How to Stop Children From Biting at Daycare

June 01, 2022
  • Having been in the child care industry for over two decades, I can testify that biting is a tough issue for both parents and child care workers. So much so that I decided to share this article to help anyone dealing with a biting child.

    First off, I will quickly establish that biting is not unusual behavior for a toddler. So, there is nothing wrong with your child. However, being a common practice among babies doesn’t mean it’s right. It is never right to inflict injuries on other kids but children do not understand what they are doing. Hence the need for both parents and child care workers to work together to stop it as soon as possible. Yes, children outgrow biting but you don’t need to stand back and watch them harm others while waiting for the phase to pass when you can do something to stop it.


    Why Do Children Bite?

    The first step is to identify the reason your child is biting others. Children bite for different reasons. It is easier to deal with the problem when you’ve identified the source.

    Some of the reasons children bite include;

    • They want to relieve the pain from teething
    • They are stressed or frustrated about a situation, typically sharing toys
    • They are seeking your attention
    • They are being curious as usual
    • It is an act of self-defense


    How To Stop Repeated Biting in Child Care Programs

    Now you know why the child is biting others, it is time to act. Outlined below are some effective ways to stop children from biting both at daycare and at home.

    1. Pay close attention to the child

    Both child care workers and parents need to closely monitor a biting child. This is important to identify the cause and also to help nudge the child to a safer alternative. Take the time to monitor how the child relates with other kids. As well as what happens before the biting. This way, you can be on top of the situation before it escalates. Use firm and positive words to redirect the child’s behavior and make him/her understand that biting others is bad.

    1. Provide chewable toys and other alternatives

    Biting is almost inevitable for teething children. Therefore, a good way to stop them from biting others is to give them an alternative. Teething rings and chewable toys are a great idea since they are completely safe and made exactly for this purpose. In no time, the child will learn that it is bad to bite others but good to bite the toy. Problem solved!

    1. Ensure there are enough toys for everyone

    Children indeed learn to share in Pre-KG and KG, but before they get to such understanding, you will find that children rarely want to share. They want everything to themselves. Forcing them to share can lead to stress and frustration, which may eventually cause the child to bite as a means of self-defense or to release the stress. If this is the cause of the problem, you should plan to provide enough toys for everyone. Not just toys. Try to avoid any situation where the child gets to fight over something. Additionally, you can try other alternatives to relieve stress and frustration by involving the child in relaxation activities such as deep breathing, music, yoga, etc.

    1. Keep a biting log

    This is especially important in child care programs. Since multiple children may be biting at the same time, it helps to keep a biting log that details each incident, the children involved, the time of the incident, and the cause. This log makes it easy to quickly identify the stressor or cause, thus helping you determine the right correction approach for each child.

    1. Be patient with the child

    This phase always seems like it will last forever. But that’s not true. It will be over in no time. You just have to be consistent and patient. Don’t let it slide. Don’t excuse any biting incident. Keep monitoring the child and don’t give up telling them biting is bad and nudging them to safer alternatives. This phase shall pass soon. Hang in there.


    Parting thought…

    Biting is a common attitude observed among toddlers. To stop it, parents and child care workers need to work together to identify the problem and proffer healthy solutions. These 5 tricks should help you get the situation under control early enough. Remember to be patient and consistent. This phase shall pass soon.

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