How to Control Biting

baby biting  a tubBiting is a normal stage of toddler development. Toddlers may bite peers, adults, or inanimate objects for a variety of reasons.

Many toddlers bite because they are frustrated or angry. Sometimes children bite because they are trying to gain control over another child or because they feel powerless or frightened. Toddlers may bite because they are vying for the attention of an adult or another child. And it is not uncommon for a toddler to bite simply because he or she is overtired.

Biting cannot be prevented. Biting is a form of oral behavior which may continue normally into the second year, according to Dr. Carl Arinoldo, parenting expert and author of Essentials of Smart Parenting: Learning the Fine Art of Managing Your Children.

Biting can, however, be controlled. First things first: Do not react in an emotional manner to biting. It is important to remember that in handling toddlers, reacting to a behavioral issue in an emotionally charged manner may unintentionally reinforce the behavior that you are trying to eliminate. As a rule, never, ever use “biting back” as a technique to control biting.

There are a few strategies you can use to control biting. An immediate, calm, and firm statement of “no biting” and then distracting the child with an appropriate activity will help. Your response to biting should be quick, calm, and consistent. This will help your toddler learn to use words to express their feelings and learn to control his or her behavior.

You can also use a biting incident as an opportunity to teach your child that biting is inappropriate. Let your child aid in treating the victim, instructing them that biting “hurts” and that biting should not continue. Another strategy is to give your child ample attention when he or she is not making an inappropriate bid for attention. As an additional preventative measure, allow your child to take daily naps and make certain he or she gets a good night’s sleep.

Biting normally subsides after the second year. If your child continues to bite after he or she turns three years old, biting may be an indication of other behavioral problems, particularly if the biting incidents are numerous.

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How to Control Biting

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38 comments

  1. Timothy says:

    do you think you should bit em back.. not real hard. just hard enough to let em know

  2. Timothy says:

    We discussed it at the family funeral yesterday at lunch and my brother said to bit em back. What do you think ?

  3. Timothy says:

    I know all babys bit but it can be bad when they bit another child

  4. Timothy says:

    Meeka bits me a little now at 9 months and I don’t much care for it and tell her NO NO.

  5. christina says:

    My son really never did much biting. He loved to pull hair for a lil while but he stopped after a week.

  6. Marina says:

    My son is not really a bitter but, loves to pull hair.

  7. Cheyenne says:

    My son isn’t the one biting he is usually the one bit. He tells me bite hurts, and hasn’t tried to bite anyone that I know of.

  8. mcdonough says:

    My 4 year old never had this problem with biting people. I would give him a toy and he would bite on that but he never once tried biting people or on things that he knew he shouldnt bite on.

  9. Jada says:

    My daughter is currently 9months so biting is expected, especially since she just got her first two (bottom) teeth. Now im just trying to keep her from bitting people and non-teething toys.

  10. Marilyn says:

    My little brother never had this problem.

  11. life says:

    thanks for the tips

  12. diana says:

    my daughter is always biting everyone this will help a lot

  13. Crystall says:

    YOU ARE SOO LUCKY!! 🙂

  14. Crystall says:

    i like this. IT WILL HELP SO MUCH!

  15. Jill Cannon says:

    Frankly your post was more helpful than the article. I ran 2 daycare centers of a total of 200 children, and I felt that this article was not very useful.

  16. Hipmom808 says:

    Talk to him and explain how you feel. He may not understand if he’s too young but eventually I think he will. Good Luck!

  17. Hipmom808 says:

    My daughter hasn’t started biting yet…good article to help prepare if or when she does start biting.

  18. mrsslack says:

    my daughter was biting like crazy then daddy told here no more and that was the end of that

  19. ChrisS says:

    My son bites but in a playful way. He doesn’t bite hard because he knows that it will hurt others.

  20. Andrea says:

    my son just turned 1 and he was biting me untill i started scremming and that let him know that it hurt me and he has not bit me again

  21. Lauren2012 says:

    My son never went through a biting stage thank goodness

  22. my son doesn’t bite other’s he bite’s hisself when he get’s angry.

  23. Zenobiasmom says:

    im so lucky, my daughter never bites even if i try to make her

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