Upon having kids, I embarked on a natural parenting journey and drugs were no longer an option for my family. So when my son began teething, we needed to find a drug and alcohol-free solution to soothe his aching gums. Luckily for us, we quickly found it in the form of a beautiful Baltic amber teething necklace.
"How does it work?" is the question most commonly asked by curious mamas and papas. Amber beads are made from tree resin which supposedly has natural anti-inflammatory properties and when placed next to the child’s skin—especially on a body part that creates heat such as around the neck—the amber resin is thought to be released from the stones and absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream. This anti-inflammatory agent may calm common teething symptoms such as fever, red cheeks and sore gums. And in case you were wondering, the beads are individually knotted between each bead for safety in case they break and scatter—which, by the way, has never happened to us despite it being pulled and chewed on continuously.
So does it really work? In my experience the baby still drools lots and chews on things but their level of discomfort is greatly reduced. Depending on when your child starts to teeth, the necklace is best placed on the child before any symptoms have started showing. We gave our babies their necklace to wear at around three months and actual teething started around four to five months. Most children will probably not require one until closer to six months of age.
With our first child, we made the mistake of removing the necklace when we saw most of the teeth had come through. However it's those last teeth, the molars, which cause the most pain so be sure to keep the necklace on through the entire teething process.
Another common question of concerned parents is whether it's safe to wear all the time. I'll start this by saying this is a decision only you can make for yourself. On the one hand, the body does most of its healing at night time and on the other, many babies are left alone unattended at night and need to be safeguarded.
The way we ensure our little one remains safe during sleep while wearing an amber necklace is to co-sleep in the same bed or room. If you don't do this, you may feel more comfortable wrapping the necklace around a less vulnerable body part such as an ankle or wrist. I personally haven't heard of a single story where the amber necklaces have caused danger by suffocation or any other hazard, but that doesn't mean it's an impossibility.
The final advantage of the amber necklace is, like many natural alternatives, it’s completely side effect-free and didn't leave our children feeling dozy or unwell in any way. For a small investment, I believe it’s totally worth a try. At worst you'll be left with a very beautiful accessory. And at best, you and your child won't be stuck in teething hell.