Parents Wonder: Why Does My Child Bite?

Why does my child bite? Many parents are shocked to hear that their child bites. Some children bite others and some bite themselves. This can be very disconcerting for parents who don’t understand why this is happening. Does this mean their child is bad? Actually, biting that happens during a young age is pretty normal. Still, parents may wonder, why does my child bite? There are actually many reasons.

Why Does My Child Bite?

Having Trouble Coping.

Sometimes children will bite if they are feeling overwhelmed. If they feel cornered or fearful, they may bite. Sometimes if they are angry or frustrated they will bite. In my experience, fighting over a toy has led to biting as well as a child being cornered by several of his classmates.


If two children are fighting between themselves, a bite is sometimes likely to occur. Child number one is angry about something and child number two may feel as if they are going to be hurt, so they bite.

They have been bit.

Children learn from each other. If a child has been bit by a classmate, it is possible that they will go and bite someone else. You also have situations where a child will just go around biting for no reason. They haven’t been provoked in any way, they just go and bite.

Why Does My Child Bite?

Photo courtesy of Tina Floersch via Unsplash


Sometimes children will bite out of over-stimulation, they just get so wound up they will bite. Sometimes children will bite just to get an emotional reaction or to get attention. Other times children bite out of a misplaced sign of love. They don’t understand that biting is a wrong way to show affection.

A New Baby.

Having a new baby in the house is always exciting. Still, it is important to give your other child the same attention. Many times children will act out, bite or start having accidents when they feel left out.

A New Home.

Children need to feel secure in their surroundings. Moving into a new home is unsettling and scary for some children. They are in a new place with new surroundings. They may not understand why all their belongings are packed up in boxes. In order to cope, they may start doing some things that are out of the ordinary for them, including having accidents, separation anxiety or biting.

There are many possible answers to the question, why does my child bite? It is important to keep in mind that children don’t want to go around hurting others. They would much rather spend their days playing with friends, doing fun projects, and playing outside. However, sometimes they feel they have to defend themselves in their surroundings. Other times it is not out of self defense, but just something to do for reasons not understood. It is important for parents of both biters and non-biters alike to understand that this is rather common in day cares and play groups. It will not last forever. With the right reaction and discussions, future biting can be prevented.


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