Babysitter wants me to bite the baby - HELP! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 09-01-2011, 08:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD (16 mo) bites. She is teething - molars right now. DH and I both work full time, so she's in daycare most of the day. She used to bite at home, but hasn't done so in about a month. She does bite brother when he is being "too much" (too much hugs, too much kisses, too much carrying, too much hyper...).

 

The problem at the babysitters is that she is in a house with mostly younger babies. She apparently will crawl up into their bouncy seats, etc. and bite them on the hands/arms and/or face.

 

Today, the babysitter told me I had to do something, and said I should bite her ("cuz it only takes one time" - whatever). I think she blindsided me about this in front of the other babies' mamas to show them she was trying to do something, and I'm very upset about that, but that's another topic.

 

I need suggestions about what to do. I don't see her bite often. I've told the babysitter to put her in "time out" (sit her in the high chair) when she does that. I strongly suspect that DD would do better in the other house with older kids and possibly more attention. She is one of the oldest and one of the most independent, developmentally, of the kids in the younger kids' house.

 

At home, when she does bite, we say her name and "NO bite!" in a loud firm voice, then ignore her for a few minutes. She always cries about it and I know she hates the fact that we are not happy. But I can't go to daycare with her.

 

I cannot bite my child. I won't do it. But I have to do something. Any ideas at all?


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#2 of 35 Old 09-01-2011, 09:03 PM
 
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New daycare? It sounds like you are doing what you can at home. It is the providers responsibility to make sure all the kids are safe in her care. If she can't do that, you need to find someone that can. 

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#3 of 35 Old 09-01-2011, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Don't I wish that was even an option... We live in a very small town with very limited daycare resources (a lot of people rely on family). Half the daycares in town have closed over the past year. This one is the best of what's left.


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#4 of 35 Old 09-02-2011, 06:11 AM
 
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I think this particular "method" of approaching biting continues 'cause for some kids it does work - one time & they don't do it again. Please don't take that as me saying you should do it - 'cause I certainly couldn't have.

 

Plain & simple you need to discuss it with her privately & come up with a plan. Really, a daycare provider should know & be used to biting as a stage - many children go through. It'll be up to her to watch your dd more carefully while this is going on & try to predict when she may bite so she can intercede before a child gets hurt. Your dd will outgrow it, especially with some consistency in showing her it's not ok.


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#5 of 35 Old 09-02-2011, 10:50 AM
 
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no.  just, NO.  do not bite your child. 

you're doing what you can, and when your child is in the care of someone else, that person should be competent enough to not suggest such a horrible thing. 

can you not find a single person sitter or an in-home situation?  if it were me, i would have her out of there fast.  i know you said there weren't many options, but that viewpoint and suggestion scares the heck out of me.

your babysitter is basically suggesting that you abuse your child.  any person who takes such an approach to abuse should not be watching children and would no longer be in charge of caring for mine. 


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#6 of 35 Old 09-02-2011, 10:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post

I think this particular "method" of approaching biting continues 'cause for some kids it does work - one time & they don't do it again. Please don't take that as me saying you should do it - 'cause I certainly couldn't have.

 

 

a) this is physical abuse

and b) it teaches them that they can be injured by a parent or someone who is bigger than them. 

i honestly don't think it "works" other than create fear in the child. 


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#7 of 35 Old 09-02-2011, 10:58 AM
 
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Children don't have the higher brain development until about three years of age to understand that they are capable of inflicting pain. I would think a professional day care provider would understand that to some degree. Biting her would be like a cruel form of correction that baby would not correlate with her own actions.

 

My son bites me hard  whenever he is teething and I suppose it may help the teeth break through the surface. Just as puppies teethe on furniture legs, leather shoes, human hands (!)  and so on, babies also teethe and sometimes it is on people.

 

More so what I learned is that children under age three use biting as a form of communication of their feelings, since they may not be able to find the words or speak well. I read some really interesting posts on the following site from parents as well as day care providers and preschool teachers:

 

 http://daycare.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6 

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#8 of 35 Old 09-02-2011, 10:58 AM
 
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It's amazing that people don't realize that logic actually has the reverse affect.  They will learn it's ok to bite others. 

 

I honestly don't know what I would do in a similar situation.  Probably have a meeting with the babysitter when other parents and children weren't around.  Make it known that you aren't comfort about with her suggestion, in fact it's just wrong.  But also, let her know it was very rude to blind side you in front other parents. 

 

Some kids are biters.  It's a phase and teething doesn't help either. 


