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12 month old biting and pinching - getting to be a real problem.

(6 Posts)
BertieBotts Sun 11-Oct-09 22:27:23

Does anyone have anything I can try at all to reduce biting and grabbing/pinching behaviour in a 12 month old? I feel he is too young for time out to work, I'm not sure he would understand, and don't want the playpen/cot/pushchair to have negative association - but I am willing to try it if it might help. Today he bit me really hard and nearly broke the skin (I still have a red mark now), I was shouting "Ow" "No" "Stop" and "Let Go" and even "Gentle" (He understands let go and gentle in the context of pulling hair, and stroking our cat. I don't know if he would make the connection to his mouth.) - he was completely ignoring my shouting and not even looking at me. DP suggested smacking him I really really do not want to do that but I must admit it would be my first reaction if anybody else bit me blush

I just don't know what to do. He seems to do it when he wants my attention - when I am sitting on the sofa and he wants me to come and play on the floor. I do play with him but need to do other things as well, like mumsnet internet banking, online shopping, sometimes just looking things up on the computer (laptop on back of sofa as he can't reach it to play with it) or even when I am sitting talking to DP or a friend on the sofa. I need to stop this biting before he bites somebody else! It's not teething - well sometimes it is teething but that is different, there are two sorts of biting he does, one is teething and one is him wanting something, sometimes food/milk but sometimes just me. How can I teach him a different way to ask for what he wants?

nimbs Mon 12-Oct-09 11:30:46

12 months old is way too young for time out,they won't understand at all - understand that smacking may be your first reaction if someone bit you, but he is a baby and I imagine does not do it on purpose -

When my dd bites me (we've twin girls who are 11mths) I say 'no' and put her down on the floor for a bit - then get a toy/book to distract her. She definately bites more if she is hungry/teething so if it's near supper/lunch time I'll give her a rice cake/breadstick to keep her going until it's time to eat. If teething - I use the powders.
I'm sure there will be other MN's who will be able to tell you how to get her to communicate more by using baby sign language but tbh it's not something we have done.

hope this helps - i've got bruises on my shoulder too from dd's 'kiss' yesterday hmm fwiw they do grow out of it too - neither ds or dd1 have bitten anyone since they were tiny tots so no need to worry about that yet!!

musicposy Mon 12-Oct-09 19:49:48

My youngest used to bite and it was quite hard to get her out of it. I used to put her down immediately with a firm "no!" and walk off, so she knew she would lose my attention if she bit. I never left her for very long, it was the putting her down that made the point, even if i walked out of the room and came straight back in. I never really knew why she did it or what caused it. Also, I never knew if how I handled it got her out of it or whether she would have grown out of it anyway. The worst time was definitely around when she was about your son's age, although she did take the odd chunk out of other children as a toddler, something I seemed powerless to prevent blush However, she's 10 now and you'll be relieved to hear that she is a very sensible, kind child who hasn't bitten anyone in a very long time!!

These things always seem like there's no end, but I'd tell yourself that even if you do nothing at all, your DS is not going to go to work as an adult and bite half the office. He will grow out of it wink

BertieBotts Tue 13-Oct-09 10:41:32

Thanks for the reassurance I will try that nimbs, the removing myself (rather than him) from the situation. We are doing baby signing and the sign for "no" does seem to get his attention but only if he is looking at me anyway

myjobismum Tue 13-Oct-09 12:22:51

BB - Having the same problem with N - but she has only just started and has only bitten a couple of times, but it has been DS she has bitten and quite hard too sad

Will keep an eye on the thread as I have no idea what to do either!

whensmydayoff Tue 13-Oct-09 13:13:34

Hi Bertiebotts. It is difficult at a younger age. I found I had to get angrier and be very clear that it was unacceptable then than I do now with DS being 2.4. Language isn't established enough so you have to do it with exaggerated expression and reaction which generally means, when she bites, pull your hand away quickly, very angry face and really firm "No that's naughty". If she does it again put her in the cot with toys removed. Say "YOU DON'T BITE" and walk out.
She will be beside herself because you are so angry and have left her. If you want results, you need to be clear at this age. OBVIOUSLY, stand outside the door, no longer than one minute then calmly walk in, tell her she's not to bite again then give her a cuddle. I assure you , it will upset you longer than it upsets her.
I have always used my DS's cot as a last resort and it works. It doesn't give bad association at all - unless you are prone to putting her to bed angry and chucking her toys out!!
Bed time is different.
My DS loves his cot and never complains at nap or bed time so don't worry about that.
I can also count on one hand how many times Ive had to do it as it is last resort and for special occasions of really unacceptable behaviour - like biting!! (they all do it smile).

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