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BBSDTfamily's avatar

If your 14 month old was biting at daycare, how would you like it handled?

Asked by BBSDTfamily (6839points) May 5th, 2011

3 months ago my son was one of the kids being bitten several times a week and it broke my heart every time to see the marks on his arms. He’s now learned to start biting back and is one of the main biters in the room. Some days he won’t bite anyone, and then some days he bites 3 people! He is doing it out of frustration when someone takes a toy or any similar kind of “difficulty” he encounters.

When he was being bitten and not biting back, I was glad that they put the biting girl in a pack n play for most of the day. But now that the shoe is on the other foot, I get aggravated when my son gets put in “time out” in the pack n play after he bites. If it were for the widely suggested time of 1 minute per year of age of the child, I would be fine with it. But he’s being left in the pack n play for 20–45 minutes.

Has anyone worked at a daycare or dealt with this before? I understand he’s biting other children (fyi- he is NOT the only one biting) but does anyone else think that a 20–45 minute time out is a little harsh for a 14 month old??

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27 Answers

everephebe's avatar

Kids bite each other that’s life. 20–45mins sounds a bit harsh.

creative1's avatar

I am sorry to tell you this but that it is time to switch daycare centers if they are allowing any biting to go on like this. Both my children have been in daycare since newborns and my daughter has only been bitten once at daycare and that child was given a time out and the parents of the child were told. Biting shouldn’t be tolorated at all no matter the age and now your child has the problem that the others have. I would be looking at a new daycare facility myself and ask the question on how that is handled

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I don’t think biting all together can be avoided, but having 8–9 1 year olds to 1 teacher makes it impossible for them to watch what’s going on. I think they need more teachers in the room

creative1's avatar

here the ratio is 5 kids to 1 teacher so that makes a big difference in care

BBSDTfamily's avatar

That’s our ratio too before they’re 1 year, but after that it’s 9 to 1

BBSDTfamily's avatar

He isn’t biting at home, so it’s hard to try to handle this ourselves because he never bites us. Kind of hard to explain to a 1 year old unless you catch them doing it.

creative1's avatar

before they are 1 its actually 4 children to one teacher here

Supacase's avatar

Any daycare facility should be familiar enough with biting to know how to handle it properly. This place is completely dropping the ball, IMO. 20–45 minutes is ridiculous. They are putting him in there just so they don’t have to deal with the problem for a while and that is not okay. Have you talked to the administrator?

Another thought – are they telling him he is going in the pack & play as punishment for biting or are they just plopping him in there so he thinks it is playtime? I know he is young, but he is old enough for them to get “No” across.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@Supacase Yes and she says she’ll talk to the teachers but nothing changes. She told them not to leave him in over 10 minutes for time out (still too long in my opinion) and that they can put him in there while they’re changing all the diapers if there’s only 1 teacher because their back is turned while changing them. That takes about 20 minutes.

creative1's avatar

A proper time out is only 1 minute for each year of a childs age so 20–45 minutes is excessive for even a 20–45 year old

creative1's avatar

In my opinion I would start interviewing new daycares, I am sure you will find one more suitable than what is going on here. I had to move my daughters before because one of my daughters has delays and it was easier for them to just have her lay all day in her crib than to work with her. I figured it out because no matter what time I would go in there for different doctors appointments she would happen to be in her crib for a “supposed nap” I sent her early intervention person in as well and again she was in for nap whenever she went in so I moved them both and now she is making much more progress at the new facility I choose.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@creative1 Good for you, I’m glad they’re in a better facility. I’ve moved my son once already too. It’s just scary because I know there will always be something I dislike no matter where it is, so you never know if you’re leaving a bad situation for a worse one. The one he is at now is the most expensive in our city and supposedly the best!!

gorillapaws's avatar

I’d look into one of those shock collars. Disclaimer: I’m not a parent yet (if you couldn’t figure that out from my answer).

keobooks's avatar

It sounds like they are overcrowded. The teachers are dumping him into the Pack and Play so they have less kids on the floor to worry about. And to be honest, the kids are probably biting like that because they are frustrated with the situation. It’s probably very chaotic and frustrating for the kids—and maybe a little scary. Biting is a way to relieve stress and tension – not just . to get toys.

Rather than thinking of it as poor behavior from your child, think of it as a warning sign that the daycare is too crowded and stressful for her.

YARNLADY's avatar

I can’t answer for the day care, but at home, I hand them a chew toy and tell them that is for biting, DO NOT BITE PEOPLE. It worked for the kids and the dog too.

keobooks's avatar

Sorry I got the gender wrong halfway through.

@YARNLADY if he were the only biter in the class or he bit everywhere, not just in daycare, that might be something to consider. But I think he’s biting because he’s in a freaky scary place.

This is kind of embarassing, but I was in a similar situation when I was a kid, but much older. I was 3 and in daycare and for some reason, I was put in with the 4 – 5 year olds. They were much bigger and smarter than I was and it freaked me out. I refused to speak at daycare and I just crawled around on the floor, pretending to be a dog growling, barking and biting people.

