Friday Question: What’s up with Amber Teething Necklaces?

A reader wrote in with today’s question. She’s heard that baby teething necklaces, particularly ones made from amber beads, can help ease the pain of teething. According to this website, amber necklaces are a “traditional European remedy for teething.” They’re worn by the child (not chewed on) and the beads “release healing oils” that help with the pain.

I have never heard of this practice before our reader sent in the question, but Google tells me it is quite the sensation in the world of natural parenting! What do you think?

Comments

  1. Initial thought: choking hazard?

  2. I used it with my youngest daughter. It made a huge difference in the amount of drool she produced! I also believe that it did help with teething pain. It would be hard to know for sure how much pain is releaved though.

    We have a good friend in her mid-50’s who is from Poland. When she saw the necklace on our daughter she knew exactly what it was and said that every good mom where she is from uses them. She swears by them herself for pain relief from arthritis.

  3. I’m interested to hear other responses on this topic. I just heard about these necklaces a few days ago and wondered if they really worked. If they do, I would much rather use something natural like this than rely on a medication like Orajel to relieve teething pain.

  4. My daughter is in the very beginning stages of teething, and I would also like to hear more reviews on this. My first thought was the same as Aleigh’s (“Choking hazard??”) I have also heard of chamomile chewies but don’t know any more than that (the clerk at whole foods mentioned them to me yesterday).

  5. Jennifer Lovitt says

    I have wondered about this as well, because I would love to try them but they seem like a potential choking hazard? I did recently see a baby wearing one and observed as mama picked it up and put it in baby’s mouth for her to chew on, so I think it may be potentially misused.

    I also don’t know if my husband would go for his son wearing a necklace…

  6. My firwst reaction was strangulation hazard. Choking was a close second.

    I wonder if bracelets would work?

  7. Hello, We use an amber teething necklace with our baby and as another reader mentioned it’s hard to measure if it “works’ or not without a point of comparison. She used to have a rash from drool on her chin and no longer does. She still drools on occasion, but not constantly as she did before. She still has not cut any teeth, so it’s hard to tell if it helps with teething pain. Either way, it’s very cute 🙂 As far as it being a choking/strangulation hazard, the string is designed in such a way that if pressure is put on it, it will break so as not to be a strangulation hazard. The beads are also each individually tied, so that if it did break, the beads would not fall off and present a choking hazard. My daughter has never chewed on hers, but has recently begun to pull on it/rub it for comfort. In other cultures, babies wear necklaces. There are anklets sold also, but the idea is to have it close to the source of potential pain, i.e. the teeth. There are also necklaces sold for moms and it should be effective if your baby is a worn baby and is close to mom a majority of the time. We got our necklace from Inspired by Finn – http://www.inspiredbyfinn.com
    Hope this is all helpful!! Final thought – it can’t hurt, and it might help.

  8. I will suggest amber teething necklaces. They’ve been super. It might be too early to tell, but both of the kids have been way less irritable today. I haven’t given them any tylenol for teething pain, but they seem happy and pain free with the necklaces. Both of them are sleeping better, and the rashy redness on their faces has cleared up. Perhaps the most immediately noticeable difference has been the lack of drooling! No more soaked shirts and bibs! Plus, the necklaces are adorable. I took the kids strolling in the mall today and got many compliments.

    http://www.amber-teething-necklaces.co.uk

  9. I swear by these, I bought a whole sale lot of them to sell locally and give to friends, I got our first one right before my DD cut her two yo molars, she had very little discomfort and did not have the sleepless nights I had heard from so many other parents, my son has been wearing his since he was 3 or 4 months old, he has 6 teeth with 2 more coming in right now and has had no teething medicine and sleeps through the night with no issues.

  10. Unpolished amber works best. I wear one for my thyroid too.

  11. My son wore an amber necklace from 3 months to 1yr when it broke. He NEVER had any discomfort from teething and was not a “drooly” baby. He was also quite healthy (the latter probably merit of of exclusive nursing.. but thought I’d throw it in there). Obviously I can’t guarantee it’s thanks to the amber and not just his nature, but I am currently expecting my 2nd child and am already shopping for one for her (that’s what brought me to this website!!).
    As per choking hazard, how many adults do you know are accidentally strangled by necklaces? By physics the necklace is always loose on one side and the baby teether is short so it can’t get twisted.

