Saturday, April 21, 2012


This is the first thing I've really struggled with in parenthood: Audrey is biting.

It isn't a lot, but it is often enough that it worries me and I'm frustrated. It started out that she would do it when she was frustrated. She couldn't express her frustration, so she would just bite the closest thing to her (a pillow, herself or even me.) We would tell her "ta-ta" in a serious voice and then explain, "We don't bite Mama. We bite bananas, and we bite carrots, but we don't bite Mama."

This worked for a little while. We were able to tell when she was about to bite and start the explanation before she actually bit something. We even did 1-2 minute time-outs if she did bite. She had been doing really well, and hadn't bitten or tried to bite anything in several weeks. Then I noticed her canine teeth were coming in on the top, and the biting started again. But this time, the frustration hasn't been there, so I'm having trouble detecting it preemptively.

Up until now, the only people she has bitten have been me and herself. This morning she bit her 8 1/2 year old cousin. And it made me mad and sad all at the same time. It's so frustrating and I don't want her hurting herself or someone else. I talked to her doctor about it at her 15 month well-child visit and she basically said it is just the age and is very common. The things we are doing are the things to do and we just have to watch her and wait out this stage.

But I hate that. She is such a sweet little girl. I hate to see her doing this. I hate to have to put her in time-out.

It's funny how before you have kids, you picture yourself as a certain kind of parent. You picture your child as a certain kind of child. You think kids misbehaving is a result of parenting. But it isn't always. Sometimes it's just kids being kids, learning about life and this world, testing their limits.

My sweet little almost 16 month old is certainly testing her limits. And she's testing her Mama's limits too. So have any of you had to deal with biting at this age? How did you handle prevention and discipline?

1 comment :

Sonya said...

I was a perfect parent...until I had kids! That old saying is so true!!!

First of all this is a stage and it is completley normal. Kids, even when they can talk don't know exactly, how to express themselves so one way is with biting.

Both of my kids have went through a biting stage. Lauren was terrible and I was so afraid she was going to get kicked out of daycare. She would bite when she was mad, she would bite when a kid took a toy away from her, she would bite to get your attention, she would bite and bite. We tried EVERYTHING. We read the book "teeth are not for biting" every night before bed. It tells us what we should use our teeth for and that biting our friends hurts. We tried time outs, we tried things the pediatrician told us about like redirection to have her bite ice, or a teething ring or a special biting pacifier thing. It went on for months and months and then one day she just stopped. Just like that it was over. It was really strange.
With Colton, his biting is more a hit or a miss but we use the timeouts when I think he is biting out of frustration or being upset and redirection for the times he bites because of teething. He is currently cutting 4 teeth so we have had the ice and biter pacifier out alot!!

wow sorry for the book i just wrote! Hang in there!!!!