2 year old biting, any ideas of how to stop it?

Zabrina - posted on 12/08/2011 ( 25 moms have responded )

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Recently my 2 year old son has started biting an older child and nursery, the parents of the other child are not happy which is completely understandable but my son doesnt ever bite anybody else. Nursery have tried distracting him and shadowing him and even time out but nothing seems to be working, I have asked the question what is the other child doing to my son to make him bite in the first place? Does anybody have any other ideas that I could try as the nursery are reconsidering his place there if this isnt sorted out.

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Biting a child back is absurd. Of course, when my twins went through the biting stage.... they both constantly had bite marks up and down their arms.. not only from each other, but from themselves as well. Now tell me exactly how ME biting them would've stopped THAT? lol



Of course, neither of them ever bit me... only each other (and themselves)... except one did bite my ex once. He popped her on the cheek (just enough to shock her.. not hurt) strictly out of reaction and she never bit him again.



Disclaimer.. I am not advocating anyone popping their kids on the cheek. I'm just telling what happened.... 8+ years ago. ;)

Charity - posted on 12/10/2011

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I'm sure I'm not going to give a popular opinion here, but bite him. Not hard, but enough for him to realize that it does hurt & then say 'We don't bite anyone because it hurts.' They don't understand until it happens to them. I have done this with both my children & the biting stopped within 1-2 times of me biting them back.

Nikki - posted on 12/08/2011

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Toddlers use aggressive behaviours because they cannot communicate and problem solve effectively. The nursery needs to do more to help the situation, they need to keep him away from the older children, or ensure the older children are not antagonising him in anyway. It is completely normal behaviour and apart from encouraging him to use his words the only other thing you can do it get them to avoid the situation in the first place.

If it is a recent thing, you could also look at if he is teething? the combination of molars erupting and lack of communication skills inevitably ends up in episodes of biting.

Elizabeth - posted on 12/17/2011

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There have been many comments about not being able to communicate, which it could be, but you might also want to look at the possibility of a sensory issue. When my kids were little, I knew that if I heard the girls giggling, pretty soon the older one would be crying because the younger one bit her. I was at my wit's end and did what I heard so many people told me to do--I bit her. I cried for hurting her, and she cried because it hurt her feelings. It took years before we realized that it was because of sensory over-load. Perhaps your son actually really enjoys playing with the other boys, but can't handle it. Look at the experiences he has at home when he bites and see if something like that is recognizable--Does he bite when it's noisy or there are a lot of people around? Does he bite when he is happy or hungry?
Yes, most children do just go through a biting stage, but for some children, it will not stop unless you are able to identify why. If it's a sensory issue, a teething ring may not work, but a squishy ball to squeeze might be just what he needs.

Gina - posted on 12/08/2011

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My four year old bites when he feels helpless in any interaction with his five year old brother. I would observe the situation and find which situations are causing the biting. Does he not have the words he needs to get the action that he wants? Is that the only defense he has when confronted with an older kids>>

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Vicki - posted on 01/05/2012

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My daughter was bitten in nursery, by another child. It was when they were in the baby room and my daughter could not walk but the other child could. She only ever bit my daughter, and it was thought this was because she could not get away. Once my daughter started walking the biting stopped as my daughter walked away from the other child. My daughter didn't do anything to warrant being bitten, apparently she had a toy the other child wanted on one occasion, on another occasion the two children were sitting next to each other and the other one just bent down and bit my daughters hand for no reason. Once they could both walk they became best of friends!

Lyssa - posted on 12/19/2011

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i have to say my son did this at 2 with another child at daycare, and the other child was taking his toys, pushing him down outside, etc. it's not a good reason to bite, but obviously there is a reason your son is doing it. it sounds to me like the people at the daycare aren't telling you the whole story. the only thing that made my son stop biting this child was when the child finally bit him back!! as bad as that sounds, it worked. sometimes they just have to know how it feels. other than that, i've never known anything else that worked on a child that age. i've known many parents who had to bite their children back when they've bitten them, and that stopped it. there must be a reason he's doing it, and i'd keep trying to figure it out. keep asking more questions to the daycare staff.

