There are many reasons young children bite. It may be experimental biting as they learn about their world, biting from frustration, biting from feeling powerless or biting under stress. The child may also be over stimulated by the situation or environment. It may be that they are unable to express themselves verbally so they do it in a physical manner.
Not all children bite. However many do, so it is important to understand that your child is operating within the range of normal behaviour, even though it is embarrassing and distressing.
Try to understand why your child is biting and avoid situations that frustrate him.
- Avoid situations your child cannot handle.
- Remember young children need close adult supervision.
- Say “We don’t bite, biting hurts”
- Keep the child with you for a while as he needs to understand his feelings and needs your help to mange them differently. This can take a long time to learn!
- Make sure their needs are protected so they do not need to bite
- Remove the child from the situation
- Try to determine the ‘trigger’ eg. What happened just before the child bit, to notice a pattern.
- Help the child find other ways to express their feelings such as through play and stories.
- Remove the child promptly.
- Offer as much love as possible at other times.
- Remember to comfort the child who has been bitten whatever the reason for the bite.
- Ensure your child is given appropriate hard foods for their age.
- Encourage language development by talking to your child and reading stories every day. The earlier children can use words the less they will bite.
- Ensure toddlers are rested, hydrated and fed.
- Have two of everything, preferably the dame colour as sharing is hard for toddlers.