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Is biting normal at 18 months? My son has a quick temper and is just starting with this behavior. I want to stop it now before it gets worse. Any suggestions?
A Mom, not a dog toy
Dear A Mom, not a dog toy,
Biting is absolutely normal at this age, however with some consistent discipline and redirection you should be able to help him to understand that that is not allowed behavior. When he does bite, be stern and let him know that teeth are for biting food not people. You could even present him with a piece of food to bite on when this behavior occurs, however you must be clear it is not a reward (so steer clear from using favorite snacks for example). He is not too young for consequences such as time out for biting either. Consistency is key though when curbing undesired behaviors.
Along with the discipline and redirection, also give your toddler the wording needed. For example, your toddler bites because you have the toy your toddler wants. Be stern and say that "Our teeth are for biting food, not people. You must use your words. Tell mommy I want that toy please." If the biting continues then you can continue onto timeout or whatever discipline tactic you are comfortable with. Obviously you shouldn't expect your 18 month old to actually repeat that sentence back, but by modeling over and over each time, it teaches your toddler how to use his words and shows him the expected behavior. Again, consistency here is key.