At my house we are currently dealing with the problem of toddler biting. Yesterday our two year old was very unhappy because I had taken an item away from him that he knew was off limits. The resulting tantrum was a sight to behold and I dealt with it in the same way that I had dealt with tantrums in the past; I went about my business in a normal way and basically ignored the fact that there was a screaming kicking kid on the floor.

This approach had worked for me many times in the past but today was different. After some time had passed and she had calmed down somewhat I began to load the dishwasher. In a few minutes I saw her come in the kitchen and she came to lean on me and watch what I was doing as she had done so many times and then it happened. She bit me. The unexpected and aggressive act caught me so off guard that I dropped a saucer. The saucer hit the floor with a bang and scared her so badly that she began to cry. My initial thoughts were that I was the one with a bite mark on my arm so why was she crying?

My oldest daughter was not a biter, but I had to deal with other parent’s toddlers biting in childcare. But that was some other mother’s child. I just had not expected one of my children to be biting other children or me for that matter. After I beat myself up a bit for having dropped the ball somewhere in my parenting, I started my research on how to stop baby from biting people before things got out of hand.

The information that I found is that it's a common opinion that toddlers and biting go hand in hand. The biting often starts out innocently enough with baby biting to relieve pain while teething. Busy parents seeing no harm might actually reward baby with a quick rub on their aching gums and pay little mind. Everyone has the idea that pretty much anything baby does at this stage is cute and will do very little to discourage the behavior at this crucial stage. They know that the child is not trying to hurt anyone, they are just trying to find relief for their pain and wouldn’t it be cruel not to soothe them?

The bad thing is that the baby continues to bite long after teething if parents send the message that they think biting is cute. The baby gets the idea that it's a good game to play in order to get mommy and daddy's attention and later on the child has to be taught that the habit of children biting other children is unacceptable. It’s a better idea to never let the habit get started. The next time a teething child clamps down on a finger try your best not to smile or laugh but to immediately substitute a teething toy and nip this aggressive behavior in the bud.

Personal injury is not the only dangerous outcome of toddler biting in daycare or at home. Infection is a very real concern that causes many to judge a biting child rather harshly. There are many ways to stop babies from biting people but the easiest way might be to never encourage it in the first place. If your baby has already started the toddler biting syndrome. Here are some ideas on how to stop your child from biting.

1. Tell your baby "We don’t bite." Explain that we don’t hurt people and that biting hurts very badly. Don’t offer a biting demonstration. How can we tell her children not to hurt other children when we apparently don't mind hurting them ?

2. Offer a safe alternative when baby gets itchy to bite something. The best thing is to offer the same teething toy every time so that baby understands that that is the only thing he is allowed to bite.

3. When you say your toddler get that look in her eye, interrupt her immediately with a sharp “NO!” until she gets older and learns to resist the urge.

4. If the deed is done and prevention is out the window for this round, treat toddler biting just like any other violation of your household rules. Timeouts, removal of a favorite toy or activity are all appropriate punishments.

5. Don't let the violent nature of biting cause you to forget the rule of positive parenting. At the end of every bite free day, praise your child for having made it through the play date without biting. Let him or her know that you noticed that your toddler used self-control and how much more pleasant the day was without a biting incident.

Used consistently these preventative measures will most likely decrease the incidence of toddler biting within a month or so. However, if the situation has not gotten better within a reasonable amount of time you might want to seek the advice of a professional. If the aggressive behavior pattern appears to be escalating to the point that your child is hurting himself/herself or if other behavioral problems are surfacing it would be advisable to consult with your pediatrician.

Author's Bio: 

Jan Bay is the webmaster of a popular baby website, Unique Baby Gear Ideas, Nursery Themes and Decorating Ideas which features articles of interest to new parents.