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Is it Unreasonable to bite your kids back?

(256 Posts)
AnneNonimous Mon 14-Jan-13 16:10:24

When they bite you? Or more to the point a baby?

DS is almost ten months and has discovered biting people. He has almost 5 teeth so it's painful, and he favours the boobs or face but will pretty much go for anywhere. It REALLY does hurt. A couple of times it's hurt so much I've screamed out and scared him so he's cried, but it hasn't stopped him. I've also given him teething rings or something else to chew on, told him 'no' in a firm voice everytime but to no avail - he won't stop.

Anyone I mention it to tell me to bite him back - not hard but so he understands what biting is. I can't quite bring myself to do it but I have to admit I've been close when he's really hurt me! Is it what you would do/ have done? I can't quite believe a 10 month old could learn a lesson that way I just don't know?

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Mon 14-Jan-13 16:25:29

How was I rude? hmm

AnneNonimous Mon 14-Jan-13 16:26:55

Telling me to 'grow up' was rude.

BabsAndTheRu Mon 14-Jan-13 16:30:18


Pretty harsh there, no need for that. 10month old babies really bit hard, I had to go to the docs after DS1 nearly bit my nipple off, blood everywhere. It's really an old wives tale to bite back, loads of folk used to tell me that as well. I did what one of the other posts said, put baby down and said firmly no,no,no and then ignored them. It's a phase they all go through and will grow out of.

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Mon 14-Jan-13 16:31:19

Ffs, stop projecting your feelings onto what I wrote. All I meant was that their is no way DS would cause as much pain as you would, even if you were mindful of how you did it. I do think you need to grow up and get a grip now though, why come on here and ask for advice on such a delicate subject if you are going to get so touchy. Here's hoping you never get flamed. Good grief woman.

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Mon 14-Jan-13 16:32:10


Hulababy Mon 14-Jan-13 16:32:22

10 months old is a baby. They have no concept of right or wrong, being naughty - and equally no concept of cause and effect - therefore biting back will have absolutely no affect on his ability to know that him biting someone will hurt them.

Biting a baby is not teaching him a lesson. It is cruel plain and simple.

TheApprentice Mon 14-Jan-13 16:32:56

My ds1 started biting occasionally at about 1 and continued till 2 and a half (didnt happen that often!). I also got advised to bite back from some people but there was no way I was doing that. What I did as soon as he was old enough to start to understand was to say "No" and remove him from the situation (whilst apologising profusely to whoever he had bitten......), and then as he got older I would leave wherever we were - so toddler group, gym class etc which he absolutely hated and I would make sure he knew why we were leaving.

He usually bit through frustration or even excitement and love (!) but he still had to know it wasnt acceptable. He grew out of it and is not at all an aggressive child now, aged 6!

McNewPants2013 Mon 14-Jan-13 16:33:29

nolittlebuddahs everyone pain threshold is diffrent.

why is this turning into a bun fight, the OP is asking for advice not putting down

AcornToOak Mon 14-Jan-13 16:34:01

It would be serious cause for concern if it was found that an adult was biting a child for any reason,

I have heard this advice before but would not follow it in a million years,

I would also have to seriously consider my friendships with people that did this to their dc,

It is abuse to bite a child.

allthegoodnamesweretaken Mon 14-Jan-13 16:34:50

When DD went through this phase we looked upset and said 'ouch that hurt me, poor mummy. You didn't want to hurt mummy did you? Let's make mummy feel better' then encouraged her to stroke, hug or kiss to make the person feel better. Worked like a charm. Important not to get angry, but put emphasis on them being a kind child and that they couldn't possibly have intended to hurt.

Teach them to feel empathy, not fear.

AnneNonimous Mon 14-Jan-13 16:35:42

NoLittleBuddahs there are certain ways of getting your points across without coming across as rude. Telling somebody to 'grow up' is rude. I am not particularly sensitive and I've had my share of flamings - doesn't mean I will accept rude comments.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Mon 14-Jan-13 16:35:50

I would never bite a child much less a 10 month old. That advice has been around since time immortal but it doesn't make it good advice.

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Mon 14-Jan-13 16:37:44

It isn't, I just resent being called rude when I wasn't. Simple mechanics says an adult will exert more pressure that I child due to more developed muscles and greater number of teeth, so DS would experience more pain than OP. IMHO parents just need accept this as a phase, maybe OP should wear more layers, that's what I did. I wasn't putting her down, just commenting on the petulance of her response btw.

AnneNonimous Mon 14-Jan-13 16:38:04

I can't quite believe all the advice had me doubting my instincts! Glad it's not just me. Will be trying immediately putting him down/in his cot while I tend to my poor bruised body

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Mon 14-Jan-13 16:39:53

Anne You are determined to take issue with me for some reason, and fwiw I think you are being quite rude, to ask for advice and then get pissy when you don't like the reply. You do seem v sensitive to me

AnneNonimous Mon 14-Jan-13 16:42:37

I have gratefully accepted advice from everyone else on this thread who managed to give it without being rude smile

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Mon 14-Jan-13 16:43:50


NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Mon 14-Jan-13 16:45:31


perceptionreality Mon 14-Jan-13 16:46:26

People tend to be more abrasive in their replies on AIBU - if you're sensitive then avoid! Maybe in parenting would have been better?

CatchTheFox Mon 14-Jan-13 16:47:44

I would say 'no' and then give them something they CAN bite instead.

by the way, ignoring children when they do something you don't want them to is also an ineffective (and dare i say..childish?) way of trying to control their behaviour.

OwlCatMouse Mon 14-Jan-13 16:52:02

Yes, there can also be childish goady responses in AIBU. Reckon they're best ignored.

Greensleeves Mon 14-Jan-13 16:52:10

I'm glad you have followed your instincts and NOT bitten your baby OP

Even if you did it, it would not "teach" him anything, he is too little. He has no idea that he is hurting you.

and when he is bigger there will be better ways of teaching him

Just say "no" in a firm voice. If he does it again say "no" again, put him down and move away from him for a few seconds. If he bites while feeding, say "no" firmly and break the latch, then let him get back on again

worked for ds2 (and ds1 is a different kettle of fish)

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Mon 14-Jan-13 16:55:09

Owl if that was directed at me, I'll think you'll find Op's comment to me was goading if you read my explanation of my first post, I did not mean to be rude.

intravenouscoffee Mon 14-Jan-13 16:56:36

Have heard the 'bite him back' advice and know at least 2 people of my mums generation who did it and said it worked. I never did it myself but I know how the OP feels. When lots of people are presenting something as an 'obvious' solution you do sometimes start to question yourself.

And as someone who was bitten several times by a 9 month old I can assure you it DID hurt and wasn't being done by a child in pain - just one who had found a new game. I did the putting down, sharp tone of voice thing and it stopped but took a few bites before we got there.

Best of luck OP. It's a very annoying stage.

BabsAndTheRu Mon 14-Jan-13 16:57:55

I could never get my first two to stop biting when feeding, tried the breaking the latch technique but never worked. Hoping it will work with DD when the time comes. Don't want another trip to the docs. Hope some of the advice today helps and just ignore someone that's obviously having a bad day. You know who you are!!

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