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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Any Experience with Biters?
Francine 04:00 AM 07-21-2010
I received a call yesterday from a Mom looking for care for her 16 month old little girl. She was very honest with me and said that they had just moved into the area in May from I believe Colorado. In Colorado her daughter was in a home daycare and did just fine, here in town she is in a Center with many more kids....totally different as you all know. She isn't sure if it's the move, the fact that Daddy isn't here with them yet or the Center but the little girl has started bitting. She really wants to get her out of the Center and into a home daycare.

I would really like to take her, right now I have three boys none of which are 5 days per week, she would be M-F 8-5. Since I do have a low count I think that we could make it work BUT I don't have any experience with bitters.

How do you deal with it? MY MOM rubbed a bar of soap on my brothers teeth and wouldn't let him drink for a few minutes......never bit again but I'm pretty sure the state of Michigan would frown on that tactic

How do you deal with a 16 month old biter? I've got to call the Mom back this morning to talk to her some more, I would like to be able to schedule an interview at that time but I would like to have a plan in place first.
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JenNJ 05:53 AM 07-21-2010
1. Constant watching. If I leave the room, so does the biter.
2. Find the cues. Very few kids bite for no reason. There will be a trigger that sets off the biting. Find it, try to prevent the trigger. (Usually not sharing/taking turns, having another child take a toy away)
3. Get the book "Teeth Are Not for Biting." Have Mom buy iy as well. Read it every day in the beginning of the day and work from that.
4. If a bite occurs, remove biter right away and place in an isolated area. (I use a pack n play in an area next to the playroom) Make biter stay in time out until they are cooled off. Have biter apologize, give a hug, and high five.

If you and the parents work together, you can get through it QUICK. I have had 2 biters in the past year and each "phase" lasted about 5 school days with constant work on both sides. We still read the book each day.
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momma2girls 06:40 AM 07-21-2010
Originally Posted by JenNJ:
1. Constant watching. If I leave the room, so does the biter.
2. Find the cues. Very few kids bite for no reason. There will be a trigger that sets off the biting. Find it, try to prevent the trigger. (Usually not sharing/taking turns, having another child take a toy away)
3. Get the book "Teeth Are Not for Biting." Have Mom buy iy as well. Read it every day in the beginning of the day and work from that.
4. If a bite occurs, remove biter right away and place in an isolated area. (I use a pack n play in an area next to the playroom) Make biter stay in time out until they are cooled off. Have biter apologize, give a hug, and high five.

If you and the parents work together, you can get through it QUICK. I have had 2 biters in the past year and each "phase" lasted about 5 school days with constant work on both sides. We still read the book each day.
I personally would never keep a biter. If this child was biting my own child or another daycare child- I would tell the parents, the child did it once- if this continued I would never allow it!! You could have many families, because of this one child!!!
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JenNJ 07:13 AM 07-21-2010
Biting is AWFUL. BUT it is a totally normal and age appropriate phase. I really feel like biters get a the short end of the stick because no one wants to help them get past it. I am talking about younger biters not targeting a specific child -- not serial biters. I am totally upfront with my families when we have a biting situation (and yes, my children have been bitten before so I have been on the other end).

I would not hesitate to terminate a biter if the situatuion was beyond my control (I did terminate one child for biting) but I have a GREAT group of parents who are totally understanding and very involved, so we all work together when hitting, biting, or some other nasty phase pops up.
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Francine 07:55 AM 07-21-2010
Originally Posted by JenNJ:
Biting is AWFUL. BUT it is a totally normal and age appropriate phase. I really feel like biters get a the short end of the stick because no one wants to help them get past it. I am talking about younger biters not targeting a specific child -- not serial biters. I am totally upfront with my families when we have a biting situation (and yes, my children have been bitten before so I have been on the other end).

I would not hesitate to terminate a biter if the situatuion was beyond my control (I did terminate one child for biting) but I have a GREAT group of parents who are totally understanding and very involved, so we all work together when hitting, biting, or some other nasty phase pops up.
That is exactly the way I feel about it, this little girl has gone through alot in the past couple of months she isn't just being mean. I think that given her age and my small group of kids this is totally doable but I will tell the Mom up front that we are on a trial basis, if we can't get it resolved within a reasonable amount of time I will terminate. Mom has been very up front and honest with me, she is very willing to work with me on this.
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safechner 07:58 AM 07-21-2010
I totally understand how that feels. My 7 year old daughter used to be biters when she was 19 months old. She used to bite a 15 month old very often. I fed up with my daughter so I decided to put her finger in her mouth and push together like she bites herself. She was shocked and cried at the same time and I asked how that feels? She said it hurts and that is how X feels. She stopped it after that.

