Tough Toddlers: 4 Common Triggers for Hitting and Biting

Toddler Trigger: She Explores With Her Mouth

Ever since your kid was an infant, she's probably enjoyed putting anything she could get her hands on in her mouth. This is one of the ways babies learn about their environment, and it doesn't suddenly change once she has her first birthday. "Whether it's munching on a friend's arm or biting while breastfeeding, 1-year-olds lead with their mouth," says Erin Floyd, Ph.D., a clinical child psychologist in Atlanta.

WHAT TO DO If your child bites you when she's nursing, take her off the breast immediately. Look at her and in a firm, gentle voice say, "No." Let her latch on again, but if she continues to bite, repeat this process only once or twice before ending the feeding. It won't take long for her to realize that biting interrupts her mealtime.

Your toddler takes her cues from you when it comes to interacting, so be a good role model. Avoid play biting, such as nibbling on her fingers or lightly chomping down on her arm. This sends a mixed message, and she may mimic these actions with other kids.

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