Biting at Daycare

Updated on October 11, 2007
M.F. asks from Saint Paul, MN
9 answers

My son is attending daycare on a part time basis. Last week I picked him up and he had been biten three times on the same arm in the same day. This is the providers child that is biting my son. She very clearly told me about the problem, and we chated about it, but hoestly I didnt know what to do or say. He went pretty much all week with no bites. This week he got bit once so far.

I dont know how to handle this, I have inquired wether or not my son is asking for it, or maybe giving her a reason to far, NO. Do you wonderful mamas have any advice for me? I want to handle this appropriatly and quickly before it becomes a problem. I dont want my son thinking its ok to bite other kids.

He has started biting himself, but not the other kids.

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answers from Minneapolis on

How old is the daycare provider's child? My son was bitten once or twice by oru providers daughter. It didn't bother me much, (I acutally thought good, if Vincent bites, at least he wasn't the first). Some kids go through a biting stage. My provider felt horrible about it and when it happened the second time, she said she was going to take the weekend to try to figure out waht's triggering it. In her daughter's case, she was at an age where children become highly agressive. I think it's between 25 and 27 months-but I don't remember for sure. And her older daughters were home for the summer and fighting a lot and her youngest was getting stressed by the fighting and that was attributing to it as well.

Since she looked into it and had a better understanding of what was happening, we haven't had any issues.

If it is concerning you, see if she can call her reviewer and see if they have any ideas of what could be triggering her daughter or see if she's willing to try to look into what's triggering the agressiveness in her daughter. If she's just over 2, it might just be the phase, but she should be able to work with her daughter and the biting.

As for the biting of himself. Try something like saying, "owie" why are you biting yourself. it's not nice to bite. Or if you see him biting himself, cover the area and say no, we don't bite, in a concerned voice. He may start understanding it's not good to do after a few times. If he continues, you could call the pediatricain for advice.



answers from Minneapolis on

Biting is very normal but never asseptable. I am a preschool teacher and a mom of 4. I would sugggest having your provider make a time to talk to all her little friend about how friends treat each other. You could also go buy the book mouths are not for bitting. I can't remember the author but this serie help children about kicking hitting bitting and all the issues children deal with , with growing up. You can't control what goes on at daycare but I would keep assure your child that we bite food and not ourself or our friends. Have your child help you make a list of things he may bite. Also a song about friends and how w treat other is always a good one. I would tell you provider to take some time and fit it into her schedule. Bitting is hurtful and not ok



answers from Minneapolis on

How old is her son? When I worked at a daycare we had a child that bit a lot - not maliciously - just out of frustration or because it felt good. When they are getting teeth in it relieves the pressure to bit (doesn't make the other person feel any better). Some of the techniques we used with that child are:
1) He wore a teether or another small toy that was okay to bite on his shirt (strapped it on with a pacifier hook) - that way if he wanted to bite he could bite that. It actually worked really well.
2) He would have a time out when he bit - it was more of a play by the adults by himself for a little while. He was a little younger than 2. He didn't get hardly any attention from the adult sitting by him as we didn't want it to appear as a reward.
3) He had to comfort the child he bit. If the bite was hard he had to hold the ice pack on the wound - sometimes it was more us holding his hand on the ice pack.
4) Give most of the attention to the bitten child to make the child that bit realize that they won't get any attention that way.
5) After it was all over he had to say he was sorry and give a hug (hug only if the other child wanted it).

It's also important to figure out why he's biting. I do know it's normal toddler behavior (my child did it - however, typically only bit me). He could be biting out of frustration or because the other kids are teasing him.

This is a touchier subject because it's the providers child, but I'm sure she wants to stop the behavior as much as you want it stopped.

