My 8-Month-old Is a VAMPIRE!!!

Updated on August 04, 2009
S.V. asks from APO, AE
31 answers

My 8 month old just popped her first tooth. She has always used whatever's available to chew on (as all infants do), my shoulder, her foot, daddy's arm...but with this new tooth--YIKES. I've got marks EVERYWHERE (as does my husband) from her biting. I've done "ah-ha" and said no firmly. I give her teethers instead...but, any other suggestions? I'm guessing this is normal...but, I don't want her to continue and become a "biter"!

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So What Happened?

We have started firm "ouch", followed by a pout--she fully understands that. I know she's teething, we tried the tablets and she hated them. We use frozen teethers and wash cloths. I'm just worried she'll be a biter! I was, wound up being bit back by my babysitter, I never did it again...but my mom said I was 13-14 months at that point. I don't think discipline is appropriate for an 8 month old, but do you think our technique would be getting a response she's seeking?
I don't use a pack-n-play mom didn't believe in them, as it is a mom's responsibility to watch and child-proof, any thoughts?
The loud "ouch" and avoidance suggestions have worked well. Chloe has slowly stopped, she chews her finger to indicate she needs something to chew on. She actually cried after I yelped "ouch! That hurt mommy". I think she's getting the picture. I know my mom was upset the babysitter bit me, but it did work. I think that nipping it in the bud now will prevent it in the future. Everyone has such varying ideas, I respect everyone's ideas and will keep them in the toolbox! I have not used s "time out" in a pack-n-play because it seems she's comprehending that she's inflicting pain. Of course, I know there's no malice, she's just teething. 2nd tooth popped yesterday -and- we have our 4th word "mbaa" or bottle. Pretty cool! Other question is...she has crawled a little, but prefers rolling...I know this is common now that babies are put on their backs, but...should I be actively teaching her crawling or allow it to just happen??? Amazingly, she's started sitting up on her own...she was born a premie, so her development is shocking me daily! Doctors said to expect her to be behind!
* we did get the sassy "teether" that you put frozen veggies/fruit in...she was able to chew into the plastic. OOPS. Is there another product I should consider? And what was the vibrating teether??? She's got the "Sophie" teether, I would recommend to all...but, variety is the spice of life!

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answers from Detroit on

My daughter is 2 1/2 now... she bit me once when she was around 10 months?... I bit her back and she never bit me again! sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't...

hope things are getting better! if not remember what my grandmother always tells me...
"... and this too shall pass..."



answers from Salt Lake City on

just a thought for the teething tablets. My daughter hated them too but then I started putting 2 tablets in my hand and letting her pick them up and put them in her own mouth. She loves them now!


answers from Chicago on

You can buy this toy from kmart walmart that you can put something inside it and stick it in the freezer cold thing go great for there daughter is 7 1/2months and teething and i give her freeze pops she loves them plus they relax her teeth you can try orel get too..

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answers from Kansas City on

I believe you need to allow her to make a connection that the biting causes a reaction she doesn't want. But you can't really discipline an 8 month old very much. So what you should do is tell her that hurt, say ouch or something and put her in a nearby pack and play. Just walk away, quietly. Don't act really mad or anything. She'll figure out that every time she bites she has to be by herself for awhile. You might have to put her down a lot for awhile. Don't go back 5 minutes later. Let her be by herself at least 15 minutes or so.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Hello S., It looks like you have received feedback but not sure if you have tried this... so when my daughter got her teeth I sat her on my lap and made it exciting by saying "oh teeth, you have teeth look mommy has teeth" then I proceed to let her feel mine and then I made her feel hers and said "ouch" no bite k. I then would touch her teeth and say oh ouch baby be careful those are for food no biting. I talked to her a lot and not baby talk. She seemed to understand and I never had a problem after that. I too was afraid of having a biter, my brother and I used to really hurt each other. I did not want that for my little girl. There was one time she got really mad at her brother and tried to bite him and I said "hey you don't do that say your sorry" she was about 2. She said sorry and came and sat with me. Even at 8 months they are aware of your face expressions and your actions show her. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Here's what I did:

I would tell my son "No Biting" sternly and firmly, and remove myself from him. Sit him down on the floor and take a step backward. He VERY quickly came to understand that biting wasn't good.

