Biting and Teething
Could biting be a lack of sensory development? According to NAEYC toddlers who do not experience enough texture of food, or chances to chew may be prone to biting. To prevent biting supplying more chewy snacks and an array of textures may do the trick. According to an observation done by NAEYC in 2005 showed children with a history of biting spent longer time eating and choose more chewy snacks. Toddlers learn through their senses and one of the biggest senses they depend on is linked to their mouths. That’s why they always try to put things in their mouths.
If you have a child that bites, you may want to consider changing or adding to their diet. Try new things more often. Always dice and cut food into small pieces to avoid choking. The NAEYC also recommends letting toddlers chew on an oral stimulation brush. I however suggest a baby spoon. Some days Emma carries a baby spoon all day when she’s teething. She chomps on it and loves it. It helps ease the pain of molars coming in. She has teething rings we keep in the freezer as well. She recently poked a hole right threw one. We give her 100% juice freeze pops to help ease the pain too.
For children who are three or older and are biting, the NAEYC recommends comparing eating habits to children of the same age as them. Compare the child’s ability to pronounce words and experience eating different textures. Weak oral motor control and ability can make a child prone to biting. This can help you determine whether biting is being caused from a sensory development problem, or and attention behavior.
If you find that your child is biting and it’s not because of a sensory delay, and you are continuing to add chewy and crunchy textures to their diet, it could be an attention issue. There are all kinds of reasons that can cause a child to bite. When a child’s environment changes, or is stressful they may act out in biting. When failing at learning a new task the risk of biting increases out of frustration. A toddler may bite similar to why they have temper tantrums. When they fail at a task they can’t verbally express themselves.
Different foods to introduce to a child that bites:
· Diced Apples
· Ice Chips
· Rice Cakes
· Graham Crackers
· Diced Raw Veggies
· Cheese Cubes
React in a sensitive way. Show them how to complete their goals, or avoid activities that are not age appropriate, or they couldn’t possibly complete. Explain biting is not tolerated and it’s not nice to bite. Take the child away from the situation and into a time-out. I use a chair with a book. Time-outs are recommended a minute per year of life. After time-out is over, ask why did you bite? Explain biting hurts, you don’t want to hurt your friends. Then explain your friends won’t play with you anymore if you bite. Give the child a chance to speak. Do not interrupt them and continue with the conversation. Ask the child if they are sorry, and never force a false apology.
Work Cited: Journal of the National Association for the Education of Young Children March 2006 A New Bit on Toddler Biting The Influence of Food, Oral Motor Development and Sensory Activities. “Pamela Ramming, Caroline S. Kyger and Stacy D. Thompson Pg 17-22”
There are many different variables that can make a baby over stimulated. When new people come into baby’s environment, watch how they react. I believe to have a calm baby, it’s important to keep babies from becoming over stimulated. Too much noise, people or hyper animals can cause the baby stress. Babies might get stressed out more, if they are not used to animals. Being over stimulated means there is too much going on around the baby and causes them to get cranky or tired.
Having light colors in baby's room can also help keep the room calm and help baby sleep better. When the bedroom walls are painted bright colors it can over stimulate the baby. Even in preschool classrooms this can cause the class to act crazy and out of control. Having the walls painted different bright colors may look nice, but have a room painted light blue will keep an environment that isn't over stimulating and will overall set a better tone for the classroom.
Bringing baby to unfamiliar places can also cause baby to become over stimulated. Bringing a baby or toddler to an overcrowded restaurant, grocery store, or any other place can be a lot for a baby/toddler to handle. Keeping them occupied while at these places can help. Letting them bring their favorite toy, book, snacks, or keeping them busy will help keep them from acting out because of what’s going on around them.
Emma behaves a lot better in the grocery store if she has a cookie, or something to munch on, while we are in there. For some reason Emma just doesn't like the grocery store. We try to get a sitter for when we go, but sometimes it's just not possible. She's hated the grocery store since she was a newborn, however she's never seemed to mind when we go to Wal-Mart.
Baby's also need alone time just like anyone else does. Alone time helps them to get used to playing on their own and being independent. Too much attention all the time can over stimulate a baby. For a newborn this is easy to do, seeing on how they can be put in a swing while the caregiver is getting things done around the house. Most babies will be completely content swinging in their swing listening to music, or staring at the mobile that hangs above them. Especially after belly time where they are practicing their physical development and begin to get fussy or tired, and over stimulated. It is always important to monitor a baby while they are on the ground and not strapped into something.
Calming an over stimulated baby can be tricky. It mostly includes taking the baby out of the crazy environment and soothing them. Swaddling a baby is something i highly recommend. It gives them security and comfort being wrapped tightly in a snug blanket. Going into a quiet room and rocking baby until they calm down will help calm a fussy baby that is over stimulated. When they become over stimulated the caregiver must do their best to stay calm and collected themselves, or the baby will sense it. Sucking on a pacifier also helps calm a fussy baby, as well as a favorite blanket or stuffed animal. Taking the baby out of the situation is always the first step to calming an over stimulated infant. Telling the baby that you are there and that you love them also helps a baby feel more secure.
When a baby is learning trust, and beginning their lives in this big strange scary world, peace and quiet is important. Fighting, or yelling in front of baby scares them and can affect their ability to trust, their caregivers and others. There is no reason to yell at a baby that can't even walk or get into anything yet, and there is no reason to yell at a baby for crying. There is also no reason to swear at your child, or around them. Keeping baby away from people that yell at each other or fight all the time, will help keep baby from learning those habits. All babies and children learn from what they see, they don't know any better. Calm environments will ultimately make baby calmer, relaxed, and help them develop trust.
