The other day when I picked up my baby from day care, the teacher pulled me aside and quietly mentioned that a "friend" (and I'm using that term loosely) bit Rowan's arm that afternoon.
She informed me that the bite didn't break the skin and assured me that they would be keeping an eye on the situation -- they just wanted me to be aware. What she didn't mention was that at bathtime, I would find a mark on his body looking like a vampire attempted to take a nice juicy bite of his arm. Teeth marks and all! What gives?
Teething is only one reason that your baby might be gnawing on you or someone else. Here are some signs to watch for and what you can do to keep those adorable chompers where they are supposed to be.
- Babies will bite when teething to sooth their irritated gums. You can't really blame them for that. If you know your baby is teething, try giving him a frozen bagel or cold teething ring to chew on.
- But if teething isn't the problem, then it's likely the biting is serving as a stress reliever for an over-stimulated infant. Biting also may occur, even in infants, because the child is frustrated, can't do the things they want to, and can't verbalize what they want.
- The worst thing you can do is laugh or squeal if your child bites. Make sure that no one, including older siblings, treats biting as a game. A loud reaction from you or a sibling may be just what they want and they will try to re-create that again and again.
- Your reaction should be a stern statement, "no biting," followed by removing your baby from your body (or someone else's) for a brief period of a few seconds. Hopefully that will send a clear message that biting won't get them what they want and being a vampire doesn't work out so well.
Does your baby bite? What do you do to discourage her?
Image via Ashie B/Flickr