These necklaces are used as teething necklaces and are made of Baltic amber. The idea is that when a baby wears the necklace, their body heat triggers the release of a tiny amount of oil containing succinic acid, which is absorbed into the bloodstream, without them having to chew on anything or put it into their mouth. When the oil is absorbed, some say, it has a pain-relieving effect on swollen and sore gums.
However, amber teething necklaces are a bad idea. According to experts, they’re not safe and don’t even work!
Not only has there been no scientific study to suggest the effects of amber works, it has also been claimed that the succinic acid can only be released from amber when it is heated to about 200 degrees Celsius.
What are the risks?
Wearing a necklace or choker poses a risk of strangulation, and it’s never recommended that you put anything around an infant’s neck – that goes for any sort of jewellery. And not only is there a risk of strangulation from the necklace, there is also a risk that you baby will chew on the beads and potentially choke on one.
What do real mums think?
Here's what the mums from #mumtribe thought of amber teething necklaces...
Aurora Quaglierini: A friend of mine who's an expert in stones told me that amber needs to be in contact with the part of the body that needs healing, so if you are not using a necklace, it won't help on teething. I've used an amber necklace on my baby since he was 3 and he never had fever or anything while teething if not some discomfort that I noticed because he bites on everything. I'm not sure if it's because of the necklace or not tho!
Ann Dowlan: Personally I wouldn't want any jewellery on a child under 3 years. I've got friends that have used Amber beads and friends that haven't. I had a friend that was never aware of a single tooth coming in of her son's until she saw it and she used absolutely nothing - I have to say I avoided her when my daughter was having a bad teething episode (jammy wotsit!). Personally I'd spend my money on a bottle of anbesol liquid and infant paracetamol. All little ones are different and respond differently to teething.
Vicky Fernandes: Officially amber has no real pain healing properties. However, I know a lot of people who swear by it, so I don’t think the fact that it’s possibly a bit out there really matters.
Alternative teething remedies that really work
To numb your baby’s gums, give her a teether that’s been chilled in the fridge for half an hour. Or if she’s over six months, offer her some cold water in a cup. Depending on her age, feed her chilled fruit purées or pop a chunk of frozen banana or plums in a baby feeder mesh bag for her to gnaw on safely.
Experiment with teething toys to find one that offers just the right pressure to ease discomfort. And have a selection of different shapes too: circular teethers are best when she’s cutting her front teeth but she’ll need a longer, thinner design to reach her molars.
The crook of your little finger makes a great teether – but do wash your hands first. And, if she’s restless at night, gently press on her gum with your little finger – it’s a great way to soothe her without waking her up. A teething necklace can also be a great option for on the go.
The nobbly bits on teethers can provide extra relief and will give your baby’s gums something to grasp onto. Buy one with a range of textures so she can experiment for herself.
You can give your baby paracetamol from two months and ibroprofen from three months but whichever brand you choose, make sure it is suitable for babies.
Paracetamol is best for relieving mild to moderate discomfort before a tooth comes through. When she is actually cutting a tooth, ibroprofen is more effective as it helps reduce inflammation. Always give the recommended dosage and check with your doctor if you’re not sure.
Teething granules contain a natural pain reliever to ease discomfort and easily dissolve in your baby’s mouth.
6) Topical gel
Teething gels can help ease discomfort as they contain a small dose of antiseptic which will help numb her gums, but make sure you use one that is suitable for babies.
Give your baby a clean flannel soaked in warm water to suck on as the warmth can ease aching gums and help teeth break through the gums.
Give your baby lots of extra cuddles and kisses as teething can be a really unsettling time and she’ll need lots of love and reassurance.
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Lorna is the digital executive and regular contributor for Mother&Baby. After running the Yours magazine website which specialises in content about caring for kids and grandchildren, she has now brought her expertise to the UK's #1 leading pregnancy and parenting magazine. Lorna specialises on a range of topics from potty training and nutrition, to everything and anything that will keep your tot occupied!
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