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 wasn’t convinced it wasn’t 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 one—at least not for teething. Now, if I’d 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 friends’ babies wearing amber and I bluntly asked, “Does that really work? I see them all the time but I never know if they’re just a bunch of nonsense…” The moms—people I trusted—assured me that the necklaces really did make a difference, so I purchased one as soon as I could. It’s 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 weren’t 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 I’d forget about it for days at a time. Still, though, we weren’t really sure if it was helping or not and I wasn’t convinced it wasn’t just an old wives’ 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 doesn’t really cry when he’s upset, he screams and yells and screeches. He usually does it because he’s 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 hadn’t 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 they’d 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 I’m a convert. Baltic Amber teething jewelry seems to work for our son. And it’s such an easy fix, too!
If you’ve never tried amber jewelry or you’ve tried it and it hasn’t worked, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
SafetyThe jewelry shouldn’t be worn without adult supervision. I removed my son’s bracelet as soon as he discovered it and started grabbing it and chewing on it. Now that he’s using the necklace, I don’t let him sleep in it as a precaution against strangulation. Actually, he doesn’t wear it unless he’s 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 baby’s 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 baby’s 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 don’t always trust science because there is only so much that can be measured scientifically. I’m more apt to trust thousands of years of generations of people using the amber.
Is it real?If you’ve tried amber and it hasn’t worked it’s either because it just doesn’t 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 I’ve bought from them and worked with them for about four years now. Personally, I’ve decided that the benefits of using amber teething jewelry outweigh the risks—especially since I’ve taken steps to eliminate those risks through constant vigilance. Our son doesn’t wear it all the time now that it’s around his neck, but we do keep it handy for him to wear when the going gets tough. Once he’s old enough that he’s not putting things in his mouth, I’m definitely considering having him wear it all the time, as it’s 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!