Good luck.



answers from Minneapolis on

Your daycare provider needs to stop that from happening. A lot of kids go through a biting stage (my 1st son did but it only lasted a few days because we dealt with it - and I am not saying it would be that easy for every child). I would tell you daycare provider that if it doesn't stop you will have to pull your son. I think that is really the only option, find another place to take him. It is obvioulsy having an impact on him if he is biting himself. Just make sure you tell him it is not okay to bite, not even himself, to try and curtail the problem.



answers from Minneapolis on

The daycare my child goes to has a three bite rule. If your child bites three times in one day he or she is sent home for the day. The parents are also conferenced with to come up with solution to curn the biting. All kids bite but you want to do everything you can to curb it. My child got bit alot then after awhile got tired of it and became the biter.



answers from Minneapolis on

How sad!! Is the provider keeping a close eye on the children? Does she feel bothered by the fact that your son is getting hurt? You have to remember that you are the only one to advocate for your son right now. Does he like going? I would be very concerned that he is hurting himself!! Remember, this is just advice, but if it were my son, I think that if I didn't see the provider bothered by it, I would start looking at different options for his daycare. Good luck! It's so hard to see our kids hurt, but if you can help him, go for it!



answers from Minneapolis on

Just becareful. When my daughter was in the toddler room at a New Horizon(Eagan)she got bit, and I didn't notice til I was taking off her sweatshirt at dinner and I freaked out, you could see the child's teeth marks perfectly it was a bad bite, looked like a hickie too. So being a photographer I took pictures immediately and then in the morning when I dropped her off confronted the daycare, they denied it happend, and said she never cried or anything. They kept insisting it didn't happen there, yet this is an only child who wasn't in any contact with any other children.I had problems with the daycare not supervising properly as in I'd walk in and not a teacher in sight or in the room. The next thing I knew child protection was called and I was being interrogated at the police station. THANK GOD, I had taken those pictures. The darn daycare was trying to say I bit her myself. Well those pictures saved my butt because you could tell they were little toddler teeth in the photograph.

So for me it really bothers me when kids bite. My daughter has never bitten but I do understand some kids do it out of frustration, and teething.

I have heard plenty of stories where kids were actually kicked out and removed from a daycare because they wouldn't stop biting. And the parents had to find a new daycare. So it is serious.

I know after I briskly removed my daughter from that daycare center and switched my career plans around to be more with my daughter I started working at a inhome daycare and we had one biter who really just did it out of frustration and lack of communication. We worked with him to express his feelings when he was mad or upset (walk over and say "That makes me mad so-so when you take my toy" That sort of thing or we would have him tag along with me or the owner and keep him away from the others.

If the child bites your child once ok, twice, something needs to be done and more than that the parent needs to make drastic changes or you need to remove your child.

It totally stinks because you can't control it and you are heart broken feeling your kid is being bullied.

I think my daughter was never a biter because we did signlanguage as an infant, and really really communicated well. I also never spanked her or anything so she didn't know that when you use physical force, hitting, pushing, biting etc, it makes you in control or the boss. Her way of defending her territory was screaming or trying to communicate with words but not physical force.



answers from Minneapolis on

I agree with the other posts. My oldest daughter was actually the first to bite at daycare and I was mortified and felt terrible about it. She bit for a few weeks off and on -- not very much. She never did it at home, but there seemed to be a trigger at daycare with some new kids joining daycare. I felt terrible for the other kids and parents. We worked through it, and my oldest hasn't bitten since.

Then about a year later it was my youngest who got bitten by another child. Since I knew how horrible I felt when it was my child who had done the biting and I knew it was just something that could happen very unpredictably, I was able to just let it go. I wouldn't let it go on and on, but I do think it is a normal thing that could happen. I would just want to see that your provider is doing things to teach her child that biting is not appropriate and also take steps to show your child that it is "not nice to bite" -- either yourself or anyone else.

Good luck -- it really scared me at first and I didn't know why it was happening, but I think between teething and territory issues, biting is a fairly normal little "risk" around other kids that age.



answers from Minneapolis on

I'm a daycare provider and from my experience as long as she is making sure her child knows what hes doing is wrong and taking the child away from the other children to chill out that the child should learn very quickly what not to do. It is a normal thing for kids to bite but they should be taught imedietly not to and that it hurts other children.There are lots of reasons for it and I'm not sure how old the child is but teething, wanting attention, seeing how far they can go, or just simply wondering what its like to bite. But there are cases where the child wont stop biting. I would give it awhile make sure to tell your son it's not right to bite and if you have the nerve ask your provider what she is doing to disipline the child when they bite. If things dont get better then I would pull my child because it's not a safe environment. Hope this helps!

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