3 Year Old Has Started Biting Things

Updated on July 29, 2009
D.P. asks from Greenville, NC
13 answers

My son has never been one to bite and we have never had a problem before. Lately tho he is biting just about everything. He bit me HARD yesterday. I am pretty sure it was an accident as I think he was trying to bite my shirt. Anyway, he sat in time out, said he was sorry, and even put a band-aid on my "boo-boo". But I have noticed that he bites other objects now too- his teddy bear, his shirt, his sheets, his blankets, pillows, etc. Anything soft. Last night he was sucking/biting on this thumb. He has never sucked his thumb before! I am not sure if he is regressing or what is going on! Nothing in his life has changed, so I am not sure where this is coming from. Has anyone had this happen?

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So What Happened?

I don't know why I didn't think of his molars! Sure enough, his top molars are coming through. I gave him something to chew on and he is going to town on it right now. Thanks for all your advice!

Featured Answers



answers from Chattanooga on

There are what they call 2 year molars that come in between 2 and just past 3 years old. So he might be getting those and the biting or chewing on things helps to relieve the pain. Try giving him some tylanol or rub oragel on the gums at the back of his mouth.
Hope that helps,

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Raleigh on

Could he be getting molars?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Greenville on

Ahhh He is in pain - cutting his back teeth.
Give something safe to gnaw on - like a c o l d carrot stick so he can get to the problem - even frozen peas.
I know you will hear lots of help - You and he will be fine...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

Is there a possibility that he has a tooth that is bothering him? Biting hard on things may help with the pain.

I suggest if he has not had his first dental appointment, that you make one. There are some great pediatric dentists out there. I go to the one in Brier Creek and have had a wonderful experience with them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wheeling on

He's probably cutting his 2-year molars.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on




answers from Charleston on

As others have said, he is probably cutting his molars and the biting helps to relieve the pressure, however that is NOT an excuse to ignore biting!

With my son (he's 2.5), we treat biting like hitting and kicking, as very serious offenses. We do not (ever) 'play' bite, hit or kick, not even in jest. My son is also not allowed to do those things to his stuffed animals, because when they are young, children see their stuffed animals/dolls as other people, so they should learn to treat their toys with the same respect they would show a person.

As others have said, you should make an effort to give him appropriate things to bite, like the old frozen washcloth trick from when they were little (the gel teething rings can't be used after they have teeth), but certainly don't hesitate to discipline the biting, even if it's just his bear. Nip it in the bud now, and you won't have issues later.



answers from Knoxville on

Has he made new friends, or observed other children like at the park. My son never hit, one day after playing at the park he started hitting. We finally realized it was because he saw a set of twin brothers hitting each other while they were playing. He had just copied what he observed.


answers from Nashville on

Hi Dawn, It's just one of many, many stages you'll be going through (smiles). My children went through this and it didn't last long. I have a best friend who is a Occupational Therapist and she always had answers for me. It's a sensory stimulation thing. You can look up biting on google and I'm sure you'll find good information. I've had one of those bites before, it does hurt!



answers from Raleigh on

Talk with your son's pediatrician. He may be seeking some sensory input. If your Dr. is perplexed or non-responsive, you can ask to see a developmental pediatrician. They are really good at looking at the whole picture. TRUST YOUR INSTINCT! Keep asking questions until you get an answer.
Good Luck.



answers from Louisville on

My son is about to turn 4 and he's very imaginative. Maybe your son is pretending to be a dinosaur or a puppy or something. Maybe he saw someone else biting and decided to try it out. It's probably a short lived phase or experiment. Try to ignore it and I bet it's over in a few days.

I think all kids go through a biting stage. My son did it at 9 months, my daughter is going through it now at 2 and it's possible your son is just now starting it. I would allow him to explore what his teeth can do. The easy thing about him being older is he can understand not to bite other people or animals.



answers from Fayetteville on

All of mine have started biting at 3 - it isn't an accident. My 3 YO bit my 8 YO yesterday hard enough that it almost broke skin....we discipline for biting just as if he hit or otherwise hurt someone else.



answers from Louisville on

sounds like a sensory issue call your sons doctor and ask for an appointment. they may refer you to a specialist to help with sensory integration. good luck!

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