Why Do Babies Bite?

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Why Do Babies Bite?

  Autor NN Team Data: 05.03.2009

Why Do Babies Bite?

Who has a baby older than six to seven months surely noticed how important his mouth is. Once he learns to grasp with his little hands, anything he reaches is brought to his mouth and 'tasted' leisurely. In fact, the tongue and lips help the baby to explore the properties of an object. For now, the nerve endings in the skin do not work like ours, the adults, and they cannot help the baby know the shape or texture of an object.

The fact that he bites (or tries to bite) of anything that falls into his hand, is at the beginning a baby's attempt to explore the environment and surrounding objects. A little later, when preparing to defend the first little tooth, gums begin to ache. From now on the baby bites to relieve the pain that stop a bit when a certain pressure is exerted on the gums.

That is why a baby tries to bite. When he begins to understand somehow the world around him, begins to explore the cause-effect relationship that for him is a great curiosity. He sees that when you do certain things there is a certain result. For example, when he bites slowly, his mom laughs and speaks beautifully. When he bites harder, mom is upset, when he bites his little brother, it begins to cry. Fascinated by the result of his actions and not understanding that he does something bad, the baby continues to bite, especially if he gets attention. He will soon notice that when he bites mom she will turn at him, even before she payed him no attention and, if needed, he will continue to use this method. In the absence of other ways to communicate, some babies bite also to show their affection or anger. Any attempt to catch something with his teeth or gum is, in infants, out of curiosity and a desire to relieve pain, to attract attention or to express a feeling. Only from three years we can say that a child voluntarily bites of aggression. But at three years a child is able to understand that what makes is wrong. Until then, how do we make a baby understand that's not good to bite? Depends on what are his reasons.

His little teeth are growing
In this case, the baby has no fault. His gums hurt and this is the only way to calm the pain. To banish bad habits, give him more soft and clean toys that he can bite at will. Find a plastic ring for babies that can be hold in the fridge until it cools. Gum pain is soothed by cold objects. If needed, you can mass his gums with a very clean cloth soaked in cold water.

He wants to attract attention
You realize that your baby just wants your attention if bites when bored, when you pay him no attention, when he bites everyone, not only one person in particular. As we have said, babies learn from experience because they do not understand the language yet, so if he sees he's getting what he wants, that means attention, he will continue to bite, even if you argue. When bites do not put in account and he will soon understand that biting does not bring him what he needs, so he'll quit. If he bites you so hard that you cannot stay indifferent, do not try to hold a lecture about his bad deed. Address a short NO on a decided tone. Even if he does not understand the word, the baby will 'read'your tone and understand that he makes something wrong. In any case, do not laugh and do not praise him when he bites.

He wants to express
When you have a few months, the words are not too easy to use and you also hardly express yourself by gestures, so the only way at hand is to bite. This behaviour must stop before it becomes a habit. Again, a firm NO and said loudly can discourage your baby, especially if he notices that his 'affection' hurts others.

What we do with babies that bite mother's breast, when they are nursed? Many mothers believe that the first little teeth are a sign that the child has weaned. It is not true. If your baby is sucking properly at the breast, mom should not feel the teeth for those below are covered by the tongue during sucking. And yet, some babies bite, and for mothers it is very painful. Fortunately, it is a habit that canbe stopped within a few days
or weeks.

Most children bite after the 'meal', when they are tired and bored. Every mother knows how much her baby eats and peers boredom. When you see that he no longer sucks and seems bored, you might need to take him from the breast not to give him the opportunity to bite.

Some babies bite at the beginning of a meal, usually because they are hungry. If he pushes you with his little hands and babbles, probably he does not feel like eating and if you do not choose to be bitten, delay a little the breastfeeding until he will be hungry.

For like during breastfeeding also, the baby can bite to get attention, focus only on him, patting him and talking while he sucks, so that he do not have reason to warn you.

Read the English version of this article: Why Do Babies Bite?