Parts of this post have been published before on my personal blog, but I thought I would be good to share here too.
We started using an amber teething necklace on our son a year ago. As he started wearing it before any symptoms of teething occurred it is hard to say if it has helped. My first child breezed through teething without a tear, the second was miserable and not knowing any different he was offered several pain relieving methods of the non-natural kind. With Ben he has been a little grumpy at times, but overall he is content, so I would like to think that the necklace has helped.
Australia is one of the last countries to 'cotton on' to baltic amber being used to ease and calm babies and children through teething. Across Europe and many other countries babies wear these special necklaces from birth. The treatment is old and said by many to be effective. I am new to this style of treatment, but not new to the awareness of the healing properties that can be found in minerals, gem stones and any other natural product that comes from our earth.
Babies do not 'chew' on these necklaces. That isn't recommended as the amber is soft, so could break, and not necessary either to assist how the amber heals. Instead the necklace is designed to be worn against the skin and healing oils are released in trace amounts into the skin. The oils contain Succinic acid which is believed to have calming and pain relieving benefits. Succinic acid can also be found in plant and animal tissues. Recent scientific evidence is proving the benefits of what people have known for thousands of years about this 'millions of years old' treatment for many ailments.
Baltic amber is a fossil resin making it extremely lightweight and comfortable to wear. In my opinion the safest necklaces are knotted between each amber bead and have a safety release ring or catch. Ben has been very happy to wear his necklace and as I have read from many reviews the children don't even notice wearing them.
I was hesitant at first, from both a mothers perspective and an early childhood educator. I agree there is a risk involved with any necklace worn by a baby or child and that is why I would never use one without constant supervision. Most necklace manufacturers/designers recommend that they are removed from around the neck to be worn as an anklet when your child is put down to sleep. I probably wouldn’t allow my child to wear one of these in a care/kinder environment either, but that is just a personal opinion.
I did a lot of research on these necklaces/bracelets and couldn’t find any evidence of a child choking on a bead and they are said to be too small, however again, constant supervision is recommended. It is a touchy subject with many parents and practitioners divided, therefore I believe it is up to the parent to consider the risks involved and take responsibility for their decision. I would recommend thorough research of any treatment whether natural or not to treat or care for family members and even pets.
With all that I have learned since having my first child, I would personally prefer to try any natural teething remedy before reaching for the common teething gels and analgesics etc. You will find some information provided by a local health practitioner on my personal blog regarding other alternatives to regular pain medication, if you are interested. You can read that here.
Do you have any experiences with natural teething remedies you would like to share or know of?