Why do babies bite and do you need to stop them?

baby biting

Biting is a part of child development. (Source: Getty Images)

Biting in babies is normal. A newborn can start biting on the nipple while breastfeeding, which is not uncommon, Dr Jesal Sheth, senior consultant, pediatrician and neonatal intensivist, Fortis Hospital, told Express Parenting.

Babies usually start biting more when they are teething, at around seven to eight months of age, informed Dr Seth. If you notice your child biting on toys or even arms of another person, it is because they try to relieve the pressure they feel on their gums.

Babies also bite as an expression of exploring new things around them, according to WebMD. Curious as babies are, they end up putting in their mouth any object that catches their attention and starts biting. It is also a way for babies to get attention from others or express their frustration, anger or fear since they lack language skills for communicating at this early age.

While it is part of child development, you would not want babies to bite everything. So, what do you do?

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How to stop babies from biting

Dr Seth pointed out, "If the baby is biting during breastfeeding, one does not really need to do anything about it. By the time they start teething, there is itching on the gum, which makes them bite. In this case, parents can adopt ways to reduce the irritation in the gums."

Biting goes away on its own over time and parents need not be too worried about it, the doctor explained. If your child still continues to bite, here are some other tips you can keep in mind:

1. Make sure your child eats and naps on time to avoid them from getting irritable enough to start biting.

2. Spend enough time with your child during the day and give them proper attention.

3. Through gestures or words like "No", or "Stop", try to make them understand that biting is wrong. This will discourage them to repeat it.

4. Try and distract the child's attention from biting by engaging your little one in other things like listening to music or playing.