D.S. asks from Miami, FL on June 29, 2009
Biting Problem - Miami,FL
I have 14-month-old twin boys. One of them keeps biting the other one and we have not been able to figure out an effective way to stop him from biting. He is not biting out of frustration or anger (such as competing for a toy, etc.). He just bites out of the blue when you least expect it. They can be quietly playing together or close to each other and all of a sudden he will just lean over and bite his brother. Other times they can be playing in separate areas and he will just walk over and bite him. We are keeping a watchful eye on them but cannot be sitting right next to them at all times. If you have experienced this with your child, how did you handle it? Where you able to get them to stop or did you just have to ride it out until they got over it on their own?
L.L. answers from Melbourne on June 30, 2009
I have 4 year old twins, and my son had a short-lived problem with biting. I finally bit him back one day, and never had a problem again. It seems harsh, but once they understand that it hurts, I guess it makes them think twice.
S.K. answers from Pensacola on June 30, 2009
My SIL's little girl was a biter, until one day... Mom bit her back. She never bit again. I would definitely tell brother to bite back.
M.H. answers from Gainesville on June 30, 2009
That is a common age for kids to become biters. Is he teething? maybe getting those pre-molars? Some kids have very little pain with teething, just an urge to chew or bite. My son had a teething blanket with rubber corners that he loved to chew at that age. Maybe redirect him to something like that, or even a teething ring. Firmly tell him "no biting" whenever he does it, and offer the other item for him to chew. There is also a book called "Teeth are not for biting" geared toward showing kids that, well, teeth are not for biting. That might help.
J.S. answers from Miami on June 30, 2009
I did not have twins but my son around the same age as your son would bite his older sister and I. Sometimes he would leave marks on us and as you said he did not seem to do it out of anger. I first noticed that I had a bad habit of nibbling my little one in which I think provoked him to think biting was a way to get attention or show affection. He has no idea how much it hurt. Good news is he will grow out of it no matter what you end up doing. Bad news is if you put him in daycare he will bite the other kids.
Solution: (for our home)
I would tell him he hurt his sister and make him look at the mark he left on her. I demanded that he say he is sorry and give her a kiss. It did not stop the behavior but did make him realize that it was not nice. I then started putting him in timeout for less then a minute. After the time outs started he quickly refrained from biting. Just remember to give him a hug and kiss after time out and remind him that even though he was wrong, you still love him.