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Old 09-21-2012, 10:21 AM   #1
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Help!! twiddling nipples

HELP! My 18mo son Benji kept me up all last night with near constant nursing. For the past few weeks he's been nursing more than ever. In fact, I'm NAK right now! The biggest problem is...he's started this thing where he doesn't want to nurse unless both of my breasts are out. He started taking his hand and rubbing my other nipple and also twiddling. This was always strictly not allowed (until a few weeks ago) and nooooow if I don't allow it, he Freaks out. He's very sensitive and is sooooo hard to settle once he gets upset so I've just started allowing him to do it, especially at night. Honestly, it just wasn't that big a deal... until now. Right now because of all the nursing and rubbing and twiddling, I am very overstimulated- and was so completely overstimulated last night (a near straight 8 hour session of back and forth nursing, rubbing, twiddling, tossing and turning). I was choking back tears and it scared Benji and made him feel really terrible, which made me feel terrible. I turned on the lamp and after he calmed down a bit, I asked him what the heck was going on and he put my finger in his mouth. Four molars popping through the gums.

It's not the nursing itself that overstimulates... I've been breastfeeding for 3 1/2 years and NEVER had this issue before- it's really just all the twiddling and rubbing that he's seemed to have grown really attached to lately. Has anyone else dealt with this? Should I make him a lovey? When my daughter was teething, she would always put her fingers in my mouth for comfort and the worst part of that was just the stares from people LOL. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, my nipples are so tired of twiddles and fiddles.

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Old 09-21-2012, 05:30 PM   #2
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I would simply not allow it. It will take some time to break the habit though. Move his hand if he tries, give him something else to hold, etc. If you continue to allow it, it will be even harder to break.
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Connor
I would simply not allow it. It will take some time to break the habit though. Move his hand if he tries, give him something else to hold, etc. If you continue to allow it, it will be even harder to break.
I totally agree!
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:25 PM   #4
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I agree with PP, break this habit while you can. I allowed DD1 to "twiddle." I had to quit nursing her at 18 months (medication due to a life threatening infection I developed in my leg). She, however, continued the twiddling for MONTHS after we weaned. It was her comfort thing, and it made me crazy. Plus, in public, it was hard to stop her without a complete meltdown, so I got a LOT of weird stares.
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:20 PM   #5
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DS tries to do this every once in a while and it has always REALLY irritated me, so I just shove his hand out of my shirt... At times it has taken a gentle pop on the back of his hand for him to get it enough to STOP already! It was always worse when we were nursing in the AM and I was in pajamas (no bra). So frustrating.
Just keep moving his hand and he will give up eventually.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:28 PM   #6
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Re: Help!! twiddling nipples

Yep, at 18 months, I would just not allow him to nurse if he's doing something that really bothers you. Teaching and enforcing nursing manners will probably help you have a longer, happier nursing relationship.

Twiddling isn't that uncommon, but it also bothers a lot of moms. I can't nurse both of my nurslings at the same time for the same reason that twiddling is overstimulating.

If he needs something to twiddle, then try different kinds of materials that he might like: squishy chewy toys, ribbons, fabrics with different textures, fabric toys that crinkle. He might especially like sensory toys. If you search Amazon for "sensory toys", you'll find lots of ideas. Another thought is a weighted "heavy" baby--a fabric doll that is weighted (weighs 2 lbs or something like that) and can be very soothing.
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:46 AM   #7
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Re: Help!! twiddling nipples

DD2 was a skin pincher for quite a while, she would pinch and knead any of my skin she could access - the back of my arms, my side, my breast, and would get really upset if I had to physically stop her from doing it (it wasn't just overstimulating - it friggin' hurt - I had stratch marks all over my top half - looked like I had been wrestling with a feral cat!). I eventually had to cover almost everything (long sleeves and nursing tanks instead of bras) until she grew out of it.

So, no advice on the twiddling, but just some empathy.
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:07 AM   #8
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Re: Help!! twiddling nipples

My 16 mth old son does this too....*sigh*....I push his hand away when it gets on my last nerve...but he finds it soooo soothing that I try to just deal with it most of the time.
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:05 AM   #9
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Re: Help!! twiddling nipples

I don't allow it, PERIOD! If the choice was tolerate the twiddling or wean, I would wean every single time. I've nursed for 4 1/2 years straight now, oldest weaned at 38 months and am currently tandem nursing. If you don't like it, don't allow it. It is your body that you are sharing with your child, teach them to respect it!
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