A dad has been left “furious” after learning his mother-in-law had rubbed whiskey on his six-month-old daughter’s gums as an “old fashioned” remedy for teething.
Some have pointed out that the father’s response is a “red flag”, and perhaps the most concerning part of the story.
Posting on Reddit’s “Am I the A**hole” forum, the baby’s 28-year-old first-time mother described the ordeal and asked whether she was in the wrong.
She said she was at her mother’s house with her daughter, who is “teething horribly”.
“My mum does some old fashion things and she’s really into herbs and natural healing and such, so she wanted to try rubbing whiskey on my daughter’s gums,” she wrote.
“She said she did it to me and all three of my siblings. I let her, and it did seem to calm my daughter down a bit.”
She told her husband when she got home and said “he was furious”.
“He said that’s harmful to our daughter and it does not relieve any pain,” she continued.
“He got really upset and said I shouldn’t let my mum do something like that, and told me I couldn’t bring our daughter to my mother’s anymore.
“He’s since called the next two days off of work, and is super paranoid watching me every second with our daughter. I feel this is unfair.”
While experts emphasise parents should never give whiskey or any other alcohol to teething babies, Reddit users had differing opinions.
One wrote, “You’re the a**hole, yeah.”
“I mean, you know alcohol is unsafe. It also happens not to work as a topical analgesic – if the baby quietens down, it’s because of the general sedative effect of alcohol. I think it’s hilarious how your mother conflates the use of a well understood but completely inappropriate drug with ‘herbs and natural healing’.”
The second most popular reply said the woman was not in the wrong.
“A tiny drop of alcohol on someone’s finger is absolutely not sedating a baby and is in no way harmful,” the user wrote.
“Alcohol absolutely does have a numbing effect and is used topically for infants and adults with toothache as well. It’s absurd to get up in arms over something so mundane and he’s treating her like she allowed the baby to drink shots or something. I swear this sub is off the rails lately. Is it just solely populated by teenagers now?”
A third chimed in, saying she made a “bad judgement call” but it was natural to take her own mother’s advice.
“It’s natural to look to our elders for guidance and to trust them,” they wrote.
“While many mothers (including my own) have used this method, we know a lot more about these older ‘tried and true’ remedies these days … You’re not some monster that’s going to harm your child.”
Others expressed that the husband’s reaction was worse than the old-fashioned teething remedy.
“Honestly, if this is how your husband is reacting, that’s a red flag,” they said.
“He’s right, it doesn’t relieve pain, and if you were to start doing it regularly, yeah, it can be harmful. However, it was a one-time thing that you told him about, and now you know not to do it again.
“He shouldn’t be acting like it was a conspiracy to intentionally hurt your daughter.”
Another user had the same opinion, writing, “Her husband literally took two days off work to micromanage parenting because of this? That’s excessive. It’s called having a conversation between two adults, saying, ‘We shouldn’t do this again’, and moving on!”
A third said, “Your husband’s response is actually the most concerning part of this post … taking off work multiple days to ‘watch over’ your wife over something like this.
“This should have been an easy discussion about how that’s not the right way to handle teething and then move on.
“This isn’t real a big deal, the damage done to the child was literally zero. If this is how something like this is handled how are things that matter going to handled?”
Image credit: Shutterstock
This article first appeared on Over60.