Amber Teething Jewelry, Does it really work? The Verdict is In!
I never used Baltic amber with my daughter. I considered it, but I just never got around to it. Also, I wasnít convinced it wasnít some weird, hippy superstition thing. She never seemed to need it either, now that I think of it. Her first teeth came in at around nine months of age and they came slowly and without too much drama. I think that by the time I discovered amber teething necklaces, there really was just no reason to get her oneóat least not for teething. Now, if Iíd known about it when she was a newborn, I might have used amber to try to combat the ever mysterious colic that was our constant companion until she was about 3 months old. After the colic left her, though, she was a pretty happy baby most of the time.
My son was different. He had his first amber bracelet by the time he was six weeks old. I saw a couple of my friendsí babies wearing amber and I bluntly asked, ďDoes that really work? I see them all the time but I never know if theyíre just a bunch of nonsenseÖĒ The momsópeople I trustedóassured me that the necklaces really did make a difference, so I purchased one as soon as I could. Itís one thing to hear from strangers on the Internet that something works, but hearing it in person from someone you know personally is a much more persuasive argument.
My son is generally a more easy going baby than his sister was, but since I knew about the benefits of Baltic amber early on, I actually had a reason to use it for him. At around 2 weeks of age, he developed acid reflux that gave him screaming fits a couple of times a day that were only assuaged by pacing, bouncing, and rocking. After trying every natural method to fix it (my diet, block nursing, constant nursing, elevated head when sleeping, etc), we decided there was no using fighting meds when his pediatrician offered them and we put him on Zantac. Shortly after this, we got him an amber necklace (thanks to the above mentioned testimonials of some friends) which we wrapped around his ankle and kept under a sock. We werenít actually sure if it ever helped him with his reflux because there were so many other factors involved, but we kept it on him just in case. Shortly after buying him the necklace I decided I preferred a bracelet until he was older so I purchased one. Again, this was stuck around his ankle almost all of the time under a sock. Soon, I switched the ankle for his arm, hoisting the bracelet up past his elbow. It actually stayed up there most of the time with no problem to the point that Iíd forget about it for days at a time. Still, though, we werenít really sure if it was helping or not and I wasnít convinced it wasnít just an old wivesí tale passed on from one natural parent to another.
One day just before Baby Bear was six months old, I noticed that he was particularly fussy. He doesnít really cry when heís upset, he screams and yells and screeches. He usually does it because heís frustrated about not getting something into his mouth just so, or because he has rolled into a place in the living room from which he cannot escape on his own. On this day, though, it was more than that. He was just in a grumpy mood. I realized after a couple of hours that his bracelet had fallen off during daycare and I hadnít put it back on. I grabbed it, replaced it, and within an hour it seemed he had calmed down. The next day, I discovered that his first tooth had just broken through. It happened again a few weeks later. In the church nursery he found the bracelet and began chewing on it so the volunteers removed it (they actually told me theyíd assumed his big sister had been playing dress≠ up with him). Again, I got home and forgot to replace the bracelet, and he was screaming and fussing again. I got his necklace this time and things calmed down within an hour.
And that was it. It took us six months to discover it, but now Iím a convert. Baltic Amber teething jewelry seems to work for our son. And itís such an easy fix, too!
If youíve never tried amber jewelry or youíve tried it and it hasnít worked, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
SafetyThe jewelry shouldnít be worn without adult supervision. I removed my sonís bracelet as soon as he discovered it and started grabbing it and chewing on it. Now that heís using the necklace, I donít let him sleep in it as a precaution against strangulation. Actually, he doesnít wear it unless heís being supervised. Beads around his neck just make me a little bit too nervous. However, the necklaces are designed to break if enough pressure is put on them that they would tighten and strangle your child. Also, the beads are individually knotted so that if the necklace does break, only one bead will fall off, minimizing the choking hazard.
The beads are not meant to be chewed. Amber jewelry is not like any other teething remedies that go into the babyís mouth. The idea is that the succinic acid in the amber (which is a resin, not a stone) is analgesic and gets absorbed into your babyís skin having a calming effect. Thus, for maximum benefit, it needs to be worn against the skin, not ingested orally.
There are differing opinions on whether or not the jewelry actually works. I have yet to find a scientific study that says it does, but I also donít always trust science because there is only so much that can be measured scientifically. Iím more apt to trust thousands of years of generations of people using the amber.
Is it real?If youíve tried amber and it hasnít worked itís either because it just doesnít work for your baby or because you have fake amber. A quick Internet search will revel a couple of tests that can be done to test whether or not your necklace is real. The best way, however, to be sure you have the real stuff is to do you research and buy from a reputable site. I bought both my bracelet and necklace from Diaper Junction and I trust them since Iíve bought from them and worked with them for about four years now. Personally, Iíve decided that the benefits of using amber teething jewelry outweigh the risksóespecially since Iíve taken steps to eliminate those risks through constant vigilance. Our son doesnít wear it all the time now that itís around his neck, but we do keep it handy for him to wear when the going gets tough. Once heís old enough that heís not putting things in his mouth, Iím definitely considering having him wear it all the time, as itís purported not only to be beneficial for teething babies, but for kids and adults of all ages.
To shop for Baltic Amber Teething Necklaces please check out the great selection at Diaper Junction!