Stressful environments will cause stress to baby. They can feel when there is tension or stress in their environment. A baby in a stressful environment is likely to cry more, and develop social and emotional problems later on. Keeping a peaceful environment will be most beneficial to the child now, and later on in life. When someone around the baby is yelling it puts stress on baby and scares them. They are trying to develop trust. The environment can affect that developmental process strongly.
So let people know when they come to the house to keep the volume down, do not fight in front of baby, and try to relax after being in a stressful situation, to avoid putting that stress on your baby, where it doesn't belong. There is no reason for the caregivers to fight over every little thing. Disagreements are possible without it turning into a yelling match. Trying to solve problems without getting stressed or yelling, will teach baby to do the same.
Have you ever heard the saying, "You can't spoil a baby"? I believe there is some truth to this statement. There is no such thing as giving a baby too much love, attention, or meeting their needs too much. The caregivers are the only people that baby have to rely on to meet those needs. They develop a special bond and learn to trust by meeting those needs. When a baby cries they are feeling insecure; or need their needs met. Instincts take over and after a while you will know what baby needs without a second thought. You can’t give a baby too much love, but giving them objects they shouldn't have to keep them quiet will spoil baby in the wrong ways.
Babies eat, sleep, and need to be cleaned, but as they get older they will start to reach for things that are not toys. My favorite saying is "That is not a toy". Babies, especially toddlers need to learn the concept of the word No, they don't already fully understand yet. Their first thought is well why not? Saying this is not a toy, and then giving them something that is: for one redirects their attention and for two explains why they cannot play with that object. When a child goes to the stairs, I’d say something like DOWN in a firm voice. Then I would redirect her and tell her "Let’s play with your ball, can you find your ball?" Also let your child know that it’s boo boos to play on the stairs. Then play with the ball together. Using positive reinforcement and using statements like "you need to", or "that's not a toy" or “Where is your ball?” is works better then “No, don't do that" Instead tell them what you want them to do, by using positive reinforcement.
Babies are curious and want to explore what is around them. It's okay to have a basket full of soft baby things that they can pull out and go through. I found this worked better for my house then letting her play in a cabinet that was child proofed. Also having a gate up and keeping things that the child should not be playing with avoids a lot of temptation. When a baby gets curious they want to touch anything they can get their hands on. It’s up to the caregiver to make sure that things that aren't for them to play with, or are dangerous are out of reach.
When a caregiver gives a toddler/baby whatever they want because they are screaming for it, then that makes it okay for them to act like that. They'll think, "Well I'll just scream till I get what I want." This leads to unbelievably bad behavior later on. The caregiver is in charge, not the one year old, and they need to know just because they cry. It’s not going to make the caregiver give in, when there is more than one caregiver for your child this issue needs to be addressed to each person caring for the child. When grandma lets baby play with anything they scream for, then the parent doesn't at home, it will be ten times the challenge to stop the behavior. Consistency is the key point.
I've seen many parents do some things that really bother me and listen to them complain that their children don't listen. Here are a couple tricks you can do to have a better listener.
1. If a child only gets attention from doing something bad then they will continue to do things bad to get your attention.
2. If a child knows they can get away with getting into something and their mom isn't going to prevent it from happening they will do it.
3. If your on the computer and you yell for your child to do something from the other room they wont listen.
4. If you tell your child shut off the TV and go to bed, and walk out of the room there not going to shut off the TV or go to bed, but if you shut off the TV and put them in bed you have a better chance. If that doesn't work you shut off the TV and say pick out a book you want me to read to you.
5. Its all about delivery of the message, be straight and to the point. Don't give options unless there is an actual option.
6. Don't tease a child with something they cant have! Meaning don't let a child carry around a toy in the store that your not going to buy them, and don't buy them a toy every time you go to a store.
7. REMEMBER: children act out for THREE REASONS!! They are not getting attention for positive behavior, or they are trying to accomplish a task that they haven't mastered yet out of frustration, or they aren't getting their needs fully met. (enough sleep, food, ect.) Unless there is a medical condition.
8. Charts, Games, And spending time with your child works wonders!!
9. Children go off of VIBES if they feel you being stressed they will be stressed!!!!
10. If you are a loud person, don't expect your child not to be.
11. If you don't want your child to swear then lead by example.
12. Children need structure. They need the same routine daily! As in a time they wake up, eat, nap time, bedtime, should be the same time everyday.
13. Some parents think that when a child starts school they no longer have to teach their child. Why would a child want to learn math that their parents don't even know? Stay active with their schoolwork and homework, keep open communication with their teachers and make sure the child knows about it! Having a set homework time where you read the book together, help them when they need help while doing the problems will help your child take school more seriously because you do, and show them you care about what they are doing all day long.(also giving them positive attention they need)
14. If a child is hitting, yelling, biting, being mean, or breaking your rules take them outside the group or away from the situation and place them in a chair at a table with books on it, and say its not nice to hit, read a book and calm down. (that really does work!!! Ive seen it over and over while i worked in day cares!!)
15. In daycare's they have the children help them make up the rules, and write them on poster board with them and put it some where visible. When they start misbehaving they remind them remember the rules we came up with? and Point to the chart and read them. great for 3-4 year old. I know ill use that at home.
16. Children are easily influenced, at all ages. Keep them away from kids that don't listen or scream all the time unless you want them to act like that.
17. Don't ignore your child when they are talking to you, or need your help.
We Love the Babies
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