14 answers

How to Stop a Biter?

Hi Moms out there.I need some advice on how to stop a 15 month old biter. This just started happening recently. My son seems to bite when he gets frustrated and when I tell him "no" he thinks it is funny and keeps trying to bite me. I am afraid that he will start biting other kids during playdates. So far it seems to be only towards me. Any helpful hints?

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After a frustrating battle with this issue, I ended up telling him that the only one he was allowed to bite was himself. I tried EVERYTHING that everyone else told me and nothing worked. I would take his hand and put it in his mouth. It took a week but the biting subsided. Good luck..this was tough for me!

More Answers

Dear C.,

You can try to bite him back. That worked for my mom when my brother was little, BUT sometime the biting is an indicater of a sensory issue in the mouth. You can get the Chewy Tubes and the ARK Grabbers (you can google these). Give those to him throughout the day to chew on.

Our son was a biter. After about 2 weeks on the chewy tubes and grabbers he stopped.

Rather than biting him back, one doctor recommends "don't talk to bad behavior." In the case of biting that would mean, when he bites you, you immediately turn away, get up without looking at him and leave that space. Do not talk or say anything. No eye contact. Try that a few times. I suggest this because you said he laughs when you repremand him. So don't give him ANY attention, positive or negative, at all.

If that doesn't work, you can try doing the same thing, but adding saying "Aoooww" with a sad look on your face.

Hope some of these suggestions help.

Also, this might sound strange, but sometimes the diet and enviromental toxins can cause some sensory issues. Clean up the diet (no sugars, eliminate or at least limit processed foods) and get rid of the toxic household products and personal products. We've done this for our children too. You can ask me for more info on this if you need it.

Blessings to you,
T. E.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.,

I had this problem with both of my children and I consulted a behaviorist and she told me to put a little hot sauce on there tongue whenever they bite. They stopped biting pretty quickly after this. Good Luck!

Oh, milk will take away the burning.

1 mom found this helpful


Saying "NO" generally never works for his age group or practically any other. It's right for you to be concerned and want to address it now. What helps me with mine (now 19 months old) is to re-direct her. Usually she is doing it out of excitement and playfulness so I say something like "ouch, no biting mommy, mommy doesn't like that. Can mommy have a kiss?" and I'll exxagerate some big loud kiss so she can find something better to do with that mouth. Either way, it's about re-direction bc they need to learn appropriate ways of channeling the energy. Also, she takes her pacifier so I might re-offer it at that point or some other appropriate oral thing bc she's very orally fixated. However, there have been times especially recently where she comes to bite me out of anger. This is SO NOT OKAY and she is definitely getting disciplined for this. At this age, as I said earlier the best form of discipline is really re-direction. However, at least with my child she's 19 months going on 3 yrs old it seems at times! So we begun giving her time-outs I believe from when she was about 14 months. It's not our primary discipline and not out of anger, but we do resort to it as a serious boudnary crossing issue occurs. Now of course, she is too young to sit still in a corner. We use her pack-n-play for timeouts which she has no other use for right now. And our daughter is so socially driven that you would think we did the worst thing imagine-able to put her in there. We warn her she'll get a time out if she does not obey (or whatever X thing, and it does need to be in the moment warning b/c they don't retain rules abstractly) and usually the warning is enough bc she is a smart enough cookie to understand now what we mean by "time-out." However, as toddlers do she has her moments of testing the boundary and repeating X behavior. SO I'll remind her she was warned but didn't obey and is now getting a time-out. Put her in, turn away. She can usually still see me and vice versa but I just won't give her any attention whatsoever. Of course this infuriates her and she escalates her crying and screaming. After 1 minute, I'll go back to her, get on eye level, and remind her that she just got a time out because she did not obey mommy- she bit me when mommy said "no biting" and that that is NOT okay. Usually I repeat this at least twice, calmly firmly and on eye level despite the fact she is still screaming and can probably barely hear me. Then I pick her up, hold and comfort her, tell her I love her but that she needs to obey mommy and that it is not okay to bite/hit, etc. And again, may repeat saying this 2-3 times.

It absolutely works and is effective. At times later on I'll see her symbolically playing it out with her animals/dolls and telling them that they need to "obey and no touch" or whatever it was she last got corrected on. And as I said, most of the time just re-directing her is enough. If not, warning her usually does it (for her it took about 3-5 times of ever getting time-out to understand what was about to happen). And if not, then she'll get a 1 minute time out and in that exact order and fashion stated earlier. Catch it early, address it quickly and thoroughly and you will be benefiting yourself and your son bc social skills are so incredibly important. Good luck and hope it helps! -N.

