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What Causes Biting in Toddlers and How to Stop It

Most parents think that a child is biting for no apparent reason, and that it must be stopped immediately. But you must know that biting is very common among toddlers. There is nothing wrong with your child, though the concern of how to put an end to it remains. Before we guide you on how to deal with this problem, let’s see why it occurs in the first place.

Causes
Here are the reasons why toddlers end up biting other people, including their own moms.

Communication
Babies and toddlers experience several emotions and intense feelings just like adults do. But unlike adults, who can speak and express, toddlers retain thoughts. Biting someone is just a way of communicating for them, a way of conveying.

Self-Defense
When the toddlers bite or hit somebody, they see that the other person moves away. So, they learn that in order to be safe, they have to either bite or hit. Thus, whenever the child feels insecure or anxious, he resorts to biting and hitting.

Attention Seeking
Toddlers realize that the moment they bite, they become the center of attention. Thus, if at any given point of time, they’re neglected, they’ll bite just to gain that attention.

Experimentation
Toddlers are continuously experimenting with their bodies, and are very curious to know how each body part works. Thus, funnily enough, they end up biting others in order to know what their teeth can do. Biting is a common phenomenon when a toddler is experiencing baby teething.

Anger
Toddlers bite when they want to show anger. If they want a toy or are wearing uncomfortable clothes, they feel irritated and start biting others, because that is the only way they can show their anger.

How to Stop a Toddler from Biting

Find out what triggers or causes such behavior. Usually, there is a pattern in this behavior. For example, you’ll notice that your toddler bites only when he’s hungry or when he doesn’t get what he wants. Finding what triggers this behavior can help you prevent it easily.

Understand the baby’s body language. When you understand that he is going to bite someone, divert his attention to something else.

Teach him other ways of expressing himself. Teach him baby sign language. Show him how to hug or touch a cheek with gentle hands, instead of biting, when he wants to show love and affection.

Do not give him any sort of attention when he bites someone. Instead, go to the victim and hug him in front of your toddler. This will make the toddler realize that the victim is getting all the attention and not him.

Communicate how unhappy you are with this behavior. Do it continuously, whether he understands what you’re saying or not. This is one of the best ways to discipline him.

When babies see that elders are playfully biting their toes or fingers, they think of it as a normal activity. Refrain from doing anything similar in front of your toddler.

If you’re finding it difficult to discipline your child, and his behavior is getting more and more aggressive, visit a doctor for a better solution to the problem.

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