My baby is a biter, he has just turned 11 months and he comes at me like a zombie, he thinks it’s hilarious, particularly when I Yelp in pain or hold his head back (gently and playfully course). Now he has 6 razor sharp teeth and like a ferret aims to make them meet with a flesh sandwich it blumming hurts! His favourite areas are my neck, arms, tummy (suck your belly in my husband says, come on, not with this post baby belly pouch!) but the worst, and most disgusting has to be my toes!
Why does he bite me I often wondered? To be mean? Naughty?
Well, after some research it seems there are many reasons…
- To experiment – they’ve just learned this new trick and they want to try it out. Everything goes into a babies mouth, this is how the learn about their surroundings
- To get a reaction – Babies, mine in particular craves attention, biting is a way to make you interact with them and to see how you react. The more you react the more they want to repeat and make you do it again.
- To vent frustration – as a backlash to something they aren’t allowed or somewhere they want but aren’t permitted to go.
- Teething – babies like to bit and chew on things when teething, they may just be using use as a fleshy teether.
What can I do about it?
Firstly, please don’t read all the forums from other Mums out there who claim biting their child back or shouting at them works. Although painful and frustrating it’s important to know that biting is perfectly natural, instinctive and important part of your child’s development – which they will grow out of.
If biting becomes a problem try these tips…
- Explain that it hurts and ask them to make it a kiss instead, they’re too young to understand but will get it eventually.
- Try to not react at all, easier said than done I know! When they see that they get no attention or reaction they’ll get bored of it and give up.
- Distract them with something else, when they go in for the bite turn them around or change their position and give them something they can bite instead.