23 Month Old Biting

Updated on May 29, 2008
S.H. asks from Gilbert, AZ
6 answers

Any ideas as to how to get a 23 month old to stop biting? There is really no warning when its going to happen, and I don't want to use any physical punishment. I currently place my hand on her mouth, tell her no bite and then place her in the crib for a little while. I'll have her come out and tell the injured party she is sorry and tell her no bite again, but she's still biting. She's supposed to attend a summer program for early preschool, but I'm afraid to take her for fear she'll bite another child, any suggestions?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the responses. I did fail to say that the "biter" is my foster child, and I cannot "bite back" as many of you suggested. My mom suggested the same thing, but because we don't know what type of environment (physically abusive?) she came from, we are not permitted to use that type of discipline, although it sounds like it works for a lot of people. What we did do was tell her firmly "no biting" each time she did it and I would press firmly on her two front teeth when I was saying it, so she understand that I was talking about what she's doing with her teeth. I also tried using vinegar like someone suggested, but she actually liked it...She seems to have calmed down on the biting quite a bit and we're hoping she's about to phase out of it. Thanks for all your suggestions, I really appreciate it.

More Answers



answers from Phoenix on

Baby teeth don't have nerve endings, so when your child bites, they have no idea that it hurts because it doesn't hurt them. When an adult bites down on something too hard, it hurts their teeth. But when a child bites, nothing. So what you might do is bite her back. Not hard. Just take the tip of her finger and bite her a little bit so that she will realize that something is actually happening when she bites other people.



answers from Phoenix on

Well this isn;t for everyone, but my daughter had a big problem with biting due to teething. WE tried everything to get her to stop, time-out, telling her no, going to her crib. She had hurt many people, so we had to resort to drastic measures. Our pediatrician reccommended lemon juice. Well, she liked it, so we had to switch to Tabasco. Everytime she bit, I put a a couple drops of Tabasco on my finger and then put it in her mouth. After about a week, she didn't do it anymore. Worked like a charm.



answers from Sacramento on

I know you said you don't want a physical punishment, but I have six kids and when they went through the biting thing I would bite them. Not real hard just enough for them to see that it hurt. It only ever happened a few times before they understood that it was not good. I always explained to them after that they should not bite because it hurts and gave them a big hug. Most kids go through this because they are teething and they just want to releive the pain. If they figure out that they are hurting someone else it usually stops. Other than that you could try putting something that tastes bad but is not harmful in their mouth such as vinegar, not much just a small taste to help them relate biting to a negative consequence. Good luck and God bless.



answers from Phoenix on

My daughter went through the same thing and I would bite her back and before you know it she stopped. It really works.



answers from Phoenix on

My now 25 month old just finished her biting phase. I would do either of two things (whichever was easier at the time)... one, yep- I bit her back as well... obviously not hard, just enough to get her attention. I usually did this at home, somewhere if she cried she wouldn't make a scene. Two, she really liked biting my arm or hand, so when she went to do that, I would put my arm or hand even further into her mouth so she couldn't clamp down. I did this a lot outside of the house, basically when we were around other people.



answers from Phoenix on

Hi I am a mother of 2 but have been aroung kids for a long time. When my child was biting we bite her back not hard but so she would understand it hurt other people. Never had a problem. But putting her in her crib will just make her afraid of going to be because she will relate the bed for a bad thing..

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