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#9 of 35 Old 09-02-2011, 11:06 AM
 
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some suggestions- give her something that it is OK to bite and continue to let her know that it is not OK to bite people.
Maybe teach her some signs to convey her needs? I would think that she is biting out of frustration/boredom, and also it probably just feels good. Figure out an approach and then communicate that to your DCP.

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#10 of 35 Old 09-02-2011, 11:26 AM
 
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Honestly, there is no way I could leave my child with someone who is asking me to abuse her. Biting a child is child abuse, a child will learn nothing from it except to fear their parents.
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#11 of 35 Old 09-02-2011, 11:42 AM
 
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No, don't bite your baby.
Why don't you get her some teething toys. One that worked good for us was a fish shaped ring with water inside. Put it in the fridge, then it's cold and comforting for those teeth.
Good Luck!
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#12 of 35 Old 09-02-2011, 01:04 PM
 
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Trying to teach a 16 month old that biting hurts is like trying to teach them calculus. Their brains just are not ready to understand that information yet. 

 

This sitter clearly has no clue about what is developmentally appropriate. If you feel you don't have any other options maybe you can see if she is open to some education. There are usually tons of child development books at the library you could borrow for her. Any current non-religious publication will advise against biting children.

 

 


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#13 of 35 Old 09-02-2011, 01:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

Honestly, there is no way I could leave my child with someone who is asking me to abuse her. Biting a child is child abuse

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I would quit working before I did that. I would not be able to trust that that person wasn't doing something harmful to my child or other children.

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#14 of 35 Old 09-02-2011, 04:31 PM
 
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I think she may also giving you a  warning.  Your day care provider can have her biting the infants who have not done anything to provoker her.  I really get biting in frutration but if she is going over to confined infants to bit them thats a different story.   I agree with the time outs  I also squeezed my one sons cheeks enough to get his attention when I said NO VERY loudly enough to make him jump.   Biting is hard but dont be surprised if it continues that you are asked to leave.


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#15 of 35 Old 09-02-2011, 04:41 PM
 
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;I also squeezed my one sons cheeks enough to get his attention when I said NO VERY loudly enough to make him jump.  


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#16 of 35 Old 09-02-2011, 04:56 PM
 
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Do you really think this is a good thing to do? 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBaxter View Post
I also squeezed my one sons cheeks enough to get his attention when I said NO VERY loudly enough to make him jump. 


 

I like to leave motivation by fear to the tyrants, Christian momma. 

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#17 of 35 Old 09-02-2011, 05:40 PM
 
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when they continue to bite their siblings , momma and aunt they need to know its not acceptable   What about all the ones who get bit to the point of bruises?  All the NO's and putting them in time outs dont work on every child.    It is a FAR cry from biting.   The OP will need to figure out a way to deter the biting seems like what she has been doing isn't working.   A child was asked to be taken out of one of my children's preschool because of biting issues.

 

What does my faith have to do with trying everything to keep a child from biting everyone?    I am a Christian and had to deal with a biter its no fun for ANYONE.   Please point out in the bible where is says not to discipline your child?

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#18 of 35 Old 09-02-2011, 06:40 PM
 
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Really? What about holding their nose everytime they bite? What about redirecting them after their teeth are off you? What about saying "OUCH!" loudly instead of "No" loudly? What about grabbing their bottom jaw to force their mouth to release the grip? What about watching where their mouth goes and preventing the bite before it happens? I can think of a ton of ways to try to get a kid to stop biting them before pinching cheeks and yelling at them. Seriously, MDC is the last place I thought I would be hearing "Well, when the time outs and yelling dont work...." Since when are "time outs" so widely renowned to work for a kid this age anyway? My kid has never had a time out and she probably wouldnt even realize it was a time out if I did try to give her one.

We are talking about babies here. Babies arent for pinching or biting. In my book (which is not the bible, needless to say) pinching and yelling are not discipline, they are things people do when they fly off the handle and cant control themselves. Respectable grown ups dont harm children intentionally.

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#19 of 35 Old 09-02-2011, 06:43 PM
 
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Best thing is to stay on top of the biter and redirect as necessary.  We had good luck with "Oh no babies are not for biting.  Here is this toy and you can bite it"  We always used the vibrating teethers and all 3 of my boys LOVED them.


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#20 of 35 Old 09-02-2011, 06:58 PM
 
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They are not capable of knowing that it is not acceptable. Not capable as in unable as in with out the ability. Did I emphasize my point enough? They CANNOT learn that biting hurts. Their brains are not biologically ready for it until almost 3 years old. 
 

