When Toddlers Bite

Biting is a very common behavior at this age, especially among preverbal children. Although this behavior is upsetting to parents and other caregivers, a calm response is usually most effective.

 

Biting is generally either an expression of frustration, a discovery of a good way to get a satisfying response, or a sign of a tooth cutting through.

Teach your toddler that biting hurts others and is not allowed. Show him or her a better way of “playing nicely.”

If it keeps happening, pay attention to what’s happening just before your child bites either you or another person or child. See if you can spot the moment he or she becomes frustrated, and then redirect his or her behavior before biting occurs.

Effective discipline happens before troublesome behavior occurs, rather than only in response.

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

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