Managing Instances Of Biting, Hair Pulling, Or Pinching In Your Baby

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Parenting can be very challenging. Every day, every phase can throw different challenges. Among these, dealing with your baby or toddler’s biting, hair pulling, or pinching can be particularly bewildering. This article is crafted for parents seeking practical and relatable advice on these behaviours, focusing on home remedies for baby bites during breastfeeding, baby biting while feeding, how to stop the baby from biting and understanding infant behaviour and development.

Understanding Why Babies Engage in These Behaviours

Let’s first understand that everything and anything is a new experience for your baby. They are curious to know what it is. Just the way they naturally bite or lick any new thing they touch, similarly, it’s the same when it comes to baby biting while feeding, pulling your hair or even pinching. So, do understand that your baby doesn’t want to hurt you. She is just doing the most natural thing that babies do – which is exploring. They are exploring their sense of taste and touch and are also learning about emotions.

During breastfeeding, many mothers experience  toddler biting while feeding. This could be attributed to various reasons. Teething is a common cause, where the baby experiences gum discomfort and finds solace in biting. Another reason could be curiosity or the baby trying to get a better latch. Simple home remedies for baby bites during breastfeeding include offering a teething toy before feeding or gently massaging their gums. These remedies have been tried by millions of mothers worldwide. So, you, too, can try this out.

Here’s a situation based example: if your baby starts biting during nursing, you could gently put your finger in their mouth to break the suction and calmly say “no biting”. This simple action, repeated consistently, can help your baby learn that biting is not acceptable during breastfeeding.

This way, you are also setting up the foundation stone of your relationship with your child for the future. Your child starts to understand that some things are not acceptable. This way, without overwhelming her with unnecessary scoldings or shouting, you can firmly establish your stance with your baby from this stage itself.

Managing Biting During Breastfeeding

Now let’s get a little deeper into most new mothers’ biggest pain point, which is your baby biting while feeding. You might already know that this could be happening as a result of your baby teething. So, the baby is actually experiencing teething discomfort. Chewing or biting into your breast might be comforting to her. The other reason could be not getting a proper latch. Many times, when your baby is not able to latch on properly to your breast, she could get frustrated as she is hungry. This could lead to biting.

To manage this, home remedies for baby bites during breastfeeding can be quite effective. One such remedy is to provide your baby with something cold to chew on before feeding, such as a refrigerated teething ring. This can help soothe their gums and reduce the likelihood of biting. Another approach is to gently massage the baby’s gums with a clean finger, offering relief that might decrease their need to bite during breastfeeding.

What Can be Done When Baby Bites

When your baby bites, it’s like a small, unexpected pinch – surprising and sometimes painful. Consider adjusting your feeding position. Start with a gentle ‘no’. Over time they will understand that it’s not ok to bite. Sometimes all it might need is a simple change of position or angle of feeding or even getting a firm feeding pillow which supports both you and your baby well. You could also observe when the biting begins – beginning of the feed or at the end of it. If it’s at the beginning, then withdraw and talk to her for a while and tell her it hurts you and after a break try again. If it’s at the end, try to withdraw before the biting begins. It could be because your baby is now full and is just amusing herself.

Dealing with Hair Pulling and Pinching

Every parent has been there – your baby’s tiny fingers gripping and pulling your hair. It’s not a sign of naughtiness but curiosity. Distractions work wonders here. Redirect their attention with a colourful toy or change their position to break the pattern.

Transitioning to Toddlerhood: New Challenges

Like all other aspects that change drastically, behaviour also sees a transition when your baby moves to toddlerhood. The biting, hair pulling, or pinching that once was a tool for exploration now becomes a medium for expression. It’s crucial to understand that toddlers may resort to these behaviours due to their limited vocabulary. They might be trying to express frustration, excitement, or even affection. Introducing sign language or encouraging the use of simple words can be a helpful way to improve communication.

Effective Strategies for Toddlers

  1. Encourage Words Over Actions:
  2. Teach them to use words to express feelings. Tell them that it’s ok to tell you that they are angry, sad or upset.

  3. Set Boundaries with Love:
  4. It’s super important to know that even if they are angry, it is absolutely not ok to hurt someone

  5. Creative Deviations:
  6. Try the distraction method. Give them something that makes them feel better, like their favourite toy or book. It can be quite therapeutic for your little one.

  7. Cheer for Good Behaviour:
  8. Praise them when they express themselves without hurting. Positive reinforcement is powerful.

  9. Demonstrate Gentle Touch:
  10. Guide their hands to show what gentle touch feels like. It’s a hands-on lesson in kindness.

Managing Teething in Toddlers

Teething can be a prolonged process, often continuing into the toddler years. This can lead to biting as a way to relieve gum discomfort. Some of the tried and tested ways to manage this is to give your child age-appropriate teething toys or cold finger foods like cucumber sticks, carrot sticks which are not a choking hazard.

Seeking Professional Advice

If biting, hair pulling, or pinching becomes frequent or intense, don’t hesitate to consult a paediatrician. They can offer tailored advice and reassurance.

Each child’s journey is unique. With empathy and consistent guidance, you can help your little one navigate these early expressions of emotion and discovery, ensuring a path of healthy growth and development. Remember, amidst the challenges, these moments are fleeting – cherish them.

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