Biting Issues with My 1 Year Old

Updated on January 06, 2011
J.H. asks from Dubuque, IA
13 answers

I have a one year old who has recently started biting and is leaving marks. He seems to do it when he is not getting his way. I have tried tapping his mouth, saying no, time outs, and removing him from the situation and he doesnt' get what he wanted b/c he bit. This isn't working does anyone else have any suggestions. He is teething big time so I don't know if that is part of it or not. Thanks.

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So What Happened?

thanks everyone, I cannot bite my child so that is out, I just don't see how that would solve it. It might work for others but not for us. I will just keep doing what i am doing and try giving him something to chew on like a teething cookie or washcloth.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Like others have said, this is normal. It will pass. My daughter did it and I was freaked out. Within 2-3 months it was over.

Absolutely do NOT bite him back. This will teach him that biting others is normal, that retaliation is ok, and that Mom is mean and unempathic! If another child bites him back you can use that to show how it doesn't feel good, etc., so he shouldn't do it, but it's not something you should instigate.

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answers from Indianapolis on

My daughter kept getting bit at daycare by the same little girl, and eventually - she bit her back (as I had just arrived to pick her up, but she didn't know I was there yet). What we did after my daughter bit, which worked wonderfully FOR US(she bit one other time, and never again)... we told her "OH LILLY, you hurt Charlie" - and then paid NO more attention to her. Instead we gave all of our attention to Charlie, and we went completely over the top with the sympathy and hugs and "oh we're SO SORRY that Lilly bit you" and "Oh Lilly hurt your hand". Lilly did it because Charlie stole her toy - but when she saw how much attention it got CHARLIE, and not her (AND she didn't get the toy back), and how sad we all were....she was very upset and apologetic. And actually, Charlie never bit her after that either. Hope this helps. Do what works for YOU and YOUR child. Best of luck!



answers from Gainesville on

Of course teething is part of it and he can't express himself very well so some babies use biting as a way of expressing their frustration.

But DO NOT tap him in the mouth, please. He is barely a year old. He is too young to really understand time out but I do think it's not a bad thing to use at this age just don't expect him to "get it" for some time. And you only place them there for one minute per year of age.

The best strategy is to try to catch him right before he does it and give him a stern "no" and follow with "no biting". Or same stern voice during/after he does it. That is one reason that I only ever use the word "no" for something serious. That way it holds more meaning than if they hear it on a regular basis.

Sorry Julie, but this kid is 14 months old! Yes, human bites aren't fun but he is 14 months old! This is part of parenting. When you know your child has something going on-hitting, pinching, biting you have to be vigilant and consistent for them to learn. But he is 14 months old! You don't tap them in the mouth and you have to just keep at the time outs before they will get it and it ain't at 14 months old!

If he is teething he's in pain. Not like he can say to her "Mother, I have a terrible ache in my jaw. Could I possibly have some tylenol?" If mom thinks he is teething then trying some tylenol preventatively would certainly be in order and may help the situation tremendously.

And she never said he was biting out of anger. I brought that up because it is very common with a baby that can not express themselves and most 14 month olds can't do that very well verbally so it's usually a physical response of some sort. Just throwing it out there for mom so that she can explore all avenues and know appropriate ways to watch for it and deal with it.

My advice was to modify what she was already doing and to be consistent because at 14 months old they are very, very young and have to see and hear things over and over to get it.



answers from Kansas City on

My daughter did the same thing. My ped said to squirt a little lemon juice in her mouth whenever she would bite. I did, and she liked it. I then moved onto lime juice and that worked. I also I have used vinegar on my youngest. Just a small dab each time and eventually the biting stopped. Best of Luck to you!



answers from Chicago on

I own a home daycare and this is what I have found to be the most effective
~treat the teething with orajel and tylenol - lots of the biting is pain induced. It HURTS to get those teeth in, my 11 yr old is getting molars and tells me so!

~ eliminate ALL mouth play - no raspberries, no pretend wildness that involves the mouth. You may not even realize you do it, but lots of parents do. ONLY gentle kisses by anyone's mouth. Even mommy and daddy have to not do the nibble on the neck stuff in the chilld's presence. At this age they can NOT distinguish between play and not play. Actually under about 5 they really don't get that at all.

