S.M. asks from Cypress, CA on April 10, 2008
My 18 Moths Old Bites!!!
Help!! My 18 month old recently started kind of biting. When we are standing still or sitting down he rests his two front teeth into our legs and it really hurts. He is starting to do this to his 3 moth old brother. Developmentally my son is a little behind due to hydrocephalus. When I tell him no and that was a bad thing he did he just laughs or cries. I don't know what to do. I thought of trying a time out situation but because my son doesn't quite grasp the concept it is useless. Mentally when it comes to grasping things like this is is at a 9 month level.If there are any moms out there with some ideas I would love to hear them!1 Thanks!!
So What Happened?™
I will try everything suggested!! Thank you to everyone. I hope everything works!! Thank you again!!
B.M. answers from San Diego on April 11, 2008
My oldest was a biter at his daycare and we came up with a "bite kitty" It was a teething ring shaped like a cat and we attached it to a pacifier clip and he had it clipped to his shirt. When he started to act like he was going to bite, we tried to catch it and say, bite the bite kitty. It got to the point that he would put it away or get it if he was having a frustrating moment and bite on it. Now my second son was also a biter and he didn't follow with the bite kitty and was a bit harder to stop. We just had to really keep an eye on him and stop him before it happened. I can't say he was very easy because his twin sister paid for it more than anyone else! I hope the bite toy works for you.
S.B. answers from Los Angeles on April 11, 2008
My daughter has oral issues too. Biting used to be a big problem. I solved the inappropriate biting by giving her "Chewys" - pacifiers or chew toys that she could bite on all that she wanted! Even though she was "way too old" for these toys and should have easily understood that the behavior was not "okay", she wasn't ready developmentally to stop. Every time she started biting on something, I gave her one of the proper toys to chew and she did grow out of the issue in her own time.
F.F. answers from Los Angeles on April 11, 2008
I am a mother of two and I work with children with special needs as well as typical preschool children. The manner in which he is initiating the biting would indicate that he needs sensory input. This means that he may be experiencing a sensation in his mouth that makes him feel like he doesn't know where it is, so he puts his mouth in contact with something and presses down, much like we would grip a rail to balance oursevles. The only way to get rid of such inappropriate behaviors is to meet the need with something more appropriate. When he bites, tell him, "Ouch, that hurts. Bite this (hand him a biting toy)." It is ok to repeatedly show him with your face and your voice that his action distresses you, just don't expect him to get it right away. Would a nine month old get it? Mine wouldn't. He is learning so you will have to teach him in a repetitive manner till he understands. There are toys that when you bite them, they vibrate in the mouth (it is a star shaped toy)or you could use teethers or medical tubing (sounds strange but it gives great feed back). It helps to attach the chosen item to your child so that it is easily accessable. The other thing you could do when he does it, is to take your palms on either side of his jaw and firmly but gently squeeze and rub. You can label this action, "squeeze", "press"..., whatever works for you. Say the label when you do it. Then teach him to ask for that rather than bite. Don't give up, at this age lots of repetition is how they learn!!!
T.C. answers from San Luis Obispo on April 12, 2008
You say that your son is developmentally the stage of a 9 month old? I believe that even a 9 month old understands that biting can hurt if the response is correct. When he bites, I would yell or scream which is a pretty common response anyway. The sceaming/yelling should startle him and that alone should scare him in a way. I agree that he would not understand the time out. The other idea I have is that he could be biting you just because his mouth hurts and sinking his teeth into some skin might be a relief to any teething he might be doing. Just keep being patient and consistent with him, he will figure it out. The other thing that you could is separate him from those that he is biting....but also try your best to get him to avoid the situations when he is biting.
Best of wishes with him and his little brother. I do think you will need to keep a close eye on him so he doesn't bite brother....that will be the challenge.
C.C. answers from San Diego on April 10, 2008
Bite him back he'll know that it hurts. it sounds harsh but it worked with my son now 3
M.R. answers from Los Angeles on April 11, 2008
At the school that I use to be the Director of, we had an infant care center with up to 8, under 24 months at a time. What your child is doing is typical. We would offer either cold or warm clean wash clothes every time one of them would start to bite or chew. I think having the pressure on their teeth feels good to them. Even the ones who would bite in anger, we would offer the wet wash cloth and explain to them that biting is hurting that person, and if they still wanted to bite, they would have to bite the "biting cloth". Most of them took it right off. And a couple even started to go to the refrigerator and ask for the "biting cloth" Good luck!
T.R. answers from Los Angeles on April 11, 2008
The only thing that ever seemed to help with the biting my sons did, was to bite them back. Not so that it breaks their skin - but to the point it hurts and you can see it on their face. We tried everything before resorting to that - time outs, corner, used tabasco sauce in the 1st one's mouth - nothing helped but biting them back (we always did it on one finger - you can see a dent in it for a short while afterward but that was it). Your 18mo old should completely understand pain, so he should be able to handle this. Good luck and God Bless You!
L.B. answers from Los Angeles on April 11, 2008
My daughter bit at that age-into our legs just like you. First time I thought it was a fluke and said no sternly. Second time I gave her a bop in the mouth hard enough to stun but not to hurt-took her face in my hand, looked very stern into her eyes and said "NO BITING", she never did it again.
She is now 21 and a dream daughter.
J.R. answers from Los Angeles on April 12, 2008
That is normal in children, the problem could be that he needs more attention or jelousy because you just have another baby. Spend more time with him on one on one and keep reinforcing not to bite and try to explain why, its not nice because it hurts, ect, dont just say no. Hope this helps.
K.M. answers from Honolulu on April 11, 2008
I'm wondering if he is needing some sensory input. The reason I thought it might be something that he needs sensorily is that he rests his two teeth into your legs, instead of just biting down. My daughter used to bite too, and sometimes it was for attention and our reaction. Other times it was a need to bite on something. I felt she was a bit old for teethers, but I would use something like a theraband for her to chew on. This is just my opinion from the tidbit that you shared.