Toddler Being Bit at Daycare :(

Updated on March 21, 2011
D.S. asks from Philadelphia, PA
20 answers

Hi Moms!
need some advice.....DD 30 months old in daycare from 9am-4:00pm monday through friday.....has ben bitten at least once a week for the last several months from the same child....(she is able to tell me who bites her)......i am really starting to get annoyed as i am finding these bite marks myself when we get home or the girls nonchalantly mention it to me when i pick DD up!!
i know children go through this and i am lucky that DD is not a biter...YET!
i have found a new center that DD will start at, but not until september when an opening is available for her----in the meantime, how do i get this to stop....the director/ workers seems unconcerned as this is to be expected!!!! i work full time and have no other options available to me at this time....

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answers from Portland on

My grandson bit another boy maybe three times over a couple of weeks shortly before his second birthday. His parents AND the caregivers took this very seriously.

He was 'shadowed' at daycare so his bites could be intercepted before they happened (this accepted approach works and changes the behavior, but requires a very attentive caregiver who is more or less dedicated to watching one child during his/her most susceptible times).

At home he'd get appreciation for days he didn't bite, and the repeated message that biting is wrong and hurts people. (He didn't get punishment so long after the event, as this wouldn't have made much sense to him.)

In both locations, he was encouraged to use words and tell the teacher when he became frustrated or anxious, which seemed to be his triggering emotions. Some children also bite out of sheer excitement, like puppies. Nevertheless, it hurts, it leaves marks, and it will often get the bitten child to experiment with biting.

I'd press the issue with the daycare folks. Yes, lots of kids bite at some point between their first and third year. Yes, kids get bumps, bruises and scratches while playing at daycare. But deliberate biting can be stopped, and should be treated with real concern.

Here's one of several good discussions of the whys of biting and how to deal with it in daycare settings. Perhaps giving this to the director to read would be a good starting point for a discussion. As a parent of a biter or a bitten child, I would NOT let this slide.

Good luck. I'm so sorry to hear this is happening to your sweetie.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Biting is really common and is distressing for both the parent of the biter and the parent of the child being bitten. I wholeheartedly agree with Peg.

There are lots of reasons why kids bite, and lots of times that it can't be caught. It happens so so quickly and caregivers can't watch every kid at every moment. That being said, the fact that the same child is biting yours so often and for so long tells me that the caregivers are not attentive enough to the situation. And their lackadaisical attitude about it would concern me. Just because it's common doesn't mean it shouldn't be a concern.

I would have a meeting with the director and press the issue.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I do daycare, and have had biters here in the past. If they are constant biters I address the parents. I let them no it HAS to stop or I let them go. If a child is known to bite, but not constantly I will put that child at the table with a puzzle or colors if I have to go to the restroom or do something that would take my attention away from them for a more than a few seconds. A child should not be bitten more than once. After that the biter needs to be watch more carefully. Have the Parents of the Biter been notified. Maybe not. If I were you I would address them directly. Find out why this child is going after your child. Sometimes a child bites out of frustration with another child. Something we see as NO big deal is to another child. I had one little girl who would always lay on the other children after several time of asking her to stop and time outs one little guy had enough and bite her out of frustration she still continues to do this, but now I know to remove her when I need to tend to something for her protection and to let the others know I care about their feelings as well.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I would be concerned also. If it is the same child biting your daughter over and over again -- and chances are that it is not just your child that he/she is biting -- then the daycare needs to address this issue, the pattern of biting that has developed. I would write a letter to the daycare director, setting out what has occurred, what your concerns are and what steps they are taking to resolve the problem with their little habitual biter. I've found that people usually sit up and take notice when they receive letters, especially ones concerning the operation of their business.

Hope this helps.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

A child who bites someone is to be expected. A child who repeatedly bites (especially the same child) is a child not being corrected. I would immediately speak to the both the director and the teacher that is in the room with your child. Tell them that while you know many children go through this, you want to know that 1. the issue is being addressed appropriately 2. If what they did the first time to discourage it is not the same they did the 5th time (as it is now repititve behavior) 3. Since however they are addressing it is not working to protect your child you want to know what they are going to do to protect her

If you are not happy with their responses, immediately contact the local licensing agency and find out what the regulations say. Beware, once you do this you may need to find an alternative center for your child but at least you will know she is safe.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pocatello on

Biting once, that child is "testing" boundries. Twice, double checking... three times- that is unnacceptable! Chances are if this child is biting your daughter, than he/she is biting other kids!

You need to really get on this daycare. Stuff does happen that is out of their control... but for some reason they are obviously ignoring, or not handling this situation. Does this other child's parent know about the biting? Just because a kid does something at daycare... that doesn't mean they do the same at home. If you are able, talk to the other parents as well as the daycare! If the behavior continues maybe you need to Go to this daycare and "sit in" for a day! It sounds like they are either lazy... or spread too thin to keep a good enough watch on all the kids. What else is going on here that you don't know about? A good daycare should NOT have anything to hide from parents! Although the biting is a discipline problem with the other child... it wouldn't be continuing for this long if it were correctly addressed. It doesn't make that child a "bad kid"- but it does reflect that something is off- and both you and that child's parents need to know why this is not being taken seriously!

