My ped recomended time outs for the baby - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 28 Old 07-14-2006, 01:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My DS is a biter. He is also head butter. He is also 1. When he is angry he will crwl at you in attack mode and try to bite you. He will also bite my shoulder if I am holding him when he is upset. He has also been known to try and bite a toy that makes him frustratd. I generally say, "OW! michael don't bite! that hurts me" ahve also said that quite loudly...especially the OW part
Anyway...my ped was asking about his personality and when I told her he is passionate (as happy as he is angry ) I mentioned that he actaully bites when he gets mad. She told me that when he does this to say, "No bite" and ignore him for one minute. Completely look away. If he crwls over to me I should act cool and not be loving (she said that)
This isn't right....right?
She said If I didn;t stop it now he will continue to be a biter (I am afraid of that)

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#2 of 28 Old 07-14-2006, 02:08 AM
 
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wow. that advice sounds totally wrong to me. my ds is also one, and sounds similar- passionately feeling the whole spectrum of emotions, and a biter. anyway, i would never dream of giving him a time out. i try to offer him a teething toy to bite instead. sometimes he takes it, sometimes not. and i know this approach works (or at least doesnt harm him), because i used it on dd, who was also a big biter, and i dont even remeber how or when she stopped biting, one day (before she was two) i just noticed that she didnt anymore.

if i was in your shoes, and i had any alternatives, id switch doctors. if she'll reccomend time outs for a one year old, what will she reccomend for an older kid? and what makes her such an authority on discipline anyway? biting is sucha normal phase, that passes, how can she not know this?
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#3 of 28 Old 07-14-2006, 02:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by hipumpkins
She said If I didn;t stop it now he will continue to be a biter
Ri-i-ight. Did she specify until what age? 12? 15? 21?

OK, I am sorry, could not resist

Your instinct is right on. Love withdrawals (even if for seemingly short time) are VERY powerful. In a damaging way that is. Actually for both of you. Have you ever tried "ignoring" your child? If so, you would know how draining and wrong that feels.

Not to forget that 1yo will not even be able to associate the biting (that in his view happened a century ago) and you "not loving"

Anyways why do some pediatritians think that because they have education in children's health, they are automatically the authorities on child behaviour and phycology

You are doing what the child his age understands (or beginning to understand) - saying "No. It hurts" "OW" And no, he will not be on the sitcom "The Man Who Bites"
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#4 of 28 Old 07-14-2006, 05:07 AM
 
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That is silly I think--a baby that young isn't going to make the mental connection between his biting and your ignoring him a minute later. I will say, though, that when I taught "no biting" I would put the baby down and step about one step away, but that wasn't a punishment, just showing that I would not consent to being bitten. I think that would be much better then ignoring him for a full minute, which is a long time when you're 1.
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#5 of 28 Old 07-14-2006, 08:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by irinam
Ri-i-ight. Did she specify until what age? 12? 15? 21?
He may never stop biting! This must be nipped in the bud!

Some kids bite, and some kids don't. It looks like your kid does (at least for now). I don't think ignoring will help. Try to be proactive and prevent the biting before it happens whenever you can (I'm sure you already do that!), and keep telling him that biting hurts and you don't like it. It will stop eventually.
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#6 of 28 Old 07-14-2006, 10:25 AM
 
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That poor child will only know his mother is ignoring him, he cannot POSSIBLY understand why! HORRIBLE advice!

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#7 of 28 Old 07-14-2006, 10:25 AM
 
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Why do some doctors think that a medical degree gives them authority to dole out parenting advice? :

I agree with the pps, withholding love will not teach him to stop bitting. And I second the giving him something he can bite.

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#8 of 28 Old 07-14-2006, 11:10 AM
 
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I don't think punishing a 1 year old baby with a minute of time out is a good recommendation either, to echo the pp's. However, I did find one situation where "ignoring" helped to curb a behaviour in my 16 mo dd.

She went through a phase where she liked to bang her head against the wall. A carefull tester tap and then some harder ones, sometimes hard enough to make herself cry. I would cringe and make some reaction when she started doing it, so she'd laugh and think it was a game and do it more. So I learned to just look away in another direction or even get up and go do something else when she started hand-banging, just until she stopped, so she wouldn't have a game of it with me. Not a punitive "time out" ignore, but enough to not engage in that game.
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#9 of 28 Old 07-14-2006, 11:17 AM
 
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KC...I wouldn't have been able to stand that. I'd've grabbed my baby away from that wall just like if she'd been playing with a knife or something else that could hurt her.

