Biting - How Do I Get My 2 YO to Stop Biting Me?

Updated on June 06, 2011
N.P. asks from La Fayette, NY
5 answers

How do I get my 2 YO to stop biting me? I was out of town last week and I've returned to a biting 2 year old! She's not biting her father, only me. She seems most likely to bite when I'm trying to redirect or correct. And, it is very deliberate. She will look at me, open her mouth and then try to take a chunk out of whatever part of my body is closest to hers! I know she see the other kids do it at daycare but I also know that her daycare provider is very consistent in managing/correcting the negative behavior. I've now tried the following:
1) stop in the moment and say "No bite" into her face while continuing to redirect
2) put her in time out
3) swat her bottom to get her attention with a firm "No bite" - she laughed at me as if it were a game - urgh!
4) had her grandmother tell her she shouldn't bit mommy and let her know that it is not acceptable to bite
Help!!!! I've just put her down for a nap early because I can't seem to remedy the situation even after having a great morning with lots of giggles and play at the park.

What can I do next?

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answers from Kansas City on

I had this problem with my son for about 8 months. My arms were full of bruises and I looked like a battered wife. UUURGH

I bit him back, did not help. Plus I got looked at as a bad parent. "You cant combat violence with violence" I was told.. and I kind of agree.

Here is what helped.

When I saw that he was going to bite, I would try avoid it from happening by pulling away, or putting him down and ignoring him for a minute or two. Completely! That taught him that if he bites, negative reaction follows. He cried and screamed. I did not budge.

The key is - you have to ignore her completely (It's not time out its IGNORING HER) and not pay any attention to her at all!! She is craving for that attention, that's where the biting comes from. If she does not get it.. even for a whole minute.. she will eventually learn.

Then, I calmly bent down to him and said, "(Called him by his name) NO THANK YOU! Mommy gets owie when you bite.. nice touches, ok? (he is not talking yet, and I did not know weather of not he understood but I continued doing this until it stopped)

When I saw that he was about to bite, I would yelp like a puppy and say awwww, nice touches my angel, OWIE!!! can mommy get a hug instead? Making a sad face... Then when he hugged me I would praise him and say "OH mommy LOVES your big hugs, can I have another one?"

The biting soon turned to hugs.

(If she bites someone else, tend to that child/person first with love and care, make sure she sees you, then turn to her and calmly say.. "Name of child, NO BITE, ok? You made so and so very owie. Go say sorry and give so and so a big hug. Nice touches sweetheart.")

Hope this helps

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Bite her back. Not hard enough to hurt her, but enough to let her know that her biting you hurts. It's the only thing that worked with both of my boys who were biters.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I think we all go through a biting stage and I wouldn't "bite her back"! Keep telling her no and don't "re-direct"! Walk away or pop her into her crib or pack & play for awhile. She'll get it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

bite her back! my little cousin had that problem but not for long. her mother bit her back just hard enough to let her see how it felt and she didn't care to much for that and she stopped. good luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dover on

Like the other mama's have already said, bite her back, enough so that she feels it & understands that it's not pleasant.

We did this with both of our kids when they were right around 2 years old & you know what? We had to do it to each of them exactly one time & neither one ever bit anyone else again.

1 mom found this helpful
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