There are many reasons why the toddlers are doing bites like getting attention, lack of communication, etc.
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Francine 11:45 AM 07-21-2010
Well she is coming for an interview at 5:30 so we will see. For whatever reason my heart goes out to this little girl, something is telling me that I need to take her.
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Lilbutterflie 12:08 PM 07-21-2010
My son was an occasional biter b/w ages of 12 months & 22 months. It was all about two things: 1- Being frustrated and not being able to communicate 2- He was always cutting a new tooth when the biting occurred. Once the tooth was cut, he would not bite.
I agree with JenNJ. Constant watching is the key, and learning the triggers. With my son, I made sure he had something to teethe with (teething ring, blanket, teething toy) whenever I saw him attempt to bite. It redirected his biting to objects instead of kids.
Good luck!!
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Daycare Mommy 12:41 PM 07-21-2010
Yes, unfortunately I do have experience with biters. I've had two in nearly 9 years. After those 2 I'm cured and I won't watch them anymore. You seem to have made up your mind to try if the interview goes okay, but definitely don't be afraid to term if you can't help her to stop. Hopefully she won't be as set on biting as mine were. GL!
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JJPlaycare 01:57 PM 07-21-2010
I too have dealt with biting, but it hasn't been so bad that I needed to terminate! First my daughter around 1.5 started biting, well I can't terminate her! LOL She would do it to a certain boy, well the certain boy was right around the same age as her, but he was always right on top of her, wanting they toy she had - had no sense of her personal bubble! LOL She would do it out of frustration and mostly when she was teething! Nothing I did with her worked, it was something she had to unfortanately GROW out of!! I would always be right there when the two of them were together and always back up the little boy away from her and that helped, but sometimes it was just inevitable and I couldn't always be ontop of them waiting for her to bite!

I have also had two other daycare kids do it and I believe this was a little bit of a chain reaction! Same age of about 1.5 when it started! One was just like my daughter and would do it out of frustration, I again was right on top watching and I also taught all of the other kids to push them away and to not let them bite or even put their mouth near them and start yelling if they were about to be bitten, I then new to rush over there and it also startled the biter!! With my experience I taught them to do this otherwise they would basically sit there and let the biter chomp down and not even try to fight them off! One started doing it completely randomly - not out of frustration or anything, I believe this was the copycatter! This was completely hard to handle because I never knew when it was about to happen! The child would be playing nice and quiet with all of the other kids when all of a sudden the child next to them was screaming!!! The child that was usually bitten was crying so hard they weren't able to speak or tell me what had happened, so I had to search for the wound - this only took but a few times and I pretty much new what had happened after that! It was completely random and completely out of the blue!! THEN the biter would cry right along with the other child who was bitten - was a copy cat cryer, big hearted and couldn't handle seeing anyone cry! I would set the child in time out and simply say "We don't bite" (stearnly) with no eye contact and go back to the hurt child and completly make a huge deal out of it and get all of the other kids to make a big deal of it! Giving all of the attention to the hurt child and absolutely none to the biter! After the bitten child was calm I would go back to the biter and say "We do not bite, biting hurts" I would have the bitten child show the bitter what they did and also make the biter apologize! Fortunately these two cases of biters were very short lived!

I agree it is a phase SOME kids go through! If you make it through years of daycare without a biter more power to you! I am sure though you have had a child who hits, who kicks, throws toys or some other type of behavior you have had to deal with!! Although biting is way more severe than any of the other behaviors, I believe it shouldn't be ignored and needs to be dealt with and if you are willing to do this than do it! I would warn all of the other parents and KIDS what is comming and see how the parents feel first!! I would definately explain to the biters mother that you will be doing a trial period and see how it plays out! Low and behold though someone will probably be bitten in this time and you need to be ready to deal with it and everyones response to it!! It is a tough spot to be in because you don't want to loose families and sacrafice what you have to help a biter!! I wish you luck and hopefully it is something that is short lived and you are right it might be completely different at your house, lesser kids might do this girl wonders! Good Luck
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Crystal 02:57 PM 07-21-2010
Originally Posted by JenNJ:
1. Constant watching. If I leave the room, so does the biter.
2. Find the cues. Very few kids bite for no reason. There will be a trigger that sets off the biting. Find it, try to prevent the trigger. (Usually not sharing/taking turns, having another child take a toy away)
3. Get the book "Teeth Are Not for Biting." Have Mom buy iy as well. Read it every day in the beginning of the day and work from that.
4. If a bite occurs, remove biter right away and place in an isolated area. (I use a pack n play in an area next to the playroom) Make biter stay in time out until they are cooled off. Have biter apologize, give a hug, and high five.

If you and the parents work together, you can get through it QUICK. I have had 2 biters in the past year and each "phase" lasted about 5 school days with constant work on both sides. We still read the book each day.
good advice...the only thing I would do differently is NOT put the biter in the pack and play. I would talk to her, have her look at the "vicitim" and firmly tell her that she HURT him, she made him cry, BITING HURTS and IT IS NOT OKAY. THEN, I would have her help clean the bite and put a bandage on it.

She needs to realize the reality of biting.....most toddlers KNOW that you get a bandaid when you're hurt.....so this will help her realize the impact of her biting. I've done this with a few kids, and it has always worked.
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JenNJ 06:12 PM 07-21-2010
I put the biter in the pack n play because usually one bite leads to others and if I am distracted with the victim, I cannot keep a close eye on the biter. I simply do it until I am able to devote full attention (or shadowing) to the biter again.

Plus it goes to the advice given above that the victim gets my attention and the biter does NOT. I do speak to the biter about how it hurts, etc. before s/he is allowed back into the play area.
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Crystal 07:28 AM 07-22-2010
certainly the victim gets the attention....I'd make a HUGE show of how much I sympathize with the victim.
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Michael 08:44 PM 07-22-2010
More threads on biting: https://www.daycare.com/forum/tags.php?tag=biting
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Unregistered 06:37 AM 07-23-2010
I would be worried about additional behaviors. Usually biting goes hand in hand with other bad behaviors. Just FYI. And I would also be worried about having to have "victims" even once. The parents who have kids in your care already are entrusting you to take care of their kids and protect them from biters. I would never intentionally take on a biter.
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