Are You Ashamed Of Your
Toddler biting can be a “bit” of a problem when this stage rolls around. I think that every toddler goes through it. My son started at 12 months old. It was his first stay in the church nursery, and when my husband and I picked him up after service they told us that JeNoah had bit a little girl. I was so embarrassed at the time, but I had realized that he was teething and that may have been the problem.
There were a few other incidents after the first one, with my son biting other children. They were triggers when he got angry. He would just get mad and bite. I do not feel that it got out of control, but I started doing research about toddler biting and realized how important it was to understand why it can occur. You can actually prevent biting from occurring or at least getting out of hand. Let’s start out with why a child may bite.
Reasons Why Toddlers Bite:
Cutting teeth hurts. Even as an adult any type of toothache is extremely painful. Can you imagine how your toddler feels when they are cutting teeth? Chewing on something relieves the pain. Toddlers do not understand that when they bite, it is hurting someone else. All they know is that it feels good to them to bite down and get a moment of relief.
TIRED OR HUNGRY:
Some toddler biting is due to being sleepy or hungry. Again toddlers have a limited vocabulary. They cannot tell us how they are feeling so they act out their frustration by biting. I believe that my son bit other children at pre-school when he missed me. As parents we do need to pay attention to our toddler’s needs. They may be trying to tell you something through their biting.
COPYING FROM ANOTHER CHILD:
Biting is a learned behavior. They can actually pick it up from another child they see biting. Toddlers learn by watching the actions of others, this includes negative behaviors, such as biting. I cannot stress this enough. I talk about this throughout my site. It is so important what your child is exposed to.
Toddler biting can be a fight over a toy with another child. I know that my son would get angry and bite. He has a temper and he would lash out if he did not get his own way.
What can I do when my Toddler Bites?
Biting is age appropriate for toddlers, however biting is NOT an acceptable behavior and you must teach that to your toddler.
- The first thing you must do is tell your toddler to “stop” and to not bite. I used to tell JeNoah “Mommy is so disappointed and you hurt me when you bite me, you cannot do that.” I know that he would understand because he would cry and be heartbroken. Speak in a firm voice and they will understand.
- Depending upon the reason for the biting, you may need to discipline your child for the biting. If you feel it is necessary than discipline your toddler immediately after the biting. This is because discipline for toddlers is most effective when the unacceptable action occurs. I do have some time out rules for toddlers that may help.
- NEVER bite your toddler back. Some adults will use this method and feel that they are teaching their child a lesson by biting them back. Again toddler biting is a contagious behavior. They will think it is an acceptable behavior because mommy or daddy does it. WRONG!
What can I do to prevent toddler biting?
- Pay attention to what is going on around your toddler when they bite. Where are they, in daycare, church, home, or at school? Does it occur around lunch time or nap time? Observe your child and see what their environment is like. Especially if the biting becomes a pattern.
- Remember that biting in toddlers is normal. Don’t get all freaked out about it. All children go through it and they will learn that biting is not acceptable. My son is now 3 and he no longer bites so these tips do work.
- Observe when your child is teething, or what may trigger anger or frustration and try to avoid those situations. It is easier than you think. If you know your child is teething make sure you have plenty of teething rings and chewies on hand. They may miss Mom and Dad and need some extra attention. Try and fill that need before the stress begins.
- If your child is in daycare or a church nursery, make sure you tell the provider that your child may bite other children. This will give them an opportunity to watch over your child and make sure that they will not bite another child. You want them to be informed of your toddler biting, that is the right thing to do for the safety of all involved.
- Remember to teach your child that biting is an unacceptable behavior. It is not funny and should be treated very seriously. I was so upset when my son bit a little girl in his class. I apologized to her parents but they were very angry and would not even accept my apology. I wanted them to know that my son was going to be punished and that we took biting very serious. It is very serious parents so please treat it the same.
Now it will get easier Moms. You have to look at this stage as normal. It is also very serious and you will want to try and prevent this bad behavior if all possible before it begins. It is not going to be perfect but it can be tolerable. Trust me, you are talking to a Mom of a recovering biter, this too shall pass. LOL………
Just remember that you are dealing with toddlers. They deal with their angers and frustrations through biting. We have to learn to meet their needs to eliminate toddler biting. Those cute little teeth hurt and we as parents must teach them to deal with their emotions the proper way. Be Blessed and before you know it they will be getting braces on those little choppers!!
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