Are you wondering why toddlers bite? This is a common experience that many parents have. If a new toddler bites you out of the blue, it can feel like they’re just doing something to get your attention. In this article, you are going to understand the reasons behind toddler behavior. So that you can understand and deal with the behavior in a positive way, let us first learn about toddler behavior.
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Understanding Toddler Behavior Patterns
According to John B. Watson’s behaviorism theory Quantitative behavioral development program, the toddler stage is known to be the most intense one. By toddlers, we mean from their first birthday up to their second or third birthday. Toddlers tend to learn and develop more over this period than they do at any other stage of their lives.
They go through a wide range of emotions, they learn lots of new things and they are always experimenting with new things. They are very inquisitive and interested in everything around them. The world is new and exciting to them. They can be a challenge but this is all part of their normal development.
Often toddlers do things that are teething-related and that can sometimes be biting-related, but there is also behavioral biting. This is something that you need to deal with in a positive way.
Why Do Toddlers Bite You
There are many reasons why toddlers bite:
They just want attention
Toddlers are not born with the ability to receive and give attention to other people. They have not yet begun learning how to relate to other people. So when they get frustrated or upset, they need something simple that can be used as an outlet.
It helps release energy
From toddlers’ point of view, biting is a way to release the energy that they feel especially when they are being held by tightly. This can be very frustrating for them and it may be their way of trying to let go.
They may have teething problems
Sometimes when toddlers bite their parents, it is not because they are misbehaving but rather because of teething. Teething can be painful for a toddler that does not yet understand why this is happening to them. Through biting, they are trying to deal with the pain.
It calms them
If a toddler bites when they are tired, it could be that biting is the only way that they can get themselves to calm down. Biting can be very soothing for a toddler.
A way of exploring
When your toddler bites you, it could be that they are simply exploring the world around them. They are just trying to figure out what they can do and how they can react to stimuli. The biting is more curiosity than anything else.
How to Stop Toddlers From Biting
There are a few ways that you can prevent your toddler from biting you:
Give them positive attention
The best way to stop a behavior is by giving your toddler positive attention. Take note of the reasons why your toddler bites you and try to give them the attention that they need to calm down. Once this happens, your toddler will be less likely to bite you in the future.
Provide them with toys
Perhaps your toddler is teething and it can therefore be the reason why they bite you. Take note of what kind of toys they like and provide them with these kinds of toys so that they can play without direct contact.
Give them snacks
Just as biting helps a toddler to release energy, it is possible that they bite you because they are hungry. Give your toddler snacks to eat when you think that this is the case. The positive attention that you provide to your toddler will help prevent biting.
If your toddler bites you, it is important that you remain firm. Never give in and never let them know that biting works. This will only make the problem worse. So, instead be firm and raise their hand up high (not in a hitting way) while saying no firmly.
Toddlers can be a challenge because they do not understand why they are doing certain things. But if you know the reasons behind toddler behavior, you can give them the attention that they desperately need but in a way that will not encourage them to bite you. By understanding the reasons why your toddler bites, you can prevent this behavior in the future.