Hi Faith

My daughter is 13 months old.  At 10 months she started biting when she got angry.  I’ve tried all kinds of things, but haven’t been able to get her to stop… I mean different things get her to stop in the moment, but every couple of days to weeks she’ll bite again when she gets mad.   Much of the advice I’ve been able to find says – sit the child down & explain to them that biting hurts, or “they must be teething” – but this is definitely out of anger & I don’t think she can understand a verbal explanation…

Thanks so much for your advice!!!


Dear Donna,
This is a frustrating issue for all parents in this situation.  No one likes to be bitten, it hurts.  If your child is biting other children, this is a really big issue.  There are two methods that work well in this situation when you have tried everything and nothing else works.  Also since you say she bites out of anger, I think the following methods used together will work.  They are not meant to hurt your daughter, only to teach her cause and effect, so she will realize that biting hurts.

If you can catch your daughter before she bites, (when her mouth is wide open as she is going in for the bite), put her own arm in her mouth, so she can bite herself.  Stay calm and expressionless.  This is key.

After she bites, herself or others and her hand has been placed in her own mouth remove her (calmly and gently) to another room for 2 minutes away from all social situations so that she doesn’t get any attention from anyone, thus there is no positive or negative attention for her behavior.  She will learn quickly that there is no payoff for her behavior and the biting will stop.

I have seen this work over and over. Good luck to you.  Remember you need to do this every time she bites for it to work.  Consistency is everything.

Please let me know how this works for you.

Lots of encouragement,