Today, we will talk of an interesting topic that causes curiosity as well as discomfort among parents, that’s baby infant’s biting. Every infant experiments with biting. It’s all a part of growing up. Don’t worry or ponder too much. Babies bite their teething toys, their mommy’s breast, their pacifier, or the fingers or shoulders of their parents. Usually, the parent’s immediate flinch or cry of surprise communicates to the child that biting hurts, and after a few experiments, the child has learned enough about biting to move on. The experiments cease. There’s nothing bad or wrong with these biting experiments: the baby is doing what he or she must do to learn.
Why Children Bite
Kids bite for a number of reasons -- and most of them aren't intentionally malicious.
They're in pain. When babies bite, typically it's because they're teething. They're just doing it to relieve the pain of their swollen, tender gums.
They're exploring their world. Very young children use their mouths to explore, just as they use their hands. Just about everything infants or toddlers pick up eventually winds up in their mouths. Kids this age aren't yet able to prevent themselves from biting the object of their interest.
They're looking for a reaction. Part of exploration is curiosity. They're craving attention. They're frustrated.To your child, biting is a way to get back a favorite toy, tell you that he or she is unhappy, or let another child know that he or she wants to be left alone.
Biting in toddlers
By the time a child has reached toddler age, he has learned that biting hurts. Seldom is a bite from a toddler an experiment. You might think, “Well, if he knows it hurts, why does he decide to do it?”
A toddler bites because a big wave of emotion has suddenly flooded his brain. He doesn’t plan this, and he doesn’t know how to stop it. One of the main reasons toddlers bite is because they are feeling afraid or frustrated. When they haven’t had their fill of close, relaxed time with their parents or caregivers, or when stress has risen in their lives, they may not express the fears or frustrations through natural outlets like crying and tantrums. To them, the situation doesn’t feel favorable for expressing lots of feelings. But the feelings rumble nevertheless, and when they become intolerable, biting can occur. Toddlers want attention. He keeps yearning for his mommy and daddy to be with him always. If the child is at the daycare, he wants his caregiver to give him utmost attention. The tensions that drive toddlers to bite can arise from things that have recently happened. The birth of a sibling, the absence of a parent, witnessing violence on TV, a change in caregivers, or moving from one apartment to another are the kinds of things that can cause a child to bite.
What should the parents do?
Don’t blame, give lecture or punish your baby. It often helps if you say “Ouch, please don’t ite me, it hurts.” Parents must guard their own safety with an infant who is exploring biting. For instance, it doesn’t make sense to put your finger in the mouth of a baby who is exploring biting, if he has teeth!
Practice prevention so that your child will be less likely to bite in the first place.
If your baby is teething, make sure to always have a cool teething ring or washcloth on hand so he or she will be less likely to sink teeth into someone's arm.
Avoid situations in which your child can get irritable enough to bite. Make sure that all of your child's needs -- including eating and nap time -- are taken care of before you go out to play. Bring along a snack to soothe your child if he or she gets cranky from being hungry.
As soon as your child is old enough, encourage the use of words ("I'm angry with you" or "That's my toy") instead of biting. Other ways to express frustration or anger include hugging a stuffed animal or punching a pillow. Sometimes, shortening activities or giving your child a break can help prevent the rising frustration that can lead to biting and other bad behaviors.
Give your child enough of your time throughout the day (for example, by reading or playing together), so he or she doesn't bite just to get attention. Extra attention is especially important when your child is going through a major life change, such as a move or welcoming a baby sibling.
When your child bites, firmly let your child know that this behavior is not acceptable by saying, "No. We don't bite!" Explain that biting hurts the other person. Then remove your child from the situation and give the child time to calm down.
If you are unable to get your child to stop biting, the behavior could begin to have an impact on school and relationships. You or another adult might have to closely supervise interactions between your child and other kids. When biting becomes a habit or continues past age 4 or 5, it might stem from a more serious emotional problem. Talk to your child's health care provider, or enlist the help of a child psychologist.
Enjoy parenting and have a great time!!!