Toothy Tots: What to Do If Your Toddler Bites
Once baby teeth start coming in, some toddlers develop a habit that often concerns their parents: biting. Thankfully, biting is a normal behaviour which usually stops once a toddler begins developing language skills. Nevertheless, the habit can be concerning, and it's important to understand why your toddler bites and how to properly correct them when it happens. At Brant Children's Centre, a preschool and daycare in Burlington, the knowledgeable professionals who run our toddler program have plenty of experience helping parents manage their toddler's biting habit.
Understanding Why Toddlers Bite
Biting is most common in children between one to three years of age. Because they don't yet have the necessary language skills to express their emotions, biting can serve as a method of communication. Oftentimes children bite to express anger or frustration. For example, they may bite because they don’t feel understood, or they may bite another child who has taken their toy.
Children may also bite because they are scared, anxious, or overwhelmed by their surroundings. Or, they may simply be bored and are acting out for attention. Paying attention to what's usually happening before your toddler bites can help alert you to why they are biting.
How to Stop a Toddler from Biting
Once you understand why a child bites, you'll have a good chance at spotting the signs and preventing of bite before it even occurs. Being the fickle little humans they are, a toddler's mood and behaviour can change in an instant and, before you know it, they've bitten you or another child.
When a bite does occur, it's important to stay calm and keep your own emotions in check. Reacting with strong emotion can antagonize your child and may even give them the attention that they were after. You need to be firm and make it clear that biting is not okay. Tell them "no" and, if your child is capable of understanding, explain to them in simple language why biting is not okay. Consider a brief time-out as well.
For a toddler that is still too young to understand a time-out or an explanation on why biting is wrong, redirect their focus and energy to a new activity. If your toddler bit another child, then don't force them to play together right away unless they want to.
How the Right Burlington Preschool and Daycare Can Help
At Brant Children's Centre, we understand that every toddler has unique reasons and triggers for biting. Our toddler program is designed to teach children the necessary communication and self-awareness skills to deal with their emotions in a positive manner. We also provide ample activities to keep children occupied and to encourage cooperative play with others. Socializing your child with other children at a Burlington preschool or daycare can lead to more positive interpersonal interactions.
If you have any questions about our toddler program, we would love to hear from you. Just contact Brant Children's Centre today.