OP: Your ped is much like an idiot (avoiding namecalling per the UA).
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#10 of 28 Old 07-14-2006, 11:44 AM
 
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My ped recommended time-outs too for me and my toddler. I think it's her way of giving parents alternatives to hitting. I just looked at her and said "We don't do timeouts" and I repeated later "There's no timeouts in our house." Finally she asked what I did when she did something "wrong," I can't acutally remember her phrasing. She knew hitting wasn't an issue for us. So I said something about modifying behavior through connection. I just saw it as a sign that she was needed more connection. And she burst into a grin and said "That's wonderful." Now, I only have one kid and I can't tell if she was humoring me or what, but I thought it was an appropriate supportive response.

On the whole I like my pediatrician and value having a good relationship with her and I feel I can hold my own with any decisions I make. She doesn't know me that well, so I figured the timeout was just standard advice to prevent parents from using hitting with their children. She went along with my plan. Just wanted to give you another perspective on things.

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#11 of 28 Old 07-14-2006, 02:52 PM
 
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It isn't your doctor's job to give parenting advice. It's her job to give MEDICAL advice. Where my son sleeps, how long he nurses past one, and how I discipline him (short of abuse. And yes I consider spanking abuse) is none of their business and I've left peditritians over all of those things. Thankfully I've found one I like that sticks to his field and leaves me to mine.
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#12 of 28 Old 07-14-2006, 03:04 PM
 
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I actually tried that with my biter. (the biting really had to stop and nothing else had worked) it didn't work for the record. well, it worked for the nursing biting. i wouldn't say I was cold. the feeding was just over for practical reasons. the ice pack and bandaids got in the way! She is 6 and still occaisionally bites when frustrated.

remember - we go to the Dr. for medical advice. not parenting advice. smile nod say "intresting perspective" and move on to the next thing should they try and offer parenting advice.

and look at the bright side. she didn't suggest biting him back, smacking him or anything else of that nature. it could have been worse.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#13 of 28 Old 07-14-2006, 03:25 PM
 
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My kid bit a lot around that age. We never did much of anything about it. Now he's 2 and only bites when we're sticking our fingers in his mouth to check to see if those darn 2 year molars have come in yet..... (in other words, when we're asking for it)

There's always been a reason behind my guy's biting...the trick has been figuring it out before it happens, or noticing his cues ahead of time and completely avoiding the situation.
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#14 of 28 Old 07-14-2006, 04:58 PM
 
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No. That is not developmentally appropriate at all.

Something that might help though is offering him something he CAN bite. Oh, ouch, we don't bite mama, here we bite the ring....
It will take a lot of redirecting, but it's more likely to help the behavior AND the child.


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#15 of 28 Old 07-14-2006, 05:01 PM
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It may be that he is biting for a reaction, maybe he likes your facial reaction or your tone of voice when he bites. I don't think that you should withdraw your love from him, but it may help to quietly set him down without giving any reaction and to walk to another part of the room every time he bites. I would allow him to come back into your lap when he does want to and encourage you to distract him with something else when he does come back. You might also find it helpful to attach a biting ring to his clothes and instead of reacting put the toy in his mouth every time he bites or looks like he is going to bite and tell him to bite the chewy.
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#16 of 28 Old 07-14-2006, 05:33 PM
 
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WOW dont love your kid for a whole minute... what is she thinking?

I am sure if you don't get this under her control he will be a biter in college... lol what a crazy notion.

Unfortunatly My son was a biter and he bit my ankle once... took me completely by suprise and hurt so bad I lept up and accidently kicked him... didnt mean too. It was so sad... but he stopped biting... I cryed for so long because I accidently kicked him .. i felt horrible for that... but it was an accident.. I would feel even worse by ignoreing him and showing no love.

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#17 of 28 Old 07-14-2006, 05:58 PM
 
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My baby had just gotten top nubbs to go along with his bottom ones, a few weeks ago (he is 12 months), and he was lolly-gagging at the breast, half nursing, half fighting sleep. All of a sudden, he chomped, H.A.R.D.

I abruptly pulled him off, (managed not to yelp!! I always was waiting for that moment thinking I would yelp, but I managed not to. Yay!) It was so painful, that I had to hold my nipple for a little bit, and my 12 month old stared intently at the reaction on my face, at my grimace. I was still wordless, in shock I guess. He studied me very very intently, and then I put him down to get myself together. He looked confused and very touched by the events that had just occured.

It's been several weeks, and he has not bitten me since.

Oh, before that occurence he had tested me with a few nibbles. I pretended to be much more hurt than I was, to show him that it hurts momma, ("Ouch! That hurts momma!!!") and he shouldn't do it, and then he would just laugh. He never really made the connection until that day when he really hurt me, and he saw what it was like for mamma to be hurt.

