How To Stop Your Toddler Biting

Here are a number of ways that will help to stop your little vampire from biting anything or anyone in sight.

Biting is a normal part of childhood with nearly a quarter of children usually between the ages of 1 and 3 starting to bite. Parents usually are in agreement that it is one of the less appealing stages of childhood. Here are a number of ways that will help to stop your little vampire from biting anything or anyone in sight.  

Why do kids Bite?

Children bite for a number of reasons, some of these being:  

  • They have teething pain.  When babies bite, it relieves the pain of the tender gums. 
  • They're frustrated. Before children are able to express themselves properly through words, sometimes they resort to biting as a way to express their emotions. It can be when they are angry, excited, bored or frustrated among others.
  • They are looking for attention or a reaction This can happen with older children feel they are being ignored or simply because sometimes kids just look for attention and biting another child will give you that! 
  • They are overtired or overstimulated.

How to stop your toddler from biting:

  1. Relieve their teething pain.

    If your child is teething, offer them an alternative, a teething ring or cold facecloth to bite.

  2. Teach them to express their emotions in a healthy way.

    Try to help your child express their feelings. If they are angry, tell them to say they are mad at something and show them how to express this, perhaps by jumping up and down or making an angry face. 

  3. Try crunchy snacks.

    Research has shown that giving your child crunchy snacks (eg carrots) at regular intervals during the day can reduce biting. 

  4. Give them a snack if they are tired and irritable.

    Try to avoid putting your child in situations where they can get irritable with other children around. This can occur when they are overtired. If your child seems fussy, try giving them a snack. 

  5. Explain why biting is not acceptable.

    Let your child know that biting is not acceptable by telling them that ‘we don’t bite as it hurts (the other person)’.

  6. Remove your child from the situation.

    Remove your biter from the situation if you can see that they are getting frustrated with another child. Even for a full minute can reset their mood. 

  7. Lots of praise when they're behaving.

    Offer praise when you see them acting positively in a similar situation.

  8. Get enough one on one time with them.

    Ensure that you are getting enough one to one time with your child during the day especially if there is a new arrival into the house. Spend time doing a jigsaw, reading a book or playing a game. 

Usually biting will occur or increase at times of change in your child’s life, such as moving to a bed, weaning, the arrival of a new sibling.

If your child is older than 4 or 5 and biting for several weeks consider seeking the advice of a paediatrician. 

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