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So as you can see, my son has a lovely set of eight teeth.  Eight tiny, pearly white, eagerly awaited, razor sharp teeth.

As you can also see, he has developed a penchant for biting me!

If I ask for a kiss, he comes steaming towards me, mouth wide open, and starts trying to clamp my mouth between his teeth.   Or if he is in a particularly boisterous mood, he will merrily bash against me with his head and start trying to gnaw away at my leg or tummy, or arm.

It was something I wasn’t expecting until he was a little older, maybe at pre-school where you hear stories of that kid who bites!  At 13 months old, I got a little bit worried that the little guy was doing something he shouldn’t have been…I pretty quickly discovered it was totally normal…

So what should I do about it?  I am pretty sure my current approach, giggling madly, giving a puny yelp of an ouch, and laughing some more as he goes in for a second bite may not be the conventional route!  And saying ”no” is something I talked about trying not to do (check it out here).

I never knew, but each bite is just an expression of his excitement, his love, his enthusiasm and his energy in life.  There is no way I am going to bite him back like someone recommended a friend try doing with her son.

Why do toddlers bite?

A bite is a way of expressing something without words, be it happiness, excitement, joy, or anger, frustration or hurt.

It could also be down to the usual suspects…teething, tiredness, boredom or just plain old experimentation.

How to react when your toddler bites you.

Stay calm!  Try not to laugh! Use the serious voice to say something like ‘bites hurt, ouch’ and use it consistently.

Shift the focus to a different activity, not biting mum fun time…a distraction is invaluable.

Understand why your toddler is biting.

If you can figure out what your little person is trying to tell you with a bite, it might go some way to calming the situation down.  If they could be teething, bring the teething toys out.  If they are over tired, try and get a nap in or nap earlier for the future.  If they are in need of more activity, try and give more time to entertaining them.

Each scenario has an obvious solution, but especially if your toddler is older it may be harder to deal with the situation.  Zerotothree.org has some great advice here to help you deal with your situation.

So what age did your child start to bite?  Or did they never go through this phase at all.  How did you handle it?  Would love to hear your thoughts…

I only hope my boob isn’t the next victim!!!

 

 

 

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  1. Valerie says:

    Samuel did the same thing!! I knew it was normal because Joshua had done a little of it too, but Samuel added in the head-butting and wow, what fun playtime was right around that one year mark! 😛
    I chose to stay on the defense and avoid being bitten at all costs, being extremely mindful of where his sweet, little teeth were. I played with him on the floor and he would roll around laugh (and then try to bite) so I would sweep him in a hug (with his face positioned away from my body!) and it sort of, changed the subject…distracted him. Ya know?
    But the head-butting? Oh my! Nothing you can do to prevent that! :(
    Thankfully, both were part of a stage and he hasn’t done either in months. 😀

    • wildandwisdom says:

      That’s a great idea to sweep him into a hug, just before play time turns into snack time! Good to hear I am not alone in this, and hopefully it is a phase that will pass soon!!

  2. momasteblog says:

    My son was a biter! It persisted for a while despite our best efforts. But it is always something with kids, so if it isn’t biting it is potty learning, or sleep training, or picky eating. . . hang in there!

  3. mummyflyingsolo says:

    I have a hair puller as opposed to a biter. We stick with talking to him like a person and explaining “Please don’t bite, it hurts, be gentle”. That’s all we did at that age. He stopped for awhile but is starting again at almost 2. We still say those things but we also have him apologise to the person whose hair he pulled and he gets a time out. I’m wondering if it’s an attention thing so I’ve tried to be better with not splitting my focus.

    • wildandwisdom says:

      Ouch the hair pulling!! I don’t remember the last time I wore my hair down! Curious that it stopped and started up again later on. Definitely agree that they are after some way to get us involved in activities and pay attention.

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