Is Biting Common In Toddlers-How To Deal With It?

Chayanika Sen
1 to 3 years

Created by Chayanika Sen
Updated on Jan 24, 2022

Is Biting Common In Toddlers How To Deal With It
Reviewed by Expert panel

Biting as discussed is quite a common phenomenon in toddlers and is a phase in your toddler's developmental milestone. Biting is a part and parcel of learning how to express and communicate. You as parents have to be patient and identify the reasons behind your toddler's biting behavior. Though it is quite embarrassing and showcase your toddler as a misbehaved child, you have to understand the root cause of such behavior and ensure their children are handled with utmost care during this phase.

How Can I Stop The Biting Behaviour Of My Toddler?

Punishing the child, hitting or slapping them, shouting at them, shaming or ridiculing them in front of others might instigate the child to further misbehave. These approaches should thus be avoided and different effective strategies should be adopted for stopping the child from doing so.

Why Are Toddlers Prone To Biting?

Toddlers are still learning to speak and express themselves in words. Emotions of joy, anger or frustration need a vent and are best let out by biting.

  1. Excited or overwhelmed: Certain environments, activities or people might appeal to a child's mind. He may express his excitement by biting people around or maybe himself
  2. Nervousness and insecurity: Toddlers feel secured when they are in their known ambience or have familiar faces around. Going to a new place, being surrounded by a lot of strangers or the need to interact with new people may render a growing baby nervous or insecure. He may give into nervousness by biting
  3. Release of pent-up energy: Toddlers are known to be "powerhouses of energy". They need some or the other activity all the time. This energy is all pent up and is sometimes expended by biting
  4. Tired, sleepy or unwell babies: It may so happen that growing toddlers may not be feeling up to the mark. They cry and bite to convey their message
  5. When they are teething: Teething may be a very irritating and disturbing phase. The nagging pain and discomfort may prompt biting. Biting onto fingers may give them a sense of comfort and security during this phase
  6. Response to other child's aggression: A toddler may either being hit or being bit by another child in playschool or park. He may have responded to this by biting back in anger
  7. To gain attention: Most toddlers are attention seekers. They love being the centre of attention. If they feel they are not getting the kind of attention from everyone around they may start biting to express their anger, dejection, and insecurity

What Can I Do When My Toddler Gets Bitten?

Since biting is common in toddlers and is not restricted to your toddler alone, accidents are waiting to happen and at times do happen. Here's what you can do.

  1. Ensure safety of both the toddlers: Ensure both the children are separated from each other and cannot bite each other again
  2. Patience is being calm are the keys: Toddlers generally do not understand the repercussion of their biting. Avoid shouting or blaming the child who has hurt or bit the toddler. Instead explain patiently how the other baby is hurt and how much pain he or she is in.
  3. Toddler victim needs affection and help: The toddler who has been bit would be crying with pain. He would need all the love and hugs and might also require medical aid.Paying lot of love and attention to the toddler in pain is a clear message for the biting toddler that what he has done is not correct

Tips To Restrict Your Toddlers From Biting

Here are few ways to restrict your toddler from biting each other or even himself or herself.

  1. Closely watching the toddler: If there is one particular toddler who is in the habit of biting, parents need to be extra vigilant. Any signs such as crying, yelling, lunging, foot stamping may precede his action of biting. Keeping a close watch may help parents in controlling the toddler timely
  2. Adopt method of distraction: A toddler who is full of tensions or anger needs support. It is best to move them to another room or environment and distract them with a toy or story of their choice. The purpose is to change their mind and mood and let out their emotion
  3. Discuss and suggest alternate behaviors: After understanding reasons which may instigate toddlers to bite, it is best to explain to them what could be alternate behaviors in like situations. A better way to communicate a requirement or a feeling should be discussed. A toddler generally feels all the more uncomfortable and conscious after biting someone. Instead of embarrassing them, it is better to explain that biting is not to be resorted to and trying to speak, calling out for some caretaker or elder person around or communicating with actions are better options
  4. Inculcate the habit of sharing: A toddler should be taught the value of sharing right since the beginning. Babies generally bite playmates when both of them want any particular toy. They should be taught that sharing with others is important. Timers may also be used at home to train toddlers that they would be allowed to play with certain toys for limited spans only and that they cannot have toys indefinitely
  5. Teaching through indirect presentation: Toddlers understand better through an indirect presentation. Storytelling where they are the "heroes or heroines" and are hurt by others and their explaining their feelings when bitten should enable them to understand better as to how others would be feeling when they are hurt or bitten

Did you like the blog on biting in toddlers? Share your views in the comments section below.

This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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| Dec 14, 2017

yes since they can't express in words , biting gives a vent to their pent up emotions.. it would be best to teach them to express in words for instance 'I am having a bad day or I am upset as mommy didn't take me out today'. amazing blog , with excellent suggestions.. thanks for sharing!!

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| Dec 15, 2017

my 17month daughter bite me and then she laughed loudly... I stopped her and told her its very painful but she did it again and again... she enjoyed it as she thought its a funny game.. wt should I do in this situation.

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| Jan 06, 2018

0000p ))00ll

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| Dec 20, 2018


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| Jan 22, 2020

Present situation of mine nd vry useful advices. Thnk u very much

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