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Does alcohol help with teething problems? Maybe- but it’s definitely not recommended.
OP’s mother and a good number of online forum users think so. OP let her mother use this “teething pain solution” on her baby. She thinks she is not in the wrong, but her husband is now completely mad about it. Who is overreacting?
Following Some Very Old School Advice
The original poster (OP), a 28-year-old woman, is a first-time mom. Her 6-month-old daughter has been teething horribly.
So, recently, OP went to her mother’s house, and they started discussing OP’s baby’s teething problems. OP admits that her mother is old-fashioned and still does many old-fashioned things. For instance, she says her mother is into natural home remedies and herbs.
When OP said her daughter was having teething issues, her mother wanted to rub whiskey on the baby’s gums. She said she had done the same when OP and her three siblings were younger.
Now, OP is a first-time mother, and it’s very understandable that she turns to her mother for advice. So OP let her mother proceed with the whiskey rubbing.
“Not on My Daughter…”
OP says the whiskey seemed to have calmed down the baby’s gums. When she got home, she told her husband about it, and he went feral. He said the alcohol was harmful to their daughter and did not relieve any pain. He was so upset that he said OP couldn’t take the baby to her mother anymore.
He even took a step further and asked for two off days from work just to watch how OP takes care of their daughter.
Online Users Weigh In
When I first read this post, I was like, “Whiskey on a babbyyyy???” I, however, was pleasantly surprised that alcohol was used to soothe babies’ gums, at least until the 60s.
But just because it was a thing then, does it mean it’s safe? Was OP right for letting it happen? Here is what Redditors think.
One commenter thinks OP is wrong for letting it happen, “YTA.(you are the ***hole) Um, don’t give your 6-month-old alcohol? Doctors practice and study this stuff for a reason. I understand you’re a new mom who made a mistake, but it’s common sense to seek a doctor if something seems wrong with you or your kid. Seems a bit fair he would be paranoid, considering he is also a new father.”
Another commenter who was also against OP said, “Gentle YTA. You’re 28, you have your child, and YOU are responsible for their well-being. A quick Google search would have told you this probably wasn’t the best idea. I understand your husband completely, and you should respect the boundary he has set until he feels comfortable again. They could have called a pediatrician or a pharmacist. There are so many options here that weren’t used.”
Another had something to say about the ancient use of alcohol on babies, “As I recall, rubbing alcohol on a baby’s gums when teething was somewhat normal in the 1950s and 1960s (and maybe even after that). Worked like a charm, I’m told. I assumed it had a numbing effect, but apparently, it gets the kid slightly inebriated, so they don’t notice the pain. Luckily, along came Anbesol, and no more need to get the kid buzzed. Anyway, I’d say NTA. You assumed your mother had some clue about what she was doing, she had used that technique on you, and you (presumably) are no worse for the experience, and it is unlikely to have caused any permanent damage. Probably should try some other non-alcoholic remedy in the future, though.”
And lastly, one commenter who had OP’s back said, “NTA. You made a bad judgment call here, and many people will come charging in on their high horses to tell you what a horrible mother you are like they’ve never messed up before. Don’t worry about them. You’re a first-time mom, so you’ll naturally listen to your mother when she tries to give you advice. It’s natural to look to our elders for guidance and to trust them.”
Is OP wrong for letting her mother use whiskey on her daughter? Is her husband’s reaction valid?