Parent’s Guide to Amber Teething Necklace
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This article is your amber bead necklace review.
If you’re wondering should you use amber beads on your child?
Are amber beads even safe to use? …do they even work? We’re going to cover all of this and then some.
When your baby starts teething it’s probably going to suck for all involved.
Your baby’s going to be uncomfortable which of course means you’re going to get uncomfortable.
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When Do Babies Start Teething?
Babies generally start teething somewhere between 4 to 6 months.
While this may happen a little earlier or later, the only real good indicator is based on you and your spouse’s family history.
When your baby’s teeth does start coming in, generally the front teeth are the first ones to start coming in.
Don’t be alarmed if the first tooth doesn’t come in till 18 months.
But if your toddler doesn’t have any teeth by then, you might want to see a dentist (source).
Symptoms of a Teething Baby
When your baby starts the teething process it’s likely they’re going to experience at least one of the following symptoms (source).
1. Excessive Drooling
I’m sure by now you’ve noticed that your baby is drooling a lot….A LOT!
Just in case you didn’t hear me the first time…A LOT!!!
What we’ve had to do (at the advice of one of the daycare workers) is to have a bib around him pretty much on a regular basis.
Before that, it got to a point where we were changing outfits non-stop.
2. Rash Around Mouth and Chin
All that drooling is likely to cause a rash around the mouth and chin.
Try to wipe off the drooling as much as possible.
The discomfort going on in your baby’s mouth is going to want to cause him or her to start chewing on things.
If you’re breastfeeding, this could mean sore nipples.
4. Irritability and Crying
The default reaction whenever a baby gets uncomfortable is to become irritable and start crying.
Natural Teething Remedies
This brings us to our main topic which is the Baltic Amber beads.
Many parents see these teething necklace as a natural alternative to treat the symptoms of a teething baby.
Honestly, I didn’t even know these things existed till about a week ago.
After I found out about them, I started looking into them because if nothing else it’s quite interesting.
From what I’ve seen and read there appears to be a great divide.
Parents are either singing its praise.
Or parents (and other organizations) are calling them a danger to babies everywhere.
Such a big divide.
History of Baltic Amber Beads
Baltic Amber itself has actually been around for hundreds of years and has been used as long.
It’s classified as a fossil resin. Fossil resin is pretty self-explanatory; it’s formed by dead trees.
Specifically pine trees in northern Europe around the Baltic Sea (source).
I won’t bore you too much with the details I found a site that gives you all of that if you’re interested in reading it.
But to shorten the history lesson, it became a popular item and was at one time heavily traded due to its high value.
Eventually, medicinal uses were discovered for baltic beads.
What Makes Baltic Amber Special
Baltic Amber is not really what parents praise. Instead, it’s the compound succinic acid that’s in it.
The succinic acid itself is actually found in a lot of the medications sold (source).
Succinic acid is claimed to have some effects such as stimulating recovery of the neural system and boosting the immune system.
How Does The Amber Teething Necklaces Work
The amber necklaces are supposed to work by your baby wearing the piece of jewelry around their neck.
Let me repeat this your baby WEARS the bracelet NOT chew on it.
As the Baltic amber beads warm naturally from body heat, small amounts of the succinic acid are released onto the skin.
The succinic acid is absorbed through the skin.
At least in theory that’s how they’re supposed to work.
Does Amber Teething Beads Actually Work?
Based on the overwhelming confirmation we got from the mom’s we know and from our limited use of it, I would have to say it appears to be doing something.
Momma Goose Baroque Teething Necklace
If you’re wondering which Baltic Amber Teething Necklace we bought, it’s this one.
We bought this brand Baltic Amber Teething Necklace: Momma Goose Amber Teething Necklace.
But I say this with a lot of reservations because when it comes to…
Do We Recommend Amber Teething Necklaces
We would have to say
I’m going to get to all the reasons below.
I will warn you. It might seem like I’m talking from both sides of my mouth. But I think it will show how conflicted this type of issue can be.
Why We Wouldn’t Recommend The Amber Teething Necklace
There are several reasons why we wouldn’t necessarily recommend these teething necklaces. We’ll start with the very basic.
1. Jewelry for Babies is a Big No-No
Jewelry is not recommended for babies for multiple reasons. For starters, it’s a big strangulation risk and a choking risk as well.
For those reasons…
2. Multiple Health and Government Organizations Recommend Not Using it
Various organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics warn against using any form of jewelry marketed towards pain relief in infants.
Those organizations usually site the risks of strangulation and choking as one of the main reasons for not recommending baltic beads.
Or any jewelry on newborns for that matter.
They also don’t recommend them because
3. There’s No Research to Support Baltic Beads Teething Effects
There’s no empirical research I can find that shows Baltic Amber teething necklaces actually work.
Whatever results parents are saying they have experienced are purely subjective or anecdotal.
4. Subjective Results
Because there’s no actual research done on the effects of Baltic Teething Beads we’re left to rely on the subjective feelings of parents.
As parents when our kids are hurting we like to feel like we’re doing something.
Buying these beads, which everybody says works and is “all-natural,” could just be one more thing as parents we try to do to help.
Unfortunately, sometimes the best thing to do is nothing.
Just because every parent is using them and claims its effectiveness doesn’t make it effective or safe for that matter.
Lastly, not everything “all-natural” is safe similar to not everything “made in a lab” is dangerous.
The last point I’ll add is…
5. There’s News of a Baby Getting Hurt Using the Amber teething necklace
The story involves a toddler who died in California of strangulation from wearing an amber teething ring (source).