~ attach a teething ring to him using a pacifier clip. Redirect him to this if he bites saying, "we don't bite people, we bite this or food only" I also like to give them the round ice packs from the inside of sports bottles (frozen). They can suck on those and it helps them a lot with the pain and temptation.

Those three things really DO WORK



answers from Wausau on

This may sound horrible, but, bite him back! Not really hard so you leave a mark but just enough so he knows that it is not nice and that he wouldn't want someone doing that to him. This worked with both of my children, they have bitten only once!



answers from Dallas on

I know you've already gotten responses, but I just saw this and read through them and didn't see the solution we used. I didn't bite them back, but I would tell them to bite their own finger. Believe it or not, they would bite their finger and then I'd say...does that hurt? If you want to bite, you can bite your finger, but you may not bite mommy. This seemed to work. I didn't have major biters, but maybe this strategy just nipped it in the bud?


answers from Dallas on

I use to be an Asst Director at a daycare. Here is something diff a lot dont know about.

You need to make a BITE BOOK. This works great with Toddlers.

You make book with construction paper etc. and cut and past pictures from magazines etc of things you BITE and things you DONT BITE... fruit, bread.... babies, animals etc...

and you spend 5-10 min a day going over that book with the pictures talking about what you bite and what you dont bite.... NO BITE... etc...

also if he bites hard get a paper towel and put "REAL VANILLA" on it and hold it on the bite it will decrease the chance of marks and brusing.

here is also a great site on biting with toddlers:



answers from Minneapolis on

My son bit at that age too. It is normal and the teething definitely plays a role in it. At one, the best thing is to distract him with something else. He is too young to "understand" completely what he is doing. If he was older I might say try putting something yucky tasting in his mouth when he does it but don't think that will necessarily help at this age.



answers from Salt Lake City on

Thank you for saying no to biting him back! That just teaches that it is okay if you're the bigger guy!

Removing him from the situation is the best bet. Also watch for his triggers, what leads him to bite. If you can stop it before it happens and redirect, that will be even better. But he is too young to understand consequences like time out or taking something away.

The more response you give to biting, the more he will do it. Stay calm, remove him from the situation, and prevent as much as possible. And give him things to bite/chew on like you said. He'll grow out of it :)



answers from Tampa on

This was just on the doctors yesterday. Dr Sears said when you see he is about to bite to gently put his arm in front of yours so that he bites himself because babies dont know that biting hurts this way they find out. Good luck but like the others said this too shall pass in 10 years your gonna wish this was all the issues you had lol



answers from Redding on

When my kids were teething, I gave them jerky. The thick pieces that come in a bag from Costco. They weren't able to bite any chunks off and they chewed and slobbered and loved it because of the flavor. We took jerky everywhere.
Now, biting out of anger is another story all together.
Try giving him something that he can bite on if he is in the biting mood, otherwise, remove him from whoever he is biting.
Many do not agree with this and I understand that, but my sister was a serial biter and she actually took a chunk out of my arm one time. A stitchworthy chunk.
My mom bit her back and my sister never bit again.
The biters don't understand how much it hurts.
You may do well with removing him from the situation and definitely not giving in if he's biting because he doesn't get his way. Be consistant about it.
It may work.
I took the breast away everytime my son started biting me when he was teething. He made me bleed. He either had to figure out not to bite me or be done nursing and thankfully, he figured it out.
I was not a teething toy.
Kids who bite out of anger or frustration can be a little tougher, but you can get it nipped in the bud. Bite = Time out. Put down. And 60 seconds might not be enough. He has to associate biting with something unpleasant, like being in his crib for a couple of minutes. It's never too young to teach them to say sorry either. Just my opinion.



answers from San Diego on

HI Dori is wrong (Sorry Dori) human bites are more dangerous, he made be teething but if he is biting out of anger or not getting his own way then it;s not teething keep doing what you are doing and be consistant he will get it. J.

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