How to quickly and easily wean a child from biting

According to Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, the development of the child occurs depending on the way of obtaining pleasure, satisfaction of basic and social needs through a particular physiological analyzer. So, from birth to about two years old, the child goes through the oral stage of development. What it means? The baby does not just satisfy his mother’s hunger by breastfeeding. At the time of feeding, a strong bond between baby and mother is formed, a basic trust in the world is formed, the concepts of dependence and independence, inner support and emotional brokenness, etc. are established.d. Through the mouth, the baby is trying out the world that is new to him or her, experimenting with the capabilities and functions of the things around him or her.

As we get older, the need to bite (it is a psychological need) disappears. However, it happens that when coming into the company of other adults and children, the baby begins to bite them and exhibit other types of physical. On this basis, conflict situations arise, the qualitative side of the socialization of the child is violated. Sometimes children do not mind biting their own parents, based on subjective considerations. What a worried mom and dad should do? First, address the source of the problem. After figuring out the cause, it will become clear in what direction you need to move to wean your baby from biting.

How to quickly and easily wean your child from biting


In fact, there are many reasons why a baby bites. Each of these needs to be worked through individually through the joint work of parents and a psychologist (for children two years and older). The following table shows the main reasons for this behavior, depending on age.

Age period



0 months – 9 months

The abnormal course of pregnancy

The mother’s experience of stress and worry, as well as illness during pregnancy, affects the baby’s adaptive resources. This reason is weakly expressed at this age period because of the child’s lack of awareness. It is most accurately diagnosed after 2-3 years of age.

Birth trauma

Combined with the constant need for biting, the baby has restlessness, sleep disturbances, tense muscles, etc.d. That is, this cause is considered only in conjunction with other neurological signs of the disease.

Physical discomfort

At 4-5 months of age, most babies are teething. At this stage, they don’t care what they chew – toys, things, diapers, or their mother’s breast. This is their way of trying to get rid of their itching and sore gums.

Impaired milk flow from the breast, lack of milk.

By physical manipulation (biting in this case), the baby is trying to get more milk to satisfy their hunger. Check to see if the baby is getting enough to eat.

9 months to 1.5 years

Expressing emotions and needs.

Inability to speak makes it difficult for a growing toddler to express his feelings and emotions. Pay attention when he tries to bite you. It may be accompanied by sadness, anger, or conversely joy. At this age, they poorly differentiate their feelings, and do not divide into positive or negative emotions.

Physical discomfort.

9-11 months is a time of vigorous tooth growth. Tiny, same as previous ages, tries to get rid of the pain and itching through biting.

Cognitive interest.

Active interest in the outside world increases, which is reinforced by the acquisition of movement skills in space (crawling, walking). We learn about new objects and people through our oral apparatus.

Attracting the attention of adults.

Physical contact, including biting, is added to the arsenal of ways to get attention (crying, looking, activity, harsh yelling).

2 – 3 years old

Bites as a way of coping with stress.

Adaptation in kindergarten is accompanied by stress. Each pupil will experience it in his or her own way, depending on his or her temperament and family upbringing.

Attempts to communicate with people.

Lack of sufficient vocabulary is compensated by meaningful bites from children and adults.

Echoes of the completion of the oral phase of development.

A “window” is formed at the moment when the child enters a new stage of development – he is already moving away from old ways of responding, but has not yet acquired new ones. Bites act as a way to smoothly end this period and move on to the next.

Ages 3 and older

Protecting its own interests.

Taking a favorite toy from another child, fighting back a seat at the dinner table and many other social needs are often realized through biting.

Inability to verbally express feelings, emotions.

Toddler is already talking, but does not have enough vocabulary to express the full range of feelings experienced.

Fighting for leadership in the nursery and asserting his position.

At the instinct level, a child with leadership tendencies fights for position through physical dominance.

Oral psychotype.

According to the tenets of systemic vector psychoanalysis, B.k. Tolkacheva, there is a certain type of child who deals with psychological trauma and experiences through the mouth – sucking their fingers, biting their nails, etc.d. For them, biting another is tantamount to defending boundaries. They should not be punished harshly, much less slapped on the mouth.

Mental illness, birth trauma, organic brain damage.

If this cause is suspected, a neurologist or psychiatrist should be consulted to determine the validity of the experiences.

As you can see, there are many reasons and not every one is touched upon in the description provided. By dealing with the cause of your baby’s unpleasant behaviors, you can find an appropriate way to gently and effectively deal with the negative behavior pattern.

Psychologist's recommendations on how to wean your child from biting

Psychologist’s recommendations on how to wean your child from biting

They vary depending on the age group of the little bite. If he is just a baby (0-9 months), a simple and effective solution is to buy special teethers. They are made of soft and durable materials which allow inquisitive babies to satisfy their need for biting. Physical contact with parents – hugs, kisses – is very important for children in this age group. In this form he feels love for himself and a sense of confidence is born in him. To avoid the future need to blush in the garden for what your child has bitten another, surround him with care and love from the earliest days. A healthy, strong, confident baby is less likely to use physical force to achieve their goals. If he bites the breast while feeding, take it away. You can’t yell at your baby, much less hit him. Fix the reaction: he bit – got a negative experience (deprived of his chest).

