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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 18 month old son has been having biting issues at daycare. He used to bite us at home, but has pretty much stopped. However, he is consistently having incident reports from his daycare. Now, I know biting is normal in toddlers. BUT. This has been going on for two months. Then in the past couple of weeks, it escalated dramatically. In two days, he bit 8 times. He broke the skin on one little girl's arm.

I am embarrassed, horrified, and I feel awful for those poor babies and his teacher. His teacher had a really rough day with him and broke down and told me that she can't let my son out of arm's reach because of his behavior. He has to sit in a high chair while she changes diapers or he will be running around wreaking havok. I can't even look at the other parents during drop off and pick up. I'm scared they're going to yell at me!

If he were coming home with bite marks multiple times a week, I would be so furious. I know something has to be done to stop this behavior, but I have no idea what I can do. I tell him "We don't bite! Teeth are for eating." I've also tried giving him teething rings to bite. At daycare, they do the same thing and redirect his attention.

His teacher said he isn't doing it to be mean, doesn't have any obvious triggers, and loves to go hug afterwards to say he's sorry. I really think he is bored and wants attention. On days that there are more activities, he doesn't bite. Either way, it needs to stop. I can't just wait for him to grow out of this.

Has anyone ever dealt with this? Any suggestions?
 

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My son was also a biter and I understand the mix of emotions you feel when it is you kid being the "bad" kid. The good news is that most kids outgrow it once they become more verbal. The bad news is 18 mos is a tough age to reason with or to talk about bad behavior vs good behavior because I think it goes right over their heads. They live so much in the present that anything that happens too long after the fact is useless because the incident has been forgotten by them.

What I am suspicious of is the teacher telling you there isn't a trigger. I would bet dollars to donuts there is. What is the ratio of caregiver to toddler? Is the teacher to busy to see what is triggering your son?

Common issues for my boy was toy stealing, being pushed or hit, and too many kids milling around him-especially waiting to go outside or waiting to eat lunch.

When my son was deep in the weeds with this stuff they shadowed him for a day or two and biting was immediately met with suspension of all activities and sitting with the teacher to cool off. Once we were able to have an IMMEDIATE consequence, things began to get better. Also, the teachers got better at recognized the triggers that would cause ds to bite and adding gentle reminders throughout the day.

And even though I don't know how effective it was, every day we talked about not biting in school, reminded him at drop off, read books about biting, and practiced lost of gentle touching at home. It made us feel better to know we were at least trying everything.

Once my son got verbal (happened overnight it seemed) the biting simply disappeared. Take heart too-unless they are totally unprofessional, day cares never say which child is biting/scratching/hitting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply.

I really just want to update this for anyone with questions in the future.

My son ended up being asked to leave his daycare center the day after I posted this thread. A friend from church swooped in and rescued me. She has been keeping him for a week in her home. DS is with one other child that is older than him. They play well together, he eats well, he has plenty of attention.

Turns out, there was nothing wrong with my son (which had been implied), except that his needs have changed and his environment didn't suit him any longer. While the stress of switching child care providers worried me, it turns out that a different style of care was what he needed.

For us, a new child care situation "cured" my son's biting.
 
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