How do i get my 2 and a half year old to stop biting?

Christine - posted on 03/04/2009 ( 12 moms have responded )




She has biten me on the arm once and has biten her 5 month old brother on the head twice.


Arlene - posted on 03/05/2009




My son was a biter and really bad too, and I tried saying NO, biting him back, to which he laughed at, and finally I resorted to threatening to pull all his teeth out if he ever bit soon as he bit, I sat him down and told him how much it hurt, I got him to open his mouth and I held onto one of his teeth and told him he would lose them if he ever bit me again. No more biting, and he's just two so they definitely understand. It sounds pretty mean, but it can't be any worse than biting them back?!!


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Sheri - posted on 03/12/2009




There seems to be a biting phase around this age. My son and the girl I nannied both went through it at the same age but it didn't last long. (So don't be too alarmed if it happens again.) If she's old enough for time-outs that may also work or even just a stern, "No biting!" and a strong removal of her little self from whomever she bit. I'd caution you about the biting back however, as it could be a little confusing (even though she'll get that it's a punishment, it's still like you're modeling biting). In any form of punishment, if we can also try to model the proper behavior along with the correction/discipline, it will go a longer way for them. Not that I'm against (limited) physical discipline... we just have to try and avoid modeling the behavior we'd like them to change.

Christine - posted on 03/10/2009




thanks so much everyone for your advice,since biting her back touch wood she has not bitten at all.if she goes to bite all i have to do is look at her and she says dont bite. hope its worked

Rebecca - posted on 03/10/2009




If u've tried all the different ways to make them to stop biting. if its doesn't work since it didn't work for me w/ my youngest. I grew up, if u bite u get to bite bar soap. so, youngest was a biter since he was....alil younger then a year old & now he's soon to be 3 in June. He bit his brother 5x's, first, i spanked his butt & told him no, that's bad and not nice to bite either but warn him, if bite again u get to bite the soap. well, oviously he didn't know what it tasted like. so he bit him again took him to the bathroom told him bite soap(i use ivory bar soap). oh he didnt like that & so in everytime u're gonna bite, you'll be biting the bar soap til u stop bitting or if u want to bite something you're gonna bite the soap. ohh he didnt like that he only had to bite the soap like 3 times before he even stop bitiing..

Lynn - posted on 03/10/2009




My youngest bit for over a year. I tried a ton of things. You know what worked? Tobasco sauce! A friend told me about it and i wish i would have tried it sooner. I put some on his tounge after biting hid brother. He hated it, of course. He tested me one more time, and got more Tobaco. No biting since then. It wasn't a comumication thing - he spoke great. It was about control and getting what he wanted.

Katie - posted on 03/10/2009




i am a firm believer of a smack on the butt and a time out. she has to learn that there are consequences to her actions. if your not for bum smacking, then begin taking her favorite toys away... if she likes her toys enough she will cut it out. she is just trying to get your attention now that theres a new one pulling your attention away from her.  try explaining to her that mommy weants to b happy with her and when she bites it makes mommy sad. also try explaining to her that if she needs attention that she needs to ask for it. she is big enough to do this now. they key with that is when she does ask for it instead of acting out, you have to make a BIG deal out of it.  clapping, treats, huggs, kisses etc.  just try to give her positive solutions to when she is feeling frustrated. some special alone time with you might really help too. good luck!!

Heather - posted on 03/09/2009




Biteing is deffinately a hard one to tackle. I worked with children ages 0-3 for 5 years and have my own almost 3 yr old so I can understand your frusteration.

With my own son we would firmly tell him No and let him take some time to himself away from the person he tried to bite. We often talked about how biteing was bad and hurts others, along with reading many stories about NO biteing and making sure there were teething rings avaliable to him which we still do.

In daycare we would also firmly tell the child NO, remove them from the situation and speak to them about what happened and express that it hurts the other child then have them give the other child a gentle touch.

Making sure that you explain what is going on, will happen if it continues and how it hurts others is key. Also, making sure that you have teething rings avaliable is helpful. I know at 2 1/2 she's not biteing due to teething but it gives her something to put into her mouth instead. You can try saying " Biteing hurts, we don't bite! If you need something to bite you may bite this teething ring but you may not bite poeple!!"

Hope this can be helpful to you, it is a safe alternative to physical discipline! Keep in mind that at 2 1/2 they understand many things but are also in the imitation phase as well and will do what you do, that means if you hit, bite back or flick they may too and not realize it's wrong b/c you do it to them!!

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We've used cheek flicking and it is a good idea. The one thing I would ask, is in what context is she biting - to get a point across, frustration, see what happens, etc... If it's communication related, you could try teaching her some sign language, which would allow her to communicate if she doesn't have the words. Even if she's a good talker, the signing would help for those words she doesn't know and gets frustrated with. If it's behavioural, then just keep consistent with the disicpline and she will eventually clue in that mommy means business and she can't get away with it. Keep up the good work!

Brandi - posted on 03/07/2009




The book "Teeth are not for biteing" is a board book that worked wonders. My 12month old was biting me constantly until we started reading this story together. Now if he's got a sore mouth, or is cranky or any of the other 'causes' of biting that are in the story he brings me the book to read. I think he feels that it vocalises what his problem is.

Christine - posted on 03/05/2009




I tried biting her back and she bit her brother on the hand a little later on. I think my daughter does know better and that its wrong to bite.

Adrienne - posted on 03/04/2009




This might help or not. Or you may find it cruel or not. I flicked both my kids in the cheek when they bite and look firmly in their eyes and say no biting. It works for my 20 month old who only started biting when he got a new baby brother at a year old. My 8 month use to bite me when I breastfed him and once and while now since we stopped breastfeeding. But the flicking of the cheek seems to work for me and it's not very hard.

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