Toddler Who Bites

Updated on September 02, 2007
B.B. asks from Moville, IA
11 answers

I have been in the child care field for over six years and I have never had a biter. I currently run a home daycare and I have a little boy who is 19 months old and he bites constantly!!! I know that this is totally normal for his age but he is getting worse and he has now started doing it to more than just one child. When he first started biting about two weeks ago he only bit one little boy for some reason he would never try to bite anyone else. Today he decided to bite a little girl too. I've tried talking to him as simply as possible and showing him what he did and making him hug them afterwards (which of couse the kid he bit is scared to death of him now), I've tried ignorning him and paying more attention to the child that he bit, I've tried time outs, I've tried talking to the paretns but they don't see it at home so they really can't do anything about it. The child that he is biting, his parents are okay with it but yesterday he had three different bite marks on him when he went home and today it's only noon and he already has four bite marks!!!! It's not that I'm not watching them because I've stopped him several times today before he bit but I can't possibly watch every move he makes.
Any suggestions on what to do would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you!!!

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answers from Lincoln on

My son who is now 15 use to bite and I found that if I rubbed Vinegar in his mouth each time he bit he soon quit the biting. Ask the parents if you can try this.

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answers from Boise on

This might actually be this little guy's way of "seeing what it feels like" or of relieving stress. You might try telling him you unbderstand that he feels the urge to bite, but that when he bites another person he hurts them (I'm sure you've already explained this, but it is worth repeating, and developmentaly 19 mos. is too young too understand that other people have feelings that they themselves don't feel). Then try giving him something that he can keep with him, that is a safe thing to bite when the urge hits him. Maybe a plastic donut (like the stacking toys are made of) or something similar. Make sure he has it with him always (tie it to a belt loop?) and keep reinforcing that it is ok to bite the object when he needs to. Also try to "catch" him when he does, letting him know you appreciate the choice he made (in words he'll understand, of course)

Good luck- this can be frustrating, but know that he won't go into college still biting kids!



answers from Davenport on

So have been there and done that! I have done home daycare for about 9 yrs and I've gone through biting children a couple of times. The last one was a NIGHTMARE, and it was also my nephew which made it even worse! I would solely isolate the child whenever he even tries to bite. At his age he's only gonna get so much of the explaining and helping out. My dracula did it for months and months to only one little boy (the same age) and I tried eveything, time outs, vinegar, soap, none of it worked! I finally isolated him for periods of times when he would bite or even try to bite! He finally quit, but it was a frusrating process. Luckily the parents of the victim were VERY understanding (their older child was a biter when he was younger) and luckily in my case the biter's mom would talk to the other parent and take some of the responsibility of dealing with it herself. I know how it feels, I would be watching as much as I could too, but we can't see eveything at every moment so....

Good Luck with it. Another thing I would do is get lots of information on biting and hand it out to all your parents. Be open and hones about how you're working with every one to curb the problem, but it will take time and patience.



answers from Cedar Rapids on

This is my opinion and it will sound harsh but I would kick him out of daycare. If my childeren came home with bite marks on them everyday I would remove them from that daycare. The other parents might start getting upset with you when its not your fault. I understand that it might suck to kick him out of daycare but what is important is all of the childerens safety not just one and the other kids should not have to live in fear of getting bit while they are there. Sorry if that sounds to harsh. Good luck. :)



answers from Des Moines on

isolate him. Most biting occurs because he's not communicating correctly or hasn't figured out how to communicate yet. My sister was a biter, and she had to be separated out away from everyone before she realized that she shouldn't do that.

If you have a separate room, maybe gate him in there everytime he tries to or does bite. But so that he can see you. Or see that he's missing the fun.

You could also try a stroke of a bar of soap across his tongue each time he does it.

If he truly persists, then the parents need to remove him from the daycare. You are there to protect all the children and if one can follow the rules...



answers from Lincoln on

Hi! I hope I can help out. :) I own a home daycare also so I have had experience with this. Last year my 17-20 month old boy started to bite my own baby. It was horrible! There was nothing I could do to stop it. But then this year when my baby was 18 months he started to bite me and others. I would catch his hand right before he bit me and put it his mouth as he was biting and he would stop and look at me and say "ow!". It took about 10 times and he is no longer biting. I don't believe in the people who say "bite him back" that is horrible but he felt his own pain and never actually had teeth marks because he could control himself and know what he was doing. I wish I would have thought of it earlier!!! I hope this helps!!!



answers from Lincoln on

I am not trying to tell you what to do. But I'd tell the parents to find some place else to take their child. I had my son in a daycare (north Lincoln). And this other kid bit my son. I mentioned it to the people that worked there. They wouldn't do anything. So I pulled my son out of the daycare. I'd also call the local P.D. and see what they say. Since the parents won't do anything. Good Luck!!




answers from Pocatello on

B.- I feel for you. I too own a center and biting has been an issue a few times- This is what I have decided-take it for what it's worth.
-I talk to the parents (decide why the child is biting ie attention, teeth pain, frustration, communication problems, etc)
-I ask them to sit with their child and watch/correct any biting activity for one week
-If it continues I ask them to find other care. The way I have to look at it - It is my job to protect ALL of the children at the center. I wouldn't want to be bit and every facility is not for every child.

Hope that helps. Good Luck! H.



answers from Billings on

You might call the best of the child care providers in the community to see how they handle this, B., and you may be shocked to learn that many of them require the family to withdraw their child until the behavior stops for the safety of the other children.

This is a SERIOUS safety issue, and with so many other children needing child care in this community, there is no reason to feel obligated to take in a child that is a safety threat to other children.

My own daughter was the victim of a biter when she was a baby, and that's what my wonderful provider finally had to do and now we both wish we had not made other babies and toddlers suffer for weeks trying to accommodate the biter child.

Sounds heartless, I know, but as the Mom of a biter VICTIM, I would take my child out if the other child was not removed from the program. The biter child may need a private (one on one) situation. You can share my name with the parent of the provider, too, if you think it would be helpful. (I just moved back to the area and am looking for a new "nanny family".)



answers from Boise on

If he was your child I'd say bite him back, cures the biting, but he isn't, come to a course of action with the parents first. If that still isn't working I agree with the mom before me, Ask the parents to find new care, it isn't fair to the other children who are becomming afraid when they should feel secure.



answers from Boise on

health and welfare in my area say to use vinigar to stop things like that just a lil on the lips on just a cap full in the mouth then have them spit it out and that usually help they say if you put it on the lips it reminds him everytime he licks his lips that he will get it again if he bites you just have to remember not to use soap you have to use a food product because h & w will step in if you use soap so you just find something that tastes really bad..

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