When little babies bite, it's not always a sign of aggression. It could simply mean that they're testing their newly-sprouted teeth! But that doesn't make the experience pleasant for the people that are at the receiving end of the pint-sized vampire.
We suggest some simple but effective ways to stop this from turning into a habit.
• As soon as your little ones start growing their pearly whites, they'll also start craving solid, grown-up food. Put fruits and boiled veggies in the fridge for a few minutes and give them to your baby. Cold fruits like bananas, soft carrots, boiled potatoes, etc are especially helpful in soothing their sore gums. Plus they provide nutrition. Win-win!
Tip: Watch out for facial rashes, crankiness, disrupted sleep and diarrhoea when they start teething. It's normal, don't panic.
• Babies are like little pups, they don't realise that gnawing can be painful to others. If your child starts biting you while breastfeeding, make sure to move them away from you. After a few times they'll learn that their actions have consequences and hopefully give up the habit.
• "That hurts Mommy", say this aloud every time they bite. The child will find this as an unexpected reaction and may even start crying. But he will eventually realise that he is causing pain.
• Buy a teething toy. Gently slide the toy in your child's hands every time they start biting someone.
• Never bite them back. This will just make them believe that violence is acceptable.
Caution: Be careful while buying teething toys. Many plastic teething rings contain a carcinogenic chemical called diisononyl phthalate. It is used as a softening agent in teething toys. While most toy companies don't use the chemical in their toys, make sure you read the fine print before buying them. Also, steer clear of cheap Chinese toys.