Ouch! You Bit Me!!!

Biting is something that occurs in toddlers between the age of 1-2 years. Biters bite for a number of reasons; believe it or not, biting is a common early childhood stage for some. It is common for biting occur; the child may want attention and cannot express it yet, they may want to get your attention but do not have the vocabulary to express how they are feeling so they do something that will get your attention. Although it may be innocent in nature, no parent wants to be known as the owner of the kid who bites everyone!
What can you do to minimize the frequency of biting as well as discourage the behavior?

  • Be very firm when saying "NO". "No biting!" "That hurts!"
  • Be sure to give attention to the victim of the biter. Comforting the victim will reinforce to the biter that he/she has caused pain to another.
  • Try to redirect the child who is biting to a different activity; encourage activities that are low-impact.
  • You may also need to comfort the biter. Once they see another child crying and you comforting the other child, they may begin to cry themselves. It's okay to comfort the biter because they may not know that they have caused pain.
  • Suggest that the child use words instead of biting.
Usually, timeouts are not necessary at this age. However, if you have a 2-3 year old who is biting and these techniques do not work, you may have to redirect through timeout. Remember: timeout should only be one minute per year of age of the child. For example, a three year old should not sit longer than three minutes.

Happy Parenting!

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