Pamela - posted on 12/16/2011

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Years ago, I had a friend whose child had this same habit. Each time she came to visit with him he would bite my sons and make them cry. Finally I got fed up with her not trying to correct his behavior, so the next time he bit my youngest son, I took his little arm and firmly pressed my teeth into his flesh, not hard enough to break the skin, as he had done with my sons, but firm enough so he got the message of how it felt.

It worked!!! Child never bit either of my children again. His Mom was pissed for a while, but hey, she wouldn't correct her son and I was tired of his anti-social behavior in my house.

Shirley - posted on 12/16/2011

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Biting is about frustration and not being capable of getting his words out to explain his frustration.One on one time when he gets upset is best.Shadowing is good to do to observe what is frustrating him.

Leona - posted on 12/16/2011

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Biting back does not work. My Granddaughter has this problem too and has started making them take a sip of lemmon juice if they bite. It seems to be working

Myrna - posted on 12/15/2011

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I know it sounds bad, but my son bit me several times. He finally stopped after I bit him back. I bit him hard too as a little nip he wouldn't have cared about. He never bit again.

Vanessa - posted on 12/14/2011

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I agreee bite back to show him how it feels. My son is ten now & he never bit, even at daycare- he satrted day care at 1 years of age.

Nikki - posted on 12/11/2011

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Hurting your child is not discipline, discipline is about teaching not punishing.

Brittany - posted on 12/11/2011

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Its a form of dicipline even though you disagree others do not. So instead of 1 time biting your child and telling them no you dont bite people its not nice it hurts doesnt it? you would rather a whole bunch of other children one that could be yours whos a victim get bite marks on their body from another child. not every child needs to be bitten to show why not to do it but some do.

Nikki - posted on 12/11/2011

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You do not bite your child back.. geeze! As parents it's our responsibility to be positive role models, what's the point in doing the very thing we are trying to avoid. Really it's irresponsible and bordering on abusive behaviour.

If you are concerned about biting, educate yourself to find out why it is occurring, like I said previously it's usually teething, lack of communication skills, aggression or attention. Work out the trigger and avoid the biting in the first place.

Brittany - posted on 12/11/2011

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Maryann you said it!.....bite him back not hard enough to leave a mark just to teach him it hurts and he will realize he doesnt like it and stop. i had to do it with my boys i bit them once and they never bit again.

Lisa - posted on 12/10/2011

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When my son was a little over 2, he started biting his little sister. I made him bite his own finger (I couldn't bring myself to do it). He has only had to do it four or five times in almost a year, so he does remember it hurts most of the time.

Don't know how an approach like this would work in nursery. I wish that you could see what is happening before the biting occurs and how the incident is handled.

Melanie - posted on 12/10/2011

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I have been working with toddlers for years and have experienced A LOT of biting. Sometimes it is a means of defense, but other times it's just a way of letting out frustrations, and sometimes it's a way to get attention. If he just keeps biting one specfic kid and never bites anybody otherwise, see if there's a way that one of the children can be moved to another room. There's always a chance that the other kid isn't really doing something to him, but for some unknown reason he just has decided he doesn't like the child, who knows... I wish you lots of luck in figuring out the best solution. Biting is never an easy situation to deal with.

Belinda - posted on 12/10/2011

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i bit my 2 year old back but if its only happend at day care i would wonder if the kids are bugging him to do that

Diane - posted on 12/10/2011

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HHe sounds so sweet! It is normal behavior at his age...communicating his feelings are so hard for him. A wise woman once told me...give attention to the victim, ignore the biter. Try and really get him to use his words and give him lots of choices...red pants,blue pants,milk or water...anything to give him more power....and take care of you,too. This too shall pass.
Diane

Zabrina - posted on 12/08/2011

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I have tried to tell him that it hurts but i agree at this age it is so hard to make them understand what they are doing wrong. If he ever bites anybody at home I normally make him say sorry and kiss where he has bitten which helps alot sometimes

Gina - posted on 12/08/2011

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I would agree that he is using it as self defense, but be careful since he might like the attention and use the biting as a way to receive that attention. Maybe he just doen't understand that it hurts someone or that why what he is doing is wrong. When they are little it is hard to teach why something is bad,

Zabrina - posted on 12/08/2011

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He is very forward with his speech but he doesnt understand how to tell anybody what the actual problem is yet, he has bitten before but that was in self defence as the other child was picking on him. The other child must be doing something to set my son off in the first place, he is normally fantastic behaviour wise.

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