I guess I'm saying that to say that perhaps you need to show your baby that it really hurts for him to bite, and it's not very pleasant. Once it really clicks in his little mind that it hurts other people for him to bite, then perhaps he wouldn't do it anymore.
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#18 of 28 Old 07-15-2006, 02:13 AM
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Originally Posted by lilylove
Why do some doctors think that a medical degree gives them authority to dole out parenting advice? :

I agree with the pps, withholding love will not teach him to stop bitting. And I second the giving him something he can bite.
Pehaps because people actually ASK them for advice???

Whatever the case, I do agree with lilylove's opinion. I wouldn't do the time out for the biting, but find something he enjoys teething on. And I think the love withdrawal sets a bad precedent. For me, I never found a toy DD liked to teeth on. I brought a lot of 'em, and she just wasn't mouthy in that way. Wouldn't even take a pacifier. However, I just did what came naturally. No science or expertise involved over here. I simply said "Ow! No bite!" and pulled her away from my shoulder (her favorite spot) as I looked at her with the honest annoyance I felt over being suddenly biten by brand new teeth. (Gosh those things are sharp!) Everybody who was bitten by her did the exact same thing, as it's just the natural reaction! LOL! That simple act actually discouraged DD over time, cause she's a learner. She tries to do things a few additional times, tentatively, just to see if she's making the right connection. If she doesn't like the results, she really does abandon things once she's sure that the result will be unpleasurable. And that's kind of like what your ped said, it's just that it was less premeditated, and certainly didn't involve any withdrawal of love! Yikes!

I figure as long as you aren't being so dramatic that your child starts to enjoy your reaction and finds it an entertaining "cause and effect" game, you should be able to slowly discourage the biting. Of course, some kids are just reallllly determined to bite, and bite out of anger, no less. My girlfriend's child was almost tossed out of daycare because she couldn't find a solution soon enough for the safety of the other children. If you don't see the biting behavior diminishing over a few months, you'll have to check with mom's of seriously biting kids to get ideas about what worked for them.

Or if you want to find alternatives that don't involve sending any negative vibes to your child at all, I'm really sure somebody around here's got an idea. Maybe it's just avoiding giving your child a chance to bite, and then encouraging him to take teething toys and teething biscuits again and again. Perhaps not getting the chance to enjoy the experience of biting might cause the behavior to diminsh too.

Good luck-

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#19 of 28 Old 07-15-2006, 02:15 AM
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Oh! And how could I forget! Make sure you have teething tablets, or something to soothe the teething pain away. Growing new teeth is a pain in the tukus. I think if I had to grow teeth all over again, I'd start wanting to bite folks just for the relief!

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#20 of 28 Old 07-15-2006, 02:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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as it's just the natural reaction!
Yes my reaction is totally natural...b/c it DOES hurt! I am hoping that once he gets some language skills and and can understnad I can redirect his anger. For now though I guess I will just keep saying, "OW! Stop bitng me!"

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#21 of 28 Old 07-15-2006, 02:43 AM
 
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Okay, I relate on certain levels here. I will share my own experience and hope it helps. ALL BITING IS UNEXPRESSED AGGRESSION! Now, when I heard this I panicked and berated myself 1(800) Bad Mama! Do Not Do This. This means your child is normal, smart, and very clever. At one, when he is angry he is biting to let you know he is angry and he needs your help. So go on a journey with him and find out what makes him angry and address his needs. What is the antecedant, what leads up to him biting. "Oh, you are biting again? How are you feeling? What do you need?" No your child may not answer, yet as I learn to ask questions this helps my child go back to himself rather than become externalized and looking to please mommy, and we discover together what it is he needs. Is your child eating food yet? When mine wants to bite I give him carrots yet he is two and can chew well. There are mesh teething things that you can put vegetables and ice in and the chewable refridgerator teething rings. Let the child bite in appropriate ways. The head banging and biting are for a release of feelings, etc. We also dance, move in the water in a pool or bath, splash. Make big faces like Broadway moves. Make big noises. Open and close your mouth wide and have your child mimick. Try massaging the base of your child's skull and jawbone joints. Rough house and play. Put lavendar oil in the room to help relax. Have your child sip chamomile tea. You can also try a homeopathic remedy like Calms Forte or Bach Flowers. Massage, relaxing music, sing, etc.

