How do you stop a biter?

Joy - posted on 07/13/2010 ( 31 moms have responded )

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My Amelia has started biting i have tried several things that the doctor suggested however she is still trying to bite. I have my grandson full time he will be 2 in August he started walking at 8mths where Amelia didn't start walking until about 14mths so he would run past her at that time when she could caught him she would try to bite him i don't want either babies to be hurt by the other so i watch them close but a few times she caught him and put a bite mark on him i need this to stop but am at a loss on how to do this Help!!!! me stop my biter

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Theresa - posted on 07/23/2010

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We were advised in a class at the local women's health center to say "Don't bite, ". If they bit you while holding them, put them on the ground for a minute or so. If they were on the ground either walk away from them or put them in a "spot" away from the people playing for the same amount of time. Ignore them during the minute. Our son would bite us. Did the procedure above and he stopped in less than a week. This was months ago. Now if he tries anything I just have to say "don't bite" and he doesn't do it. This also worked for hair pulling.

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Amanda - posted on 08/12/2010

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My daughter started biting and we used the naughty spot approach. I got her child minder to do the same and within a couple of days it had stopped. I did learn to recognise when she was going to bite and told her to stop before she actually bit anyone and that has worked. She still sometimes wants to bite now ( 6 months later) but I stay on my guard and stay consistent and ot seems to do the trick. Good luck :-)

Tracy - posted on 08/09/2010

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First of all you are all missing the big picture. WHY is he biting? Most likely it is jealousy of some sorts or other. First thing you need to do is determine why if it it is over a toy take it away, positioning on the couch don't let anybody there, so on and so forth preventing the fighting will help prevent some of the biting. When he does bite tell him no that hurts then put him in time out and ignore him. Kids normally bite out of frustration I have a 12 month old and a 22 month old and they have a 25 month old half sister and there are days it is regular UFC smack down when they are together. My oldest bites her half sister who then tries to pull her hair out and so on but they are usually fighting over a toy and you take the toy away and no problems.

Charlotte - posted on 08/09/2010

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well you'll probably think I'm a horrible person, but my son was a biter, he would latch on to my neck, my nipples when feeding, my arms and anywhere else his mouth came into contact with. I tried telling him off, tried ignoring it, tried putting him down and walking away whenever he bit me, etc. Finally one day I'd had enough, and I bit him - quite hard - on the forearm. It left a mark and bruised for a couple of days. He screamed and cried and I said "well thats what you're doing to mummy, biting hurts and it's naughty." or something to that effect and after he calmed down, I gave him cuddles and he never bit me again! I know I shouldn't have bitten him that hard, I honestly didn't mean to and I didn't mean to bruise him, I lost my temper but it worked!

Regina - posted on 08/04/2010

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I like what Leah said. Going down to her eye level (or just making eye contact) and sternly telling her it's not right gets the message through. I think that kids are reasonable but they also like to test limits so be consistent with your stern-ness. Make sure your husband is on it too. He can't find it cute or funny. She has to know it's universally wrong...On another note, the bite has been replaced by a pinch on the smallest piece of skin she can gather. Not painful and more discrete. C'est la vie!

Eva - posted on 07/30/2010

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The ignoring and no-saying does not work for us... my son continues biting, and even worse...he creeps upon you from behind and bites your leg terribly . When he did that the last time I smacked him quite hard and locked him up for 2-3 minutes in his room... lets see how this works. I have to solve this some how, because he starts going to the kindergarten in September and he just cannot do that there

Tina - posted on 07/29/2010

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My 21 month old bit another kid at daycare. I can't be having my daycare provider biting my child back, so that isn't an option at this point. I think this is a very frusterating age for them, they know what they want, but don't quite know how to communicate it to us. Also, for my daughter it was the first day back to daycare after we had a baby, so there is a big change in her life right now. I hope that she doesn't continue biting, I'd hate to have my kid being the bully at daycare!

Celia - posted on 07/29/2010

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Well all l can say is when my son was biting l bite him bk but not to hard to leave a mark thou and he has never bitten again its just to tell them not to do that its bad and it hurts ok.

Katherine - posted on 07/28/2010

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Problem is, you can't ignore biting if one child is biting another. That not only makes the biter think it's ok, but the one getting bit feels unsafe because no one is standing up for them.

Stephanie - posted on 07/28/2010

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i think that the only other thing you can do in that case is to just ignore it completely. i mean if he thinks you are playing when you do it back maybe no reaction at all will work. thats what i had to do when my son went thru his 'headbanging' phase - he banged his head on everything when he was mad but my doc suggested to ignore it and within a week he stopped all together.

