Sunday, October 19, 2008

Books About Biting?

Parents and teachers, I'm reaching out to you to ask if you have any book suggestions that tell toddlers not to bite. Yes, my little one is a biter. We've had a few incidents in daycare, and her teacher is trying to really pay attention and help address it there. However, because she doesn't exhibit the behavior at home, I don't know how to help her correct it besides showing her a book that talks about NOT biting.

Any suggestions?


  1. Try Elizabeth Verdick's Teeth are not for Biting. Karen Katz has one called No Biting, but the reviews are mixed. Palatini also has a "No Biting" book.

    Good luck! I'm so glad you're trying to do something about it - I worked in daycare for a while and some parents just didn't care if their kids bit others...

  2. Thanks so much Jennifer! I'll definitely check these books out!

  3. How about Bootsie Barker Bites. The main character is the little girl who almost gets bitten by Bootsie. It would help to show that others don't want to play with kids who bite. It is cute. Words and reason triumph in this book. Mary
    PS- Since I am a Nana I will throw in some unasked for advice....
    Usually, biting is not so much about being mean as it is about not having the words to say in a conflict. Sometimes, role playing helps.

  4. My youngest (MM) was a biter and it had everything to do with not having the words to express her anger and frustration. Unfortunately, her older sister was her favourite target. (Her parents never seemed to push her buttons to quite the same degree.) We never did find a book that addressed the issue. It took lots of close supervision and coaching, but MM finally abandoned her bite-first-ask questions-later-strategy in lieu of screaming at the top of her lungs. Progress, not perfection, as they say!

  5. Mary,
    I'll be sure to take a look at that book, and thanks for the advice! I'm new at this "mom" thing, so I'll take any advice I can get. I'll try a bit of role playing.

    Mighty Mom,
    It's definitely an issue of expressing frustration and also a bit of self-defense. The behavior started when she moved to the toddler room and was the smallest kid there. Her teacher said she usually bites when a kid tries to take a toy or something like that, so she's keeping a closer eye on those types of situations. I think I'd prefer screaming to biting!

  6. Try "No biting, Louise" by Margie Palatini.
    At the urging of her family, Louise, a young alligator, tries hard to kick her biting habit.

  7. Else Minarik (of Little Bear) has _No Fighting, No Biting_. Also, _Goldie Is Mad_ which isn't about biting but is about getting really mad. Because it's not so much that you want her to stop biting as you want her to express frustration more appropriately.

    I had a biter son. It's hard, especially when people think you aren't trying to do anything about it. Paying very close attention to her when she is likely to bite is best, because she'll learn to stop quicker if she is interrupted in the act. That is hard for you to do if she isn't biting at home.

    Is she teething at all? That makes her more mouth-aware, which can lead to biting when she might not think of it otherwise. If so, then giving her a teether clipped to her shirt can help -- if she is chewing on something then her mouth isn't available.

    Good luck, and don't beat yourself up about it. It's a phase some kids go through, although it is harder on moms than most. I remember feeling almost happy when someone else bit my son, because I could assure the mom that it was OK, these things happen, her kid wasn't a monster, etc.

  8. Thanks Anonymous and Beth!

    She hasn't cut all of her teeth, but I haven't noticed her teething recently. My nephew just visited, and my daughter bit him more than once. Since I've witnessed it first hand now, it's definitely a frustration thing. She bit when he tried to take her favorite toys.

    I'll take a look at Else Minarik's books.