"non-aggressive" biting? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 07-08-2012, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Our 11 month old has a new habit of biting - but not out of frustration or aggression. Depending on the moment, it's either curiosity - as in, what does Mama's toe taste like? - or affection, finishing off a big slobbery open mouthed kiss with a chomp. He's doing this to DP and I, and to some of his friends at daycare (all around the same age, and especially when he's excited to see them after a long weekend or a vacation). 


So far, we have tried gently expressing pain (ouch! that hurts mama.), explaining that we don't hurt people with our teeth, demonstrating and practicing "gentle kisses," occasionally yelping in pain when he literally is a surprise ankle-biter (this makes him laugh), and more recently trying to quickly stick his own arm in his mouth mid-chomp, so he might experience what it feels like (this makes him giggle, too irked.gif). 


Any other suggestions? 

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#2 of 8 Old 07-09-2012, 05:01 AM
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I think it's a phase he'll grow out of, but you can give him chewy sticks or other toys that are ok to bite, and reinforce that we can bite these things or food but not people. smile.gif

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#3 of 8 Old 07-10-2012, 09:49 PM
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He may be teething. We are coming out of 15 month old DD's second bout with no aggressive biting. The first bout coincided with her getting her top incisors and this bout is due to two molars and all four canineqs coming in simultaneously. We calmly explain "no biting. we do not bite people. Biting hurts and makes people feel sad" but what really helps is offering appropriate things to bite. Ice cubes, carrots out of the fridge, frozen peas, cucumber sticks.... Anything cold and ideally something she can sink her teeth/gums into. Yelling out in pain -while sometimes unavoidable- is completely counterproductive. She will try to get the same funny reaction again.

I think you're already doing great things to counteract it. Offer appropriate, soothing things to bite as redirection and bear with him. It's part curiosity and probably part discomfort. As pp mentioned, it will pass and i bet you will see new pearly-whites soon :-)
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#4 of 8 Old 07-10-2012, 10:57 PM
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I would give him a teether, model closed mouth kissing a lot in case he is imitating kissing, and cut out any reaction beyond grabbing something for him to bite instead when he gets you by surprise. The reaction is really the biggest thing to work on not giving since he likes your surprised reaction. He has no way of knowing that your reaction is pain rather than part of a fun game he does with you so changing that will take away the game element you have going now.
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#5 of 8 Old 07-11-2012, 01:42 PM
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I'm covered in hickeys as I type this.


I'm still working on getting her to stop pinching, which is much more painful at the moment.

I think it's a combination of curiosity about how I'll taste, teething, and general malaise... she tastes me much more when she's kind of bored, winding down for a nap.

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#6 of 8 Old 07-12-2012, 11:55 AM
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What I have done for biting for both my 10 year old when she was young and now for my 15 month old is to kind of "make it not happen". So, in those moments where you can kind of tell it's going to happen, I either move the body part, give a teething toy, remove my breast for a hug, or put her into a better nursing position so she eats rather than bites. I don't really address it if possible - I just "make it not happen" and give no attention to the biting attempt. If my older baby (like over a year, I guess?) does bite, I just gently put them down and walk away for a second. Same with hitting. This could just be the temperament of my kids but this seems to work for mine. Good luck! 


P.s. my baby did play bite my toe recently but it felt so good I just let her. ;-)   I probably ruined her. ;-) 

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#7 of 8 Old 10-03-2012, 08:17 AM
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The biting continues.  It's epic.


I'm trying to point out that she's biting and let her know that we don't bite, and then ignore her (without putting her down, because we discovered she was biting when she wanted to be set down) and focus on where we were bit for a while.





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#8 of 8 Old 10-03-2012, 12:53 PM
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DD is almost 11mos, and will bite while popping teeth.  Currently it's the top front, so when she bites down she can leave some lovely indents from the bottom teeth.  She also is curious about tasting mommy's leg while cruising and will sort of nibble, then pull back to look at what she did, then she licks me LOL.  I give her celery sticks to chew on. She loves them, talks to them in the car, and it keeps her occupied.  My saying ouch just sends her into hysterical laughter....she is soooo my child ;-)

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