Thursday, 17 May 2012

Amber Teething Necklaces

by Amanda of Amanda Brooke

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.

Ben in amber 

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.

Regarding safety with amber necklaces:

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?

Amanda x


Anonymous said...

OMG Do. Not. Put. Things. Around. Baby's. Neck. What is WRONG with you?

amanda brooke said...

There is nothing 'wrong' with me, as there isn't the many parents that use these. They have a safety clasp and it has released perfectly on several occasions (when he has tried to pull it off) without harm. Babies wear these all over the world and in many parts of Europe from birth. I take complete responsibility for my own child's well-being and he is fully supervised when wearing it. I appreciate and understand your concern.

katie z. said...

Thank you for explaining the use of these necklaces. I've seen them but always assumed they were for chewing.

Anonymous said...

OMG.How. Rude. Are. You?!
Im sure there's no need for the rude attitude- Amanda looks like she has done her research and made an informed decision that suits her own family and situation!
Myself- I have to admit that I'm a little sceptical of these, but I would definitely give one a try if/ when my little man starts to suffer with his teeth. Whatever works to keep the littlies ( and as a result, the mummas) happy and painfree, right?!

Tammi said...

Amanda I swear by amber beads. Our children are late teethers starting after 11mths but he was a chronic dribbler so my mum recommended them (she wears one for arthritis in her neck). Within 2 days we saw a drastic change. He no longer dribbled and the rash on his chin started to clear. He also didn't have any of the trouble with his teeth coming through that his four older siblings had.

Since then I have heard many success stories from friends and family members who have tried them.


Tammi said...

Opps sorry, I was referring to our youngest in my comment :)

Kari said...

Hi Amanda,

I too am a big fan of amber teething necklaces!
It's one of those things where it's hard to explain to other mums how effective they are as there's no easy way to 'measure' an improvement in behaviour (i.e. less fussy), but I have definitely noticed a difference with my daughter.
My daughter often wears her necklace as an anklet, simply because she’s ‘difficult’ when it comes to nappy changes – especially before bed – and it would be one more thing to have to wrestle with. I think amber necklaces are slowly gaining popularity here in Australia, although I’m still surprised how few people have heard of it (especially in country SA where I live).

Jane said...

I had to speak out in support too! I can't say for sure whether they work really but I've always loved amber and they look so beautiful. My youngest wore one a lot. I can't recall him having a lot of teething issues. The clasp was designed to pull apart under pressure and the beads were individually knotted on. I wish I'd been able to try it for my eldest who had awful pain and fevers with teething. If you were never to put things around a baby's neck, how would you clothe them? Really, if you're going to worry about this you may as well worry about the neck band on a t-shirt.

Jode said...

I was sceptical too about the necklaces and a little worried about the choking hazard issue but have to say they seem to work well with my twins and i used them as anklets in their sleeping bags when they were younger. My 22 mth old has been wearing it again this week due to teething resurfacing and she loves them as a dress up as well now. They have yet to even look like breaking but i am always there anyway. My mind has changed on them totally...i do believe they make a difference!

Gwen said...

I'm sorry, but I have real trouble buying into this sort of thing. Natural alternatives are great and all but I just don't see how wearing a particular type of jewellery is supposed to help. Any science to back this up, or just anecdata?

Michelle said...

Amanda, thank you for posting this. I tried to find some research after I first read this and it looks to me like there is information on both sides of the fence. I think it is worth trying things even if big science does not have a definitive answer. The beads are beautiful and if they work for you and you are comfortable as a parent in seeing if they help your child, then go for it. If you are not comfortable, don't try it. Simple.
I see that the resins may also provide relief for adults as well for inflammation and other issues. What is so wrong in trying something to see if it helps? I ordered a bracelet for myself and if I see that it seems to help me, then I may order one for my father as well since he could use more relief than conventional medicine has so far provided.
Thank you for telling us about the amber beads, I probably would not have looked into them if I had not read your article.
- Michelle

Joolzmac said...

Thank you, you answered a question that I had - do they chew on them or not? Now I know. I follow a blog and the little chap has one but I didn't know how it worked.

Cheers - Joolz

jack said...

Thank you for telling us about the amber beads, I probably would not have looked into them if I had not read your article.
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amanda brooke said...

Thanks for your interest and feedback on the amber beads. I think Michelle hits the nail on the head with her comment. There is conflicting information and advice regarding almost every natural therapy. I'd prefer to always try the natural alternative first and in most cases we have had a lot of success with natural treatments. They aren't for everybody, nor will they work for need to make your own choices based on your own beliefs and circumstances. Thanks again to the readers that contributed!

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Jenna said...

This is serious. Because it really helps. So why not promote so a lot of moms can learn about this amber that can help our babies during teething stage. We just also need to be careful in choosing one