How to Stop Twins From Biting Each Other

Joe Rawlinson by Joe Rawlinson - April 25, 2017

Here is a question from Justin. He says he has 20-month-old boy/girl twins, and he says the biggest issue right now is biting. “Do you have any advice on how to keep them from biting each other? That would be great.”

Stop Twins from Biting Each Other

Biting is a challenge with any kid, of course. But particularly twins because they’re usually playing together, or spending time together and it’s much easier for them to want to reach out and bite each other. So when our twins would bite each other, we would stop the behavior, we would verbally explain that biting was not acceptable, and then we would redirect the offending twin into another activity. And this worked okay for us as long as we were consistent in our enforcement.

Testing Limits

Of course your twins are going to start to look for the limits of your discipline, and they’ll start to challenge that. But if you are consistent in the actions that you take as a parent to counteract their bad behavior they’ll start to seek attention in other ways.

Find the Why

Try to identify why your twins are biting in the first place. Are they teething? Do they want attention? Is it triggered by something that’s happening in your home or the actions of others? And then try to address the root cause instead of just the symptom of biting. But of course when your child is biting the other child, you definitely have to stop their behavior, because it’s not acceptable and can clearly cause distress for the other child.

Communication

Encourage your twins to use their words to express what they want, if they want to share, or if they need some help, or if someone is doing something that doesn’t make them happy. Now even at a very young age they may not have words because they can’t talk yet.

We taught our kids basic baby signs so they could express themselves a little bit. And that helped us communicate with them much earlier than we would have otherwise. So that may be an option you want to consider. Teach them some basic baby signs so they can express when they want something, when they want more of something, or when they’re done with something. It’s going to help mitigate frustrations that they have in communicating and deter biting as well.

(RELATED: Check out the Dad's Guide to Twins Youtube channel for additional helpful twin tips and tricks videos.)

This topic was originally addressed on the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Episode 64: Organizing Preparations, Other Children, Biting.

Picture by Donnie Ray Jones

Further Reading

Dad's Guide to Raising Twins book
Don't forget to pick up a copy of the definitive guide to raising twins. "Dad's Guide to Raising Twins" was written for fathers of twins to help guide you through the first several years with twins. Click here to learn more about the book and get your copy.

2 thoughts on “How to Stop Twins From Biting Each Other”

  1. I’m wondering about how to handle hair pulling with my 3 yr old identical girls. It is constant and it breaks my heart bc they will pull out clumps of hair. Thanks in advance.
    Michellw

    Reply

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