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Biting in Children: Risks and Tips for Parents

Biting in Children: Risks and Tips for Parents

Biting in children is common and normal for their development. A child bites for numerous reasons, ranging from teething phase to identifying an object or a toy with his/her mouth. A child bites or he/she puts any objects in his/her mouth to identify the texture and hardness of the object and understand its effects. Biting also helps toddlers to attract people and get a reaction.

However, you may think biting in children is just a phase that may go while he/she grows up, but that’s not necessarily in every case. In this article, you will read about the reasons why a child bites followed by how to stop biting in children.

Biting in Children: Why does this happen?

As said earlier, a child bites for numerous reasons. It may range from teething to gain people’s reaction. Also, they may bite to express their strong emotions, fear, anger and frustration due to lack of language skills.

Your child may bite due to tiredness or express his/her excitement. Also, it may be an act of self-defence or express his/her hunger. It is upon you to understand what was the situation before your child bites.

According to health experts, biting is common in boys and parents may see most often till his/her second birthday. However, the biting tends to lessen as language skills develop.

How to Handle Biting in Children

The best way to prevent biting in children is not by shaming, losing patience or punishing. There are possibilities that it may increase the fear and anxiety in them, resulting in increased biting incidents. Therefore, it is best to avoid aggressive responses.

Below are the few things that you may try to stop biting in children.

  • Use Cool Teething Ring: Teething causes itching in your child’s gums. Giving a cool teething ring to your child may help him/her to relieve his/her itching rather than biting others. Make sure it’s clean.
  • Identify His/Her Behaviour: It is essential for you to understand your child’s behavior. As said earlier, a child bites for numerous reasons, you should know or try to know, if your child is hungry or angry.
  • Be Firm: Although you are not allowed to lose your temper, you may set some rules and make your child follow. You can set the ‘Not To Bite Anyone’ rule for your child.
  • Avoid Your Habits: Children imitate what they see. If you tend to bite your child in a loving way, stop that as your child may repeat your actions.
  • Consult A Doctor: This has to be your last option, after trying all the above-listed strategies. If you feel your child is suffering from any issues that he/she might not be able to communicate properly, you may always consult a pediatrician.

When to See a Child Development Specialist

As it is medically proven that biting in children is common, the doctors believe it usually stops by age three or three and a half. If your child continues to bite or his/her bites have increased, you must consult a child development specialist or pediatrician.

These medical professionals may help to identify the reasons for biting and develop several ideas to stop them. However, you and every parent should understand that there are no quick results. So, it is essential that you maintain patience and help your child stop biting.

It is essential that you take good care of your child when he/she grows and develops a behavior like biting. Supervise your child to stop biting in a peaceful manner. You may use the listed strategies to stop biting.

Lastly, parents should understand that a child bites for numerous reasons, identify their behavior and guide them to stop biting. If you feel your child bites more than he/she should, consult a child development specialist to understand issues surrounding biting in children.

Learn more about Child Health and Behavior and Developmental Disorders here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Biting, pinching and hair-pulling/https://raisingchildren.net.au/babies/behaviour/common-concerns/biting-pinching-hair-pulling/Accessed on 14/11/2019

Biting questions/https://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/02/biting/Accessed on 14/11/2019

Tips for Preventing Repeated Biting in Child Care Programs/https://childcare.extension.org/tips-for-preventing-repeated-biting-in-child-care-programs/Accessed on 14/11/2019

When your two-year-old bites/https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a1022215/when-your-two-year-old-bites/Accessed on 14/11/2019

Biting/https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/stop-biting.html/Accessed on 14/11/2019

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Written by Nikita Bhalla Updated Jun 16
Medically reviewed by Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS
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