Actually, I take that back. I have a couple more points to make.
6. Succinic Acid is a Skin Irritant
This might not be as big of a deal, but it’s one of the things that I do think about.
In certain quantities, succinic acid is classified as a skin and eye irritant (source).
7. You Could Get Ripped-Off
Even if they do work finding a merchant that sells the real deal could be difficult.
Products like these are the dreams of scam and rip-off artists everywhere.
I did find some articles that talked about how to test to make sure you have real Baltic amber.
One method talks about putting the necklace on something hot and seeing if you can smell pine.
Another one I saw mentioned something about static electricity and cloth or something like that.
I don’t know… the whole thing is annoying to me.
We have not attempted testing the necklace we own. I don’t plan on it either.
So for all I know I’m sitting on a fake one.
The merchant said it was real so I’ll take their word on it. At this point, we haven’t even gotten to “raw” versus polished “amber.”
Apparently, you want the raw amber that’s not polished.
This is because the succinic acid can become sealed inside the bead during the polishing process.
If it’s sealed inside the beads less of the succinic acid, if any, will come out. More things you have to think about.
Recommended Remedies for Baby Teething
If you’re like me, everything I’ve listed might have convinced you not to use them.
Which might lead you to wonder if there are other safe alternatives to help a teething baby (source & source)
1. Teething Rings or other chew toys.
Make sure they’re in one piece to avoid choking and do NOT dip them in sugar or any other sweet substance
The baby teether we use is the Sophie La Girafe.
It’s expensive, but man does our little guy like it. I think it has to do with the softness of the material it’s made from.
2. Cold teething rings.
You can have the item be on the chill side to help children ease the baby’s pain and swelling.
Make sure it’s not frozen.
3. Massage sore gums.
With a clean hand, you can gently massage the gum of your child (definitely not my favorite)
The American Academy of Pediatrics does recommend speaking with your physician about possibly using medication like baby Tylenol to help.
They do NOT recommend topical benzocaine or lidocaine gels or creams.
Why Do Some Parents use Baltic Amber Beads
We’ll play devil’s advocate for a second.
There are several reasons why some parents do choose to use or try Baltic amber beads. We’re just going to cover a handful of reasons.
1. Other Parents Swear By It
There’s seems to be a ton of parents you know personally or online that swear they actually work.
2. There’s No Research That Says It Doesn’t Work
As stated above there’s no scientific research that backs the efficacy of Baltic amber beads in relieving baby teething pains.
At the same time, we haven’t been able to find research that says it doesn’t work either.
So to some parents, the anecdotal (information based on other parents experiences) research is enough.
3. It’s “All Natural”
For the natural momma or daddy or parents in general who are all about natural products, this would fit that.
It’s a natural substance in a pure form.
I’m Willing to Take My Chances
So you’ve heard all of this, and you’re like I’m willing to take a chance on them”.
If you’re willing to take a chance on Amber beads here are some things to keep in mind
Using an Amber Teething Necklace
Make sure you’re supervising your child: When your child is wearing the bracelet you want to make sure you can see them at all times.
Your baby doesn’t chew on these: Remember these beads are for wearing and not for chewing.
Remove the necklace when he or she is sleeping: Make sure to remove the necklace when your baby is sleeping for the night or taking a nap.
Make sure the beads fit appropriately: When using the baltic necklace you want to make sure it fits your baby appropriately.
You don’t want it too tight.
You also don’t want it too loose either.
It will depend on your baby’s size.
Remove the necklace when he or she is at daycare: Many daycares have rules against wearing jewelry already. In case they don’t, go ahead and make your own rule.
Get the necklace that the individual beads are tied: This way if the necklace were to snap off ideally all the beads wouldn’t just fall off.
Make sure the amber necklace has a breakaway clasp: For safety reasons and to prevent strangulation and choking make sure the clasp is breakaway.
That way if the baby tugs on it it’ll…”breakaway.”
Avoid getting the beads wet: From what I’ve seen you’re not supposed to get the beads wet because it could lessen the effects of the Baltic Amber.
Use common sense: Ultimately you have to make a decision that you’re comfortable with, but you want to make sure that you’re using common sense in the process and lastly…
Ask your pediatrician if you have any questions: Your primary care is a great resource to ask questions on any problems that might arise.
As we’ve stated there are many reasons why parents probably shouldn’t use Baltic amber beads.
Even with the warnings of multiple health organizations and lack of scientific research, many parents continue to use and boast about how well the Baltic amber beads work in relieving baby teething pains.
As always parents shouldn’t take one internet article at face value.
Instead, they should consult many and ask questions to their primary care provider for all health-related questions and issues.
Ultimately the decision is up to each parent to make the best choice for themselves and their family.
Products Mentioned in this Article
The Baltic Amber teething necklace we bought: Momma Goose Amber Teething Necklace
The recommended baby teether we use and like: Sophie La Girafe.
Have you used baltic amber beads? If so what are your experiences?
Don’t forget to share the article so we can educate others. Please and thank you.
I agree with you on this one. So many I think jumped on the wagon. But the idea of something around my 6 month olds neck makes me uncomfortable, no matter how close I watch him.
We are going through our first round of teething right now. So far what’s really helped us is frozen washcloths and baby orajel. It’s non medicated, but gives them a cooling sensation. (I tried it on myself first haha)
I found your article interesting and very informative of both sides. Thanks for sharing!
Hey Justine, glad you found the article helpful. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.