Dealing With Toddler Biting

Toddler Biting


Is your child or toddler going through a biting phase? As a parent dealing with a toddler that tends to bite can be stressful. At Paradigm Care and Enrichment Center we believe that this is part of a common toddler behavior.  Many toddlers do not possess the verbal skills to communicate how they are feeling so they express themselves by biting.

If a toddler is feeling frustrated, angry or jealous, their natural reaction could be to bite another child that may have a toy or other item they want. Another reason a toddler may bite could be purely at random such as an oral fixation that may stem from a teething issue or just their curiosity to explore their sense of taste and touch.

Toddler Biting and Parents Reactions

To hear that your child was bitten by another child is never pleasant news for a parent.  The parents of the biter may feel embarrassed and frustrated with their child. The good news for the parents is that the toddler biting issue is just a phase and like most things it shall pass.

Some helpful measures a parent can take to help prevent your toddler from biting are:

  • If your child is teething, have teething rings or a cool washcloth available at home for them bite instead of someone else.
  • Start to encourage your child to do something other than biting by saying, “Use your words.” then suggest phrases such as “I’m angry.” or “I had that first.”
  • Before you toddler interacts with other children, make sure their needs are met such as naps, food and a bathroom breaks.
  • Expand your child’s vocabulary by demonstrating what their teeth are for with these phrases:  “We chew our food with our teeth.” and “We use our teeth to help us talk.”

How Paradigm Helps With Toddler Biting

At Paradigm our philosophy is not to remove children permanently from the program who bite, but to work with the child and determine the reason they are biting or being bitten.  When the reason has been determined for a child biting or being bitten, we put an action plan in place to offer scaffolding through this challenge.  If we notice that a child is having a particularly bad day and is continuously attempting to bite we may send that child home for that day so we can have a fresh start the next day.

Although research shows that biting is not a learned behavior, please be aware that although your child may have been bitten today, they could bite someone next week and you would want us to continue to work with your child during this phase rather than removing him/her from our care.

For more information on the this subject please give us a call 248.363.9800 for the Waterford location or 734.354.9600 for the Canton location or use our contact form for more information on toddler biting.