Monday, August 8, 2011

Biting Baby!

Hi my name is Dana and my child is a BITER!! Yep, a biter!!! It is crazy!! When I worked at a daycare I dealt with biting kiddos. I know that they bite b/c they are unable to communicate and they get frustrated. I know that they bite b/c they do not realize that it hurts and I also know that teething doesn't help the matter. BUT I am at a loss as to how to deal with it. So far I have gotten on Noah's level and made him look me in the eyes and I tell him no bite!!! Then I make him kiss the place where he just tried to or succeded at biting. That was working okay....until he tried to bite my face. Then there is the fact that his biting has not lessened but increased. Therefore I am not sure if my strategy is working :(

Todd googled it and found a few ways to handle it. Most we have heard before like bite your child back...NO WAY am I doing this!!!! Or to cry really loud when he bites you to show him that it does hurt. I like that idea. And of course give him a spanking! And I am not all for/against spanking...I really do not care how you discipline your child as long as there is NO abuse. However, I have spanked Noah's hand and hiney and apparently I am not a good spanker b/c it doesn't even register with him. I just cannot do it any harder. I am not able to!! I don't have it in me!!! So call me a bad parent or a pushover, but I just cannot!!! I am hoping that we will find a better way to nip this biting SOON!!!

And it has been hard b/c it HURTS when he bites and one time I had to just walk away! Another day I just cried and felt like the WORST parent ever!! I do think we have some teething issues going on as well so I have given Noah some ibuprofen. I just don't know how to show my almost 15 month old how to deal with frustration. Especially when he is tired and refusing a nap. How do I show him to chilax?? Anyone else going through the biting phase???? Or am I the only one?????


Amber said...

We have a biter, too. :-( Drake bit one kid at daycare about a month or so ago. I've done the same thing as you, and I'm basically hoping that it's a phase.

Whitney said...

Hi Dana - I just revisited your blog after a few weeks and realized Todd was one of former students when I was on faculty at Mercer. Such a small world! Please tell him I said hi and I am so glad to see he is doing well!

Anyway, one of my triplets was a HUGE biter and I felt the same way. I too didn't want to bite back! I did get down to his eye level, smacked his hand hard so it would sting, and VERY firmly said NO! It took about 4 days of consistently but it finally worked. He would leave bite marks on his siblings and I was so happy when that stopped! Best of luck!

Whitney Unterwagner

The Sherrill Family said...

Biting back works! Roo went through a biting phase and it was short lived thanks to 2 bites back. (Or at least I attribute it to that.) It feels really weird and awful to do, but worked for us.

I did the loud screaming too.

Good luck!

kate said...

Oh, girl! I have a biter (Henry)!! He is a TERRIBLE biter! His twin brother has several new bruises every day from his bites, and those are just the ones he gets in before I can stop him. Of course, just yesterday, I discovered a suspiciously bite-shaped bruise on Henry's thigh, so I guess Jack is biting now, too. Great.

I've been looking into ways to teach about not biting, and I just can't spank or slap. I don't have it in me to do that to my boys. My pediatrician told me that it's okay to go ahead and do time outs now (a minute for each year, so one minute now, maybe 90 seconds when they're 18 mos, etc.), but my problem is finding time to comfort the one who is hurt while still disciplining the other quickly enough that they connect the discipline with the bad behavior. And the time outs seem to frustrate Henry, so maybe he's getting something out of it. I don't know.

I have also read that when it's teething-related (and I'm pretty sure at least some of the biting *is* related to teething, since they are both cutting their first molars-- poor babies!) that you can offer them something safe to bite when they want to bite you or another person. I've tried that with less success, because I have a hard time grabbing something fast enough to quell his urge to bite.

And like you, I can tell that it's frustration a lot of times, too. I have a hard time telling him to suppress his feelings, because I want him to know that it's okay to be angry, and it's okay to be frustrated, and it's okay to express that anger and frustration, but it's NOT okay to do so in a way that hurts someone else. But how do you teach that when they don't even really understand language yet, much less the sophisticated concepts regarding what kind of frustration is okay or not??

Anyway, just know that you aren't alone. I'm dealing with this, too, and trying so hard to figure out how to deal with them gently and teach them to be nice people. It's HARD!

Anonymous said...

We have not gone through this phase yet and Im hoping and praying that we can bypass it but well see. I have heard that biting back sometimes is the only way some kids will learn but I agree it is a bit harsh. I hope he gets better and no biting comes soon!