Biting at 16 months! any ideas on how to handle?

Kelly - posted on 03/02/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )

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My 16 month old girl just started biting this week! She bit me this past Sunday when I took her hand to lead her into a safer room to play. She just pulled my hand to her mouth and bit me! I was in too much shock to take any action, and I don't even know what action to take.

Today a family member was babysitter her, and she tried to bite a 3 year old girl after pushing her!

I have no idea where she got this from, as she isn't in a daycare center.

Is anyone else going through this? Has anything worked to stop the problem before it gets out of control?

Thanks!

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17 Comments

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Laura - posted on 03/06/2010

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hello...i agree there are many different ways to nip this in the bud...i didn't bite back until my daughter was 4, thats when i said oh ya...lol but that was my decision and she was alot older and knew enough..it worked at the time...But when she was little she learned biting from daycare...i just pretended to cry and when she tried to comfort me i would say No ..no hugs ...you hurt....boo hoo hoo...It worked wonders for me...hope it helps...: )

Jade - posted on 03/06/2010

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its a normal thing for this age, same as head butting the floor and hitting out, i tell my children, aged 3 and 16months a sharp no at their level, then tell them its not nice if they do it again or are too angry to calm down they have a time out to reflect on what theyve done for 2minites, then i hug em and say not to do it again, but usually depending on how frustrated they are i restrain em til there calm and tell them its ok to be angry and there fine.

Robyn - posted on 03/05/2010

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may not be popular but if you want to go with what works it has also been my experience that showing the baby what they are doing to people helps them make more choices about how they choose to communicate.

my 17month old girl is my second and with my first he only bit once but it was hard and near breaking skin, having a behavior background I know that a human bite mark that breaks the skin is one of the worst things to cause infection and was instantly horrified that my baby boy almost inflicted that kind of injury, almost as a reflex I showed him what teeth feel like on his skin and said owe! he never bit again but I was racked with guilt, having that behavior back ground and reading posts like this, felt just awful about my choice. BUT IT WORKED amazing.

Now I have a daughter who is biting her older brother when she doesn't get her own way, I have tried all the things "you are supposed to do" and she keeps biting, today she left a mark on her brother and last week she left a mark on my arm. Guess who I showed my teeth to today? Guess who imeadiately looked horrified when I told her "that is how it feels!" Kids this age can't talk but they UNDERSTAND. She huged her brother and then pulled his hair instead, she was obviously ready for a nap!!! but just becasue they are frustrated doesn't give a good enough excuse to let them be biting people. I

will keep you posted but I am pretty sure I am no longer the mother of a biting daughter. NO professional is going to tell you to bite your kids back, imagine the uproar when some crazy parent takes that to an extreme and the lawsuits start happening. Agree or don't agree, I have been on both sides but I REALLY like having kids who don't bite people.

Natalie - posted on 03/05/2010

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This is so hard. Our 16mth is a hitter and biter. I have tried everything. I was told by my grandmother that if she bit me to bite her back. This sounded just horrible but after another horeendous bite from her on my leg i bit her back (not hard but hard enough for her to realise) She has not bittem again. We had the same issue with my 3yo and did the same thing to her and sure enough she never bit again either.

Kristina - posted on 03/05/2010

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When my 17 month old bites (which is getting less often) I put my finger in her mouth right away and say no biting. If she continues I do it again and follow up by 1 minute in her crib by herself. When I come back in I tell her I love her but she can not bite because it hurts. It is helping...but all kids are different!

Melody - posted on 03/05/2010

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My son has started biting, too, but he bites to climb. He uses his teeth like another hand to help himself get up onto the couch or bed or wherever. I don't mind him biting the blanket, but when he bites me, it HURTS and startles me and I usually scream. Then he starts laughing, and he used to bite again, just to try to get the reaction again. He has left MANY bruises on my leg. I usually pop the back of his leg, not hard, but enough to let him know it's not funny to make mommy scream!

I haven't had any troubles with him biting out of frustration, though.

Leslie - posted on 03/03/2010

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If you visit www.babycenter.com they actually sent out an update not to long ago, about biting and it said most toddlers that bite, bite to see the reaction they get, just like hitting....I noticed with my son who is 16months he bited when the pressure from his teeth coming in gets too much for him, but he doesn't bite hard.

September - posted on 03/03/2010

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Lindsay you're absolutely right! :) I just wanted to point out that I never said that you're wrong for choosing to do what you do; I just said I don't agree with it. Like you said we all parent differently and that is just great! Best wishes :)

Lindsay - posted on 03/03/2010

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Each person has differnt view on everything. Things change from child to child. My parenting is much different from my 1st to my last. We learn things as we go along with life and with children. In these groups you ask for different approaches on different topics. Some you agree with and some you don't. Somedays I can pull my hair out over what I read but I never tell someone they are wrong. We learn from our mistakes. I have learned that with a small bite and a stern NO, I have had no issues with biting so far.

September - posted on 03/03/2010

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Kelly I figuered you would not take that advice :) Good luck with the biting :)

September - posted on 03/03/2010

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P.S Lindsay...I knew what you meant after reading your first response and I'm still not ok with biting a child regardless of how hard or not...that's just a personal choice :) Also I would consider biting your child physical discipline but I guess each person has a different meaning for that too.

Lindsay - posted on 03/03/2010

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P.S ladies. Noone is saying bite your child til they bleed or even leave marks. You bite them enough to let them know that it hurts. I speak from experience. And I am the type of parent who doesn't use any physical means of disicpline at all. Not even so much as a tap on the hand.
There was a child in my sons daycare who used to bite all the time. His poor parents where the talk of the daycare. Could be pretty embarassing

Kelly - posted on 03/03/2010

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Thanks September! I definitely do not plan on biting her back, or even flicking her. Coincidentally, she had her 15 month check-up today (i know, a month late), and the pediatrician said to simply try to remove her from frustrating situations before she bites. I guess if she does bite again, I will do my best to quickly remove her and tell her that it's bad.

September - posted on 03/03/2010

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Please don't bite her or flick her, that will not solve your problems and could even create more problems in the future. Physical punishment is not a good thing in my opinion!

September - posted on 03/03/2010

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It sounds like she is biting in order to communicate her anger and frustrations, which is completely normal at this stage. I would suggest that you just start by telling her that it's not ok to bite and that it hurts, she will soon grow out of this phase. Hang in there! :)

Byra - posted on 03/02/2010

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My daughter has bit in the past and started pushing recently. She is 16 months and at home with me. The only place she goes is the Y for an hour a few times a week. When she bit I told her no and pulled her away from me. I think it is natural for children to bite, most do a some point and most take the correction in stride. If you don't want to bite back you could also try flicking, not hard, but they don't like the feeling. I think this is the age they start to become possessive so some of the behavior come from that. When my daughter pushed a little girl she was trying to get to me and the little girl was standing between us. GOOD LUCK!!

Lindsay - posted on 03/02/2010

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ha, i know this sounds bad but bite her back.. my Mom told me to do this to my daughter who is 9 now.. I did, and I only had to do it one time.. try it.. i never usually suggest this.. but I have a 16 month old who bit me 2 weeks ago.. i bit her and she hasn't done it yet.. and i Don't mean bite her hard, cause i know I'll prob get slack for this.. but just enough so she feels it then tell her no.. it worked for me.. its worth a shot

good luck

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