1 mom found this helpful

I've heard of different ways to stop this. Remeber every kids is different. My daughter used to bite and when she did I would flick her on the chin underneath her bottom lip. She was young enough where I didn't do it hard. But she got the point quickly that when she bites she gets pain. Usually kids will stop doing something if it hurts them. Some would say this is cruel but it worked in about a few days (since she didn't do it all the time) she stopped! Hope it helps

1 mom found this helpful

this may sound a little cruel but both my mother and mother in law have told me that the way they cured their sons/daughters of biting, was to bite them back?
Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

Bite him back. That might sound incredibly mean, but at his age he doesnt realize he is hurting you or others. So when he bites you grab his arm and bite him, but not really hard. Just enough for it to hurt and then tell him that is how he is hurting mommy. If you are really adverse to biting him then when he bites you scream and cry and hold your arm, or where ever he bit you, and moan and carry on. Maybe even bandage it. And dont laugh at his reaction, be very sad.
But the quickest way is to bite him back, so he realizes it hurts.

After a frustrating battle with this issue, I ended up telling him that the only one he was allowed to bite was himself. I tried EVERYTHING that everyone else told me and nothing worked. I would take his hand and put it in his mouth. It took a week but the biting subsided. Good luck..this was tough for me!

Hey C.,

We do experience this sometimes at my nursery school especially at your son's age when they are not verbal. What we do is get down to eye level with a very stern face and say no biting and then we will put them into a short time out. After the minute is up we will again get eye level and tell them again no biting, have them apologize to whom they have bitten and keep a really close eye. Do not have any conversation with them during the time-out so he will know you are upset with him. After time-out have him say he is sorry to you give him a hug and move on. If we have a child who is biting we will shadow them especially during free play when it is most inclined to happen (toys being taken away from them etc.) so we can try to catch it before it happens. But I do agree there has to be immediate consequences in order to stop it as quickly as you can. You are right for being concerned about him doing it when playing with others. If he learns this is a way to get a reaction and also to get what he wants he will continue. Good luck!!


I wish I had some magic way to tell you how to put a stop to this, but I don't.

My son is now 29, but when he was around your son's age, he too was a biter. I tried everything I knew to get him to stop....explaining how much it hurts, time outs, and even a few smacks on his butt, but nothing seemed to get the point across.

One day we were in the supermarket, and I had him in the seat in the cart, and he kept taking things off the shelves when I told him "no". He got angry, leaned over, and sank his teeth into the fold of skin between my thumb and index finger, and bit until I bled. That was it......I'd had enough. I picked up his little arm, and bit him back. Not hard enough to break the skin,or leave a bruise, of course, but hard enough to make him cry. Then, when he calmed down, I told him "that's how it feels....don't ever do it again", and from that point on, he never did.

I know that seems a bit drastic, but sometimes that's the only thing that they understand at that age. I felt very guilty about doing it, but when I discussed it with his pediatrician, the answer that I got from him was...."well, whatever works", so I guess I wasn't too far off base. If nothing else works, give that try!

bite him back, but not too hard.

Hi C.,
He's doing it for attention/reaction. I would not bite him back. I don't believe in it and wouldn't have done it with my own kids. I would put him into a time out area without looking at or talking to him, and walk away. At this age, it may need to be a playpen (with no toys) or a strap-in booster seat (not at the table where he'd eat) and leave him there for just a couple of minutes. When he finds out that biting causes restriction, and then that you've left the room and are not giving him any attention, he may stop. Good luck

Dear C.,
I had the same experience with my son at about the same age. All the reprimanding in the world didn't seem to help. I don't put up with bad behavior, and I don't get mad, I get even. So one day I bit him back on his arm. His reaction was to pull his arm away and say, "That hurts." I explained that that's how it feels when he bites someone else. He never did it again, and that was 20 years ago. He is now graduating from college at the top of his class, and is a lieutenant in the army. I don't thnk that bite did any harm.
Good Luck, W.

When I was about that age = my mom said I used to bite.. she gave me a little pinch to show me how it felt.. and I stopped. Then when i was 4 I started again.. this time she bit my finger a little- just enough to hurt.. I never bit again. I see someone said hot sauce - I used that when my kids were older and would use a curse word.. like they were about 6 or 7.. not as young as your child. They stopped really fast.. all I had to do was show them the bottle.. Hot sauce is HOT!!! good luck..

All my children went through this phase. I bit them all back. They never did it again.


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