Last week, I was holding my sweet, sweet 10-month baby boy. Then, out of nowhere… OUCH! He bit me. And it hurt!
Ok, no big deal.
Then it happened again.
Probably not winning any parenting awards here, but I couldn’t help but laugh. How does that little face still manage to look cute even while biting? (Note to self: must master the art of looking away while laughing.)
After a few more times – and a couple of bruises – I knew something was up. Maybe I overlooked the fact that he had been drooling a whole lot more than usual.
So here we are, round 3 of teething.
My first instinct was to correct the behavior. Here was the plan: I’d say “Jack, no bite,” and put him down. My theory was that he’d bite, hear “no bite” and then understand the consequence after I put him down. Made sense to me…
I had everyone on board: my husband, family and of course, daycare. Perfect, we’re all on the same page.
But it’s not working.
Clearly he’s not biting to be malicious — his little gums hurt and it feels good to sink his teeth into my arm. Amy Schroder, manager of parent education at Hartford Hospital, suggests a different approach. Rather than correct the behavior, help him solve the problem in a different way.
“When a teething child bites, he’s doing this out of a need,” she says. “Help him meet the need.” It helps to look him in the eye, say “No bite,” and redirect him to something else to chew on.
Amazing how they’re little problem solvers so early. We’re at day 1 of plan 2. And now we’re on the same team.