I am against motivation by fear, if that's what you call discipline then yeah I'm against your brand of discipline. Like I said, I'll save motivation by fear for the tyrants. I mentioned your faith because I was pretty sure Christian ideals are against that kind of thing but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I mean, it's pretty hard for me to picture Jesus pinching a baby's cheeks and yelling at them with the expressed purpose of frightening them into obedience. 

 

Like Adaline'sMama said, there are many peaceful ways to stop a baby from biting people without resorting to frightening them. 

 

Step 1: Use minimum force required to stop the biting. You can hold their nose until they release but I've found that pushing the bottom jaw down is faster and kinder (although it does increase the risk of getting bitten yourself). As a note, if you are the one getting bitten feel free to express your pain by saying "Ouch!" or "That hurts!" but there is no need to yell or scream. 

 

Step 2: Feed the impulse. Give the baby something else to bite on. 

 

Step 3: Prevent the biting from happening again. Carrying the child on your back is a good option. Carefully supervise child when they are reintroduced to the group, and learn to identify signs that they are going to bite so you can stop it before it happens. 

 

The child will learn in due time that biting hurts others, but that's not for a while yet. The burden of responsibility is not on the baby, it is on the parent/caregiver.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by JBaxter View Post

when they continue to bite their siblings , momma and aunt they need to know its not acceptable   What about all the ones who get bit to the point of bruises?  All the NO's and putting them in time outs dont work on every child.    It is a FAR cry from biting.   The OP will need to figure out a way to deter the biting seems like what she has been doing isn't working.   A child was asked to be taken out of one of my children's preschool because of biting issues.

 

What does my faith have to do with trying everything to keep a child from biting everyone?    I am a Christian and had to deal with a biter its no fun for ANYONE.   Please point out in the bible where is says not to discipline your child?



 

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#21 of 35 Old 09-02-2011, 11:46 PM
 
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When my DD went through a brief biting phase around 17 months (while nursing) I would stay silent gently slide my finger between her teeth to get her off of the breast and distract her with a teething toy. It hurt but I knew not to give her ANY reaction or it might encourage her. We don't do time-outs or say "no" for various reasons. It was a difficult phase but we got through it. I feel good about it and am no longer bitten.

 

I can't say I'd ever feel good about biting a child. My mother bit me. I don't remember it but she does and has told me about it, proudly. Apparently she was cutting my food in front of me and I decided to bite her so she bit back. I can't blame all of my psychological issues on this one incident but it easily represents a clear lack of respect that remains to this day in our relationship.

 

You are right by coming to this forum to seek advice. My only recommendation is to keep your child with you or a caregiver that will treat your child with the greatest of respect. In my opinion a 16 month old should be better supervised/distracted/engaged so as not to have the opportunity to bite another child. This biting may be an indication of a lack of other, more stimulating and age appropriate activities. The problem is NOT your child, but the environment.

 

 

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#22 of 35 Old 09-03-2011, 11:40 AM
 
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I find it very helpful with my DS (who is 21 months) to tell him what he CAN do vs. what he CAN NOT do. He isn't a biter, but will hit. I try not to say "don't hit mommy!" at least with out also saying "be gentle!" and demonstrating - for us this is stroking a hand on the other person's cheek - showing him how he can touch or interact with something seems to be far more effective than just saying "NO" or "STOP"

 

For the daycare provider, I would think it may be a bit much to ask her to wear a toddler on her back (I Don't know what the ratio - kids to adult- is, or if she knows or is willing to. plus getting toddler in and out by yourself can be a bit challenging). You could say, such and such works for us at home, please try this. For example, when LO bites me, I offer her (toy, cracker, etc) and say  - bite this if you need to bite something - if you'd like to get my attention (which could also be the case) pat my arm instead of biting. (or something to that effect).

 

for the babies, some sort of physical separation may be best. can you ask if there is space in the older kid room for your LO?


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#23 of 35 Old 09-03-2011, 01:55 PM
 
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At the babysitter's - are 'biting toys' easy for your child to find?  Maybe using some pacifier clip to attach one to her, so that there's easily and always something else to bite and she can get directed to that.

 

I offer my dd (who is 18 mo and does sometimes bite, too) ice or water when she does bite.  She's come around to just asking for that instead now and that cuts back a bit on the biting.  When I see her about to bite, sometimes I'll just ask her if she wants ice and she'll stop on her own.  Frozen washcloth or similar teether (instead of ice if someone's not around to supervise as intently) could work pretty well as a substitute.  