A mature baby shows other reasons for such behavior. Accordingly, the ways of their correction will be different. Let’s get acquainted with them next, and we’ll also look at some basic parenting mistakes.

Correcting the behavior of a biting 1-3 year old child

There are several techniques that will help you to qualitatively and effectively correct your child’s biting behavior. For example, instead of yourself as an object of biting, offer a worthy alternative – chew toys, sticks of crunchy fruits and vegetables. When he chews them, his physical need for biting is satisfied. To build strong chewing muscles and improve the articulation apparatus, do the following exercises:

  1. “The boat”. Make a boat out of paper, pour water into a basin and let him/her go there. Suggest that the child blow to set the ship in motion and send it on a distant journey.

  2. “Bubbles.”. To do the exercise, take a plastic straw and a glass half-filled with water. Put a straw in the glass and use your example to show how you blow through the straw and bubbles appear on the surface of the water. Suggest that the baby repeat after you.

  3. Ballooning is appropriate for 3-4 year olds.Get not tight balloons and offer your baby to inflate them.

Sufficient exercise of the chewing and articulation muscles will eliminate the need to bite others. This method is only suitable if the reasons for biting are due to physical factors (teeth, weak chewing muscles, etc.).d.)

The next method is a demonstration of the unacceptability of behavior through ignoring. Remember, the ignoring time in minutes must be appropriate for your baby’s age. This is the optimal time to understand that he has been punished. Increasing this time leads to feelings of deprivation and isolation. Experiencing these feelings lays the foundation for a negative self-image. When you see a child coming toward you with the intent to bite, move away from the child and don’t make physical contact for a few minutes. Then tell him how you feel when he acts that way. From the age of two, there are beginnings of empathic skills – children feel the emotions of others, pick up on their reactions and are able to empathize.

A parental example is important. Parents’ displays of insensitivity to others and aggression plant ideas in the baby’s world view. Be respectful of the other person’s personality, act with dignity in stressful situations. Only then will your child be the way you want them to be.

Correcting Biting Behavior in a Child 3 Years and Older

The child does not let go of his mother not a step

This is a conscious age for a toddler. This is a period of active socialization and adaptation to the society of other adults and peers. If a child continues or has begun to bite at this age, I suggest familiarizing yourself with the following methods:

  1. Increase your child’s level of physical activity.Excess energy that doesn’t find an outlet is transformed into an agitated state. The child begins to sleep, eat poorly, becomes tearful or aggressive, and may begin to bite. Find something interesting to do that will brighten up your leisure time and help you release energy – sports, dance classes, long walks, morning exercises, etc.d.

  2. Role-playing.If your toddler stubbornly demonstrates aggressive coping tactics, try role-playing different scenarios. For example: “They took away your toys, what are you going to do??”. Let him play the role of the abuser and you play the victim. Show by example that you can resolve the issue without yelling or physical contact.

  3. Therapeutic stories.Child psychologists write fairy tales, where in game form demonstrates an example of the behavior that requires correction and ways to solve it, helping the hero to get rid of it.

  4. Reconsider your parenting style.Think about how you communicate with your child? Shouting, punishment and manipulation occur? If there is, work on yourself and change your views about parenting.

  5. When discussing an incident where your child bit someone, reflect your feelings. Tell her how you feel. Show that you respect your toddler’s feelings and are willing to help him deal with them. Point out that such behaviour is not acceptable, but don’t make it personal. Speak negatively only about the act (“you can’t do that, it makes others feel pain”), not about the child himself (“you’re bad”).

What not to do

We’ve learned what you can do to stop your child from biting. Here are the actions that are categorically impossible to do in the process of correcting behavior:

  1. Punishment and discussing the problem in a public place. Public “debriefing” and, all the more so, punishment is not an acceptable parental measure in any case. This is how you instill in him aggression, shame, shyness, secrecy.

  2. Use of physical punishment. Educators all say that the physical aspect of punishment is unacceptable. If a child is beaten, he or she develops fear, helplessness and distrust of those closest to them. It will be difficult for a mature child to build his family relationships with laid down ideas and values.

  3. Isolation in case of intolerable behavior. So he feels that adults have turned away from him, and loses the feeling of support. Show him that his behavior is unacceptable, but don’t kick him into another room.


Every age has different reasons why your baby bites. Accordingly, different solutions are applicable to them. Much of your baby’s reaction depends on the behavior of his parents-indifference and aggression produce a similar reaction in his behavior. To avoid having to work on your parenting mistakes, show your child love, sincerity, attention and care, and set a positive example. Correcting children’s behaviour starts with working on their parents’ behaviour.

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