Katherine - posted on 07/28/2010

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The mother of someone I know bit her grandchild for the same reason and accidentally broke the skin. She felt horrible about it. But the child got sick that same day and had to go to the emergency room. The doctors saw the bite and had to report it. When my daughter bites, I flick the side of her cheek and tell her, in a firm but loving voice, "we don't bite, we hug and we kiss" (can also be used for hitting or pinching). The flick is hard enough to sting but not damaging, then she hears why she just got flicked and what she can do instead of biting. Quite often, after I say this, she will hug or kiss right away. It's very important to use the word "we" and not "you". That way she knows this is something that is expected from everyone and she is not being singled out as a "bad girl". Her biting problem has definitely improved. I see a lot less biting and a lot more hugging and kissing! Remember, your child has her own personality. What works on one child might not work on yours; so, don't give up. Just be consistent. Try one thing for a week or two CONSISTENTLY and see if you notice improvements. If not, try something else. Don't worry, we're all "life long learners" when we become parents. You'll get it, mom!

Krystal - posted on 07/27/2010

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I am having the same problem right now with my 21 month old son. I have tried biting him back, telling him it hurt, showing him the marks he made on me and put him in time out...nothing has worked so far..so im in the same situation as you.... Everyone I know has told me to bite back but when i do it, my son just laughs at me..so i dont know what else to do..

Stephanie - posted on 07/27/2010

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honestly the way I got my son to stop biting was to bite him back. not hard but enough to show him it hurts and it isn't nice - it sounds mean but it worked and it only took a few times, he dosent bite at all anymore he's almost 2 now but he was biting months ago - hope it helps

Sue - posted on 07/26/2010

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Also my son Tyler went through the biting stage,admittedly I did bite him,back,but didnt like it atall,like we all dont,but did work for a little while,But only the other day,he bit my neice whos only 4,she was excellent,as came to show me,rather than react herself,which I straight away took her in too him,showed him her arm,and looked him in the eye and very sternly said thats naughty,and told all in room to ignore him,certainly worked,cuddled her not long after,at this age,theyre realising they can get angrey and will respond,as all children,gd luck all,

Kali - posted on 07/26/2010

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My son started biting me when he was about 18 months. I tried telling him it hurt multiple times. I talked to a lot of family and friends and they suggested biting him back. (Not on the face, and not hard.) I bit him on the arm just like he bit me to show him that is hurt. He has never bit me or anyone else again.

Joy - posted on 07/26/2010

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if it was an adult she was biting i would not be as concerned but another baby worries me i don't want her to hurt him and now he is starting to hit her they are both under 2 yrs i have tried making them say sorry and give a hug sometimes it works sometimes no i just don't want them to hurt each other

Elissa - posted on 07/25/2010

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I myself was a biter when I was younger, and my mom tried everything, and I mean everything to get me to stop biting. Finally, she bit me on the arm, and she said that I never bit again...that's my suggestion, bit her back, not enough to leave a mark, but enough that she realizes that it doesn't feel good, and that it hurt. And trust me, from someone who was on the receiving end of the discipline bite, she won't resent you for the rest of her life for doing it!

Eva - posted on 07/25/2010

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Our son is a big biter too, although it seems to me that he actually bites to get attention...when he started, my husband was at first biting him back and it helped for some time, but now he bites even more...especially when he wants something, like more food or going out. I am trying now ignoring him and no-saying and lets see how it works...

Skye - posted on 07/24/2010

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Oh yeah it worked for my nanna. But yes biting till it leaves bruises and harsh marks is abuse. Everyone is different. Respect that. None of us are perfect

Skye - posted on 07/24/2010

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my nana is about 68 and she has had kids from the time she was 16. 6 kids of her own. 13 grandchildren. Has ran her own daycare since I was 4. She even looked after me for a yr before i could go to school. She tld me to bite my son back. I thought to myself how could I do this. After he did it quite a few times I bit him back. Not hard but hardenough for him to know it hurts a bit. He stopped for a few months and has started it again at daycare. Now I tried again. And smacking also on the hand and its only just starting to work with him being told off. Everyone has different opnions and sometimes different things work for diff babies. So nobody should be nasty about anyones comments. You can try different things. Sometimes they work sometimes they dont. With babies it is all trial and error.

[deleted account]

i am sure no one is biting back to the point of abuse. Geez. I do not bite my child but I have to say unless someone is biting to the point of leaving marks and bruising I think your comparison is a bit harsh. And I am not really caring what you think of me personally as I won't be responding to this post anymore. Sometimes it seems these "discussions" tend to get taken too personally and run into the ridiculous.

