Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I've got a biter folks!

Who knew someone so sweet could be so vicious! I've always known that babies like to chew on things when they get new teeth, but nobody ever told me my baby was going to chew on me! My husband gets a huge kick every time my little sweetie sinks her teeth into my skin. She always manages to get just a little bit too, and man those teeth are sharp!

So what are you supposed to do? Usually my instincts would tell me to swat her away like a mosquito, but my baby isn't an insect. I try to remain calm because I can only imagine what it must feel like to have tiny sharp teeth cutting through your gums, but holy cow does it hurt!

I've heard some parents say "bite her back, it worked for me!" Maybe it does work but can you really imagine biting your child, it sounds a little ridiculous. A method that I've tried, and probably will continue with is a gentler approach. I look Stella in the eyes and say "no biting, that hurts". Has she bitten me again? Of course, but at least I am teaching her something constructive! Its all about learning.

Dr. Lawrence C. Pakula of the American Association of Pediatrics seems to be on the same train of thought. He suggests explaining to the child in a concise way that we do not bite because it hurts people. The longer drawn out explanations only provide more attention to the negative behavior. To reinforce this we shouldn't allow the child to bite pets or stuffed animals either. Pakula also mentions that interrupting the behavior before it starts is helpful as well.

So even though I continue to get bit on occasion, and my husband laughs, I think I will just stick to what I'm doing. Because in the grand scheme of things this is just a phase and eventually Stella won't have the urge to bite me anymore, thank God! Hopefully in the future when she is playing with other children and gets frustrated she won't bite because she knows "biting hurts people"!

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