What to Do About One Twin Biting Another.

Updated on December 02, 2009
M.F. asks from Salinas, CA
6 answers

I have boy/girl twins. They are turning one in a week. My little girl is biting. She bit me yesterday and her brother today. How do I react/discipline? She leaves huge marks! She seems to do it due to teething or when excited. She is the more aggressive/dominate one.

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So What Happened?

Thank you for your responses. Clearly this will take time and patience. She is teething terribly right now. She came at me twice today. The first time I said, "no biting" and she cried fiercely. (Yesterday when she bit her brother I told her no biting sternly and she cried and cried.) The second time she came at me today I said, "no biting" she didn't cry, stopped, and watched me. After a little more talk we went on to play patty cake. We often tell her gentle, or careful. I like the idea of pulling her out, and I imagine this will be reoccurring on different levels as time goes on. Thank you for your help!

More Answers



answers from San Francisco on

I also have boy/girl twins, and my little girl is the biter. She started biting around a year -- I can't remember exactly when it was. They are now 20 months, and the problem has abated somewhat, though unfortunately it is not over. When she bites, my husband and I give our little girl 1 minute time outs. First, we say very clearly to her, "No biting!" and then put her in her crib for a short time. (If we are not at home, I make her sit in my lap for a minute.) It is hard to tell whether it is working or not, to tell you the truth, but she did stop for awhile and then started again when she was getting her canines. She bites when our son tries to take something from her or when they are both trying to play with the same toy. Lately, she she has been expressing frustration by yelling out angrily if he takes her toy, and we've been praising her for "saying no" instead of biting. I hope it doesn't last too long for you, but most likely it will come and go, as a previous poster mentioned.

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answers from Redding on

Dear M.,
My sister was a biter. I was her main target. The day she actually took a chunk out of my arm with her sharp teeth, my mom bit her. Hard. Not hard enough to leave a bruise or break the skin, but nothing else had worked. My sister never bit me again.
I think sometimes they don't really understand that biting hurts because let's face it....it doesn't hurt THEM. The kid who gets bitten understands how pain works, the one doing the biting doesn't. It doesn't matter why she's biting, biting people is a serious no-no.

Best of luck.

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answers from San Francisco on

Hello M., I have 5 children and did not ever put up with a child biteing. I would seperate them as much as possible until the girl can understand her sibling is safe from her.
My daughter in law is a twin and I have severalfriends that have twins and this is what they told me:
Becasue they are so used to being together that when seperated they are surprised so when one hurts the other to move them apart and tell them no and swat on the bottom if that doesn't work. At that age there is more noise from a swat than any harm becasue of the diaper padding. Now if the child were older then you would have to use stronger methods, but a 1 year old won't understand much else. Good Luck and take lots of pictures! Nana Glenda

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answers from Sacramento on

Wow...your story was exactly mine almoat 5 years ago. I have B/G twins who are almost 6 and my daughter was and still is the more doninate one. She was also my biter...only bit me and her brother. She went through different phases of biting...it would come and go (unfortunately until she was about 3). I dealt with it differently at different ages. When she was young, like your daughter. I would sternly say "No Bite, biting hurts" (an ouch looking face helps too) (recommended by her dr.). As she got older, I would always say something similar, but would remove her from the activity. I would also talk with her about other ways she could of handled the situation...helped her learn the vocabulary to use rather then biting. A lot of kids bite because they don't know how to express how they feel. Right now your daughter doesn't realize what she is doing. Kids bite for different reasons. For my daughter it was control. When she felt out of control of a situation, she would bite...but only me and her brother which I found interesting. She has never bit another kid. For me I really felt it was a phase that she went through and I had to help manage it the best I could, but there really was not a way of totally ridding her of the behavior until she had other ways to deal with how she felt.

I will tell you, one day her brother had just about had it with her and bit her back...she threw a fit...I had to contain my laughter and discipline him...but part of me felt like it was a payback.

Good luck and hang in there....the time really does go fast...it is a long road with twins in the beginning, but worth it...mine now play together for hours...it is so great.

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answers from Sacramento on

An eyedropper of white vinegar everytime she bites. I did that with my son and he only had to have it 2 or 3 times. Just make sure that you do it immediately after or, if possible, during the bite. She will associate a very bad taste with biting human flesh and she will stop.



answers from San Francisco on

I don't have a solution but I know before they go to pre-school they have to have that curbed because most have a 0 tolerance for biting and they will send your child home-yikes. Imagine receiving a call at work that you have to pick up your child immediately and they will not allow your child back until you can prove they will no longer bite.
I think just a steady but firm-No Biting sweetheart right now will help. Good Luck!!

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