Daycare - De Pere,WI

Updated on June 04, 2010
A.Q. asks from De Pere, WI
19 answers

How many times do you allow your 2 year old child to be bitten at daycare before it becomes a huge concern? I am becoming more upset by the day. Especially when I picked him up yesterday and he had a bite mark on his face:(

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answers from Des Moines on

my child doesn't go to day care since i'm a SAHM, but if she did and was bitten even once, she wouldn't be going to that daycare anymore. one time is more than enough in my opinion. if the daycare workers - or if it's an in home daycare, then the parent running it - can't get the kid under control and get them to understand that biting isn't okay, i doubt it's a good daycare. and if the kid's parents can't control their kid, they've got problems, IMO.


answers from Omaha on

For me - I'd say after two times I'd raise hell if they didn't kick the little biter out of daycare. That's very germy and should not be tolerated. My little cousin was rightfully kicked out of his daycare because of his biting problem. Does the daycare show any concern?

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answers from Milwaukee on

once is enough for me to be concern!!!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

This is such a tough question and will always be a problem. There are, of course, many facets to the problem. Unfortunately, although biting is unacceptable, it is completely developmentally appropriate for toddlers to do. They are at an age where they are so smart but often lack the verbal skills to express frustration, etc. So, the automatic response often becomes biting. Another piece of the problem is that there are few things that evoke such a negative response from parents as a human bite. To parents it seems barbaric and terrible, but to a 2 year old, it seems like the right thing to do to get what you want or to deal with your frustration. In actuality, it is really no different than pushing, hitting, or hair pulling (also typical toddler responses to stress.) However, parents often get very bent out of shape about it. Also, biting hurts! It stings and often bruises and it leaves a mark, so in that respect it is tougher to deal with than a quick little push.

I have spent significant time as a lead toddler teacher and assistant director in a large childcare center. I am also a parent to 3 year old and 1 year old boys. My 3 year old bit other children a few times. One time, he bit another child on his 2nd day at a new daycare center. As a parent, I take full responsibility for this. He was not a "habitual" biter, and I was the one who stressed him out by changing his daily routine. However, I was horrified when I walked into the center to find the teacher hysterical (crying and yelling and literally pulling her own hair out) because my son had bitten another child! He did it, yes. I felt horrible for the child who was bitten and actually took care of the poor little girl myself because the teacher was so hysterical. I felt horrible for my son because he was obviously distraught in the first place. And, most of all, I felt horrible because the teacher couldn't handle a problem that was developmentally appropriate for my son to do in the first place.

Well, it all worked out in the end. Personally, I try not to get too bent out of shape about biting. I view it as the same as other "injuries" that just happen at that age. However, I do expect the daycare to handle it appropriately. I expect to be talked to at the end of the day if one of my sons bit someone or if they were bitten by another child. I expect to have a written incident report to sign if my child bit or was bitten. I expect the teachers to tell me exactly what happened and if it was a fluke or if it's becoming a problem. My son never turned into a huge biter, but if he had, I would have expected a plan (starting with observation, then separation, and progressing further if necessary) from the center. In all of my years, I have only seen one child actually removed from daycare or sent home for the day due to biting, and this child had other issues. Almost always, it can be curbed if dealt with correctly. Also, as a side note, I do believe in discussing incidents such as biting another child at home that evening. I do not, however, believe in punishment at home because in the world of a 2 year old his/her memory is so short that he/she cannot remember why she is being punished hours later and it is no longer effective.

In the meantime, it's tough to keep perspective and deal with it on a day to day basis. And, if it's being dealt with correctly, it's just as tough for the parents of the biter as it is for the parents of the bitee. Good luck and know that it is a problem everywhere that toddlers are in care. Just make sure that you have good communication. Kiss your son's poor little face...ouch!

**ETA** I am very surprised by some of the responses to this question. Biting will happen in any setting where there are two or more toddlers. Taking a child out of daycare because of a bite, accusing the daycare provider of not being good at her job, and/or saying that a child who bites has extreme issues is just ridiculous! Kids bite. That's like saying, "If a 2 year old says the word 'No' at daycare, then the parents and childcare provider are horrible," or "If a toddler says the word 'mine' or pushes another child, or takes a toy away..." That is what toddlers do! It's not a pleasant situation and it has to be dealt with but it is crazy to say that the kid/parent has issues or that the provider is inadequate. If it's not being dealt with/addressed/safely handled/communicated then that's another issue, but the fact that it happens is just's a fact of life. You are a good parent, your kid is a good child, your daycare is probably a good day care!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Ask your childs teacher how they are handling the situation and what is their behavior guidance policy. At the daycare my son goes to they do get sent home for multiple bites. We are notified immediately if our child is bitten. They wash the bite with soap and water and apply ice. We are also given a note at the end of the day that describes the owie and how it happened. They give the biter an immediate time out and if it's not the first offense that day they are sent home. The teachers also hoover over the kids who bite so they can step in and try to prevent a bite. They chart when a bite happens and if there was a cause for the bite or out of the blue. They look to see if there is any pattern to their biting for instance if they are anger or if it happens at a certain time of day. They will then conference with parents to come up with solutions say a chew toy attatched to a necklace or giving them chewy foods like bagels for snacks. Not all bites can be prevent it, is just their way of communicating but they will eventually grow out of it. Also keep in mind that sometimes a bite could occur from your child doing something like taking a toy from this child. Biting still isn't right but it does happen. If your child gets bit to the point it breaks the skin and causes bleeding you will want to take him to a doctor to have it checked cause he might need antibiotics due to the mix of the biters saliva.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

If he was bitten on the face - that is TOTALLY unacceptable - the child who did the biting should have been removed from the room.

