How to Stop A Toddler from Biting
It’s quite normal to find your toddler biting other kids when they are anywhere between the age of 1 and 3. While it’s perhaps experimental for some kids at this stage in their lives, it might just form a troublesome pattern that continues into later years. All the more reason to get your toddler to stop biting!
Why do Toddlers Bite?
While biting at this delicate age might seem primal in essence, there are several reasons toddlers bite. Some of these are as follows.
● A relief from teething – Baby bites are a means to get relief from that painful teething process.
● To express feelings – Be it sensory overload or even affection. Toddlers might use biting to convey what they can’t in words.
● Attention seeking – What better way to get attention than biting other children?
● Out of curiosity – Toddlers might want to see if your arm tastes the same as, say, a kitten’s ear.
Simply get a reaction if you wince when your toddler bites. They might bite again to see what reaction they get.
Here is How to Stop A Toddler from Biting
Here are some really cool ways that will help your little one stop biting!
1. Give your Child Enough Attention
Often you will find children who bite do so because they are seeking attention. One of the best parenting strategies is giving them your time. Read to them or simply play with them. Their attention-seeking mode is taken to new heights when there is a major change, like moving house or welcoming a baby sibling.
2. Using Positive Reinforcement
This can be one of the best tools to ward off unwanted baby bites. Simply telling your kids that they did a good job through the kind behavior they exhibited at their playdate will go a long way in preventing their tendency to bite. When you shower them with positive words for being good in a difficult situation, they will crave more of that ‘positive attention’, not merely ‘attention’.
3. Avoid Irritable Situations
You might find that your child bites at times merely because they are getting cranky. In all probability, that crankiness stems from the fact that they are not getting their lunch when they need it, or perhaps merely their snack! Make sure their schedule goes off without a hitch, and that includes that all-important nap time, of course!
4. Notice Patterns
If you pay serious attention, you will notice that those baby bites often have an underlying cause of a recurring nature. More often than not, kids bite the same children and in the same situations (like when they are making that transition from play to less desirable activities). When you know what exactly it is that triggers biting, you can work towards ensuring the untoward biting situation doesn’t come to pass.
5. Respond to the Situation with a Sense of Calm
How to stop kids from biting? Stay calm! Easier said than done, right? The truth is, staying calm is really a lot more important than you think to help get your kids to stop biting. What you need to do is respond to the biting event by saying, ‘No biting!’ in a firm voice. These two words must, at the same time, be uttered with a sense of calm and connectedness to make it easy to comprehend for kids at that young age.
6. Providing Alternatives
In some cases, instances of baby bites occur when children are going through that painful process of teething and find they can’t help but act on their impulse to bite. In this instance, you might wish to give them a teething ring that will help soothe them considerably. Another thing you could do is give your child some crunchy snacks to munch on, which will help alleviate the pain that stems from teething.
7. Attend to the Victim
The first action you must take when you find your kids biting others with their teeth is to attend to the child who has been bitten. Besides being the right thing to do, your child will realize through this that biting is not the best way to get attention from their parents. Make sure you ignore your kid for a minute or two (even though this might be painful, of course) so that they get the message loud and clear: biting is something that is not looked on fondly by their parents!
8. Use Timeouts
Timeouts are great when it comes to preventing those baby bites. As a general rule, follow a minute of timeout for each age. For example, a 2-year-old toddler would be at the receiving end of a 2-minute timeout. Timeouts work exceptionally well because they are not a very harsh mode of discipline. All you are doing is removing your child from the situation, thus helping them calm down and ensuring that the biting does not happen immediately again.
9. Tell them a Story
Stories are how children learn, and for older toddlers, this one can work really well in helping prevent them from biting. Tell them a story similar to this one: ‘Once upon a time, there was a little princess who called her friends for a tea party. They were all having a good time until she started biting them. Then they all went away, and she was forced to drink the tea alone….’
10. Teach them to Express Themselves
Your child might be biting kids who take away his toys. In this case, you might wish to tell them that instead of biting other children, it’s better to use words like ‘No’ and ‘Stop’ whenever their toys are taken away from them again. Your kids are biting, probably because they have no other way to express themselves, that’s all.
Just because your child is biting, it doesn’t mean they are bad. All it means is they are going through a trying phase in their lives. Using the tips in this article, you will surely go a long way in helping them stop biting.
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