When Toddlers Bite
A guide to understanding and curbing this upsetting (but normal) toddler behavior
Why It's Normal
"I usually explain to families that biting is an outcropping of children exploring their surroundings -- trying to taste things like toys. It becomes more of a social problem when they try to bite other kids," explains Dr. Paul Horowitz, a pediatrician at Discovery Pediatrics in Valencia, California. "It may be because another child took something, or out of frustration or anger, or it's the terrible two's and other kind of acting out -- they don't have the language necessary to express themselves, so they hit, have a tantrum, or they bite." So, for most children, once they gain the vocabulary necessary to express themselves, the likelihood that they will bite decreases.