My two year old bites ...

United States
December 11, 2006 10:47am CST
My two year old daughter bites people. She bites her older sister when they fight over a toy or her sister makes her mad. The other day I was holding her little brother and she wanted on my lap. I told her that it was her brother's turn and that she would have to wait. She leaned over and bit his foot. She has bit me a few times also. Does anyone have suggestions on how to get her to stop biting? If you've been in this situation what did you do to stop it?
5 people like this
55 responses
@Foxxee (3653)
• United States
12 Dec 06
My daughter use to bite. She was in daycare when it started. The daycare eventually told me that if she didn't stop the biting I would have to find another daycare or keep her with me in my class. I was also a daycare teacher during this time. I asked my daughters doctor about the biting and I was told several different reasons why a toddler bites. It was frustrating for me. I heard the same old stuff. It's normal is what I heard more. Some children bite to gain attention from adults, some bite in self-defence when they are threatened or feel threatened. I have even been told that some children imitate biting, when they see another child bite or some will bite because it is an effective way to get what they want. Just make sure that when she bites again, don't overreact, stay calm, because those children who bite for attention actually increase in the biting when they get an upset parent. Try getting down to her level and speak calm but firm. Tell her you do not like it when she bites. And wait about 8 minutes and then talk with her again and let her know that you understand she was upset, but biting hurts and that we don't bite people. Then see if she is willing to apologize to the person she bit. If she bites again and I'm sure she might try it again, my daughter did, it does take time, but if she does, then pull her away from the person she bit immediately and tell her she cannot play no more for biting, biting hurts. Stay firm, but calm. Remove her from that area for 2 or 3 minutes. Learn her cues and try to find out what triggers her and then just supervise her closely and maybe try to intervene early and prevent her from biting. I use to also work in daycare and they would go through these books that we had to end up reading and it would teach us on what to do if we had a biter in our class and all that. Go figure that my daughter was on of the biters in the daycare I worked in. I did get it under control though, she did stop biting. And when your daughter does bite, when you do pull her away, maybe put her in a playpen or something, just for a few minutes. It will take time, just hang in there. Right now this is just how your daughter is showing her emotions. She might be either overexcited when she bites or frustrated, hungry, maybe even tired. Good luck!
• United States
12 Dec 06
I understand that this will take time, but it has already been 6 months and honestly I'm tired of it. She is hurting my other children and as their mom I cannot allow it to go on. It is not best for her or them for her to continue this behavior. I don't think that she responds to "reasoning". I'm really lost. I appreciate your reply and can tell that you put a lot of thought into your answer. Thanks for answering from your experience.
2 people like this
• Philippines
12 Dec 06
this sounds really helpful. i'll keep these in mind. thanks for sharing.
4 people like this
@witmuch (184)
• United States
18 Dec 06
do not ever let a doctor or some one else tell you that it is normal for a child to bite. because it is not normal! i don't care how many people get mad at this comment but it is not normal for a child to bite another child! they learned it from someone else. if you really think about it comes from what people let their kids watch on tv, what the parents do in front of them and what the kids learn from poor schooling attendants that just don't understand that biting isn't normal. too many things in this world this day and age tell us that it is bad to spank our kids or that it is wrong to tell our child what is right or wrong when our schools and doctors are telling us how to raise our children! you are their parents not the school or that doctor or the neighbor! you must show your child right and wrong. only you have to right because you are the parent. and if you think that not spanking your child for unruley behaviour is wrong, well i'm sorry but you are wrong. the word of God tells us that if you have to spank your child that it won't kill them! yes they will remember it but that they will learn from it the value of discipline. you can not let your child go unpunished for biting. age does however play a factor. but the older they get the more they try out and the more trouble they get into because they haven't been properly shown how to be nice, play nice, or act nice. not spanking you child at times is the lazy way out of teaching your child the difference between right and wrong. it does fall on us parents!
2 people like this
@cuddiluk (1523)
• Philippines
12 Dec 06
She maybe born with animalistic instinct, hehehe. Or likely, you enjoy minggling with animals when she was inside your womb, hehehe. It's normal behavior. What I did to my kids when they biting, I slap their mouth. My eyes was blazing with madness. Afterwards, I explain to them that biting should be stop for many people will get hurt.
• Malaysia
12 Dec 06
it's good you born a baby girl not a cat girl! lol
2 people like this
@loopie (123)
• United States
12 Dec 06
When my son went through his biting faze I was told to bite him back, I however could never bring myself to do this. It was way out of hand because like your daughter it had gone on for way to long, and everything I was trying was not working. Finally one day a friend of mine who had recently underwent the same ordeal with her child, gave me a useful tool, a bite guard, any time she bites, make her wear a special head guard that blocks her mouth from biting anyone. They carry these at Walmart and at certain baby stores.Also after about a week and half of me making my son wear this every time he bit me, It stopped.
3 people like this
• United States
12 Dec 06
A bite guard? Like something that football players wear when they play? Did your child keep it in his mouth or did he spit it out? I would like to know more about this method!
