How do i get my 16 month old to stop biting? We are at our wit ends with this. She picked it up from daycare.

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Sarah - posted on 02/25/2009

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I strongly agree with putting something (like vinegar or a spicy food) on the mouth immediately after the incident. This worked wonders with my daughter who was a biter to the extreme. I tried everything, the time outs, the biting back (which i would never do again) and this is the only thing that worked. Biting can be very frustrating to deal with because it is so upsetting to everyone involved, but with firmness and love, put something unpleasant (but safe) on your child's mouth when they bite and explain that that is what is going to happen each and everytime. You won't have to do it more than twice. Good luck.

Liz - posted on 01/28/2014

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They say biting your child back or hitting them when they hit others can definitely get your child to stop. The problem is that it is a short term cure for bad behavior. What it does teach them is that: 'size' is 'power' and when you are bigger you can use physical force to control peoples actions. That is not what you want to teach any child!
It's hard to resist the 'quick fix' but in the long run, it will teach better values to your child. The trick is to be consistent with your response. A better response would be to give the one who was bitten or hit, the loving attention. Then tell the child that hit or bit, that hitting (or biting) is not acceptable and that it hurts. Use a stern voice. Many say, "Well they don't know what that means." Of course they don't but that's how they learn what words mean. We need to be consistent and repeat it as often as needed. That's the way little ones learn our language. We can also talk to them while they are still in the womb. I had 3 children of my own and am a preschool teacher. I know it is very frustrating! I like the doctor's advise I read earlier on this site; He said, "if the child is biting often, give the victim the loving attention then remove the biter (this child was 18 mths.) and place him/her in the crib and tell him/her that he/she is there because of the biting. Let the child know that when he/she calms down, he/she may come out. Repeat as often as necessary. This child was repeatedly biting a sibling. I believe the mother said that her child spent most of the first three days in the crib but then stopped this behavior. It's hard to do what is best, it takes a lot more time. But in the end, you will be thankful you did. Also, don't be too hard on yourself if you don't always do what you think is right! Take a deep breath and try again!

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Nichole - posted on 03/04/2012

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ok so i have tried bitin my child back even gone as far as making him bite sap but it never worked. he litterally made my 6 yr old sister bleed and left a big bruise,,, any other suggestions

Heather - posted on 02/26/2009

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I guess my issue with the bite back is CPS. They are not very nice hear when they see a child has been bit. My daughter is the time that will go back and say mommy bit me and it hurt. I am at a cross hear.

[deleted account]

Quoting Catherine:

im so glad to see that most of you agree with the whole "biting back" thing and i also agree with the HOT thing. MOST of the time a child needs to be shown LITERALLY what things are i just don't see how at such a young age were supposed to sit them down and explain to them, i know its hard enough to get them to sit for more than 2seconds let alone a conversation, maybe i sound really cruel!!



I totally agree!! 2 year olds do not understand the concept "that hurts" or "thats hot and it will burn you" etc. They learn best by being shown. I think anyone who says otherwise has never had a kid sink their teeth into them. Its not pleasant!! Besides I don't have the patience for time outs! and how do you do a time out in the middle of walmart?

User - posted on 02/25/2009

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Quoting Heather:

How do i get my 16 month old to stop biting? We are at our wit ends with this. She picked it up from daycare.



my middle son did the same thing what i am about to say may seem mean but i bit him back just for him to know what it feels like when someone bits you ,or try tabasco hot sauce not lots but just a finger tip & rub it in on there tongue good luck

User - posted on 02/25/2009

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Quoting Heather:

How do i get my 16 month old to stop biting? We are at our wit ends with this. She picked it up from daycare.



my middle son did the same thing what i am about to say may seem mean but i bit him back just for him to know what it feels like when someone bits you ,or try tabasco hot sauce not lots but just a finger tip & rub it in on there tongue good luck

Ashley - posted on 02/25/2009

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I had this same problem w/ my son. He would hit, bite and throw things at me constantly! I tried everything from biting him back to sitting him in a chair where I could see him and being firm w/ saying no and trying to explain why its not nice to bite. He could care less he is stubborn. It was getting so bad I asked my doctor at my sons 18 month check up, she said to put him in his crib and when he quit crying he could come out, she told me I needed to explain to him when I put him in there that he was going in there because he bit, or hit and he can come out when he calms down. I did this for three days and most of those three days he spent in his crib, BUT he hasnt done it since to anyone! and it didnt interfere w/ his nap or bedtime. Hope any of that helped!

Kimberly - posted on 02/25/2009

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My kids both bit badly- my boy bad enough to get thrown out of two daycares.. His was a stress factor because he couldn't talk well enough to express himself. I bit him back a lot and it never seemed to work. I ended up getting him speech therapy and the therapist attached a chew tube to his shirt everyday, and when he was about to bite, they would stop him and have him bite the tube. it worked most of the time. he did grow out of it as soon as he started talking at about age 2. Good luck, I hated, it was so hard to deal with. I think alot of it is the size room and amount of kids a classroom has, if the teachers don't catch them before it happens, then their is no chance for that child. The teachers should really pay more attention.