  12. Heidi Williams says

    Hi,
    My name is Heidi Williams. I am the woman and Mum behind Selkiedesigns teething necklaces (the photo at top is my own little son in his necklace, pulled from my website).
    I just wanted to say that I am happy to answer any of your questions or concerns that you may about teething necklaces.
    My email is heidi@selkiedesigns.com.au
    Kind regards,
    Heidi

  13. I know that it may be tempting to say that the necklace “worked” because you think that it lessened the pain or had some effect, but is anyone concerned about the validity of the claims made by people who sell these? Like, they may have been used by people in other countries but is there real proof? I just worry about being taken for a ride because we don’t want to spend a ton of money on potentially harmful conventional medicine, but I won’t be a sucker, either.

  14. Rivercrone says

    I agree with Dren. It’s not inappropriate to expect some statistical evidence that this product really works. Where is the data/research proving these claims? I love alternative medicine but see way too many folks get taken for a ride.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGNxgm3tdG0&feature=related

  15. As with Rivercrone and Dren, I too would like some science to back these claims. My 4 1/2 month old son is in the beginning stages of teething and I’m not too keen on dosing him with tylenol or oragel. Nor am I willing to risk letting him wear something that supposedly seeps into his skin without knowing any potential dangers associated with these necklaces. And the “people have been doing it for centuries” argument isn’t what I’d consider sufficient. People do plenty of things without finding out the dangers until years and years later. Not to mention not all children struggle with teething. My cousin’s 6 month old daughter sprouted a tooth one night without so much as a wimper. So if anyone has any real evidence on how these work, I’d love to hear/see it…

  16. Well I just wrote a whooole bunch of stuff and hit one wrong key and get taken to an entirely different page. But here is some info: http://www.mamapukeko.co.nz/howamberworks.html

    No, there are no studies to prove it works. Scientists don’t waste their time studying things they don’t believe in, plus it would be very difficult to study since not all babies teeth in the same way (as previously mentioned). It’s just like when my kids’ pediatrician laughs about us going to the chiropractor. Just because you don’t understand something, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.

    I have used the amber myself. When I was pregnant with my twins, I had severe back pain/sciatica. I ordered an amber necklace and when it arrived I put it on immediately. Within a few hours my back was feeling a whole lot better. No kidding. I am wearing it now too. I had a small surgical procedure done on my leg yesterday and once the anaesthetic wore off it was burning like crazy. I put the necklace on before I went to bed and still have it on now and the area feels like I got a bee sting an hour ago.

    It’s so easy to be skeptical about homeopathic medicine because we don’t understand it and we are so accustomed to modern medicine. How do we know Tylenol works? Well, we TRY it! I am sure when modern medicines first came about, people were skeptical about their efficacy as well. But the only way to find out is to try.

  17. lisa schaffer says

    I say just get the “sophie the giraffe teething toy. you can buy it on amazon and it works wonders…

  18. My daughter is at the drooling stage of teething and occasionally quite fussy. I don’t like giving her Tylenol or orejel, but I have when she is in a lot of pain. Through reading reviews it seems that those who have tried the amber teething necklace have noticed improvement in their child’s pain level. I’m wondering if anyone has tried it on their child and the drooling and fussiness has stayed the same.

  19. Rosemary says

    Amber is incredible and unmatched in its natural healing powers – and not just for children. People have used amber for centuries for arthritis, respiratory infections including chronic asthma, as a stress reliever that interacts with the body’s nervous system and much, much more. Researchers and scientists have expounded on the exceptional ability of Baltic Amber to thwart infection and enhance immunity. Today, everyone is turning more toward homeopathic medicines – Amber is at the top of the list in it’s healing abilities. http://www.amberartisans.com/.

