i have one twin who bites the other even when her sister is asleep any ideas?

Ellie - posted on 09/20/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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I have 21 month old identical twin girls and one is biting the other drawing blood tonight i was woken by an hysterical child wo was asleep unitl her sister sank her teeth into her face and arm, whilst she was fast asleep.

it really upset me and i dont know what to do i have tried time out and saying no biting and putting her and in a pram and then apologise to her sister but she does not seem to get it it is distressing to me and my partner and the twin who gets bitten, does anyone have any ideas or solutions as i am out of ideas just knowing that someone else has gone through this would help me greatly

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Malia - posted on 10/01/2010

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I vaguely remember those days. I have boy/girl twins. My son was the biter. His sister got good at keeping a stuffed animal with her at all times and shoving that in his face to prevent being bit. They are now 9 and my son hasn't biten since he was 3. The doctor said to mostly let them work it out. The biter was too young to figure out that the attention was given to the twin and not them. Many twins don't distinguish who is getting the attention until they go off to school.

Chris - posted on 09/30/2010

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Wow. So I am not alone in this awful experience. I have twin identical boys who have been biting since they were around 14 months old. I also try to separate them when they do it (they usually make these tell-tale noises of frustration before doing it) and I do try to comfort the one who is bitten. My first born started biting first, and the other twin wouldn't fight back. Now it's my second born that is the instigator, but they both bite really hard, leaving marks and bruises all over their bodies. Neither have drawn blood yet, but they have come really close. It is really upsetting! Frustration and tiredness do seem to make it worse, but then they also sometimes try to bite me if I am trying to get them to do something they don't want to do. I am working with a consultant from Infant Development and she has advised me that to bite them would just seem strange to them as they won't understand why you are doing it at this age. No one has really given us any strategies other than what we have been doing.

Cat - posted on 09/28/2010

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Yep, I have 2 1/2yr old girls, one of them is a biter, she's come VERY close to drawing blood, she leaves nasty bruises on her sister... She's never done it unprovoked before (to my knowledge) but usually when they're fighting over a toy, book, etc. I'd never be able to bring myself to bite her back, but I wouldnt put up too much fuss if her sister one day decided to bite her to show her how it feels... At night though, they are in separate cribs that are side by side... Is it possible for you to start separating them while they sleep? Maybe this is just their way of showing you they need space at night... As for biting during the day, it IS a phase, my son went through it around that age too, he used to bite his best friend who I looked after... I think the stage lasted 6 months at most, and the more ways they learn to communicate, the less they rely on biting...

Melissa - posted on 09/28/2010

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Sounds cruel but sometimes biting them back is the only way. One of my children used to sink their teeth in and the only way they stopped was i bit them till they let go only did it a couple times but they stopped.

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Hi Ellie
I am going through the exact same thing with my 20mth twin boys. Aidan constantly bites his brother especially in the bath .I don't know what the answer is.

Sarah - posted on 09/22/2010

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I have 17 month old identical twin girls, and one of mine is a bitter too, we aren't that bad yet though, no blood yet. It's a tough situation. You may have to bite her back to show her it hurts ( of course not to draw blood, but enough so she understands. You could try just putting a dab of a safe baby soap on her tounge and tell her if she bites you need to wash the bad out of her mouth you can do that later with bad words too. Don't put to much soap and make sure its a safe baby soap. 21 months is old enough to understand no and also cause and effect.
good luck!

Danielle - posted on 09/21/2010

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Phewf! It's nice to know I am not alone! My twin boys are 23 months old, and thankfully they have not started biting, but they do a lot of hairpulling and pinching. I also seperate them placing the aggressor in a brief time out, or in another room with my husband (thinking at the very least to give the non aggressor a break from the behaviour) but the twin who was attacked always goes to the rescue and cries for the other! It's feels like a no win situation! I think it's important to be alert to the twins cues and try to avoid keeping them in close proximity during trigger times (like when they are tired and cranky) if at all possible. My boys are still in cribs because thankfully they havent started to climb them yet..... I am sure it wouldn't be easy to seperate them at bed time.

Sandi - posted on 09/21/2010

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I completely know how upset you are. I have twin girls that are 11 months old and one of them is a biter. She bites adults but mainly her sister. It does not seem as though she is trying to hurt her but actually trying to hug and kiss her. Unfortunately, she bites when she does this and leaves marks on her sister. All I do when it happens is first to get down eye level with the biter, tell her NO BITE, and then I very lightly(VERY) tap her cheek with one finger. I do this while I am holding and comforting the other one who I then move to another area of the room to try to separate them. It does help for a little bit till they play together again. But I don't know how you actually get them to stop. I would love any ideas as well. Good luck.

Tracie - posted on 09/20/2010

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Is there any wat to separate them while they sleep? Could you put up a gate or something? 21 months is too young to understand that she has the ability to hurt someone else, or that others can even feel hurt, but she's old enough to understand what a firm "NO!" means. Also, pay no attention to the biter afterward. Focus everything on the injured twin. All children want attention, and if biting doesn't get attention, she'll probably stop.

Sophie - posted on 09/20/2010

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My twin boys are 16 months old and started biting each other about 3 months ago. I try to separate them when they do it and comfort the one who is bitten. It is upsetting! Frustration and tiredness seem to be the cause in our house. I try to move to a new area to play or if my husband is home have him give attention to one boy while I spend time with the other.

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