Teeth are NOT for Kissing

This is the lesson du jour: teeth are NOT for kissing!  My little munchkin-face-snuggle-puppy has become a rabid, vampire-like animal.  And those of you flinching because you’re thinking, Isn’t she nursing? Yeeeooowww!!! I’ll have you know that for whatever reason booby-biting only happened a handful of times, months ago, when he first started getting his little front teeth.  These days the nibbles happen on every other part of my body.  He’ll run up to me, wrap his arms around my leg and then chomp into the fleshy inside of my thigh.  I’ll be carrying him in a nice hug hold and suddenly he’ll take a bite out of my shoulder. Worse, though, is that a couple of times he has intentionally bitten me out of anger!  WTH?? Where in God’s name did he learn that??  I’ve taken potentially dangerous items away from him or picked him up and moved him away from something and he will shriek at me, flop into a tantrum stance and purposefully bite my hand!  For real, is this just something they are born knowing how to do as a reaction?

And then this morning we’re having all sorts of fun giggling and wrestling in bed.  I’m giving kiss attacks and Liam squeals and howls with glee and gives me big open-mouthed
kisses on my neck and face.  Suddenly he growls and the open-mouthed kiss becomes a closed-teeth grip on my jawbone and cheek.  As soon as I feel his mouth close around my skin I yelp, “No, Liam, no…” but it is too late, he has locked his chompers onto my face and he is not letting go.

“LIAM!! LET GO!! Teeth are NOT for kissing!  Teeth are NOT for kissing!”

Husband comes running up the stairs as Liam finally lets go.  As I describe the crime that was committed and point out the teeth marks that are evident on my jawbone, Husband
says, “Ooooh.”  I thought he was commiserating with me but then he followed with, “That might be my fault.  We sort of play rough. You know, like lions…”  So, my child has learned how to attack as the King of the Jungle because my husband plays as if they are wild animals.  Yeah, that might explain it.  And yet, he thinks he can reverse the behavior
by just telling the 13 month old that he only pretends to bite when they’re playing.  We don’t really bite.  I guess we’ll see if Liam has retained any of these messages, but for now I’m not going to lie, I’m a little gun-shy (or tooth-shy I should say) around my child.  Every time he leans in for a hug or for a potential kiss I flinch.

Any advice from parents with former biters?  I keep saying that it’s because his molars
are coming in now and he’s trying to communicate that his teeth hurt…but I think I’m ready to admit that he’s just being naughty.

Would a face like this bite you? (YES!!)


3 thoughts on “Teeth are NOT for Kissing

  1. Emmitt does this too. He goes starts blowing raspberries and CHOMP and he wont let go I usually stick my finger in his mouth (like you would to re position a bad nurser) but it never works.

  2. I’m only laughing hysterically because its happened to me too. Promise. Just keep saying no, stopping him and eventually it will get better.

  3. It’s awful! I went through that, too. As tempting and appropriate as it feels to blame the lion game, I think they are born with a biting habit anyway. I hated this phase – I still flinch when Lucy comes up behind me and hugs my legs: Is she going to take a chunk out of my ass?

    She bit out of rage, and 95% of the time, it was only me she would bite. For awhile my mother and husband thought I was making this up. Until it happened to them. It’s actually what prompted our introduction to ‘time out’ at about 16 months. I couldn’t figure out what else to do. Gently removing her and putting her in time out for 60 seconds worked really well, actually. It also gave me a moment to collect myself, because it is hard not to react obnoxiously when someone bites you. (Or slaps you across the face, her other trick. Seriously, where did she GET THIS??)

    Exclaiming or trying to explain was useless. The only thing that got her attention was losing my attention. She stopped doing all of it within a few months. Monsters.

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