Each day care facility handles biting differently. Usually the child that got bitten will be fawned over and the other child is sat at a table.

However, talk with the Center Director and DEMAND this been handled - NOW - especially if your child is being bitten by the same child (I know, they aren't allowed to tell you WHO did it - but your child might be able to use his words to tell you who did it).

If that doesn't work and you are in a daycare chain (Kindercare, MinnieLand, etc.) talk with the corporate office and get the issue resolved.

in the mean time, let your child know that it is NOT okay to bite to TRY and use words.

Best regards,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Biting is unacceptable behavior...but it happens and it takes time to teach kids this age not to do it. A daycare environment can be chaotic and kids this age can be fast! It isn't a behavior that is corrected in a day. Yes, chronic biters must be dealt with but you have to give everyone a chance to correct the situation. It doesn't really matter if it was on the face or arm or leg...the biter is just getting what was within reach not targeting their little face.

I've been on both sides--my kid was the chew toy and then she was the It is how I ALWAYS knew she had a new tooth coming in...someone would get bit (sometimes it was It is a visceral and instinctual reaction for kids of this age--even if it doesn't manifest strongly in every child.

How many times before getting concerned? In hindsight, more than a couple of times a week by the same child. However, the first time your child gets bitten is the time to address it with the director.

Ask these questions (not necessarily in this order):

Is the same child biting my kid? (keep in mind that they can't usually tell you WHICH child is the biter, but if you spend some time in the room you can usually figure it out).

What were the kids doing when it happened?

Who documented the biting? (In most states a bite requires a written report)

How is the biter disciplined?

How is my child comforted?

Was any first-aid administered?

What happens with chronic biters?

For the record, the worst biter in my daughter's first daycare appeared to be the sweetest little boy. I never observed him to be anything but mild-mannered and low-key. He didn't get upset or hit...he would just lean over and bite...completely unprovoked...sometimes hard enough to draw blood (I know this from personal experience...I still have a mark on my forearm).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Duluth on

talk to the people in charge. see if they know about it, see what they are trying to do to deal with it.

but you also have the right to tell them that it is their responsibility to keep your kid away from the biter until the biting stops. ask them what their response is to the biting. if they immediatly scold the biter, and give the attention to the biter, its accomplishing a purpose for the biter, and it will not stop. however, if they are giving attention to the child bitten and then dealing with the consequences of the biter, thats better. also, while caring for the child bitten they shouldnt let the biter get away; the biter should be a witness to someone being empathetic to the child bitten, and the feelings of the bitten...
does that make any sense? most child care centers should know this, should have training that teaches them this, and should be very confident that they are eliminating the biting.
but this sounds like its not working.
you do have the right to find other child care as well. if you can i shuold say



answers from Dayton on

Sometimes biting can be a defense reaction.

A kid might have a toy that some other kid is trying to take from them. As a result they might bite, in order to defend their beloning.



answers from Omaha on

My son was bitten at daycare daily, but we were in TX, and they were required to document and notify me each time. What ultimately happened- although I was not to know that it happened, they talked to the other mother and told her that if the behavior didn't stop they would have to remove the girl from the day care. SO, I would tell them each and every time it happens, ( I also told my son to bite her back eventually) I do know they aren't supposed to tell you which child it is, because too many adults go after the small child rather than allowing the kids to handle it. good luck



answers from Minneapolis on

Seriously...I totally agree with Sandra L. My son bit several times and was bitten several times. It is a normal phase kids that age go through because they don't know how to express their frustration. Talk to the teachers. Find out how they handle the situation. If then you don't feel comfortable or you have other reasons to believe it is not a good place for him, then you can form your decision. Look at the ratio of teachers to students, they can't be everywhere at all times but as long as you feel they are trying to address/alleviate the situation, give them some credit. You could encounter this anywhere, unless you just keep your child home.



answers from St. Louis on

The first time I would take a picture of the bite mark and go in to talk to the teacher/director in person. Ask what is going to be done to ensure that this doesn't happen again.
If it happens a second time I would repeat what I did the first time and this time speak directly to the day care director. Tell them that this is unacceptable, that you are entrusting them to protect and take care of your child.
Third time I would file a complaint and remove my child.
Although it is very common for toddlers to bite, a repeat offender should be removed from the day care setting.



answers from Detroit on

At the daycare my son attends they send children home for incidents like biting, hitting or kicking. maybe the 1st time they would give the parent a warning but if it happens again the parent would be told that their child child needs a 3 day break from daycare until the parent can get the bitting undercontrol.
I had an incident with my child, who is now in elementary school, when a boy hit my son with a toy truck. This child had hit several others kids at the center. He got 3 days suspension. sometimes it may be the only way sometimes to get the parents attention.


