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What do you do if your child thinks its funny to bite?

My 19 month old son bites all the time and has been biting for months now. I have tried everything I can think of. I am firm and say no I try to distract him I tried time out (that didn't work at all I think he is still too young for time out). It was also told that if you bite back then that always stops them from biting. So I didn't want to but at thins point I was willing to try so last night he started biting me so I bit him back just a little but not hard enough to make a mark and now he is even worse! He thought I was playng with him and kept trying to stick his fingers in my mouth so I would bite again! *sigh* Any ideas? He is really a sweet baby but has sharp teeth! Thanks!


Asked by Brandi300 at 11:28 AM on Aug. 3, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 22 (15,089 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (13)
  • Yeah...cause I meant to ferociously bite the kid. What I mean is hard enough so they don;t think you are playing and instead feel a little pain to it. That way, they associate a bite with pain and can connect the two. Like a pop on the hand if they touch something dangerous. I didn't say I am all for beating and no other methods, but, sometimes...a bite is all that will get matter how many books and classes and specialists you read about.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 12:34 PM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • Yell. Loud.
    Look, here's my thinking. Sometimes you need your kid to think that the entire universe is going to collapse in on him if he keeps doing something. Physically injuring someone is one of those times. It sounds like you put a good amount of effor into keeping calm and reasonable. That's awesome, because it means when you get loud, it will work.
    At 19 months he's old enough for time out. As soon as those teeth even touch you, turn the volume up to 11 and stick him in time out. Do this every single time. No warnings, no nothing else. You've tried that junk, and it didn't work. Teeth on skin = mommy yells. He'll get it, he won't like it, and he'll stop doing it.

    Answer by Jenny-talia at 11:33 AM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • I bite them back hard.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 11:40 AM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • Yeah Gailll....sometimes a quiet ouch does nothing. And just because you have taught them to be kind and gentle...stuff happens.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 12:04 PM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • My DD went thru a biting phase. I would immediately yell "Ouch. No Biting!" and put her down and walk away. This sent the message that I didn't like the biting and that she was not going to get my attention with that behavior. I would typically do gentle ignoring for a minute or two, i.e. I suddenly became very pre-occupied with something else and didn't look at or talk to her. Like I said, this was for a minute or two at the most.
    I do think 19 months is plenty old to understnad time out too. So you could use this if he continues to bite after a warning. Tell him "No biting or you will get a time out" and if he does it again right after then march him to time out. If he gets up, put him back and tell him to stay there until you come back and leave him for a minute or two, then come back and ask for a sorry and a hug. It took my DD a few times to get it at about 15 months but now she understands completely. Good luck!

    Answer by MaryMW at 12:22 PM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • There are some cute books to read together about not biting that may help (when kids see their favorite character doing something they want to also). The pictures can help visualize and explain at their age level.  See them here

    It's a phase, but continue to say  a firm NO, that it hurts and make sure you are looking in his eyes with a stern face (eye contact is very important).  I would not bite back (kids mimic what we do).



    Answer by momjs at 11:41 AM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • Never ever bite a child. People that tell you to do that are not skilled parents. No does not work with most toddlers because it is overused. Here is a famous article about saying no

    Time-outs, hitting, or other punishments don't stop bad behavior and don't teach good behavior. They teach kids to behave worse, sneak, like, and resent their parents. You can learn effective parenting skills and have a well behaved toddler without punishment.


    Answer by Gailll at 11:51 AM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • The person that would bite their child hard could and should be reported to CPS. That's assult.

    You can learn effective parenting skills and have a well behaved toddler without punishment. Love & Limits is a good first book by Elizabeth Crary. Her website is star parenting. Here is a parenting chart.

    When the child bites say ouch and no lectures. Give the child something they can bite and tell them people aren't for biting but to bite the chew toy. Look for reasons the child may be stressed. Do TMJ massage, some kids that bite have TMJ issues. Follow Crary's Star tips.


    Answer by Gailll at 11:58 AM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • Thank you ladies for your answers.

    Gailll....I read your links and I don't think reasoning with a 1 1/2 year old is going to work. I have tried. And I don't think I was wrong for trying biting back. It wasn't to hurt him it was to teach him how it feels. I think some people are just a little too CPS happy. We should save CPS for people that are abusing there children. But thank you for your thoughts on the subject!

    Comment by Brandi300 (original poster) at 12:10 PM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • The mom who advises biting children hard is right, stuff happens. Often the kids that are injured or killed by their parents end up in the ER or morgue because what the parent normally does for disciple goes too far, stuff happens. You should never do something to your child that you could be arrested for if you did it to someone else. If you bit someone else hard you would be arrested. So it's a crime to bite someone else but you should do it to your own children, be proud of it, and advocate others to do it to their children.

    Violence against children in never right. If you learn effective parenting skills you don't need to resort to violence or punishment to have well behaved children. Psychologists know this from many studies.


    Answer by Gailll at 12:13 PM on Aug. 3, 2010