Our 17 month old toddler has 2 bad habits ...
I cannot believe that I am saying this about our beautiful baby boy, though "it is what it is". Our 17 month old toddler baby bites, pinches and laughs like the Joker from Batman while he is doing it. These bad habits began a few months ago and are starting to slow down, though still exist. It hurts so badly that I cannot help saying "Ouch", "Ow" and "Stop" as he is digging his nails or teeth into my skin. Unfortunately, those responses make him laugh hysterically and get excited enough that our baby bites, pinches and twists my skin more.
He thinks that I am playing with him even though I am not smiling!
The bottom of my arms get so bruised and cut up that it looks like I take martial arts (no joke!!!). His little nails are like knife points that always seems to stab the same exact spots. Meanwhile, I cut those little nails down to the pinks and I can still feel them. I no longer brag about his full set of chompers because he sometimes bites when excited or angry. What really gets me is when he comes over and twists my forearm like he is ringing out a towel. He kind of hangs on them like a kitten, too, as if to avoid my breaking free of his hold, and bites me a few times. The kicker is that most time he says "OW" and laughs while he is doing it (as if he thinks that he is tickling or playing with me).
Here is what I understand about this situation ...
Our baby bites and pinches in play 95% of the time. He thinks that he is tickling and / or wants immediate attention when he starts the bad habits, therefore I stop what I am doing to try to control the painful situation. The other 5% of the time that our baby bites and pinches is because he is either irritated that I am stopping his "tickle" play or he is angry with me. I try not to say "Ouch" or "Ow" when our baby pinches and bites because it encourages him. I have been putting him in the pack n play for a time out when it gets out of hand. I hope this teaches our baby to stop biting and pinching, as well as the fact that the Pack N Play is for "time out" and "quiet time". I also say "No" and "No Ow" to try to teach him that I do not like that type of play, though he is not consistently responsive to my "No". Once I break free of his hold, I change the type of play to something more tactile like blocks or reading books. This works well as long as I am not grabbing something near to me. It takes the little walk across the room to choose a book / get the blocks to calm him down; else he will continue to bite and pinch.
What I don't understand is how to get him to stop biting and pinching for good!
On a positive note ... this "play" that is reserved for us :)
Our baby's cousin came to visit a few weeks ago. They have just a few weeks age difference and we love seeing them interact with one another ... it's so cute! Anyways, my husband and I were trying to keep them apart because I was afraid that he would hurt her. The mother said that "she can hold her own", so we got them together for the day and it ended up being a beautiful experience. He did not bite or pinch her at all. In fact, he shared his books with her and she shared her bubbles with Max.
Have you had the same experience with your baby biting and / or pinching? How did you get it to stop?
In Motherly Love,
Mother Baby Child