If it doesn't get resolved soon, maybe you should look into an at-home sitter, or family who can watch the baby until September. Bad behaviors like biting do seem to become "contagious" and you don't want this behavior instilled in your child! Plus, whatever you aren't seeing that is going on there...

Good Luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Johnstown on

Contact the parents about the matter. Also, notify the center that you're giving them notice the next time it happens, that you're pulling your child from their care. In the meantime, start interviewing teens in your area who will be needing summertime work and will welcome a paycheck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Is this not a DPW licensed daycare? If it is, there should be an incident report filed each time. If not, I'd tell the daycare director that you are going to DPW with the concerns. Here's the contact info for your part of the state:

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

HUGE RED FLAG...there's a serious problem with this daycare center if your child is getting bit weekly by the same child. I have three kids in daycare three days per week (5, 3 and 1 yrs), and each of my older boys has gotten bit once only. I was told immediately when I picked them up by the teacher in charge, as they were too young to inform me themselves I never found out who did the biting. Lucky enough, the skin wasn't broken either time so I felt like they probably saw what was happening and were able to step in. I would approach the parent since you know who the offender is and express your concern. Our daycare will also notify the biters parents, I wonder if yours does. Another option...if you see the child when you pick up yours, kneel down and ask him/her why they continue to bite your child. I've found that kids respond better to an outsider than their own parents sometimes. Good luck, September can't come soon enough I'm sure....

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Is this biter the same age as your daughter or much younger? he or she should be growing out of the biting stage! My kids were not bit in daycare. your daycare is not reporting an injury! that is unacceptable. Tell the director if it happens again you will notify the Dept of Health, the dept of youth and family services, and the Better Business Bureau. these departments may not do anything but take a note. In the future when people inquire about this daycare, they will be told a complaint was filed.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I feel your pain. My DD whom is 24 months had the same issues and was bit about 6 times within a 2 week period. She was being bit constantly by the same little girl and I too was very annoyed. When I would drop her off in the morning starting even making comments like "Hope we have a bite free day today". We'll needless to say it happened again which was the last straw. The director/workers grew very concerned and finally started a "No biting policy". As funny as it sounds something worked cause(knock on wood), she hasn't been biten since then. It is very frustrating knowing that you personally can't do anything but the provider should be making every effort to get it stopped and if they aren't good for you for deciding to switch her. Have you tried complaining to the director about your concerns?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

This child's parents have opted not to teach him not to bite with adequate discipline. It's not luck when kids don't bite. They can be taught not to firmly by parents. It's impossible for the daycare to focus on one child (when there are probably others who need watching for similar behaviors too) to redirect and distract him and all that. And these things do not teach the child to NEVER DO THAT. Therefore, your daughter has to teach him the logical consequences of harming other kids (they're not too young) and that is to fight back. Yes, I said it. That's what happens to kids who brutalize other kids. They get retribution in the real world, their peers don't give them time outs.

My son was being hit every day in my gym daycare by the same "time out" kid every time he "popped out of time out". At 2 1/2 I taught my son it's OK to hit back. He already knew hitting and biting and pinching and kicking were not allowed because we were firm about it with all our kids, but out there where all the other parents think it's "normal" and therefore has to be "gently managed by the caregivers" he was getting hit daily. We rehearsed at home, how to yell and hit back. The next time it happened, he pushed the kid down hard. The kid left him alone after that. Warn the facility your daughter has been given permission to protect herself and teach her how. Believe me I would do this if my daughter was getting bitten. I would also tell the kid's mom that my child had permission to fight back and I had reported their little "Jaws".

