4 Possible Reasons Your Toddler’s Biting

I recently posted a blog on how to deal with children with speech delays who are using aggressive behaviors, and today we’re talking about how to deal with biting specifically and what could be causing this behavior. I’m going to talk about four common, and not so common reasons for children biting. So let’s get into it and I’ll give some tips along the way. Possible Reasons for Children Biting:

#1 Frustration 

When kids can’t communicate effectively their frustration levels can get very high. One way to decrease the frustration is to continue to teach them a useful vocabulary for frustrating situations. I’m referring to words like “No! Stop. Help. Fix.” If the child has a speech and language delay then these words may be too difficult for them at this moment in time and so I would teach them signs or gestures fo these words simultaneously. As their communication skills increase, their biting behaviors should decrease. 

#2 Anxiety

Anxiety could be another reason that your child is biting. So even though these guys are itty bitty, they really do soak in the emotions that are in their environment. So if there’s a lot of anxiety in their environment, then they’re going to feel it and will need to express it in some way. So think about what’s going on in your family’s life and what might be causing anxiety. The top stressors in life are things like moving, parents changing jobs, relationship issues, divorce, illness and death in the family.  So think about what’s going on and think about how you can help support your child in the stressful times of your family’s life. Reach out to a professional counselor/psychologist to help you navigate these issues.

#4 Teething

All kids go through teething but for some, it’s worse than others. Here’s a link to a blog about “6 Natural Teething Remedies for Baby.” Of course, talk to your doctor and dentist for their recommendations.

#5 Sensory Issues

This would be more for children who are biting frequently. They may be biting other people, biting themselves, biting objects or clothing. If you have ruled out the other options then you may want to look into a possible sensory integration issue. This is very, very common in children with autism, but many children have these kinds of sensory issues and do not have autism. Make an appointment with an occupational therapist because they specialize in sensory integration issues.  I hope you found this blog helpful. Please share it on social media! Happy talking with your little toddlers. Disclaimer: I am a licensed speech-language pathologist in San Diego, California. This video is meant to be a general education for parents and therapists. Every child is different and this should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult with a professional in your area.  
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