Bite-Sized Advice: Effective Ways to Handle Toddler Biting

Biting in toddlers is a topic that many parents and educators find challenging and perplexing. Often met with surprise and concern, this behavior is a natural part of early childhood development. Understanding why toddlers bite and how to address it can ease the stress for parents and children alike.

“Biting is a typical behavior often seen in infants, toddlers, and 2-year olds. As children mature, gain self-control, and develop problem-solving skills, they usually outgrow this behavior.”

– National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

Biting can stem from various reasons—frustration, teething pain, a desire for attention, or simply exploring the world through their senses. Recognizing the commonality of this phase is the first step in navigating it with compassion and effectiveness.

In this post, we’ll explore the underlying causes of biting, debunk myths, and provide practical strategies for managing this behavior. Our goal is to support you in guiding your little ones through their developmental journeys with understanding and patience. Let’s embark on this exploration together, turning a challenging phase into an opportunity for growth and learning.

Why Might Our Little Ones Bite?

  • Teething Troubles: Sometimes, they just want to soothe those achy gums.
  • Curiosity and Discovery: Our toddlers are like little scientists, and sometimes their experiments include using their mouths!
  • Tiny Emotions, Big Impact: When they feel overwhelmed, excited, or just really want that toy, they might not have the words yet and might express it through biting.
  • Seeking Attention: If it leads to a strong reaction, they might just be testing the waters to see what happens next.

How We’re Navigating This Together

  • Keeping a Watchful Eye: We’re always observing, especially during those moments when energy runs high or when they’re a bit too tired.
  • Gentle Reminders: If a biting incident happens, we ensure the little one who got bitten is okay and give a kind yet firm reminder to our curious biter about kind hands and gentle touches.
  • Empowering Their Words: We’re helping them find their voice, teaching phrases like “I’m upset” or “I want a turn”.

A Few Tips for Our Adventure at Home

  1. Deep Breaths: If a bite happens, it’s okay to take a moment. Reacting calmly can be key.
  2. Encourage Chatting: Even if it’s just a word or two, every phrase they learn is a step away from biting as communication.
  3. Teething Alternatives: If teething seems to be the culprit, having some cool, safe items for them to chew on can be a relief.
  4. Consistent Love: Keeping our reactions consistent, both at home and with us, can help them learn faster.

Parent Resources

Here are some reliable parent resources that offer insights, strategies, and support around this behavior:

Books:

  • “No Biting!: A Lift-the-Flap Book” by Karen Katz: A board book suitable for toddlers to teach them about alternatives to biting.
  • “Teeth Are Not for Biting” by Elizabeth Verdick: A best-selling board book that gives reasons why toddlers might want to bite and offers simple redirection.

Websites:

Online Articles/Blogs:

Let’s remember, this too shall pass. These little moments are just blips on our grand journey of watching them grow. We cherish being on this adventure with you and appreciate your understanding and partnership.


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