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Somethings is off with this daycare. I have never heard of sitters and daycare workers just letting (not that they are purposely letting it happen) a child bite another over and over. Is there a relative that can watch her and is dependable and safe? Are there in-home daycares that seem genuine and safe? I have always found, especially my cousins that she's in now, that in-home daycares are better (just in my opinion) because they usually have multiple rooms to play in. but indoor playgrounds can't be beat lol as long as the environment is safe... it doesn't sound like this daycare is safe. It doesn't seem like they have settled the situation (obviously lol) and haven't communicated to you why it happens (maybe they don't even know why). I would talk to the director and tell her that if your paying them to watch your daughter, you expect your daughter to come home the way she came, safe and unharmed. That is total bs to me because everyone I have known that is a daycare person will notify the parents, try their best to prevent it, or warn the parents they will let the child go if they keep biting children. The non-chalant attitude makes me wonder if any of the kids are truly safe there in the first place. When you do leave, you need to review that daycare online about their non-chalant attitude about a childs well-being.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I understand your concern's completely as I would be worried as well. I would literally talk to all of the day care teacher's and let the know that it is NOT acceptable and that once you leave your child with them that it is THEIR responsibility to make sure your child is safe and does'nt get hurt! How can they NOT be concerned when your child is getting hurt? I would definately change the daycare center and NOT keep her there either. Keep in mind that I have heard alot of stories of other children getting bit and sometimes they get bitten soo hard that they bleed! Also, you need to be assured that while you are at work that your child is going to be safe. So I completely understand...I definately don't blame you for changing the daycare provider...Hopefully she will love the new one!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Kids bite, it is normal at a younger age. At 2 years old the kids are a bit old to be focused on biting. Suggest they do some research on chewy foods to give the biter. They may need chew time to get their "chew" out. We used all kinds of stuff for the one biter I had. My 2 year old teacher just gave me a list and I bought it. I can't remember what was on it but it really helped.

In a 2 year old classroom the teachers usually don't have more than 8 kids each so it may just be too hard to keep an eye on all of them.

Threaten to pull your child if she is bitten again. Tell the teacher, tell the Director, tell the parents, if they care about your business they will start keeping a better eye on her and therefore the biter. If she just started getting bit the child may be starting molars and hurting or may be new.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Well, the parents of the other child need to have the daycare update them as to their childs actions. I don't know that I would talk to the child that did the biting. It is a child (infant if you will) and just not to get myself into a problem I would approach the other child. It's up to the daycare to be responsible adults. I'd ask if the biting child could be moved into another class and express this is happening too often. At some point after so many times most daycare's will let the parents know they can't get her to stop and they will have to take the child that does the biting somewhere else.

I'd ask the day care wheat method of enforcement they are using to assist this child with this behavior? the child that's doing the biting should get a time out at least 1 minute and the lecture no biting, no biting.

I'd let them know if it happens anymore and the other child is not dismissed from the school, you will be leaving. Trust me they don't want to hear that and they will either step it up a beat or ask the other family to find care elsewhere. If they don't they you should find care elsewhere for the safety of your child, if they act light about this what's to say next year if a child is hitting yours?

best wishes.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I agree with Peg below. My son was in your child's position - was bitten by the same child several times. The daycare never ignored it - the 1st time they were apologetic and gave the 'it's common at this age' explanation (they did also talk to the biter's parents too). The 2nd time, they talked to the child's parents more seriously about appropriate discipline for the behavior so they could be consistent with what the parents did at home. The 3rd time, they brought an extra teacher into the room and shadowed the child for several weeks to figure out what was provoking the behavior and then tried to prevent those situations/intercept the biter before it happened. In my situation, what ended up working was they moved the biter to a room with older kids, because when they shadowed, they realized that he only bit children younger than him (my son was the smallest in the room so it was most often him, but it was also other smaller kids).

It took some time for the situation to resolve, and that was frustrating. But I stuck with the center because I always felt that the teachers and the center directer were taking it seriously. Yes, biting happens at that age, but if your center isn't taking it seriously, there is a big problem, in my opinion.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I would tell the director that you expect this to be addressed. Just let them know you are paying them to take care of your child. I would further let them know that you will make sure that other people you know that your daughter has been bitten.I do not think the state who licenses them would like to hear your child is being bitten at their facility. I do not think you need to threaten them but to let them know you mean business.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My youngest son is a biter, but so far he has only bit my oldest son, no one in daycare or in the church nursery. I have always warned them that he does have tendencies to bite, and they have always kept a good eye on him. So far we have had no problems..knock on wood!

With that said, both of the facilities have a strict "biting" policy! Basically if your child bites more than 3 times they are removed from the program for a month at which point the can re-enter and try again.

At this point, I would definitely address the director/teacher of the classroom. Maybe its time they revisit their regulations on behavior issues such as biting. Or at the very least make arrangements to separate the child who's biting from the other children.

I find this situation to be unacceptable. Having a child who bites myself, I fully would expect there to be repercussions for his behavior, no matter how "expected" it is at this stage. Its not fair to your child or any other child being bitten!

Depending on how old this biter is, you could help your daughter verbalize more about her displeasure with the biter. I have instructed my 3 year old to yell really loud "no biting" (partly so I can hear if he biting when I can't see) and also to stop him from biting. My son you can really tell when he's going in for a bite so majority of the incidences are stopped before they happen. So for some reason I have a hard time understanding why the teachers haven't prevented the subsequent bites?

Good Luck hope you can find some resolution before September!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

Hi, D.:
Go to the Director and tell her what you have written to us.
Ask her how is the daycare going to take care of the problem?

See what she says. If it is not something you can accept, ask her to schedule a meeting with the parents, the director, you and your husband to dialogue about what can be done to provide a safe environment for your child.
Just a thought
Good luck.

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