2 people like this
@innechen (1321)
• Indonesia
12 Dec 06
chilly - chilly
in my country if a child have a bad habit like yours usually the mother will put a chilly on her lips everytime the kids bite something or someone, thats usually work becoz the kids will be afraid to bite again becoz they dont like the taste of the chilly.try it its works fast.but dont put too much only put some so she can feel her lips bit hot
3 people like this
• United States
12 Dec 06
This is an excellent idea! Much better then biting the child or slapping her mouth as some people have told me to do.
2 people like this
@Foxxee (3653)
• United States
12 Dec 06
Not to be a know it all, but putting soap or hot sauce or anything like that in a childs mouth for biting is not the right way to do it. I think that is kind of mean. A child bites for a reason, it is up to the parent to work it out with the child. It takes time to deal with a biter, I had a biter.
3 people like this
@witmuch (184)
• United States
18 Dec 06
that doesn't work at all. my brother use to get soap in his mouth and he would laugh while it trickled down his throat. my husband use to get hot sauce and or spicey onions in his mouth and now his tollerance for spices is so high he can't tastes the spice. you can and will damage your childs sense of taste doing this.
2 people like this
@medooley (1874)
• United States
12 Dec 06
I think the best thing to do in this case is just to explain to her how it hurts people and that biting is not acceptable. Our youngest did this a while back... I think that she did it because that time she had no other way to communicate, so she would do it to get our attention. After she would bite we would disipline her and after a couple of weeks she stopped. Good luck.
3 people like this
• United States
12 Dec 06
She's been doing this since this summer, so it's been at least 6 months. We've tried reasoning and we've tried disipline. It's really evolved into this ... it started when she was teething and she would bite. Then when she was frustrated and couldn't communicate, but now she does it as a means to hurt her siblings. I'm really at a loss.
2 people like this
• United States
12 Dec 06
Bite her back. Not to where you draw blood or anything, just till you see the look on her face change. She doesn't know what it feels like from the bitees point of view.
@mimpi1911 (25454)
• India
12 Dec 06
this is a tough one. however you cud try punishing ur child every time she bites. if explaining doesn't work u gotta adopt harder method. grounding or showing time out would be too hard since she is a two year old. u can punish her by ignoring, by not taking her calls and discussing how bad biting and stuff like that cud be with ur friends, when she's around. having said this, u shud make sure to keep track of her, always and don't miss to praise her if she does something really good, like finishing her food on time, not hurting or biting others. she shud understand that u love her and she wud get a praise for every good job she does. good luck.
@michele609 (1687)
• United States
11 Dec 06
Well I have 5 year old twins that used to love to bite at that age I think they dont understand how it feels. You have to tell her it is wrong and if she bites someone again her teeth are going to fall out and never come back!
3 people like this
@witmuch (184)
• United States
18 Dec 06
i say bite her back! i know that it sounds cruel but my daughter did this because she learned it from someone else. she is looking for the attention that it gives her. my daughter bit me hard enough to draw blood. so i bit her back. she never bit me again. she tried on her daddy and he did the same thing and she didn't bite anyone esle from that day on. it really does sound cruel and i didn't even believe that it would work but i haven't had any problems since. i did however sit down and talk to her with my husband and we told her why we bit her back and why she isn't suppose to bite other people. we told her that we love her and that when she did things like that to hurt others that it upset us and made us sad. she is only 3 now but she got the point. if you take this drastic measure don't bite through the skin! just hard enough to get your point across. just hard enough to make her think about what she did. i would also suggest a time out for her -- 1 minute for every year of her age. sit her down in a quiet place and if she screams let her cry for the duration of the time out. then talk to her after the time out/or bite. you can do many things for your children but the one thing that all parents are responsible for is to teach their own children how to behave and obey! too many children out there are alloud to run around their cities and houses to curse at their parents and get away with murder. it starts in our homes! God tells us in the Bible that we must NOT spare the rod and we must NOT spoil our children. we must discipline our children! not let them get away with everything. Great question! thanks for posting! if you ever want to talk add me to your friends list and msg me. i am a mother of 3 and pregnant with twins! plenty of parental experience here--lol.
@witmuch (184)
• United States
18 Dec 06
if you really love your children you must discipline them!
2 people like this
• Philippines
18 Dec 06
well my boy is just turning one and he did a lot esp.when he's getting mad i think theres no way to stop it,ive tried to give him teether but it aint workin just be patient and keep him away of kids so that things wont be so difficult,by the way my kid wud just turning 1 this xmas
2 people like this
@emarie (5454)
• United States
15 Dec 06
well my 2 boys used to bite...hence the word 'used to' ....i figured as soon as they bite...one tip on the cheek with the firm work 'NO' will do the trick...i never tolerated biting from them...it started when they bit me while nursing...they each did it once and i slapped them and they never did it again. my oldest son tries to nibble for fun, but sometimes goes to hard. when it hurts i definatly let them know. make them know its not alright to bite..be mad at them...they need to know especially if you daughter does it out of anger. just a little tap with 2 fingers on her cheek...not to hard but along with a no...it will scare her. do it every time as soon as she does it, and maybe follow it with a time out. right now my nephew bites my kids alot when he's mad. thats what i've been doing. he's almost 18mo...right now his exuse is teething...it might be the case for your daughter as well if she hasn't recieved her 2nd yr molars yet...