I would pick him up again shortly after, it usually took only a brief separation to make the point. I did this when nursing or playing.

If shortly after an above session, he still bit, I would squeeze his cheeks together, thumb & pointer pinching them in toward the middle of his mouth. A little bit of discomfort, not pain, was enough to help him connect what exactly it was he was supposed to stop doing. At 8 months, that's the biggest challenge - making sure she actually knows what it is she's being punished for!

Good luck with it! I am in total agreement with you that it has to be stopped early. Biting is not even an option!



answers from New York on

I have a ferret, I like ferrets, they are very playful and fun to watch. People say they don't like ferrets because they bite. I have also had puppies, kittens and babies. And they have ALL bitten me once or twice. And they have ALL responded to my shriek.. I yelp, holler, scream or whatever you want to call it. An ouch is not enough, you need to startle her with cries of agony. She will not understand that you hurt, but she WILL understand that you are VERY upset.
The same technique works for touching something dangerous, except then I yelled a sharp NO!!!. Of course this only works if you are not a yeller everyday. If the baby is used to you screeching then it wont have any effect.
None of my babies, puppies, kittens or ferrets bite anymore. <grin>



answers from Joplin on

I really swore by the biter biscuits, if you are really concerned about choking they also make a little hand held teether that has mesh that you can put food in eliminating the choking hazard ( I have seen at Babies R Us ) Also a quick teether is a frozen waffle, messy but almost all babys love it. A cold wash rag helps...I also used the water filled teethers but just put them in the fridge don't freeze them. I was never a big fan of any of the numbing agents but I did find some all natural teething tablets that seemed to help some. I would definitely discourage the biting of yourself or others, a firm no and move on, she is still a baby = ) They out grow this stage before you know it...oh a big hit with Alex was a teether taht vibrated! They also make infant toothbrushes, Alex has one that the whole handle is thick and made with teether material.
Lots of luck!!



answers from Honolulu on

try frozen raspberries/ fruit



answers from Jackson on

Ok...first realize that this is a phase...she's not doing it to be mean, she's doing it because she's ALWAYS done it (gumming everything and everyone in sight) and doesn't realize that she now has a sharp lil' tooth.

Instead of reacting AFTER she's bitten you, anticipate when she will do it and switch positions...move her away from whatever she is going for to chew on.

I HIGHLY disagree with biting a child or having her bite herself...she's a baby she does not understand cause and effect. I'm sorry that your babysitter bit you as a baby...I doubt it cured you of biting, probably just scared you off from being cuddly with someone which didn't give you opportunity to bite. I was a biter too, for me it was a way to communicate PUT ME DOWN because I would only bite after cuddling with someone for awhile. As my language skills improved I stopped biting.


answers from Pittsburgh on

Betsy has some great ideas!

To the rest who stated that inflicting PAIN on an 8 month old lacks the cognitive abilities to make the connection between her actions and how it affects others, get a CLUE! Geez, read ANY infant/child development book and you will see that that technique is not only ineffective, but cruel!

Put the baby down and walk away. Actions speak louder than words at that age.

For God's sake, don't bite a baby back!!



answers from Los Angeles on

I just read that bitting can be an action toddlers do to express that they are angry about something and it is the only way they know how to express it. My little guy bit too while we would nurse (ouch) and I would remove him, make a big deal of how it hurt (OUCH! pouting and not wanting to be with him for a few minutes) Also I would tell him that we do not bite (or hit or kick) other people. It is not nice and he is a nice boy. It seemed to work. And yes, he would bite me when he was mad. I wasnt able to understand him and he was frustrated. We are working on better ways of 'showing mommie' what is bothering him and will end up beating a pillow if nessary, ususally ending up laughing our heads off. Good luck!



