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DD is almost 11 months, and has just gotten her top and bottom teeth in. This last week, she's discovered biting--nipping at toys, her clothes, even her own lip. I know she's just exploring the new sensation of having teeth that touch.<br><br>
But today she bit me on the shoulder, out of the blue. And my instant reaction was surprise and anger, and I burst out with "we DON'T bite". Usually, I say "we don't X" in a normal tone and gently stop what she's doing, but this really hurt and caught me off guard. Poor DD, who really only cries when she's tired, burst into tears--and I did too.<br><br>
But I'm not sure just what to do. I think it's important to say "we don't do X" consistently until she one day understands what that means. I also think something that hurts others needs to be addressed with a serious tone. But I don't want to scare DD, since she doesn't understand that what she's doing is wrong. Yeesh, she doesn't even understand what "wrong" is.<br><br>
Any ideas?
 

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It sounds like the way you handled it was fine. I think that a swift negative response to biting (not one that hurts them, obviously) can help deter them from doing it.
 

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The first time DS bit was when he bit ME while nursing; accidentally of course because his teeth were brand new and he was only about 8 months old, but it HURT nonetheless and my instant, visceral reaction was to yelp, and kid of holler, "OUCH! Don't bite me!" His eyes got like saucers, he cried, I gently but firmly explained why it wasn't OK to bite, and he never bit a single person again....even when his little sister went theough a biting phase when he was almost 4, he never once bit her back.<br><br>
Unfortunately, as noted above, his sister went through a biting phase as a toddler, and we just had to weather it like we did any toddler aggression phase until she was old enough to get it. We separated her, addressed her, apologized to the bitee, andgave her alternatives to do instead, but we really just had to make the best of it until she matured and understood. Sometimes making the best of it meant that we skipped playing with other kids so she wouldn't do it to them. I even once asked her to bite herself (gently) to see how it felt and then think about how it might feel to other people since she did it harder to them <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">: She was about 18 months old at the time, so a little more able to understand things than yours. And actually, the only people she ever bit were DS and me, but mostly DS unfortuantely. Poor DS back then, he was such a trooper. Sigh.<br><br>
I guess my whole point to this post was that some kids will "get it" young, and early, if you happen to hit the "right" kind of response/reaction for them at the right time. Other kids, well, it's going to keep happening until they mature, and all you can do is try to prevent it as best you can until they mature out of it (which is what we did with DD). Sooooo, if you aren't able to get her to stop and can only mitigate/apologize/try to prevent, that's OK too as long as you're addressing it every time it happens. So long as you address it, correct it, and apologize when necessary, it will eventually stop. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
 

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I think you did fine. My dd started biting at about that age. Well, she had been biting all along, but once she had all the teeth, it became a problem. I started with just saying "OUCH, we don't bite," which turned into "OUCH, NO BITING!" and now (at 13 mo), if she bites I tell her "NO BITING!" and put her down. She usually cries, but she very rarely bites anymore. Now, when she does, it's because she's mad at me for something, so I don't feel bad at all for putting her down.<br>
Honestly, when I think about it from a social stand-point, teaching our children not to bite is really important. I know the kids in our social circle who bite don't get invited out as much, and I really don't want that for my dd. We're doing our kids a favor by teaching them this.
 

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I think what you did was fine.<br><br>
Personally, I prefer to give a positive wording instead. So instead of "We don't bite" I'd say something "Like teeth are for eating" or something. I am a huge fan of incompatible behaviors. For example, if child is walking down a hall and touching everything, saying "Hands in your pockets please" makes the constant touching impossible. I try to replace the behavior when possible.<br><br>
If baby bites while nursing, I would pulll baby really close to you as this makes baby let go. Natural instinct is to try and push baby away, but usually that makes them chomp down harder.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, mamas. I guess my angry tone and her hurt looked kinda floored me, and I didn't like my act-before-you-think reaction (I usually reserve those for middle-of-the-night, sleep-deprived events). I'd have preferred to take a breath, calm down, and use a firm tone rather than an angry one.<br><br>
Your input, as always, makes me feel like I'm on the right path. Thanks again!
 

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This is how I have handled DS in the past, but today, at 8 months, he will not stop biting! When I pick him up, he bites me, and when I yell and move him into a different position (I almost dropped him once or twice as this happened as I was picking him up) he bites me somewhere else. I say, "No biting!" and he laughs and does it again. He must have bit me over a dozen times today--on the neck, arm, lip, leg, belly, and--of course--breast. Every time I reacted, he laughed and did it again. What am I supposed to do? Finally, I said, "Your teeth must be hurting you and you are overtired" so I gave him Tylenol and put him to bed (or actually, I had my husband put him to sleep). I was having a mommy freakout (feeling like a bad mother) today before this started, and now I feel 10x worse.
 
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