I wish this post could hold the magic answer for toddler biting. But it’s doesn’t. Rather, it’s my white flag of surrender and admission that we’ve got a little problem over here.
The first time my son bit I was devastated. (And yes, I wrote “first” because it has happened more than once. In fact, I got bit this evening!) What on earth had I done to raise a child that would bite? It’s so naughty and mean and just … WHY? And, maybe worse than occasionally nibbling his sister, what if he bites a little friend someday and truly hurts someone? That would be a really bad end to a play date.
I started reading and researching, and well, am still researching and wanted to share some of the resources I’ve discovered on curbing toddler biting.
Hand in Hand Parenting /// What To Do When Toddlers Bite
Aha! Parenting /// Toddler Biting
Children’s Book /// Teeth Are Not For Biting
Dr Sears /// Biting and Hitting: 16 Ways to Stop It
NAEYC for Families /// Understanding and Responding to Children Who Bite
Creating Motherhood /// My Toddler Bites
Zero to Three /// Why Do Toddlers Bite?
The Natural Child Project /// Biting in the Toddler Years
Janet Lansbury /// Biting, Hitting, Kicking and Other Challenging Toddler Behavoirs
Regarding Baby /// Toddler Bites
One of my favorites quotes in learning about toddler biting is this …
A toddler bites because a big wave of tension has suddenly flooded his brain. He doesn’t plan this, and he doesn’t know how to stop it. Toddlers’ biting is like a sneeze or a cough—his body does it for internal reasons that aren’t under his control. source
Eye opening, right? As a mama, I’m learning so much about developmental education and even though my son is my second child, I’m encountering and learning many things I never experienced with my daughter. We’re striving to approach his biting episodes with gentleness and grace. He most often bites, or attempts to bite, out of frustration and it’s usually directed at his sister, so we’re all working together to avoid “the bite.” I’m watching for situations that escalate, my daughter has learned his biting signs (open mouth, screaming and usually battling over a toy) and now knows that she needs to choose to leave the situation to stay safe. And Max, well, we’re talking about and practicing how to better direct his feelings.
I hope my efforts aren’t in vain. I hope we stick with teeth indentation bites and don’t experience broken skin. Most of all, I hope this phase passes swiftly. I’m kinda over it :/
Have you experienced a biting phase with your toddler? Please tell me they didn’t go to kindergarten with a penchant for biting!