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My daugther is 15 months old. She's biting. It's not agressive - she does it when she's happy/excited. She has been doing this for a while, but she is also getting her first molar right now. Is there a way to teach her not to do this? And more generally, what are appropriate forms of discipline for her at this age? In most cases, I can tell her 'no' and she'll stop doing what she's doing (e.g., touching something not safe). If she does NOT listen, I'll REMOVE her from the area. But for some things - like the biting - relocating her doesn't exactly have the same effect.


Dr. Steven Kairys Replied: Be consistent- redirect her immediately to other activities- give her positive feedback when she is in a situation where she would ordinarily bite, and does not. In general at 15 months- try to predict when she might have issues- redirect - ignore those behaviors that you can ignore- give a lot of attention for the behaviors you want.
Posted On 2008-03-24 14:10:09
Tara Paterson Replied: Dear Mom, It is an age appropriate response for a child at 15 months to bite and it is usually done from a place of affection as opposed to being mean, but of course it is not something we wish to encourage. There is a possibility she may be teething so one suggestion would be to hand her something she can bite on if she bites you. Same premise as moving her from a location that is unsafe, you are shifting her focus from your shoulder to an appropriate teething option. You could also calmly look her in the eyes and respond to her by saying- "we don't bite, that hurts mommy." The only down fall with this approach is if you don't believe she is doing it purposefully to be mean, you may not want to attract negative attention to her action, because she may learn she can push your buttons by doing it. I hope these are some options that work for you and your daughter and I wish you well! Tara Paterson, Parent Coach
Posted On 2007-09-14 09:57:01
Trish Booth, MA Replied: It is normal for infants and toddlers to use their mouths to explore the world. This can lead to non-aggressive biting. You can help her stop doing this by telling her, "No. Don't bite." Then help her redirect her energy and enthusiasm. Substitute biting with another action such as clapping her hands or making a sign or gesture that indicates she is happy and excited. You can also give her a word to say. Even if she doesn't immediately start saying the word, this will help in the transition to using words to express emotions. As for discipline in general, you are doing the right things by saying "No" to unsafe or unacceptable behavior and removing her from the situation. There may be times when you can divert her attention or redirect her actions ahead of an unwanted behavior. At 15 months, your daughter still needs you to monitor and stop behavior that is unsafe or unacceptable.
Posted On 2007-09-14 00:52:35
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