I was very talkative and social everywhere else except for daycare. I never bit and my mom thought the teacher was lying when she told her what I did all day until she sneaked in and witnessed it. My mom pulled me out and I went to an in-home place with only a few other kids and suddenly, my biting problem vanished. I didn’t need any discipline or punishment. It just stopped happening when I wasn’t freaked out about being in a room full of big kids.

King_Pariah's avatar

Everyone eventually gave up on me and eventually I stopped biting

casheroo's avatar

I would not accept it if I were told my BABY were left for 20–45 minutes in a pack n play. I’d tell them to give him a teething toy, time out for no more than 1 minute, redirection. If they cannot handle the situation then you need to find a new provider.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I would have a problem with the class ratio and with the presence of pack and plays in a room with 14 month olds.

Pandora's avatar

I think being left behind is a waste of time. In 20 minutes most 14 months old will have long forgotten why they were there for. I would discuss this with them and discuss different ways to handle the situation. Yes, you can pull him out but you don’t want him going to another day care without resolving the problem. Also a minute out doesn’t work for every kid either. I use to have a child in daycare that always bit and he was a toddler. 2 minutes in time out did nothing and isolating him didn’t help much at first but after a while he did realize why he was being kept away from the others and did stop biting. However, he was 2 and not 14 months. Provided he is not a severe biter, I would talk to them using other means.
If the child was just developing this problem we would assign one care giver to the child for about 2 weeks. If the caregiver saw another child attempting to bite the biter child than they would see this child reprimanded. Also assigning one on one daycare would provide the child with instant correction. He or she would be stopped in the process and eventually they would lose interest in biting.

Cruiser's avatar

As hard as it would be to do I would immediately find a new day care or flip coins to see which parent stays home with the child instead!

jonsblond's avatar

^^what @Cruiser said. This is unacceptable.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@jonsblond What is acceptable to you? I want to go in with suggestions on Monday, not just complaints. So I’d like as much advice and suggestions for them as possible! Being a new mom, it is easy for them to make me feel like they know what they’re doing since they’ve ran a daycare for 15 years. Thanks!!

BBSDTfamily's avatar

What do you guys think about them putting him in the pack n play for about 20 minutes while the 1 teacher changes all of the diapers? She says if there is an incident, she can’t leave the child on the changing table to walk over and stop it.

My suggestion would be that they need to have a second teacher come in, but any other ideas?

keobooks's avatar

They DO need a second teacher, but probably can’t afford to hire one. Personally, I don’t think there should ever be only one teacher in a room full of toddlers or younger. Oh you could handle two by yourself, but I think even with just three or four you need a second person there. One person can change diapers, snarf out boogers with the syringe, give medicine, rock someone who is fussy or tantrumy and the other teacher can watch over the group. Toddlers really need one on one attention time that you can’t give with more than 2 kids in the room.

You may have to get distracted from the changing table to attend to another kid ar t ANY time—not just the biter. What if one of the students suddenly fell down and hurt themselves or had a seizure? What if a bee came in through the window and all the toddlers started freaking out? What if a kid suddenly puked or had a diaper blow out that was leaking on the floor? Stuff happens when you have little ones, and the smaller they are, the more help they need to deal with it.

She’s tossing kids in the pack and play because she needs a second pair of eyes and hands and doesn’t have it. This worries me for a number of reasons. Unless you have a pack and play for every kid, you can’t make sure nothing happens to the semi-unsupervised kids while you’re changing a diaper or whatever. The biting is just one thing she knows is more likely to happen, but the other stuff can easily happen .. and some of my examples aren’t too far out there.

Another reason your daycare situation disturbs me is because it sounds stressful for the day care worker. And when they get stressed out, they may be good and have a perfect record for 10 – 15 years. But all it takes is ONE really bad day after a long sleepless night and one especially needy, whiny or cranky kid—and the teacher is alone without someone to help her with backup—and she could blow a gasket and hurt someone.

I think a lot of those daycare abuse stories you here aren’t from terrible daycares that had horrible conditions. They mostly come from good people who meant well, but snapped and made a terrible mistake. When you’re working with at least one other adult, they can keep you in check and tell you to go take a 15 minute break and get yourself and your temper in check. People who work with large numbers of small kids REALLY need this.

Cruiser's avatar

@BBSDTfamily You are swimming upstream against a day care center that has a set system of providing relatively healthy and affordable care for your child. You want something better, find a different center, hire a nanny or stay home…pretty simple!!

skfinkel's avatar

From my point of view, time outs for an child just over one is completely unacceptable. Children need attention at this age, and it sounds like this place is unable to give your son the attention he needs. It could be the number of children in the space, or it could be a lack of adults to children, or whatever, it is not a place where he is thriving. This is too important an age of development to be put in a crib when he isn’t sleeping. Who wouldn’t bite?

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