2 people like this
• United States
14 Dec 06
I absolutely disagree with everyone saying to bite back..because that makes you a hipocrit in your childs eyes,,you showing her they she cant bit but u can..they dont learn that way..just like if u smoke..and tell your child dont..its bad for you..helooo..there noit dumb..even at 2 ...And i know its a phase that all toddlers go threw..when Sky would Bite me. i would tell him noo righ in his face..and if he did it again..i would put him in the playpen..he hated it in theer so much..and that pretty much broke him of it ..but i know some sites that u should check out with great information and help.. go to .. www.parenting.com www.parents.com all thise are great help..i wihs you luck ands remeber its a phase.this too shall pass..
@shayd05 (11)
• Australia
14 Dec 06
I think it all depends on the child and the way that they have been disciplined, if they will listen to you when you explain something then by all means explain to them that it hurts and its not very nice and that it is very unclean but if you have a 2yr old rebel like a couple of the people i know then action is the only way to go, call me a bad parent but I bit both of my children the first time they did it to me and it was the last, i only bit them as hard as they bit me and after I did it I explained to them again, I do think that the longer that you let them get away with it the worse it will get and harder it will be to make them stop.
2 people like this
@wvchell78 (564)
• United States
14 Dec 06
My son used to bite whenever he would get mad. His cousin and he used to fight and they would end up biting each other. My sister babysat my son at the time and to stop it she just found something that neither of them liked and when they would bite she made them bite it. Needless to say the biting no longer happens. I wish you luck because I know how frustrating it can be.
• Pakistan
12 Dec 06
my younger brother used to do it. But in a couple of years he stopped. Give her a little time. Or Limit her resources like no tv, No games, No sweetes
2 people like this
@JessieMae (345)
• United States
12 Dec 06
have you tried letting her get bit back when she bites someone?
2 people like this
@toonatoons (3740)
• Philippines
12 Dec 06
my niece does it, too. she used to bite her crib when she was younger. now, at three, she bites people! we just don't know what to do!
• United States
18 Dec 06
well the closest thing i have had to this prob was my nephew did this , but the prob was that i has just given birth to a preemie and they let her come home even tho she was still 4 ponds cause they found that she ate better etc when we were there but my sis n law would come over every day to supoosidly help but i spent most of the time trying not to smack HER kids cause i would catch him biting my other boys and then the day came when that lil ( ill not say what im thinking but you can fill in the blank) he actually bit my lil 4 pound baby that was sleeping in her bouncy seat on the HEAD!!! I was sooo (lets say peeved) and told the sis n law she needed to go or i was gonna smakc him and she got all mad cause "its just a phase" i think that argument was the best thing that happened to us cause we dont talk with them no more and from what i hear the family has gon down hill very fast , sad but what can i do i had to protect my lil ones hmm have you tried soap , i know my mom did the chilli thing for lying ...... oh wait what about that stuff that you put on kids thums thats bitter so they will stop sucking their thumbs ?? keep us updated ! ~M~
• United States
18 Dec 06
I would have been more mad at the response of your sister-in-law then anything! Over the weekend my daughter bit my sister's daughter and I was almost in tears. I was really mad at my girl for biting my neice. I love my neice very much and just don't think that it's right that my girl bit her. I think that this whole biting stage is probably "just a phase..." though I don't think that, that makes it right. I would never allow my daughter to bit anyone and let it go unpunished.
• United States
11 Jan 07
I had this situation. My child was two also. I think that they do not understand what they are doing or how it can hurt. It is also difficult to explain it to a child so young. First try talking, and if that doesn't work, each time they bite, you must sharply say "no" and smack their behind once. It works and it won't hurt anything but their feelings.
1 person likes this
@jenbatres (800)
• United States
20 Dec 06
I have 3 children and only once have I had this problem. My oldest daughter bit her friend when she was 3 -- her friend bit her back. . .Never had another problem. The child need to be taught -- bite back
1 person likes this
@serenetee (380)
• Singapore
20 Dec 06
My son used to bite his elder sister whenever he was mad. Nothing could stop him until I told him a white lie. Kids know that police catches bad guys. I simply told him the police will catch him and pull out his teeth if I make a report. I pretended to pick up the phone when he did it and he apologised fearfully. It went on a few times and finally he remembered and stopped biting.
1 person likes this
@adnan82 (673)
• Pakistan
18 Dec 06
i think ur kid is too YOung. so it happens..as the time goes on . she will understand wat..she is doing so i dont think so . there is any thing to worry about.. just try to . make her understand wat she is dOing is rong sCOld her. Punish her. once or twice for this ACt.. u Cant do . ne thing. else :)
1 person likes this