We all know that when babies teethe that things can be tough for all involved. One first time mother, to save confusion, let’s call her Bethany, sought advice from her mum, let’s call them Silvia on how Silvia used to handle Bethany and her siblings while they were teething. Silvia explained that when Bethany was young, she used to rub whisky on her their gums while they were teething as it was an accepted and recommended practice that seemed to provide relief to babies at the time. Silvia offered and rubbed some whiskey on Bethany’s 6-month-old, and it seemed to help! But when Bethany told her husband about it that night, her husband was FURIOUS! Saying that it’s harmful to their daughter, that it doesn’t relieve any pain and now doesn’t trust his wife around their baby.
“I 28f am a first-time mom. My husband and I have a 6-month-old baby who is teething horribly. I was at my mother’s home a few days ago and was speaking to her about the teething issues. My mom 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 said she did it to me and all 3 of my siblings. I let her, and it did seem to calm my daughter down a bit.
When I got home, I told my husband about this, and he was furious. He said that’s harmful to our daughter and it does not relieve any pain. He got really upset and said I shouldn’t of let my mom do something like that, and told me I couldn’t bring our daughter to my mother’s anymore.
He’s since called the next 2 days off of work and is super paranoid watching me every second with our daughter. I feel this is unfair.”
As first-time mum’s, we’ve had the experience of feeling like we’re in the dark a lot of the time, fumbling around until we (maybe) find our way out with the little bits of information we’ve picked up from time to time. We understand that sometimes, mums don’t know all the information there is out there and can make bad judgement calls, especially with older practices. When these older and outdated practices are recommended by your own mother who says that they did the same thing when you were a baby, it drops your guard and makes you more receptive to something that might otherwise seem absurd.
The husband’s reaction to this scenario seems to be an extravagant one. They’ve had a conversation, discussed that it was a bad mistake and that it wouldn’t happen again, so to ban Bethany from taking their daughter to visit Silvia and then taking 2 days off work to babysit Bethany’s parenting practices seems absurd and a little bit toxic.
Some places around the world now offer grandparenting classes for the older generations, so they have a chance to unlearn the practices that they believed to be safe when raising their own children and replace these dangerous practices with more up to date and safer methods.
We do want to stress that we do not recommend rubbing whiskey on your babies’ gums. The science behind this “tried and true” method has shown that it does damage to your baby’s gums, doesn’t provide relief of pain and we want to stress that no amount of alcohol is safe for babies. We also understand that everyone makes mistakes and science is constantly evolving to bring new information for everyone. If you’re not sure about something, there’s someone out there who has encountered the same issue and may be able to give you some advice, but it’s always worth googling whether these methods and practices are recommended and considered safe for your baby since their safety and wellbeing is of the utmost importance.
We want to know your thoughts on the husband’s reaction. Do you think this was justified? Is the wife the arsehole for putting their baby in danger and allowing her babies grandma to rub whisky on their gums? For the full story, click here.