How do you stop a toddler biting? Biting the hand that feeds you

6 Jun

Toby has recently taken to biting. He doesn’t bite everyone, but saves his lovely nashers just for me. And I ask myself, what on earth am I doing wrong? Why is the child that I sacrifice food for, sacrifice sleep for and sacrifice me time for, biting me? Do I deserve it?

I’ve been trying to work out whether there’s a pattern to the behaviour. His biting habit generally kicks in when I am sat at my desk, in front of the computer. When I’m working I have a window of Toby contentment. For about an hour he can entertain himself and leave me to get on with things. However, like a switch being flipped as soon as he realises I’m not paying him all the attention and as soon as he decides he is fed up, he starts hanging around with an air of irritation. Then like a vampire, starved for 100 years, out they come. For such little teeth they don’t half hurt and his clamp is so intense I struggle to release my poor skin from his clutches. Tom once heard me scream, ran over and ripped him off me, which made it even more painful.

So what do I do. My big fear is that he starts biting other kids. I did a bit of research on biting toddlers and wish I hadn’t. There’s advice out there on what to do if your child develops an infection from another child’s bite. I’m going to make sure Toby’s dental hygene is first rate to avoid any such situations.

My strategy of saying no, looking sad and even pretending to cry seems only to cause a roar of laughter from Toby. Have I created a monster? Any advice on how to deal with this ‘biting phase’ would be most warmly received.

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5 Responses to “How do you stop a toddler biting? Biting the hand that feeds you”

  1. janeblackmore June 6, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

    I had a biter! was bloody awful, I have since met lots of mums whose children bite. the only way we got through it was to ignore it, its the reaction he remembers. Eventually like all things he will go off biting; the hardest thing is to ignore it when he bites someone else and you look like you dont care.

    Good luck – and it does end!

    • PR Mummy June 6, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

      Thanks for the reassurance. I’m going to have to get some thicker skin! Argh… it’s so awful.

  2. Liska June 6, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    I find when Aaron does something he shouldn’t, a really firm NO works but I do have to say it about 6 times sometimes. It sounds like he is jealous of the computer bless him x

  3. working london mummy June 6, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    Is it teething Claire? I think a firm no as Liska suggests is no bad thing, am sure that it will pass but maybe if it starts, rub some gel on the gums if you think it is teething related? x

    • Alexander Residence June 15, 2011 at 9:52 am #

      I have a biter and like you I looked at the triggers. He does it when he feels threatened, other kids taking his toys etc. I used the phrase ‘We don’t bite, biting hurts,’ if he did or was about to and the message seemed to go in. I took him out of the situation if he bit and ignored him.
      Yhe ignoring tactic is interesting, more and more I think a firm no and move on swiftly is the best plan.
      I watched him like a hawk in new settings, read lots of books about sharing and worked with nursery to make him feel more at home. It’s horrible that people still think biters are just aggressive, badly disciplined kids when lots of research suggests it’s about them feeling scared, overwhelmed, hungry or just teething.

      Maybe you could get him his own toy laptop or some other distraction that makes him feel special when you want to get on the laptop?

      Have been meaning to write a post on this, may have just done that here sorry!

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