Erin - posted on 02/25/2009

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My first daughter, who is now 9, was a biter. She had been bitten by her cousin who was 3 months younger. Obviously the biting back didn't work for either of them, but WHITE VINEGAR did for both of them! After that all we had to do is ask if they wanted vinegar, and no further attempts were made. I will not hesitate giving my 2 year old vinegar immediately, if she tries to bite. Vinegar works great for potty mouths too!

Nicole - posted on 02/25/2009

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I work in a daycare and I have been around alot of biters! (I have even been bit by a few myself) Most kids will bite if they are being watched or not, they do it because it gets them what they want, when they want it when they don't have the words to tell you what it is they want, it also causes crazy amounts of attention for the child. Truely I don't know if timeouts work (especially for a 16 month old) because they are so young, with my children (not at daycare) I have bit back gently, this didn't work either. I think that best thing is to watch them like a hawk when they are in a situation where they could hurt another child and to put them on timeout when it is needed. I think that you are going to have to find the best thing for her. It will pass in time, I know how frusterating this can be and I feel for you! :)

Jennifer - posted on 02/25/2009

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Well... I (lightly but enough to get her attention) popped my 16 month old in the mouth it took twice and she stopped. I dont agree with the biting, but whatever works, do it!

Deanna - posted on 02/25/2009

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Be careful about biting her back. My husband bite my daughter for biting her brother and a suposed to be friend called CPS!! No Joke we had to go through a investigation they brought the police in who quickly dismissed the case but CPS was another story.  My son was our biggest biter out of our triplets. We had him eat a bite out of a onion and that seemed to stop it for a while.  He finally out grew it. But they are now 5 and sometimes get mad at each other and still bite.  Good Luck!!  She will eventually stop.



 

Alex - posted on 02/25/2009

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It does sound awful but after four kids none of them bit for very long. I bit everyone of them back and it was so productive. They stopped rather quickly they realized it hurt. I do know of one mom that it got worse but it's one out of five. Let us know what happens.



 

Sarah - posted on 02/25/2009

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I agree, bite her back. Then she will know how it feels and probably wont do it again. Its just something every single child goes through when they dont know how to express themselves properly. Its their perfect way of getting what they want and will grow out of it.

Kasie - posted on 02/25/2009

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The best thing that I found is vinegar. I know it sounds bad, but it is healthly. I always put a little on my finger and just touch their tongue. They don't like it at all and they will remember the next time. Now all I have to do is mention it and he stops doing what he is not supposed to. I used it for biting, but it also works great for other issues too.

Jessica - posted on 02/25/2009

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Our doctor suggested what Lauri Pearson said and it worked biting back is just teaching that biting is ok.

Patrice - posted on 02/25/2009

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bite her back. my son WAS biting until I started biting him back... now it is no longer an issue.

Leah - posted on 02/25/2009

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The only way she is going to quit biting is to bit her back at the exact time when she does it then she will know that it is not alright to bite because my daughter did it when she was little and I broke her from doing it.

Jessica - posted on 02/25/2009

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I used vinegar with my 18 mo old! Just put a little bit on a cotton ball and dab on her tounge! I never had anymore promblems!!I tried the old trick of "Bite them back" neverr worked for me!Hope this is some help!



 



 

Catherine - posted on 02/25/2009

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you won't get me teeling you off for that one its probably something i would say,, if people can't have a sense of humour sometimes when it comes to parenting we would all be very stressed and lonely with no friends other than our children...

[deleted account]

I have no idea how to get a child to stop biting but I heard a hilarious reply one time for what to say when someone accuses your child of biting. The lady responded by saying "Wonderful, we finally got her to stop pinching!" (And before I get ostracized, it is just some humor to lighten up a serious situation)

Catherine - posted on 02/25/2009

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yes and thats understandable with a 41/2 year old but a 16mth or 17mth as ive got is a totally different situation sometimes the only way they learn is to experience.

Christina - posted on 02/25/2009

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I have bit all of my kids back. However the thing that has helped with my almost 3 yr old - is a little girl at the sitters bit her so badly that she had a bruise for 2 wks. thank god it didn't break the skin. However when she starts to bite someone (usually big sister) I try to remind her how she felt when she was bitten. That it hurt. Seems to help.

Becky - posted on 02/25/2009

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That to me is an entirely different situation - - you wouldn't put your hand on the hot burner - and hopefully no one else's either. When cooking, if you child is curious let them watch from a safe distance, but tell them that the stove is hot and if they touch it the could get hurt. My oldest is 4 1/2 and he knows that the stove is hot - he watches me cook, but he doesn't go near it.

Catherine - posted on 02/25/2009

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but thats laike saying how come mommy can touch the stove and i cant... they need to knows the boss also

Becky - posted on 02/25/2009

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if you bite her back and then tell her not to bite that will just confuse her... "How come mommy can bite and I can't???"

