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Beating Biting Behaviors

Biting is a common behavior in toddlers and young children. While it can be a normal part of development, it is important to address biting behaviors to ensure the safety of both your child and those around them. In this blog, we will discuss some tips on how to stop biting behaviors in toddlers! 

Understand the reasons behind biting 

Toddlers may bite for assorted reasons, such as teething, exploring their environment, seeking attention, or expressing frustration. It is important to understand the reason behind the behavior to address it effectively. 

React calmly and consistently 

It is important to stay calm when your child bites and to react consistently. Avoid yelling or punishing your child, as this can cause more frustration and may even encourage biting behaviors. Instead, use a firm but calm voice and tell your child that biting hurts and is not acceptable behavior. 

Provide appropriate alternatives 

If your child is biting as a way of exploring their environment or seeking sensory input, provide appropriate alternatives, such as chew toys or teething rings. This can redirect their biting behavior and prevent them from biting people. 

Encourage positive behaviors 

Encourage positive behaviors by praising your child when they use appropriate alternatives or express themselves in a non-violent manner. This positive reinforcement can help to reinforce good behavior and reduce biting. 

Address underlying issues 

If your child’s biting behavior persists, it is important to address any underlying issues. This may include issues with communication or socialization, which can be addressed through therapy or social skills groups. 

Set clear boundaries 

Set clear boundaries with your child about what is and is not acceptable behavior. For example, you can tell your child that biting is not allowed and that they need to use words or other appropriate behaviors to express themselves. 

Supervise playtime 

Supervise your child during playtime, especially if they have a history of biting. This can help you to intervene quickly and redirect your child’s behavior before it escalates. 

At The Nest, we understand that biting is a common developmental behavior for children from infancy through 2 ½ years old.

Here are a few ways we address these behaviors at The Nest: 

We believe in positive discipline for children rather than punishment. When children are having a hard time following the rules, we use communication that is fair but firm and redirect the child into an acceptable activity. 

Each child at The Nest is presented with a positive model of acceptable behavior. We engage in a discussion about the behavior with the child. If the child continues to exhibit the behavior or needs to calm down, we may temporarily separate them from the group. During this time, they can take a moment to breathe and talk with a teacher or classmate if appropriate. The child’s return to the group is contingent upon their ability to stop or bring under control the behavior that led to the separation. 

Biting behaviors in toddlers can be challenging, but with consistent and calm responses, appropriate alternatives, and positive reinforcement, you can help your child develop appropriate behaviors and reduce biting. If your child’s biting behavior persists, consider seeking the advice of a pediatrician or child behavior specialist. 

And remember, sometimes it takes a village!!