How to handle a biting toddler

All children go through the biting phase sooner or later. Here's how to behave in the most correct way.

The so-called "biting phase" arrives more or less for all children, both for those who attend the dailycare and for those who live with their mothers, grandparents or nannies.

The biting phase shows up around 18 months when the baby begins to experience ways of interacting with others that he has never had before. And so, we don't immediately think that he is a violent child, let's not blame him too much, but let's try to make him understand that his behavior makes us suffer, we don't tie his attitude to discomfort or neglect.

There are feelings and emotions that children are unable to express and that are so violent that they lead to an instinctive gesture of anger such as the bite (or a push, or a pull of the hair) the frustration of not being able to make themselves understood, for not being able to keep the game he likes just taken by another partner, a quarrel, can lead to the bite.

But how to behave when we see that it bites?

let's say a firm "no" by looking directly into his eyes do not give him importance with long and complex explanations, but let him understand that we are angry with him. Let's stop nibbling him, even for fun… he doesn't understand the difference if he bites us let him see the sign and tell him that he hurt us and that we are sad

DO NOT give him slaps or spankings ... in short, we do not respond to misbehavior with another misbehavior.

Like all phases, even that of biting disappears within a few weeks as it appeared. Let's give the child time to metabolize this stage as well.

Treat the kid with firmness but kidness. Reacting to a violent behavior like bitng with more violence or with a severe attitude can certaintly be counterproductive. Why? Because the kid understands that, the response to violence is more violence. The kid most likely is not biting because he founds it fun but because it is a way for him to express his emotions, his feelings. Maybe something is going on and he doens’t know how to proper react to that and he bites or, he is imitating another kid who is doing the same. The most important thing is to show the kid kindness, openness and understanding explaining why it is wrong biting but not making him feel guilty. One of the worst thing to do in a similar case is telling the kid something like “you are a bad boy”. This makes him understand there is somethign wrong with him and this can jeopardize his confidence and his emotional state, the result? He might feel even more frustrated and stressed out and his responses to this can get even more violent. It’s better to say something like: what is going on? Why are you doing this? This is wrong and other sentences that let him have the right perspective over his gesture and behavior and a lesson to change this.