My little vampire

by Ginger on July 8, 2010

in Mom Thoughts, Oh Baby!


I may have mentioned before that I’ve had some problems with Jackson biting. Which is not so fun. And perhaps, sadly, a bit of an understatement.

Jackson bites a lot. Not just when he’s nursing, but when he’s playing and being held and climbing and…well, all the time. And he bites hard. It’s painful and frustrating and probably the thing that we’re struggling with the most in this parenting gig at the moment.

He doesn’t bite maliciously–I genuinely think he doesn’t “get” what he’s doing. It mostly tends to happen when he’s teething or really hungry (or both). Sadly, he’s been teething for about 2 months straight, so it’s not like we’ve gotten much of a break recently.

Our strategy thus far has been redirect, redirect, redirect. And avoid his mouth when he looks like he’s going in for a bite. And then redirect some more.(oh, and of course, do things to try to address the teething or hunger).

While we were on vacation though, many family members had OTHER suggestions, seeming to think we weren’t being very effective in our approach (it didn’t help when Jackson bit my mom either).  There were two main ideas that were floated to us: bite him back or give him a small smack. For a variety of reasons, neither of these ideas seem ok to me, but am I missing something? Are these effective ways to teach a 10 month old not to bite and I’m just being too much of a softie?

I just don’t think he’s old enough to “discipline” him this way. I want him to stop biting (seriously, I’m covered in bruises and red marks from the little vampire & naturally I worry about him biting other people), but I just don’t think this is the way to do it. Of course, I don’t seem to know what the right way to do it is, so maybe I’m wrong?

I didn’t have a problem telling my family that those weren’t tactics that we wanted to use, but do any of you have any other ideas?

Perpetua July 9, 2010 at 7:17 am

I don’t think biting back is going to work because I don’t think J is old enough to get the point. We didn’t have a huge problem with this, and I’ve noticed this kind of weird correlation between kids who are good eaters/biters, and kids (like mine) who aren’t into chewing anything, be it fruit or human flesh. 🙂

Sorry I don’t have any wisdom to share!

Ginger July 9, 2010 at 11:43 am

Interesting thought on the correlation between biting and being a good eater. It makes a kind of sense, (J just loves to eat!) but sheesh I wish he’d stop it!

Elizabeth July 9, 2010 at 10:55 am

Sorry, no tips! I remember my brother having a couple biting incidents in preschool, but other than that, I’m at a loss.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks July 9, 2010 at 11:31 am

I wish I had something valuable to add. I have thought about the biting conundrum when it comes to nursing. And based on how friends have talked about it, I’m of the belief that it will be time to wean if biting becomes a regular thing. Though, I’m not suggesting that for you, nor do I think it’ll be a remedy to the issue of biting in the first place.

Ginger July 9, 2010 at 11:46 am

You know, I always thought I’d stop nursing when he started biting, but…here we are. I don’t quite know why I haven’t stopped because I was actually pretty adamant about it at the time. (the time being before he started biting). Now, since it’s not just while nursing, I’m kind of loathe to “punish” him with weaning when it doesn’t address the whole problem.
But I obviously am at a loss for the whole situation so who knows what I’ll end up doing.

Kate July 9, 2010 at 3:26 pm

My little Beckett was never a biter and still isn’t to date (thank goodness! and knock on wood), so I don’t really have any suggestions. But, I do think discipline is too early. And, I can only say that “this too shall pass”. 🙂

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