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Advice on a biting baby please.

(13 Posts)
Momdeguerre Mon 14-Sep-09 17:05:34

HI,
Not posted on here before. Need some advice please? My DS is 14 months and my close friend has a child of the same age. We often look after each others children and they regularly play together.

About 4/5 months ago my friends little boy started to lunge at my DS - my friens said for months that her little chap was trying to 'kiss' or be affectionate but, in recent months it is clear that he is biting.

He has broken the skin on two children he is at nursery with and regularly bruised his Mum and Dad. Time spent with him is now an endless session of trying to stop him take chunks out of my DS face and head.

He has also started to push my DS and smaller children over and scrat5ch them/hit them.

His mum is good about stepping in and removing him but she takes the approach of explaining to him that it is naughty, perhaps ignoring him for a few minutes or taking him out of the room. He frequently laughs in her face.

My DS is by no means perfect - he has his moments too but nothing like this persistent endless houding of other children - this child takes every opportunity he can to take a sneaky nibble on a child.

I like seeing my friend and her little boy is fine when we are out and about but I feel like I can't see them on a 1 to 1 basis anymore because my son invariably gets injured.

Not helped by me being 9 weeks pg again and shattered.

Any tips on how I might address this? Is this likely to be a phase?

Pennies Mon 14-Sep-09 17:07:30

I don't see that at this age she can do much more than what she already is doing TBH. What are you hoping she'll do?

bidibidi Mon 14-Sep-09 17:09:33

It's a normal phase.
I think you have to hover to protect your child. Your goal is to prevent the biting from happening at all, this is the most effective way to nip the habit in the bud (excuse the pun).

Mildly rebuke the biter if the mother isn't present to do it herself -- so yes, you can't leave them alone for now.

Sounds like the mother should be a bit firmer, but it's a hard one to do much about, time is the main cure. Just have to keep scolding and preventing it from happening if at all possible.

bidibidi Mon 14-Sep-09 17:10:52

Sorry, wrong word choice, I didn't really mean 'firmer'. I think (maybe) the biter's mother could be a bit more pro-active in preventing the biting.

HecatesTwopenceworth Mon 14-Sep-09 17:11:21

Sounds like she's doing the best thing, tbh. If she carries on doing what she's doing, her son will get the message in the end.

Having said that, there's no reason why you should just put up with your son being shoved and bitten while she deals with it. Perhaps see her alone for a bit? coffee while the kids are at nursery, or have her come over in the evening while her other half has the child?

Momdeguerre Mon 14-Sep-09 17:12:40

I don't really know sad.

Was just hoping that someone else might have some useful advice on the topic.

I like my DS to see other children and we keep a really close eye on them but, again, DS has a huge bruise on his back where he has been pinned down and bitten.

Momdeguerre Mon 14-Sep-09 17:18:05

We have talked about it - she says she thinks it is an expression of affection hmm

I am less convinced. I will talk to her again. She knows it is a problem - his nursery have said that they don't feel they can continue to have him if he does not improve because he has bitten a number of staff and several of the children too. Don't think they help because they have moved him into a room with oloder children as a result.

She is stressed by it too and I don't want to desert her but it is hard when he is so very persistent and my DS is scared of him.

HecatesTwopenceworth Mon 14-Sep-09 17:23:27

Look, you are being nice about it, and he's just a baby so it's not about 'blaming' him or anything, but your first responsibility is to your child so don't feel bad if you need to keep them apart for a while. Your child isn't a punching bag or chew toy!

HecatesTwopenceworth Mon 14-Sep-09 17:25:36

Oh - and it's not an expression of affection! It's a tantrum / attempt to control.

When she removes him, is she firm - uses a firm tone of voice, gets down to his level and says no biting, or is she all singsong let's do something else sweetheart...? because that makes a difference too.

Momdeguerre Mon 14-Sep-09 17:35:54

She thinks he is too young for the word no. She just says he is a naughty boy and asks him not to do it again.

Sometimes she will take him into the hall and talks to him.

I am much sterner with my DS.

I must admit that a bit of me does feel she could stop calling it 'kissing' or misguided affection - it makes me feel unkind when I think that she should be using a tomw which expresses to him that what he has done is wrong.

I think I need to stop being polite about it. Today upset me and 4/5 months on he is getting much worse - he just chases any child round and round till he manages to bite them.

HecatesTwopenceworth Mon 14-Sep-09 17:51:01

Rubbish. He is not too young for no.

No is better than telling him he is a naughty boy. Label the behaviour not the child and all that!

Yes. Be straight. If all else fails then would you ever consider that when he does it - you leave? If they are at your place, ask them to leave.

I suppose it's hard for her to admit that he's being a little bugger! She wants to see it in a 'good' light. But she's not helping unless she sees it for what it is - antisocial behaviour that needs addressing.

See, from your op, I thought she was doing the right thing - stepping in and removing him, explaining that it is naughty, taking him out of the room.... but from your subsequent posts it sounds like she's not really being effective after all.

Momdeguerre Mon 14-Sep-09 17:52:18

Thanks for the help, I think I am just ging to have to speak to her more.

bidibidi Tue 15-Sep-09 13:27:52

Oh dear, with the more details you've provided, definitely don't be passively polite about it! Good luck, it's not often that nurseries despair, they are so used to it. He must be pretty determined about it.

My DS (19months) playbites in an affectionate way, but he has learnt to playbite only to me and only in the way I playbite to him (ie, teeth barely on). If he does it too hard (rarely), I tell him off, won't play with him and don't let him have another chance for a long spell. I think I'm lucky so far, because he's a gentle character he gets the message.

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