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#24 of 35 Old 09-03-2011, 03:46 PM
 
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I haven't read all the replies, but get a new daycare!!! The fact that she wants you to bite the baby shows her complete lack of understanding of child development. She also sounds like she is caring for way to many babies. Where I live a home daycare can have no more then 2 children under two including the providers own kids. Good luck! 

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#25 of 35 Old 09-03-2011, 03:49 PM
 
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Afterthought is 20/20. Had she said that in front of all the other mommys... wow i would be tempted to say something like..

 

"Do you abuse all the children here when our backs are turned?"

"If you ever hurt my child or anyone elses I will report you. Must be a reason you only watch children who can't talk"

"Perhaps you have too many kids if you cannot watch just one. Clearly he is bored and needing attention and NOT being watched at all."

"Perhaps you are not educated in child development and need to take some classes before attempting to run a daycare"

 

I probably wouldn't have the hootzpa to say it but I would be thinking it!

 

I do three things when my child bites depending on my mood (and yes I bit her once. I felt like crap for months and it didn't even help)

 

- Hold her back and say NO, we do not bite, skadaddle and ignore her or

- hold her back and say No and do deep massage to bring her back to reality (if she's having a fit)

- give her chewlery. I can snap it on her clothes and she will go chew on it for hours http://kidcompanions.com/

 

My child bites because she cannot communicate "no" or unhappiness or a need. Biting gets your attention right quick to figure it out. She also bites because it feels good.

 

 

 

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#26 of 35 Old 09-03-2011, 03:50 PM
 
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someone already said this *delete*

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#27 of 35 Old 09-03-2011, 07:05 PM
 
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My youngest spent about 3 months covered with bite marks (well, really, it was usually only one at a time, but- they were sometimes ugly.)  

 

The offender?  His older brother.  I could not possibly watch every single moment, and he was SNEAKY about it.  Biting him was never an option.  He was doing it because he was frustrated, because he didn't have words, because it felt good- for a ton of reasons.  I redirected him to bite a vibrating teether and that worked pretty well some of the time.  Other times, not so much.  In is case, it was a phase he had to work through.  Now he pretends to bite and says, "Tasty!!"   We're working on getting rid of that as well because for him it is a display of aggression, but it's better than really biting. 

 

Sometimes kids just bite.  They don't have the control to stop themselves.  While I did everything I could to prevent it, he needed to mature enough to be able to have impulse control to stop himself.  

 

 

 

Your DCP is way out of line.  Additionally, it is terrible of her to either identify your child as having bitten other children to their parents, or speak to you about the problem in front of other parents.  Totally unprofessional.  In your shoes, I'd be looking for other options.

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#28 of 35 Old 09-04-2011, 04:53 AM
 
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I had a problem with my DD around the same age. She would get frustrated by something she couldn't do or when she couldn't communicate something to us so that we understood her. This combined with teething must have made biting the best option to her at the time. I was so worried that I would have a "biter".

Maybe she is frustrated at the day care because she has to wait for something too long or the day care provider doesn't understand her.
The clip on teether looks like a great idea and DD loved the vibrating teether. She would clamp down on it and it would vibrate really hard and then make her smile. lol

When she bit me or her big sister, we said OW! really loudly. It startled her and she would get upset when she saw that it hurt us. Then I would give her something that she could bite and tell her "you bite this, not us!"
She would grab it and gnaw hard. Even now she will bite something (not a person) when she gets frustrated but it is something she knows is allowed.

It's difficult to be limited in your options for day care, I know how that feels.

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#29 of 35 Old 09-04-2011, 12:03 PM
 
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First off, as another PP said, identifying your child as the biter in front of other parents was not at all okay. Is she even certified? When I took my day care certification course, that was made very clear. When an incident happens between children, the parents are to be told what happened, but the other child is never to be identified. It can be said that "A child bit your daughter," or that "Your daughter bit another child," but that's it. This should have been a private conversation. Her handling of this was incredibly unprofessional.

 

The fact that she suggested you assault your child blows my mind. Not only was it an unacceptable suggestion, but that she's so comfortable suggesting such a thing makes me really nervous about what could be going on when other adults are not around. Maybe I missed it, but is this a home daycare or a center? In either case, I'd report her at the very least. I understand that your options are very limited (been there, I feel for ya), but if you can possibly arrange anything else, please do so. She doesn't sound qualified to be responsible for the care of young children.

colsxjack and lovepickles like this.
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#30 of 35 Old 09-04-2011, 06:39 PM
 
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agrees with new daycare. big hugs to u.


Mom to K(7)M(4)and baby J(2)cold.gifhh2.gif
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