When you’ve tried everything you can think of to soothe baby’s teething discomfort and nothing seems to be working, it can get frustrating. A number of parents out there swear by Baltic amber teething necklaces – but what’s the big deal with those, anyway? Do they really work? And how do you take care of one once you’ve got it? We’re here to give you a look at the basics about this teething remedy.
What is Baltic Amber?
While it’s usually treated as a gemstone, amber is actually fossilized tree resin. (Remember the mosquito with dinosaur DNA in Jurassic Park? It was stuck in amber.) It’s lighter than true gemstones of the same size and warm to the touch. Baltic amber can be collected from anywhere along the Baltic Sea. Most of it comes from Russia and Lithuania, where it’s the country’s national gem. Estonia, Latvia, Poland, and Finland also have large Baltic amber deposits. Because it’s fossilized tree resin, each piece of amber looks different and has its own characteristics, imperfections, and color, ranging from light yellow to dark brown.
How Can A Baltic Amber Teething Necklace Help My Teething Baby?
Baltic amber contains high levels of succinic acid, which is a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory and analgesic – so you can see why it’s a popular teething remedy. It has a long history of use as a folk remedy, the theory being that amber worn against the skin releases its succinic acid in response to body heat. Succinic acid also has some immune-system-boosting properties, and may reduce excess drooling related to teething. Unlike some teething necklaces, a Baltic amber teething necklace IS not meant to be chewed on.
How Do I Know If I Have A Genuine Baltic Amber Teething Necklace?
Artificial amber does exist, and if you’re looking for the real thing for a teething remedy, you’ll want to make sure you’re buying the genuine stuff. Natural amber smells faintly of pine when heated, while the artificial stuff may smell vaguely sweet, or even like burnt plastic, depending on what it was made of. You can stick a hot needle into a piece of amber to produce the smell – this will leave a permanent mark, so do it near a bead’s drilled hole or another inconspicuous spot – as well as to see whether it cracks (real) or doesn’t (artificial). The real stuff will also float in a glass of salt water, where fake amber will sink to the bottom. Finally, if you have access to a black light, stick your Baltic amber teething necklace under it – if it glows, it’s real amber!
What’s The Best Baltic Amber for Teething Necklaces?
For use as a home remedy, you’ll want the lightest amber pieces you can find. The lighter the amber, the more succinic acid the pieces contain. Raw amber, which doesn’t go through as much processing between being gathered and sold, is also a good bet; if you get raw amber and decide you’d rather it looked polished, you can give it a quick shine yourself with olive oil, water, and a soft cloth.
Does A Baltic Amber Teething Necklace Really Work?
The jury’s out on this one. While recent scientific research has backed up succinic acid’s healing properties, it’s highly unlikely that baby’s body temperature actually gets warm enough to release it from the amber. On the other hand, plenty of parents have found relief from getting their little one an amber teething necklace when nothing else worked. It can’t hurt to try, but be sure to keep an eye on baby and see how they take to it.
When Can I Start Using An Amber Teething Necklace?
As soon as baby starts showing signs of teething discomfort, which can be as early as 8 weeks for some children, you can get an amber necklace for them. If you start that young and intend to use the same necklace the whole time, though, measure accordingly.
Is Baltic Amber Safe For Babies?
In general, yes. However, it’s important to monitor baby, and make sure they don’t wear their necklace during naps or overnight when it might tangle around them and choke them. If baby refuses to sleep without their necklace on, consider winding it firmly around their ankle for naps. In addition, if your child tends to chew on everything they own, you’ll want to make sure no beads get loose and pose a choking hazard.
Make sure you’re buying a necklace designed for babies; they have stronger clasps or magnetic closures, to keep baby from pulling them off easily but still allow parents to get them off quickly in an emergency. It’s also important to measure your child’s head and neck, and get a teething necklace that will fit them properly. If it sits low enough not to be uncomfortable but not so low they can grab it and chew it easily, you’re in business.
How Do I Take Care of Baltic Amber?
The most important step in keeping your amber looking great is to avoid chemical household cleaners. A soft cloth is key; if you need to restore its shine, a tiny bit of olive oil used while buffing will do the trick. Store it in a cool, dry place to keep your amber lighter in color for longer; it will naturally darken over time due to oxidation, though. Frequent changes between wet and dry will damage amber over time, so avoid wearing it while swimming or in the bath.
In addition to possibly helping you get through teething with less fuss, Baltic amber that’s well taken care of can be a great family heirloom, and something your little one will enjoy for years to come!
Where Can I Buy An Authentic Baltic Amber Teething Necklace?
Please be aware that there are many fake baltic amber teething necklaces on the market. There are many Baltic amber necklaces available from reputable companies online, but I personally have purchased the teething necklaces that I got for my twins, from Amazon. Why? If they were fake, I could return it immediately without any hassle. Baltic amber necklaces are expensive and I did not want to potentially waste money on a counterfeit necklace.
I trust you’ve enjoyed this post. I sincerely wish you all the best because teething sucks – for parents and babies. I hope this necklace will be helpful to you.