Becky - posted on 02/25/2009

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I say don't bite!
When she bites you make a BIG deal about it - cry, throw a tantrum tell her that she hurt mommy - - you'll be surprised how empathetic small children can be. She won't want to hurt you. Then tell her that she shouldn't bite anyone else, because it hurts them too.

Jennifer - posted on 02/25/2009

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Yeah I have heard of biting the child back and also putting something bitter, tart, or sour in his mouth when he bites. Like lemon juice or something... nothing that will hurt him!

Catherine - posted on 02/25/2009

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im so glad to see that most of you agree with the whole "biting back" thing and i also agree with the HOT thing. MOST of the time a child needs to be shown LITERALLY what things are i just don't see how at such a young age were supposed to sit them down and explain to them, i know its hard enough to get them to sit for more than 2seconds let alone a conversation, maybe i sound really cruel!!

Jan - posted on 02/24/2009

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It sounds strange, but bite her back, and in a firm voice, tell her NO, NOT NICE!  Yes, she will most likely cry, but after a few times, she will understand that it hurts and it is not a nice thing to do.  Also, if you can intercept her before she bites, remind her, NO, in a firm voice, and remind her of the consequences if she proceeds with biting.

Marina - posted on 02/24/2009

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My immediate response to you was to bite back, and then I read all (except for 2) the responses to you also saying to bite back. It suprises me that it is such an overwhelming suggestion, as most parents wouldn't admit to such severe discipline! The fact is that my daughter also was a chronic biter at daycare and at home, anytime she was angry, and sometimes even for attention. I sat with her one night explaining the whole thing to her (so not as a response in anger) and as part of our "discussion" I bit her and I truly think she had no idea how much pain she was inflicting on people. Once she was aware of what a bite felt like, she immediately stopped! It was not even as a result of advice I had received, it was my gut instinct that made me do it, and I would rely on that gut instinct always from now on.

Lianne - posted on 02/24/2009

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Biting is a really tough thing.  My youngest once bit my oldest so hard, he bled.  He practically bit a chunk out of him.  He had little cuts from his teeth.  It was bad, and we were quite concerned of infection and stuff.  Like you I didn't know how to stop this, he also picked this up from another child.  That day, right after he did that, I bit his arm.  Hard, not as hard as he bit his big brother obviously - but hard enough to let him know that biting hurts.  He never bit again.  I'm not sure it is an acceptable approach - but for me it worked.  I believe sometimes you have to show kids why they can't do some things.  My oldest used to play around the stove all the time and my mother had a really old stove, and the oven would get hot when it was on - that scared me he was going to get burnt badly one day.  I took his hand and placed it on the oven door really really quickly so he could see it was not like a warm bath.  Then I told him that is hot.  He understood.  He wasn't hurt, just a little surprised.  But after that when I said that is hot, he understood what I meant.

Naomi - posted on 02/24/2009

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I know biting back sounds a little mean too, but it really does work. I had this problem with kids too and it really was the only thing that worked. Maybe because they finally know what it feels like?

Jennifer - posted on 02/24/2009

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try timeouts first, If it is you who she is biting, act like you are in a lot of pain, start crying, scare her a little, then last resort...bite back. My daughter had a huge problem with this..It was her way of letting me know that she was angry and frustrated. It is a phase. she may also see it as a game.

Fran - posted on 02/24/2009

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not into the biting back thing. whenever my 2 year old starts up with biting, thinking it's a game he can play with mom, i firmly tell him no. then if he doesn't listen he gets a timeout. if he won't sit in a timeout i put up a baby gate and he has to stay there for 2 minutes. he behaves much better after that. the process is tedious sometimes but patience will get you through it. and talk to the daycare center and find out what they do to stop biters. that way you can all be consistent with the discipline. good luck.

[deleted account]

I'm all for lightly biting back as well.  When my middle son was 2-3 he would constantly bite my younger son, even bruised him.  I tried taking him away from the situation, redirecting him, letting him know mommy was angry, nothing worked and I felt awful that my little one was getting bit so I bit him back and like magic it STOPPED!

Catherine - posted on 02/24/2009

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Well i've been having this same problem with my little boy he's 17mths and believe me as im sure you know telling them "no biting" consistently just does not work, my mother always says "bite him back" i have tried this and it Does work. Obviosly you don't chomp their hands or fingers off just lightly does it!!!

User - posted on 02/24/2009

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I say DON"T bite her back!!! Be very firm! Say loudly "no Biteing" and remover her from the situation. send her to a time out chair or on a step. Somewhere you can still see her and give all your positive attention to the one who got bit. You need to be very consistant and very firm. She needs to know Mommy is upset with her. This takes more patientce and takes a bit longer than biteing her back but It wont confuse her about who is and is not aloud to bite.

I have 4 children. One is handicapped. He was a biter and this worked for him.

good luck!

Nikki - posted on 02/24/2009

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I know it sounds aweful, but bite her back.  lightly!  my daughter was the same way and i bit her back and she has not bit since.

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