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Why Children Bite

Please know that we as Child Care Educarers will do everything we can to help prevent biting in our school.  That being said, biting does happen!  Our job is to observe carefully and to come up with a plan of prevention in situations that are reoccurring.  

Children under 3 years of age and especially 2 years of age and younger, will experiment with biting.  It is a natural part of children’s development and a stage that some children will go through. We must be calm and handle each situation with patience, understanding and remember the brain is still developing and babies/ toddlers self-control takes time to learn and grow!

Children bite for a number of reasons:

  • Relieve pain from teething
  • Explore cause and effect (“What happens when I bite?”
  • Experience the sensation of biting
  • Satisfy a need for oral-motor stimulation
  • Imitate other children or parents (silly play biting)
  • Feel strong and in control
  • Get attention
  • Act in self-defense
  • Communicate or express difficult feeling, such as frustration, anger, confusion, or fear

Our job as Educators will be:

  • Come up with a plan of action for prevention
  • Provide close supervision (Shadowing the child biting)
  • Be patient and consistent

Parents, please help with this at home by being patient and communicating with your care provider about the plan of prevention.  This stage will pass! When your child bites, don’t bite them back, punish them or lecture them.  Make sure you are aware if you are playing the “silly play biting” game with them.  Have a strong, firm voice and respond to biting with “Ouch, biting hurts!”  If your child is being bit at school, be patient and know that we ARE doing our best to make sure this does NOT happen again by following our plan of prevention! We know the child that is doing the biting is not biting with ill intentions and means to cause harm; it is simply one of the above reasons. We will do our very best to prevent biting from reoccurring!

Introducing something that your child can bite to help with that stimulation can really help, such as: teethers, teething necklaces or pacifiers.