packs, freeze them at home and travel with them frozen.  Do this even if you will not be transporting any milk on your outgoing flight.  The last time I traveled, my ice packs were still frozen so I was able to skip additional screening.  On my way home the ice packs were already slushy so TSA flagged me for extra screening.

Getting Through Security

What TSA Has to Say

TSA.gov does classify breast milk and the required ice packs to maintain its temperature as a liquid exempt from the 3.2oz liquids limitation.

Here is the specific language you can find on the site:

“Formula, breast milk and juice in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters are allowed in carry-on baggage and do not need to fit within a quart-sized bag. Separate formula, breast milk and juice from other liquids, gels and aerosols limited to 3.4 ounces. You do not need to travel with your child to bring breast milk.

Ice packs, freezer packs, frozen gel packs and other accessories required to cool formula, breast milk and juice are allowed in carry-on. If these accessories are partially frozen or slushy, they are subject to [additional screening].”

While TSA’s website is fairly limited in terms of advice it gives pumping mom’s (what you see above is essentially it), a November 15, 2016 press release does specifically classify breast pumps as “medical devices” and indicate that they are allowed to be brought through security. This also means that it is not counted as your carry-on or personal item. It’s important that you know your rights heading into security and don’t be afraid to ask questions or professionally remind the TSA agents of your rights when necessary.

Preparing for Screening

I recommend placing your breast pump bag and all related gear in its own bin to go through the scanner. I also recommend that you remove the ice packs and milk from any larger bags and place in the same bin. TSA asks that you notify the agent that you are traveling with breastmilk, however, in my experience, the agents I have told do not make an extra effort to ensure the scanner screener is aware.

Additional Screening

What should you expect if you are singled out for additional screening? First of all, don’t panic. TSA will likely complete a quick additional check, may ask you a few questions and send you on your way. I have found that mentioning “breast” as many times as possible helps them understand exactly what your situation is and gets you speedily on your way. Something like “Of course you are welcome to complete additional screening on my breast pump”. “I am traveling with breastmilk in the cooler”. “I have two ice packs in the bag to keep the breast milk cold”. While your use of the word “breast” may make some TSA agents slightly uncomfortable, they will quickly understand your situation and likely move you through the process as fast as possible.

If you are selected for additional screening, I strongly recommend asking the TSA agent to put on a fresh pair of gloves prior to touching any of your pumping equipment. When they go through your things, you have absolutely no idea when they last changed their gloves, what they may have come into contact with, or what they will be touching of your supplies. The agent should be happy to comply with this request.

Life After Security

Ok, so you’ve successfully navigated the security line and TSA experience and have made it into the airport. Now, what? Depending on your baby’s typical feeding schedule, it may already be time to pump. The good news is that more and more airports are adding nursing rooms for nursing and pumping moms. Our friends over at Mom’s Pump Here have created a list of airports that offer nursing/pumping rooms.  I would recommend checking out airport pumping facilities before you travel to know if that will be an option for your trip.

If you don’t have access to a pumping room, you still have a few options depending on your germ and/or general comfort level. Some people feel more comfortable pumping in a woman’s restroom. While it does offer relative privacy, I personally am not crazy about the amount of germs that may be lurking in the space. My preference is to just find as quiet of a location as possible and cover up with my nursing cover and pump. Do what you feel most comfortable with.

Pumping on a Plane

The next challenge a pumping mama might face is needing to pump on an airplane at 35,000 feet. Again, you have a few options depending on your pump and comfort level. If you must connect to an outlet and your airlines does not offer them in-seat, you may be limited to pumping in the bathroom. Consider informing your flight attendant that you will pump in the bathroom so they can help run interference as you will likely be in the restroom for an extended amount of time. You can also check with your specific airlines, but most will not allow you to pump in the galley area.  For me, this is another situation in which I will use my nursing cover and pump right in my seat. This can be interesting depending on your seat location and surrounding seat-mates.

Storage and Sanitizing

After you pump, use single-use, plastic storage bags to store your milk as they take up less space in your cooler. Be sure label them with the date and volume. You will also need to determine how you will clean your pump parts. While on the plane, I recommend using these while in transit. Depending on your amenities in your hotel, you may have access to a microwave. If that is the case, I recommend packing one of these. If not, your bathroom sink may be your best option. You may want to consider packing liquid soap in one of your bathroom travel bottles to use when washing. A hand towel laid out on your bathroom counter can make a good makeshift drying rack.

Pumping While Traveling Supplies Drying on Towel After Cleaning

Most hotels offer fridges in your room. If not, request they deliver one to your room. Just be certain to mention that you will be storing breast milk.  Most hotels will waive any type of fee associated with placing a mini-fridge in your room.

Getting Your Milk Home

You’ve successfully pumped throughout your trip.  Now you are counting down the hours until you are reunited with your baby (as if you weren’t doing this from the minute you left!).  You could never fathom losing one drop of your liquid gold so one question remains.  How do you transport your milk back home?  I have employed a few different strategies depending on the circumstances of my travel.

Here are a few options to consider:

  • Once on an International flight, I decided to place my milk in my suitcase. This was a big gamble for me as I could only assume the luggage compartment was cold enough.  The milk remained frozen upon arrival of the 12-hour direct flight.  It is possible that the milk thawed and then refroze.  However, it was a direct flight and the milk was frozen at the time I released it to security.  I assumed it remained frozen the entire time.  The milk was good when I fed it to my son.  This may not work for your circumstances or you may not be comfortable not being able to keep close control over your milk.
  • Utilize freezer packs to keep a cooler cold enough and bring your milk with you as a carry-on aboard the aircraft. This is the option I opt for as often as possible.  I can keep an eye on the temperature of the bag.  Flight attendants are usually happy to help you if you need to add extra ice to your cooler.  I have found that the small brick ice packs work well.  I do my best to freeze these solid before heading to the airport.  As mentioned above, it makes security easier but it also gives you the longest cold time.
  • I have not personally tried shipping my breast milk. However, it can be a great option if you don’t have a sufficient stockpile when you depart for your trip. If you need to get milk home to your baby before you can deliver it yourself, you will have to research shipping options.  FedEx offers a pretty slick cooler container. The boxes will keep milk cold for 48-96 hours.  Check out their information guide here.

I hope you have found these experiences, tips, and suggestions for pumping while traveling helpful.  While it does take a little bit of planning, traveling away from your baby does not mean you have to give up breastfeeding.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of the links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission.  Doing so will not increase the cost of your purchase and does not influence my opinion.