answers from Seattle on

I think 8 months is a little young to be disciplined for using you as a human teething ring. She's not deliberatly doing something wrong, nor will she understand exactly what you are opposed to. I think you need to just make sure you aren't letting her chew on your arm, etc. I know that when my kids are toothless, I make sure I'm not starting the habit of chewing on me becaue I know they will get teeth. Just pull away when she gets her mouth near your shoulder, or etc. As she gets older, and has concept of what she's doing you can teach her not to bite. Giving her teethers is a great idea, and ouch doesn't hurt when you tell her, no biting mommy.....but it will take time for her to know what that means.



answers from Tulsa on

Next time she bites.... immediately take her arm and press it into her teeth just enought for her to feel some pain on her arm. Say ouch! Dont bite baby! Dont bite mommy! ( or whoever she just bit). Work on showing how it hurts. She'll soon catch on. They know more than we think. Thats about the age I remember mine needing a little tap on the behind for twisting and flipping around at diaper changing time. A couple times of that and they learned to lay till I finished. Then all it took was to tell them beforehand that its time to change your diaper-looking square into their eyes-then go straight for it. I'd sternly say -lay still- and no more flipping off the changing table or floor. But, the biting can turn into an aggression thing if its not nipped in the bud. Good luck.



answers from Kansas City on

in my experience with this what i have found to work the best is to have the child bite themself we she bites you she does't know it hurts she only knows that it feels good on her little gums and teeth. She also probably does not understand the full concept of no by showing her that her teeth hurt she will be more likely not to do it again. the next time put her little hand in her mouth then sqeeze her moth shut around it not hard enough to hurt her but just enough she feels them then tell her ouch then give her something that is appropriate to bite it's always better if it is the same thing every time at first so not to confuse her smethink like a burp rag or favorite toy. she is young and may just out grow this you have to remember that up till this point you let her do it so at first she is going to be confused cause it has always been ok for her to do this.Good luck



answers from San Diego on

My pediatrician recommended us saying firmly "ouch...that hurts mommy when you bite. No biting." It worked for us and our daughter outgrew her biting in just a few weeks time. The older she gets, the easier it will be for her to comprehend that biting is a no no.



answers from Houston on

You definitely need to make her uncomfortable when she bites. I have heard of women keeping ice on hand and then put ice on the baby's food while saying NO BITE. Some women thump the mouth. No, I don't think 8 months is too young to discipline. But most children do not have empathy at that age to say "oh, I'm hurting you, I'll stop." You have to find something she really doesn't like.

As for mom's responsibly to care for the baby, that is true but you can care for your child AND use a playpen. Just don't put your child in a playpen for long periods!



answers from Sacramento on

My son was 8 months when he started daycare and one day I got a call that he had bitten a little girl up and down her arms leaving red marks. I was HORRIFIED. The next day I took him to daycare with a bottle (empty Tri-Vi-Sol bottle with a dropper dispenser) of white vinegar. I instructed the daycare operator to give him a dropperful of the vinegar everytime he bit. He bit two or three times that day and got the vinegar each time and NEVER BIT AGAIN. The vinegar doesn't hurt them but it definitely makes them associate biting with a really bad taste/experience.

Good Luck



answers from Dallas on

Mouth thump definitely. I used this with every child, the very first time that the child bit while nursing, a fairly vigorous thump, between thumb and middle finger, right on the side of their mouth just as they bit. It doesn't hurt, doesn't cause them to cry, just sort of shocks, makes them pull off, think a moment, and then they go right back to nursing because they're already hungry. Only takes 2 or 3 times over the next week, and then they never do it again, and they don't connect it as something you did. It follows the same principle of stepping lightly on the toes of a dog that insists on jumping up on you. You step on the toes and they don't know it's you because they're not looking down. They just notice that their feet feel uncomfortable immediately when they jump up. They stop almost instantly. A few follow-ups as needed, and nothing bearing down hard enough to hurt, just to get their attention. They don't connect it with you. They just stop.
Best wishes...



answers from Wheeling on

I didn't read your other responses, but I did nurse 4 babies for at least 1 yr each (several years ago!!). They all took a spell of 'pinch/biting' with their gums while nursing and starting to cut teeth, and I'd give one firm (noisy but not painful) 'slap' on the cheek and a serious and firm 'NO!' They cried like their hearts were broken for a few moments, but one or two times of that with each kid broke them of biting and none of them ever did ANY OTHER biting of people later on. A lot of people wouldn't agree with this tactic, but they're all adults now and don't seem to be permanently damaged!



