Baby Biting: Teething or Toddler Tantrum?
It is often said that teething is nature’s way of playing a prank on new parents. Unfortunately for Mom and Dad, teething takes time. Your baby’s teeth emerge around 6-8 months and keep growing until age 2. But once you move into toddler territory, the second round of teething can come with a scary side effect -- biting.
Biting can be beneficial while exploring new foods, but not when it’s in the form of a new friend. Whether it’s teething or behavior-based, children use biting to fulfill some sort of need. Here’s what may be to blame:
Second molars—the last teeth to arrive—are often the most painful. Babies may bite because the act of chewing can ease that pain. Feed them stimulating foods with different textures. Try using a pacifier clip to attach a teething ring. Whenever s/he is tempted to bite, the ring is always within reach.
• Communication: Little ones lack language skills, so biting is a way to say, “I’m so mad at you!” or “Give that back!” Encourage your child to use their words. Simple commands like “No!” and “Mine” can easily communicate the frustration he’s feeling.
• Imitation: When your 2 year old wants to brush his teeth “just like mommy,” imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But when she’s copying a biting playmate, that mantra doesn’t ring as true. Toddlers learn from observation, and by 18 months, are able to imitate other children’s actions.Biting is common in daycares and group settings, so make sure to talk to your child’s teacher. She may be able to identify patterns within the classroom.
Kids’ brains are like sponges to social behavior. Show your toddler the right reactions and eventually his skills will flourish. For more advice, check out our parenting blogs.