answers from Milwaukee on

Morning A.. I do daycare out of my home and have had a few biters come through my doors. How many times has he came h ome bitten? If its becoming alot, my concern would be where are the teachers? Why are they not watching more closely? Yes, it is a form of development, but if its continuous then its alittle different. Inform the teachers that you are very concerned about this and would like your son to be moved to another class away from the child biting him if it continues. Good luck.



answers from Minneapolis on

About a year ago, my then 1 year old started coming home with huge bite marks on her body. I was devasted and thought seriously about removing her. The aggressor was another sweet little one year old who just had a propensity to bite. After a few months, my little one started biting. She mostly only bit the little one who had been biting her, but I felt horrible every time I heard about it and opologized profusily to her mom. Her mom reciprocated the apologies and said she totallyunderstood. We bought all the books that addressed biting and sang the "no biting" songs on a very regular basis. They both eventaully stopped, but what I learned is that toddlers sometimes bite. Although it totally sucks, it is a behavior that they will outgrow. We adore our provider, so I am very happy I chose not to remove our kids from her care. Plus, you never know what kind of issues you'll run into with a new provider.

So I guess my advice would be to buy the biter a book (No biting; Don't bite your Friends, etc.) and try to be patient. I am sure the biter's mom is mortified by her child's behavior.

Good luck!



answers from Tulsa on

Kids bite a lot in that class, his teachers need to be watching the biter better but no matter where you take your child their will be a biter in that age group. It stinks that it happens but it does..then another child figures it out and starts about the time the other kid stops. They usually stop when they get closer to 3 years old but if one of them is still biting it will continue.

If the director is not doing anything about it, by way of kicking the biter out of child care or something more affirmative then you'll need to look elsewhere for care that has a different policy for biters. If your child becomes a biter though then you may be kicked out too. So I would say just be in the teachers classroom daily and making sure she knows you are upset. You already are established here and the child seems well adjusted.



answers from Rapid City on

I was an assistant director at a day care for many years and we had a couple biters who were really hard to control. We would enlist the parents help and also clean the bite well and then have the biter hold the cold pack on the bite for the hurt child. This was to teach that biting hurts and when you hurt someone you need to help make it better. The biter would then get time out and when parents came we would tell them about the bite. We would tell the parent of the biter about the bite and the parent of the bitee about the bite and how we handled the situation. If they day care isn't informing you how they handled the situation, please ask. The problem is the biter needs to have parents cooperation on how to solve that problem, with a punishment ( or reward if they don't bite at all for the day) at home also.

If it keeps happening there is limited things you can do. You can find a different day care for your child, you can teach your child how to defend himself, or you can wait for the child to learn how to stop biting. My idea would be to teach him to defend himself. He can be taught that when that child starts getting mad, to tell him "NO" and move away from him. To let out a scream before the bite to get the teachers attention. My kids took care of a biter when they were small and I babysat by my three year old telling him he wouldn't play with him because he bites and my two year old daughter would tell the biter "You bad.. you bite.. you bad" I didn't teach them to do this but they did get the point



answers from Redding on

How many times has your child been bitten?
I wouldn't be happy about it, that's for sure.
Many kids do go through a phase of biting, but I'm always surprised at the parents who are pretty cavalier about it. It's easier to feel that way when it's not your kid that's being bitten.
I would just be honest with the daycare provider about your concerns. You have every right to do that. You have every right to know what their policy on biting is. I'm sure they don't encourage biting, no one does, but perhaps they can talk to you about what they do to discourage it.
Do they remove the biting child promptly from the situation?
Do they comfort the bitten child?
Do they encourage the child who bites to apologize?
Do they make a report to not only you but to the parents of the child who bit?
Two years old is plenty old enough to know that biting hurts and is not nice. Unfortunately, the kids who get bitten realize that immediately.

I would document the biting incidents, one mom even mentioned photographing the marks.
People who have kids who are biters are usually aware of it and hopefully they can take steps to keep their little ones from being cannibals.
My little sister was a serial biter. She'd bite ANYBODY if she got mad. It was horrible. She took a chunk out of me one day and finally my mom had had enough.
Anyway, you have a right to be concerned and as long as the daycare knows you're concerned and they are truly taking steps to work with the kids and the parents to put an end to it, that would be some comfort. If it continues to happen, you may have to tell them that you will be removing your child. I think the biter should have to go until the problem is under control, but you can't just let your child keep being bitten because it's a phase some kids go through or a non-verbal form of expression.

My sister was a biter. My kids were bitees. I've seen both sides.
I meant no offense to anyone.
I hope you are able to get this cleared up so that your child can have a happy daycare experience.

Best wishes.



answers from Duluth on

I have worked in numerous daycares: after the first time, the workers should have been watching more closely. IF it happens a second time, they should be keeping the kids separated. Every time after that is complete negligence. Toddlers bite, that is just the way it is, but it is their job to keep all the kids safe, and it doesn't sound like they are doing their job very well.

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