• Why do children bite?

    Exploration - The mouth and tongue are used by babies to learn about the world. As they "mouth," lick, or chew, they take in information that goes to the brain. They want to explore everything around them. Most babies explore by putting things or people in their mouths.

    Teething - Infants' gums hurt when they are teething. Putting pressure on their gums helps to stop the pain. sometimes they bite a person in trying to stop the pain.

    Cause and Effect - Infants around one year of age like to find out what happens when they do something. By biting someone, they may get a loud scream.

    Attention - Older toddlers like to imitate others. If they see others biting, they may think that it is okay to bite.

    Independence - Toddlers want their independence from others. Biting is a quick way to get others to leave you and your stuff alone.

    Frustration - Toddlers may bite because they do not know how to talk well enough to express their feelings.

    Stress - A child's world can be stressful. Biting is a way to express feelings and relieve tension.

  • What can caregivers/parents do when children bite?

    Use the Who, What, When, Where, and How method to pinpoint the problem.

    • When did the biting occur?
    • Who was involved?
    • Where did it happen?
    • What happened before or after?

Try Prevention

  • Give the child a clean cloth or a clean teething ring to chew on.
  • Change the daily routine to make sure the child is getting enough rest and food.
  • Make sure that there are more than two of each toy when there is a group of children.
  • Spend more time with the child when he or she is doing more positive things.
  • Make everyday life as supportive and normal as possible so that children are not in a stressful environment.

Teach New Behaviors

  • When a child bites, use your face and voice to show the child that biting is unacceptable.
  • Have the biter help to care for the child that was bitten by helping to wash, bandage and offer comfort.
  • When a child is out of control, separate the child until he or she calms down and then talk to the child about his or her behavior. 
Print Friendly, PDF & Email


A child sleeping
Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Food and Health, Health August 18, 2022

As your child heads back to school this fall, you’ve made sure they have all the supplies, clothes, technology, and other items they need to be successful in the classroom. There’s just one thing missing from this list: Sleep. Consistent, quality sleep is just as important to a successful academic year as anything you can purchase.

a collage of various poison look alikes.
Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, Food and Health, Food June 10, 2022

Summertime is here. School is out and children are spending more time at home. Do you know what potential poisons are in your household? Could you, your children, or your babysitter mistake a harmful product for a safe product? You may be surprised by how often these close calls happen!

A faucet drips water.
Filed Under: Children and Parenting, Water, SipSafe February 17, 2022

You probably know how dangerous lead is, especially for children. Even low levels can have long term effects on a child’s development. The most important thing you can do is lessen your exposure or avoid lead exposure altogether.

Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting February 17, 2022

The Mississippi State University Extension Service has been awarded $5 million to directly impact early-childhood education in the state by developing a new curriculum for children from birth through age 5. The funds will be used to develop “My Mississippi Adventures,” a developmentally appropriate, integrated curriculum to be used in licensed child care facilities.

Filed Under: Family, Children and Parenting, MSU Extension Head Start December 1, 2021

The Mississippi State University Extension Service Head Start program is hiring for various positions in Harrison County. Head Start needs qualified candidates to fill positions including lead teachers, assistant teachers, a project coordinator, an educational leader, a floater, an administrative assistant, an office associate, an assistant cook and a custodian.


Monday, November 11, 2019 - 7:00am
Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - 7:00am
Wednesday, January 9, 2019 - 7:00am

Contact Your County Office

Your Extension Experts

Portrait of Dr. Louise E. Davis
Extension Professor
Child and Family Development, Child and Family Well-Being, Child Care-Giver Training, Parenting Educ
Portrait of Dr. Alisha Marie Hardman
Associate Professor
Family Life Specialist, Extension Program Planning and Evaluation
Portrait of Ms. Jamila B. Taylor
Director, Head Start & EHS Prg