by Barbara Blevins
(Camden, De, US)

My 15 month old grandson is a "biter". We have not had a "biter" in the family in my memory. I do know that many children are biting others, but the family wants some help in knowing how to discourage him developing this as an automatic response to frustration and attention seeking.

He does it more when he is teething.

Also, he and another little guy at daycare bite each other. For Andrew it seems to be a way of seeking attention.

Any suggestions to discourage his biting?

Comments for Biting

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Biting Tips
by: Aida

If you think his biting is related to teething, then you have merely to provide him gum comfort. That is, chewing toys, chewing rings, a frozen bagel or frozen apple slice. Also try soaking the chewing ring in some juice... try coconut, although I haven't tried it myself, I hear it works wonders.

If on the other hand if he has simply developed this as his way to communicate with others or attract attention, then right on the spot, calmly  but straight forward, get down to his level of eyesight and tell him "don't bite, it hurts".

Don't allow other siblings or young ones to make fun of it. If anyone laughs, make sure to show your disapproval. Also make sure everyone is using the same approach, thus being less confusing. Ask the teacher at daycare to use the same tactic.

Find a consequence to the biting. Let's say he bites his mother's shoulder while being held, then have her say the phrase "no biting it hurts" and then put him down and do not pick him up for quite some time. Also try to remember the chewing toys in case they are needed.

I read in a magazine that a quick measure with biters is to have the toddler bite a piece of lemon whenever they bite someone, even at daycare... the taste is so strong they quickly stop biting others (according to the article).

Dalene's Sidenote

With my second child, Aida's technique somehow didn't work. The only thing my husband could think of at that stage was to actually bite my son whenever he bit someone else

However cruel, drastic and against all sound baby development techniques that may sound, it really worked like magic!

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