We have all screamed, “Ouch!” a few times when taking care of a baby or small child who bites. Not to say all children do it, but it is definitely not abnormal and there are ways to prevent and teach your baby or child not to bite. When your child bites, it can be concerning if you send your baby or toddler to daycare or if he or she is in playgroups. This behavior is normal, and stems from your child’s frustration or pain. Teaching your child not to bite — whether he’s a baby or a toddler — is one of the many skills you impart as you raise your child.
Babies who bite often do so when teething — and, unfortunately for the mother, this can occur while your newborn nurses. When nursing, if your baby bites, unlatch him from your nipple using your finger or thumb. Look at your baby and tell him to stop. While he may not understand the word, he understands the emotion.
Toddlers bite as a means of expressing themselves prior to having sufficient verbal skills. In other words, its normal behavior during a child’s first three years, when emotions run high, but kids lack the ability to express themselves effectively. At about age 2, your toddler’s biting is an experimental behavior that dies when you respond appropriately. When biting occurs, don’t provide a strong negative reaction — this type of attention reinforces the behavior. Instead, calmly explain that your toddler should not bite her friends, but that she should bite oranges or sandwiches. Next, distract her attention with a game or toy. If she continues to bite, my suggestion would be to separate yourself from the child who is the focus of his or her biting and give her a three-minute timeout.
There’s no timetable as to how many incidents and reprimands it will take before your child stops biting. But if you respond the same way every time, he’ll probably learn his lesson after four or five incidents.
Know your child’s triggers.
Does your daughter bite when she’s hungry or needs to take a nap because he or she is tired? Give her a healthy snack, and adhere to a strict meal schedule. And don’t forget about outdoor play as a prevention technique — even in chilly weather.
Keep it Chill
Toddlers who bite often do so if they feel overwhelmed. While your toddler goes through this developmental stage, keep his environment calm and free of too much stimuli.