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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help Please!
My DS is 14 mos old and biting me. Only me. He bites me on the arm and sometimes on my nipples while nursing.
It's my fault because when he was little I would pretend to gobble him up, like bite him on his toes (no pressure just putting his toes in my open mouth and going, yum yum yum. So stupid, I know that now.) And he would laugh, so now he has these teeth and he is biting me, hard > because it is a game to him. Leaving brusing and indents.
When he bites my arm I try to redirect him because he is only doing it because it gets a reaction out of me, "Ouch, that hurts mommy. Biting Hurts!" And it really does hurt, I really can't stress that enough. He just laughs and trys to bite me somewhere else.
When he is nursing, I place my finger in between my nipple and his teeth and say "No more boobie if you bite" and wait a couple minutes before trying again.
This is absoultely my fault. I should have never played the gobbling game with him, and the first time he bit me I should have no had any reaction.
I am getting pressure from outside sources to yell at him, or use a time out (he's 14mos does he even get it?), or bite him back. (Oh I have even tried to get him to bite his own hand so he can feel that it hurts > but this just makes him laugh even harder)
I really don't know what to do. (Weaning is not an option IMO)
I am trying to use gentle discipline (but am new to the concept) and my DH says "looks like your discipline is really working" and he's right, it's not.
Help me get this right.

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750 Posts
Well it will probably take awhile. My dd bites in play also especially if she is teething. Could that be a possibility? It sounds to me like you just need to keep doing what you are doing. Gently redirecting him to something else or biting something else. Not letting him nurse for awhile b/c he hurt mommy's boob. That sort of thing.
Biting him back will just confuse him. Time outs he won't understand at all and will just cause a power struggle getting you both more frustrated than you need to be. Yelling would probably scare him. Speak firmly "No biting", "biting hurts".
The discipline is and will work. You just have to remember that you are dealing with a 14 month old baby who won't remember from one moment to the next that the biting game hurts and isn't much of a game with teeth! Just try to be patient. He will figure it out eventually.

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First of all, I do believe that every mom ever in the world does the gobbling game with babies. They're so cute we want to eat them up!

Biting is a common and normal stage for many children your son's age. When he bites while nursing, stop nursing. That's what I did. Usually if they bite it means they're done anyway. Don't stop as a punishment. But stop and say "well, it seems that you're finished nursing now sweetheart". I don't mean 'stop' as in 'wean'! Just stop the session. Many children at that age will bite when they're feeling bored or need to release some energy. It's kind of like and excited, playful thing. So keeping that in mind, I'd say those are times when he needs to get active. A game of chase or catch with a ball might be a good idea if feasable.
You're doing great by trying to divert him when you see that he might bite you. Be very consistent. Offer him a cloth to bite on. Many kids like chewing a wet cloth. He may well be teething.

The thing about discipline of all kinds, is that it is basically something you will be repeating over and over again. That is the way with kids. Now you can repeat spankings and harsh words over and over again, or you can repeat respectful communication over and over again.
How do you want your home and family to be? How do you want your relationship with your son to be? What do you want it to sound like, and feel like? Ask your husband these questions as well.

It's important to remember that your son will not be biting for long. It is something that will end. The most important thing right now, is to establish a communication bedrock upon which you will base many years of your relationship with him. Believe me when I tell you that it is a zillion times better to establish a relationship of trust, and honest, open RESPECTFUL communication now. It's a gift you will give to yourself and you family and it will pay off.

Biting is the first of many challenging stages. But it is painful, I know.

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5,189 Posts
I always figure that DS is trying to KISS me, and that he just hasn't learned yet that teeth are not a traditional part of kissing.

Seems to me that most young mammals go through a biting phase, anyway. And it sounds to me like you're dealing with it the right way. I'd say expressing your displeasure "No bitey!" or "We don't bite people!" or my favorite mantra-- "Mama is not a snack!" and redirecting WILL work just as fast as biting him back would, which is just sort of dumb and childish if you think about it.

I wouldn't bite or hit a puppy or a baby ferret going through a nipping phase, either, for that matter. I'd express my disapproval, redirect, and mostly just wait for the annoying oral-fixation phase to pass.

It just takes a little longer for baby humans to get past it than puppies.
And definitely offer appealing chewing alternatives-- DS gets a lot bitier during teething episodes than otherwise.

You've done nothing wrong here.
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