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My 14 month old son keeps biting us! He will do it out of no where, and very hard, and laugh afterwards. I think hes doing it for the reaction but he just wont stop, nothing I’ve tried has worked (being stern, ignoring it, putting him in his room). We are first time parents and aren’t really sure what to do. Any help is appreciated x


Posted by mumma-brit, 20th April 2021


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  • I think MsPeela’s advice is spot on. It’s tough and stressful when your child is a biter but they will stop. Hang in there you are doing a great job.


  • Biting is very common in early childhood. Babies and toddlers bite for a variety of reasons, such as teething or exploring a new toy or object with their mouth. As they begin to understand cause-and-effect, they also might bite a person to see if they can get a reaction.
    Reasons why toddlers bite are often:
    Lack language skills necessary for expressing important needs or strong feelings like anger, frustration, joy, etc. Biting is a substitute for the messages he can’t yet express in words like: I am so mad at you, You are standing too close to me, I am really excited, or I want to play with you.
    Are overwhelmed by the sounds, light or activity level in this setting
    Are experimenting to see what will happen
    Need more active playtime
    Are over-tired
    Are teething
    Have an need for oral stimulation

    What I did;
    Stay calm, no overreacting,
    Distract to prevent.
    Help your child to give words to feelings,
    Say “no biting, biting hurts”
    Attend to the one who is bitten
    Help your child to say sorry
    And then move on
    No biting back


  • Think you should manage with all the comments you have received. Sometimes you just have to be very strict to be kind.


  • One of my granddaughters did this to her younger sister and I told her if she did it again she would get it back. She did it and I nipped her back. She was so shocked she never did it to anyone again. Her Mum couldn’t believe it worked. My boys never bit but they would hit me if I told them off for something. In the end I smacked them on their bottom and the noise of the hit stopped them in their tracks (my boys used to have cloth nappies and plastic pants so it made a lot of noise). The smack never left a mark though because you have to cup your hand as you hit and that’s what causes the noise.


  • When my 20 month old daughter does something that hurts I react to it, I say it hurts and I tell her she needs to apologise. She now says “sorry mummy” and doesn’t do it again because she doesn’t like seeing me sad.


  • I’m afraid that the only way that seems to work is to give him a sharp nip right back straight away, saying no biting. Usually only have to do it a couple of times and he will catch on.


  • It might be phase, my son went through it when he was teething horribly. He bit me whilst feeding and I screamed and cried and after it happening a few times (and refusing to feed him for a solid 5-10 minutes because I was in agony) he stopped biting me and others.
    I bit once when I was younger and my mum bit me back and I never done it again. It wasn’t hard but it was enough to shock me not to do it again.


  • l know it might seem a bit harsh . But if you have tried everything Bite him back & you laugh at him . Just bite him hard enough so it hurts him but make sure you don’t break skin when you bite him back .


  • Best advice anyone gave me was to bite back. My kids tried it only once or twice and when they realised the reaction was a swift return nip they soon stopped.


  • I’m so lucky we didn’t have an issue with this. I do know of some parents who have bitten their child once just to show them how it feels.


  • Get a wooden spoon and one smack on the bottom and say no bite every time he does.he will get the message. I know a lot of people don\\\’t like old style parenting but it works because the child learns quick bite , means a smack. If only doing it for that reason and no other. Lucky for me my son didn\\\’t bite. Other try time in , not time out that isolates the child . Meaning when bites say nothing as he wanting a response. Sit with him and say no bite and if no bite give a reward of some kind.


  • I know it’s not a good thing for them to bite and they need to stop it or they will be on the receiving end of it and my way was to bite them back but I know people will jump up and down about me saying that but it did work.


  • I know this is not what you want to hear …. but it is totally age appropriate behaviour … doesn’t mean its right … but at his age he is seeing what reaction he gets from those he bites.
    I work in childcare and we usually say “that’s not nice, we don’t bite people, our teeth are for eating our dinner” we also remove the child from the area and get them to play with something else.
    You need to show him how it hurts you (or whomever he bites) cry out, pretend to cry and say that’s not nice. At 14mths he should have a good understanding of words and understand your telling him it hurts and its not nice and he needs to move away and play elsewhere… its hard to ‘push them away’ but they need to understand its not acceptable to bite anyone.
    Oh and don’t fall for the wanting a cuddle when he has done the biting, let him know you’re sad and you don’t want a cuddle at this time. All the people he has done it to also need to follow your lead and he should get the message and stop it.


  • Try to show that its hurting you and makes you upset…


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