My mother-in-law insists that rubbing whiskey on the gums of my teething infant is a grand idea. And most mothers have probably either heard this advice or taken this advice themselves. Apparently the whiskey works wonders in numbing sore gums.

Don’t mind me and my totally unprofessional opinion, but I find something sick and twisted about liquoring up my 6 month old. I’m sure the future holds many years of me trying to keep the kid away from the bottle (well … bottles with liquor in them). Why encourage the habit now? Perhaps my Irish heritage and family tree of alcoholics makes me uber sensitive to the notion of lathering my little Gumby with 80 proof, but the juxtaposition of a little tyke and liquor is certainly unsettling.

While many swear by the notion of using whiskey for pain relief, if you ask your pediatrician, they’ll probably tell you to keep the liquor in the cabinet and pick up Orajel or some other topical anesthetic. Of course, only you can parent your child and make that decision. So not to be biased, I’ll present both sides of the issue.

Side #1 – Alcohol plus baby equals freaky. (Plus, some experts caution parents to be wary of this age-old practice, as even small amounts of alcohol can be toxic to your tiny infant.)

Side #2 – You may have had whiskey placed on your gums, your parents probably had whiskey on their gums and you’ve all survived.