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Parenting Tips: 6-8 Months

While playing together, your baby suddenly bites your arm. What do you do?

DON’T

  1. Don’t bite back. Many parents think this will teach the baby not to bite, but babies don’t understand that their biting causes you pain and vice-versa. The only result is that you both hurt, and your relationship will suffer.

DO

  1. Pull the baby away and firmly say, “No biting. Biting hurts.”
  2. Show alternative behavior such as hugging.
  3. Give babies who are teething something soft to bite.

Babies babble, scream, hit, cry, and bite to communicate their needs. They touch and explore to learn about their bodies and the environment, not to hurt or willfully disobey. We need to limit behavior which is dangerous or hurts others, but not in a way which frightens or harms the baby. Our goal is to help our babies show their feelings without hurting themselves or others.

  1. Watch for signals and learn to tell when your baby is overexcited or upset.
  2. Show babies how to express their needs in different ways, such as clapping or laughing.
  3. Be consistent in your responses.

From “Good Kids, Bad Behavior” by Jonathan Brush, PhD, MD