Julia - posted on 07/23/2010

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DO NOT BITE YOUR CHILD BACK!! IT'S COUNTED AS ABUSE!! IF YOUR CHILD PUNCHED YOU IN THE FACE WOULD YOU DO THAT BACK!!!????

My child was biting for a couple of months, just get down to her level look her right in the eyes and say 'no, you dont bite it hurts' and just keep doing it for a while and she will stop.

Charlie - posted on 07/23/2010

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If you want an alternate punishment to biting them back or time-out - I allowed my friend to do this with my son and it worked. She was his "daycare" while I worked and my son would choose a finger on her son's hand and crunch right down. We decided she could put a touch of Tabasco sauce on his tongue immediately. It worked. I didn't feel it was unreasonable. I don't like the idea of biting back, personally.

Kristin - posted on 07/22/2010

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My son is almost 2 and he is a biter also. It seems like he bites when he is teething though. I tried the biting back(on the arm. not hard, just enough to startle him) but it didnt work, he thought I was playing. So, I tried letting him know that it hurt me and it doesnt always work, but it has been the most affective, also since it is from teething and not frustration I could tell him no, and go get a toy that he can teeth on. The most important thing I have found though is to be consistent with it. You could also try doing time-outs for biting. This works for me too. The rule of thumb is 1 minute for every year. I make sure I tell him why he went to time out, and how to avoid going back into time-out again. Hope this helps.

Missy - posted on 07/22/2010

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I feel your pain my son who is 21 months is in his 2nd phase of bitting. The first I got him to stop by bitting him back and telling him ouch that hurts! Now I'm not sure what to do. We've tried the talking and the telling dont bite that hurts. It doesn't seem to matter when it's his older brother. He seems to do it out of frustration but not always? So I feel your pain and am going through it too.

[deleted account]

Um, I don't know about biting them back. That seems extreme. Maybe if it becomes too much of a habit they need to know that it hurts I dunno. I do know that some form of discipline is acceptable and at a certain age starts to be understood by children. My pediatritcian said and I have read in several places that around the age of 2 kids start to understand discipline. we have a time out corner. We put a small rug down in a specific place in our house (we can take it with us if we travel) and if she is naughty we put her there. she is 21 months old and is starting to understand that being naughty does have consequences. I hate to say it but I have seen first hand kids whos parents never punished them and just told them not to do something... it is not a pretty picture when they grow up.

Lynn - posted on 07/18/2010

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i have had several friends whose kids were biters, and i hate to say it, but all of them bit their kids back and it stopped it immediatly. i'm not sure it's something i could do myself, but everyone i've ever talked to about it says the biting back works.

Catherine - posted on 07/17/2010

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my son got into the habit of biting mainly because he got a reaction so we ignored him completely then when he started doing something else we'd go play with so he realised he got attention for playing and not for biting. if he was on my lapi would simply put him down say mummy doesn't like thaty behaviour and walk off to do something else then come bavk and play a game instead. he grew out of it after a few months. just dont expect instant results. depending on how much she speaks and understands have you tried asking her why as soon as she does it? just try to stay calm or she will realise she gets a reaction from you. hope this helps :) good luck

Minnie - posted on 07/16/2010

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This would sound insane...bite her between the eyes n nose...sounds crazy



Quite correct. It is insane. Bite her face because she is biting? Ridiculous!



OP: Please do not follow that suggestion.



You could try "No biting- it hurts! Here, bite this (or let's go play with this)



At her age a simple correction (no biting) and then distraction is all that is needed. Children go through phases- don't expect immediate change. She's not even two yet.



Do not punish her and for goodness sake don't bite her back!

[deleted account]

My daughter bit me once and has never done it again. My approach is very different, kids can understand extremely well and very early, before they can say it. So get down to her eye level and keep it short and simple say something like 'please don't bite my arm it isn't for biting and it really hurts' and that's it, you may need to say it a few times but it works. As punishment never works.
You can always start up a rewards chart as well. Evertime she is a good girl for the day she gets a sticker and at the end of the week if she has a sticker for each day she gets a reward, it can be as simple as a walk or go to the park, library or grandparents or even a new toy or food treat whatever she likes best.
Good luck.
Cheers Leah.

Lucille - posted on 07/14/2010

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This would sound insane I know but when she bites at that moment bite her between the eyes n her nose. Sounds cracy but works had the same problem or bite het back

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