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How do I get my 12 month old to stop biting?

how do I get my 12 month old to stop biting, he bit me and he bit his big brother who is 4 and was so upset and in tears about it, so far he comes right up to us while we are sitting and bites our legs.

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Asked by n8nnickmom at 7:53 PM on Jun. 17, 2013 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 13 (1,137 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • When I was little, my mom bit me back. That stopped me real quick! But I know you can't do that these days.

    When I nursed my kids and they bit, I lightly flicked their cheek and they got the message.

    I'm mildly curious as to what you are SUPPOSED to do these days to get kids to stop biting.

    Answer by tempsingl3mom at 8:04 PM on Jun. 17, 2013

  • Yep, I bit my kids back too when mine where young. It worked. I did tell them bitting was a no no.

    Answer by louise2 at 8:22 PM on Jun. 17, 2013

  • It's hard when they are teething. My 12mo old bit my toe today. I just push his face away and say no bite, it seems to work OK.

    Answer by cassie_kellison at 8:40 PM on Jun. 17, 2013

  • Can you make sure the baby has something more appropriate and comfortable than your leg to chew on, like a cold teether?

    Mine wasn't a chronic biter, but the one time I remember she did chomp down on me hard, I purposely got really dramatic about how much it hurt, and I think it surprised her.

    Answer by Ballad at 9:22 PM on Jun. 17, 2013

  • the biting back isnt a good idea. It doesnt work on all kids. When my 5 year old was 12 months she started biting and lasted until she was3. My grandma told me to bite her back that she did that with her kids and it worked so I tried that and all it did was make her bite more. I tried soap in the mouth, that didnt work. I tried everything possible and couldnt get her to stop finally one day when she was 3 she just stopped. Long 3 years lol.

    Answer by mommy5409 at 9:26 PM on Jun. 17, 2013

  • I bit mine too. That was the end of it.

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 10:03 PM on Jun. 17, 2013

  • My 7 year old was a biter. Unfortunately, biting her back didn't work. It finally stopped when I realized there was only ONE person she was biting all the time, her older brother, who was antagonistic at the time, and therefore the cause of her biting. Once I finally realized this and got on to him about it, wow, she stopped!

    Answer by hopeandglory53 at 11:36 PM on Jun. 17, 2013

  • My priority when dealing with my little ones & problematic behavior is connection. It can be challenging with such a disruptive behavior, but when you're connection-focused you recognize the behavior is driven by SOME need & your response focuses on what you DO want (not what you DON'T want.)
    What does his "goal" or reason seem to be at those times? Since he typically comes up to you both when you're sitting & bites your legs, it may not be frustration or anger, or a clear emotional provocation. But he may not be playing.
    If you can make a good guess at his apparent reason, you have a chance at connecting with him (understanding his purpose) & responding constructively.
    Focusing on what you DO want starts with that step of empathizing with him for his reasons (or even just knowing that he has SOME reason, lol!) and providing a more acceptable alternative to meet the same need. Offering him what TO do when he feels like biting.

    Answer by girlwithC at 5:42 AM on Jun. 18, 2013

  • I guess depending on how he "seems" when this happens and whether any other reason jumps out, I might start with assuming that he is hoping to engage you. Is he still crawling? And he comes up to you and BITES what he can easily reach (and gets your attention immediately)?
    Recognize that wanting your attention is a valid need (and one that's not going to go away!), so you can validate what he's wanting or trying to do, and show him what TO do. This means you have to think about acceptable (to you) options that actually will MEET the same need.
    This process can help your older son to contextualize what's happening, too (so he has some feeling of understanding for this crazy thing, rather than simply assuming bad intentions on the part of his baby brother) and gets the idea that you are "working with" the baby to help him find other ways.
    It could be frustration (not about something that happened, but wanting to be seen.)

    Answer by girlwithC at 5:58 AM on Jun. 18, 2013

  • You or any care giver needs to be diligent and watch the baby carefully. You can probably tell when he is getting ready to bite and you need to make eye contact and firmly tell him "no biting". If it happens as a result of the same thing happening all the time you need to remove that cause. It is tough, but there should not be any punishment IMO at this young age, just being told firmly "no biting". It requires closely watching him all the time. GL

    Answer by silverthreads at 8:08 AM on Jun. 20, 2013

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