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Toddler biting is a developmentally normal behavior for children under the age of three. It is a child's way of expressing anger, frustration, and their need for control or attention before they are able to speak. When dealing with a child who bites at home or in a childcare setting it is important to use interventions that are targeted to the toddler. These actions must be undertaken swiftly with education being the ultimate goal.

The first step is to separate the biter and the child that was bitten, and defuse the situation which has caused the anguish. Bring the child to a quiet place to cool down and remain there for 1 to 3 minutes (1 minute for every year of the child).

Use short  and clear sentences when speaking with the child and emphasize "No, that is not what we do "rather than the behaviour was "bad" or "wrong". The word "no" is associated with the child's behaviour whereas the word "bad" can be associated with the child themself. The message should come across as informative and educational rather than punitive.

When the child has settled, give them an immediate job to do such as picking up a toy. When they do so, let them know that their action was okay and tell them did a great job, or show them the proper way of doing it. This way the child can reintegrate into the play environment positively.

Remember that the child who was bitten should also get attention and should be reassured if they did nothing wrong. If the child who bit is over the age of 2, they should be encouraged to comfort the victim. Most importantly, do not bite a child back as it only models bad behaviour.

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