Why is my toddler biting and how should I respond?

Why is my toddler biting and how should I respond?

It hurts. Physically and emotionally.

But we MUST remember that our little ones have under-developed brains. They don't want to bite or deal with the aftermath of that. They're just IMPULSIVE and TRYING TO COMMUNICATE.

Here’s how you can respond:

1. Pause and breathe. Take a second to remind yourself that this is an infant communicating.
2. Hold your boundary. “I won’t let you bite me, it hurts”. “I won’t let you bite your sister”. Use a calm, even voice, not a threatening or angry one.
3. Physical related consequence. If you're holding your little one, gently put them down and move away. If they've bitten someone, gently move them away from that child.
4. Try and put words to what you think they're feeling or what happened. "Sam took your toy. You felt angry. You bit him. I won't let you bite, it hurts".

LATER: when everyone is calm. Teach an alternative. "When you're feeling angry, you can shout for an adult. "Help me, mummy". "When you need to bite, you can bite your teether". "When you want to play, you can tap me on the shoulder. "

Frequent biter? Time to shadow them. The BEST way to support bad behaviours is ALWAYS to prevent them. Look for patterns in when your child bites - is it when they want your attention? Try to offer attention before they communicate through biting.

Are they biting friends when frustrated? Stay close during play dates and help to manage conflicts. Physically stop biting attempts before they happen and offer an alternative behaviour.

Again remember - your little one is communicating. They're not naughty. How you respond makes A HUGE DIFFERENCE to whether this behaviour continues or not.

You've got this!

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