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my 16 month old ds just bit my face really hard, what am i doing wrong?

(25 Posts)
Heathcliffscathy Mon 28-Feb-05 13:39:24

he went thro a phase of biting a while back, which we knocked on the head by following some mn advice to put him down and leave the room when he did it. it stopped for a while but has re started this week with a vengeance. i'm still putting him down and leaving the room (to his howls of rage and misery), but am really distressed, not to mention in pain, as today, when he clocked that he was going down for a nap (which he was in dire need of as knackered) he very deliberately bit my cheek, really really hard (welts). i put him down (quite violently ) and left the room. i could have chucked him across it he hurt me so much, and i suddenly realised what seeing red feels like.

anyway, he followed me into the next door room howling and after saying 'no biting' v sternly, i picked him up for a cuddle,and when he'd calmed right down put him down for his nap, where he is now.

i'm so in shock, and so depressed about this. is he enacting my agression or something. he is a lovely cuddly boistrous, but sweet natured boy most of the time. but he's biting other children too (luckily i've got to him fast enough that there have been no major incidents...yet). i feel like i need to keep him away from others until we knock this on the head. please's awful.

p.s. i can't and won't bite him back, it goes against everything i think about parenting being about leading by example...sorry...

nnosam Mon 28-Feb-05 13:41:36

can really feel for you, cant offer any adive but wantted you to know that your not alone.
keep chin up and hope you get it sorted soon.

Heathcliffscathy Mon 28-Feb-05 13:43:49

thanks nnosam, have just been on phone in tears to dh...

Cod Mon 28-Feb-05 13:47:57

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Heathcliffscathy Mon 28-Feb-05 13:48:21

16 months

Cod Mon 28-Feb-05 13:51:04

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Heathcliffscathy Mon 28-Feb-05 14:33:58

anyone else had this, or are you all tutting and making assumptions about me and my parenting skills or lack of...

Marina Mon 28-Feb-05 14:39:08

Dd hasn't been a biter (as opposed to a b/f nipper), but at pretty much this age she had a go at slapping me in the face a few times when being put down for naps, Sophable, so I do sort of understand how you feel (being bitten nastier than being slapped I feel).
They're doing it because it is the only way they can express crossness at being left. At this age they are hovering on the verbal and old enough to realise what they can't express in speech.
It will pass - dd is 19 months now and no longer swipes when cross. She unfortunately does still get cross, of course....but the aggressive stage was short-lived.
I was able to catch her by the hands and say, no, gentle, and "help" her stroke my face instead. Maybe you could try something along the lines of "I prefer kisses".

PiccadillyCircus Mon 28-Feb-05 14:42:02

Sophable, I've been thinking of you and hadn't contributed only because I've been lucky enough (so far) to not have a biting DS.

As I said, no advice but sending you hugs anyway.

Beetroot Mon 28-Feb-05 14:43:33

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FairyMum Mon 28-Feb-05 14:47:45

Yes, my DS1 was a biter. He bit us as well as other children. He grew out of it around 2.5. I have to say (and I know lots disagre with me) that I am very relaxed about my children biting as well as being bitten. Some children go through a pahse of biting and I think the only thing you can do is to continue to say a firm no and walk away and ignore him. My Ds1 mostly bit when someone took his toys away. It was his way of responding.Of coruse you shouldn't bite back and it has nothing to do with your parenting skills.

Cod Mon 28-Feb-05 14:49:29

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Heathcliffscathy Mon 28-Feb-05 14:55:04

thanks...feeling better's just dispiriting that he's started doing it again...will just persevere...thank you all for your support...

suedonim Mon 28-Feb-05 16:22:23

A couple of mine have taken chunks out of us at times, though they've never bitten anyone else. At 16mths a child doesn't know it hurts but they do know they get a very interesting reaction!! Being vigilant for the signs of a nip coming up and putting him away from you is best. They cotton on very quickly that biting means no fun things like books or toys, or that they get taken home from toddler group etc. It really is that dreaded term, a phase, and it will go eventually.

aloha Mon 28-Feb-05 16:54:32

you aren't doing anything wrong. ds didn't bite me but did bite other kids at a similar age
he's a very gentle, sweet boy, it was just aphase. agree with beetroot,

FairyMum Mon 28-Feb-05 18:26:51

Did I say mine had stopped biting? Was just hit in the eye by DS1 using massive kiwi fruit as a weapon....Ouch!

Amanda3266 Mon 28-Feb-05 18:53:06

Hi sophable,

You're doing all the right things. My DS went through a phase of biting too - usually when teething. I had a bad bite too (funnily enough when he was around 16 months) - to my shoulder - he actually drew blood and it was so bloody painful. Thankfully - it did pass. Now if he's tired and wants his dummy he will sometimes attempt to bite on my shoulder if I lift him (I think - as a dummy substitute). A firm "no biting" does the trick now.

Enid Mon 28-Feb-05 18:56:06

my dd2 doesnt bite but she will take a swipe when cross - at me and other children. Try to stay calm and just put him down/away from you and say 'no' others have will pass. BTW, its nothing to do with your parenting skills, its very common!

Heathcliffscathy Mon 28-Feb-05 21:21:02

thank you ladies. it still hurts! but i had a very interesting discussion with some psychotherapists tonight about how it was a good thing as i was able to feel v angry, but not act that out, and that that was good as ds was learning his boundaries and the effects of his actions on me and him. so feel a lot better.

will carry on doing what i am doing, just wish it will work quickly!

Fran1 Mon 28-Feb-05 21:36:10

Oh sorry only just got to this thread and you've had lots of good advice.

Just wanted to say that you are NOT doing anything wrong! and don't you dare think so.

My dd did this for some time. Now she is two she likes to try and smack us so that she can enjoy the saying sorry and cuddles. So we refuse her attempts at apology now and walk away.

But your son is much younger. I think they do it for attention/when teething and/or out of excitment sometimes like if you're having a playfight.
Don't stress about it, carry on reacting as you are and he will grow out of it - and then you can look forward to the slaps round the face

I worked in a nursery and knew lots and lots of children that went through this phase.


Heathcliffscathy Thu 03-Mar-05 20:49:10

thanks fran...actually i've started saying 'oh, mama loves kisses so much better' when i feel him moving to bite me, and he does!!! doesn't work everytime, but makes me feel better...x

Michaelangelo Fri 04-Mar-05 13:26:27

My DS aslo went through a biting phase, after trying the ignoring it, the saying no v firmly and putting him down wiht no cuddles I tried the getting him to turn the bite into blowing a raspberry instead which made me and him laugh and seemed to work.

He is now 2.5 and going trogh a throwing stage and hitting me (seems to be only me) but not just out of anger just seemingly randomly, I don't know wat to do about that, have tried agian firm no, "naughty step" if he does it 3 times and not seeming to have any effect, got me really down this am, soI know how you feel.

MrsCurly Fri 11-Mar-05 21:57:46


well my seventeen month old has been suspended from nursery for a month for biting.

hercules Fri 11-Mar-05 21:58:27

mrs curly. change nursery!

hercules Fri 11-Mar-05 21:59:44

btw sophable, dd is also a biter.

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