Toddler biting is a serious issue when you're a parent. These little kiddos are fast and unfortunately, the biting habit is a tough one to break!
My daugher's been bitten in daycare more than ten times in the past five months. Yikes is right. Toddlers learn so much from the behavior of others, so while I obviously didn't want her to get bitten anymore, I was really more concerned that she was going to retaliate. Sure enough, a month into the "biting rampage" as we called it, LG started to make attempts. I was lucky enough to stop her on two occassions, but on a third, I was trapped behind a preschooler on a playground ramp when LG nipped a younger friend across the play structure from me.
I was so mortified.
While decluttering our playroom, I found a Chewbeads necklace that I wore every single day for LG's first year of life. I got it as a gift at my baby shower and had no idea what it was other than a funky, chunky necklace. Cool? Yes. But really, it was even more useful than cool and soothed our little girl for so many tough teething months – not to mention, it looked cute!
So what does this have to do with my potential biter? Everything. In addition to talking to her daily about how biting hurts, LG's friend who had been biting her was given teethers at daycare after each incident. "You don't bite friends, you bite teethers," they said. This seemed like a good strategy to practice at home.
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The Ultimate Teether
I can never keep track of teethers, so instead of having your typical teether on hand at all times – I whipped out my Chewbeads necklace. When we're home and playing, I let LG wear it. If she gets frustrated with me or with something she can't figure out, she sometimes bites a toy, a table, or even her own arm. By allowing her to wear the necklace or even their adorable matching bracelets, I can easily redirect her while instilling the message that biting hurts and she can use her words or sign language when she gets upset.
Out on the playground, I wear the necklace so that she doesn't get hurt while running around like crazy. When I see any indication that she might try to bite a friend, I talk to her about how biting hurts, pick her up and redirect her to the necklace or her bracelets while we sit together on the park bench for a minute or two. Knock on wood, we have be bite-free ever since that one playground episode!
The Dark Horse of Baby Shower Gifts
Chewbeads are sturdy, beautiful, and are by far the non-registry item gift that I cannot live without – even now. I love the styles they come in and have included one in every single baby shower gift since I became a mom. There's nothing like getting a gift that you don't even know you need!