NO TIME OUTS! What can be done instead is have your child a designated 'Recooperation chair." Stay calm. When you child bites immediately put the child in the chair and get down to the child's eye level. In a very "calm and rooted voice, even quiet," state "biting hurts." Then if he bit you massage where he bit you, give yourself kisses, and say "I am sorry child's name bit mommy." So your child understands. Only have the child sit in a chair for a minute.

Then if you feel this reinforces the behavior you wish to extinguish then you can ignore, yet my experience is that ignoring doesn't work. A child needs to be acknowleged. Once my child was attempting to tantrum and I kept doing what I needed to. I calmly said to him it's okay, I understand (he was fine he just didn't like that I wasn't giving in) -- he went into complete hysterics ( a behavior he learned from me in his wee months when I panicked a lot). I kept moving from task to task. Then as he started to calm down I embraced him.

Good for you for posting Hope this helps
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#22 of 28 Old 07-15-2006, 02:53 AM
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...... go on a journey with him and find out what makes him angry and address his needs. What is the antecedant, what leads up to him biting. "Oh, you are biting again? How are you feeling? What do you need?" No your child may not answer, yet as I learn to ask questions this helps my child go back to himself rather than become externalized and looking to please mommy, and we discover together what it is he needs. .....
Oh I love this advice! My dd older and fairly self-reflective. She will actually understand a bit of these questions and answer with yes or no. I'm going to use this idea on a few other things where I think it is appropriate.

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#23 of 28 Old 07-15-2006, 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by hipumpkins
Yes my reaction is totally natural...b/c it DOES hurt! I am hoping that once he gets some language skills and and can understnad I can redirect his anger. For now though I guess I will just keep saying, "OW! Stop bitng me!"
Teach him a bit of sign language! It's easy. You can google an internet video signing dictionary, and learn the signs for eat, milk, change (diaper), water, more, or whatever. Start with three words and stay consistant. Use the sign and the spoken word every single time you provide the object. Far sooner than he'll be speaking, he'll be able to tell you when he wants milk or water, and then more of it! I always think few things can be as frustrating as wanting the simple things in life, yet watching your caretakers take them away.

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#24 of 28 Old 07-15-2006, 04:09 AM
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Silly pedes. An attempt to go holistic but it just comes off as the same old AMA we-know-best garbage.

As far as "all biting is unexpressed aggression" -- that hasn't been my experience with my kid. Some, yes, but some is teething and some is texture experiment and some is reaction testing and some is actually trying gently to connect (little nibbles).
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#25 of 28 Old 07-15-2006, 06:06 AM
 
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I agree with the previous posters. A time-out for a 1 yr old is ridiculous. Peds are not more trained at parenting than anyone else and you don't know what they actually practice with their own children:

Dd #6 loved to bite until very recently. She bit for every little frustration she had, and she bit hard. Her verbal explosion has hit recently and she no longer bites. I think teaching signs is good idea and that is what we are now doing with dd#7 who is 9 months old .
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#26 of 28 Old 07-15-2006, 10:57 AM
 
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I've never heard of time-outs for a 1 year old. Usually 2 is the earliest they are recommended for... and it is acknowledged that a 2 year old may not even understand them.

My son was a biter. I noticed that he did bite more when he was teething (no surprise).... also he did in a playful way. What we used to do is say "No bites, yes kisses" and then give him a kiss. It took some time, but eventually he stopped. I'd also give him a teething biscuit or piece of peeled apple and say "apples are for biting, not mommies". This seemed to work well, especially if teething was the cause.

If it really hurt, I would over-emphasize the pain and begin to fake cry... and my son would become very concerned. When he got older, he'd be very sorry he gave Mommy a boo-boo and would come kiss me to make it better.

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#27 of 28 Old 07-15-2006, 11:16 AM
 
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How does she figure that ignoring him will teach him not to bite? And how will it teach him other, more appropritate ways of expressing his feelings/thoughts? Or is he just supposed to not express any feelings? Just not negative feelings? Or is he supposed to come up with alternative ways of expressing feelings on his own?
(that's directed at your pedi, btw)
The very best that a "time out" could do is to make him afraid to bite, to get him to "behave" for self centered reasons- "I better not bite mom, because I don't a time out". As compared to "I won't bite mom, she doesn't like it, it hurts. I'll do x instead to let her know I'm angry" in a kid who has been taught WHY not to bite, and what to do instead.
(obviously a 1yo won't be thinking it through like that, but my ds is 2 and he's pretty close to being able to think it through in some way. I can see him hesitate sometimes, and change what he's doing to a more appropriate alternative)

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#28 of 28 Old 07-15-2006, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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No bites, yes kisses" and then give him a kiss.
I love that!

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