answers from Spokane on

With every child you just find what works and what you can live with. I don't believe an 8 month old would understand a "time out" and totally agree with you about the use of a pack-n-play. I have child-proofed my home and have always allowed her to explore. I gave my daughter cold baby carrots to chew on when she was teething but she really wasn't much of a biter anyway. She did bite a couple times while nursing, my reaction was a startled, "OUCH, that hurts mommy" and would end feeding time (for a few minutes) before resuming. She only bit 2 or 3 times before she understood as well. Just be consistent, maybe put her down on the floor for a minute, create some separation if the loud "OUCH" doesn't always work. But always return and give her loves sweetly reminding her "no bite".

With crawling, just give her space and lots of time to practice. There isn't anything you can do to 'teach' her to crawl. My daughter wasn't premature and didn't start crawling until 7 1/2 months. She rolled for awhile as your daughter is doing, then she started to do a military crawl on her belly pushing with her toes and elbows to propel herself forward before she started crawling...but, there is so much variation in how each child learns to get around that you have absolutely nothing to worry about...just sit back and marvel at what she figures out on her own she may skip crawling altogether! You will be absolutely amazed!



answers from Kansas City on

S., Maybe she is teething! Try giving her a cold wash clothe and or the top of a Tylenol bottle to bite on. My son went through that while i nursed him and ouch!!!! It didnt last long thank goodness. Simply say oh ouch and maybe sign to him in sign language "hurts mommy or daddy" i did that often and it worked. if you think she is teething give her teething tablets and that might make her mouth not feel the need to bite. Good luck!


answers from Allentown on

Hi S.,

Don't let the baby bite on you or anyone. Give her a frozen teething ring.

Ask the Doctor for a prescrption of Hurricane gel for her gums.

Hope this helps. Good luck. D.



answers from San Diego on

If your daughter doesn't respond to the no firmly, the other technique I used was to put her on the floor and ignore her. Next time when she bites, say no firmly, then put her on the floor or a safe place and ignore her for a minute. They do not like being ignored and unloved. Eventually, that stopped my kids from biting.



answers from Kansas City on

S., At 8 months it's probably just a teething issue. If it continues and it becomes something that happens when she is nuzzeling you and loving on you, thrust her away from you and say "No Bite" very firmly. Also, firmly tell her that biting hurts Mommy, Dadddy, whoever.




answers from Wichita on

When my 2 went through this stage (as most kids do) we would also tap them on the mouth when we said No-No to make sure they understood what the 'no' was for. Not poking or hurting them, just an indication to clarify that the 'no' response was meant for what they were doing with their mouth.


answers from St. Louis on

She wont, its just a phase, my son is doing it now too, and my daughter also did it. They also think its very funny when you overreact to it which is easy to do because its the worst feeling in the world! Dont worry, she will grow out of it!



answers from Kansas City on

I know this sounds terrible, but the only thing that worked with my daughter was biting her back. I didnt do it when I was mad or anything, and I bit just hard enough for her to know it hurt, but not hard enough to really hurt her, if you know what I mean. You can practice on yourself beforehand, and do it immediately after she bites you, telling her you love her, but that hurts mommy, and dont do it anymore.



answers from Dallas on

My only input here is the vinegar. Never give a child (or anyone for that matter) straight vinegar! It is much too strong and acidic. It will burn his mouth.
This too, shall pass.
God bless



answers from Chicago on

Didn't read your other responses, but the best thing we found for teething was the safe feeders- like a mesh bag with a handle- with frozen peach slices inside. They love the flavor and the cold helps with teething pain. I think I bought ours at Jewel, so they have them all over. Biting is a tough thing to deal with. Good luck!


answers from Nashville on

S., you will look back on this one day and have a story (smiles). I know it is stressful now, I'm sorry. I had to chuckle, I was a biter and my mom tried everything and the only thing that stopped me was when somebody bite me back. I'm not saying to do that, it just made me remember my mom's story about me. This is another day and another time.

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