Dad calls out trolls who criticize him for marrying woman 'who looks exactly like his daughter'

A woman with a teething baby claims her husband was “furious” after she allowed her mum to rub whiskey on her six-month-old daughter’s gums.
A dad was left “furious” after his mother-in-law rubbed whiskey on his six-month-old daughter’s gums as an “old fashioned” remedy for teething.

But some have argued the man’s response was a “red flag”, and the most concerning part of the story.

In a post on Reddit’s “Am I the A**hole” forum, the baby’s 28-year-old first-time mother described the situation and asked whether she was in the wrong.

She said she was at her mother’s house with their baby, who is “teething horribly”.

“My mum does some old [fashioned] 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.”

But the woman said when she got home and told her husband “he was furious”.

“He said that’s harmful to our daughter and it does not relieve any pain,” she wrote.

“He got really upset and said I shouldn’t [have] 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 overwhelmingly say parents should never give whiskey or other alcohol to teething babies, Reddit users were divided on the topic.

“[You’re the a**hole], yeah,” one wrote.

“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’.”

But the second most popular reply said the woman had done nothing 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 person came down in the middle saying she made a “bad judgment call” but that it was natural to take advice from her own mother.

“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.”

But they warned that the husband’s reaction was more concerning.
“Honestly, if this is how your husband is reacting, that’s a red flag,” they wrote.

“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 agreed, 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 added, “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?”

Writing for CNN in 2008, paediatrician Dr Jennifer Shu said whiskey was a no-no.

“Although past generations of parents have used brandy or whiskey to soothe teething pain, no amount of alcohol is thought to be safe for infants so resist any urges you may have to follow in that tradition,” she said.

Dr Amos Grunebaum, writing for the website BabyMed in 2020, concurred that the “age-old remedy is definitely not recommended by doctors”.

“Alcohol is bad for babies because it slows down their systems,” he said.

“Babies are constantly growing rapidly, so any slowing could cause serious developmental problems and defects.

“When adults drink alcohol, it has temporary negative effects, but since they are full-grown, it can’t cause any permanent harm at that moment. Babies cannot make up for the lost time of development when they consume alcohol though.”

Dr Grunebaum said parents should instead “try applying a cold washcloth to the gums or even massaging them and applying pressure with your fingers”.

“Anything cold will help numb the sore areas, and teething toys work even better after spending time in the fridge,” he said.

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