  20. If you look at the majority of the stores carrying amber teething necklaces, they are moms who use them on their own babies an sell them because they loved how they worked for their own kids. I sell them but I also use them on myself and my 3 daughters and wouldn’t sell them if I didn’t really believe they worked. I would much rather throw away $15 to try something like this than $40 on the stupid bumbo seat that everyone had to have. I did, they worked and I will hopefully always have some lying around the house in case ours break 🙂

  21. I totally believe that the Amber teething necklaces work. I don’t sell them but if anyone ever asks me about them I am all for it. My 1st two daughters had terrible teething and the only thing I knew then was Oragel and Tylenol. My 3rd daughter, was born in Germany due to my husband being in the military and that’s where we were stationed. When she was 5 months old she started teething just like my other 2, drooling like crazy, crying all the time, hands in her mouth, diaper rash, diarehea, etc. It was awful to know that it didn’t matter what I tried to do she was still in pain. One of my friends had told me about the necklaces that I had seen other babies, toddlers & kids wear around and told me about the Amber. I thought it was crazy to say the least. I saw them and thought they were cute so I bought one. If it didn’t work, at least she had a cute necklace to wear, right?! Within a day or so, all her symptoms stopped completely. We moved back to the US when she was 10 months old. After a few weeks being back stateside, I lost her necklace when I took it off. So, I didn’t think nothing of it until all her teething symptoms came back. It went on for more than 2 weeks. I couldn’t take it anymore and my little girl was in pain. I ordered another one. When I got it, I put it on her and within a day no symptoms. My mother was also skeptical and didn’t believe it worked until she saw the change in her as my Mom was with me in VA, while hubby was deployed. The necklace I had for my daughter, the beads were tied indvidually, and if it broke then the beads would not be sliding around all over the floor loose. I hope this helps some skepticism. Just my two cents.

  22. Thought I would chime in. Got one for Baby #3, never even heard of them with the first two. Baby #3 seems to be super mellow compared to the first two, except for those days when I took it off to see what would happen. Maybe coincidence, but here is what I (a skeptic) dug up (in paraphrase) about the whole issue of how they work, because stuff about vibrations and polarizing energy doesn’t cut it with me.

    Amber contains, and gives off, succinic acid. Succinic acid has anti-inflammatory properties.

    Is succinic acid safe? Apparently so. Not only do we have the large body of empirical evidence as to its safety (it’s a longstanding folk tradition), but succinic acid is a component of the Krebs cycle of cell metabolism, in our own bodies.

    I wish I had known about these with my first two…they might well have been a lot less fussy, or maybe #3 is just that super of a personality. I may never know. But I am giving one to my friend who is expecting.

    And for those who like trivia, the Japanese Umbrella Pine is the only living relative of the trees that made the resin that became this amber eventually. The Japanese Umbrella Pine is a living fossil that is only found in Japan, and looks pretty unusual, and is unusual in that its “leaves” are actually extensions of the stem fibers, but they function as leaves. Strange, but interesting.

    As for me and mine, the necklace has been off this baby 4 times since it first went on, and those were 4 days I don’t want to repeat. My mother was afraid it was withdrawal, that the necklaces are addictive. I tend to think not, since the succinate is something our bodies already have, and the necklaces provide a tiny topical amount.

    As for hazards, I make sure the necklace is always next to skin, underneath clothing. That way, it cannot snag on anything. It wouldn’t work on top of clothing anyway. So I try to make sure his necklines are not gaping. More secure necklines keep the necklace inside. And as with everything, staying close to your baby is important.

  23. My son cut four teeth before getting an amber necklace (top and bottom) and has since cut 5 more with. The difference was night and day! He was miserable, in pain, didn’t sleep or eat well and drooled like crazy. The necklace helps a lot, he is now cutting molars and apart form the odd day, he is doing great! I got one from http://butter-n-honey.com and its knotted between each bead and has a safety clasp. If it gets caught on something it will break and if it breaks only one bead will come off. I would do anything to help my baby when he’s in pain so I tried it and it worked!

  24. I used it with my daughter. She never had a teething problem. I can only guess it’s bc I kept the necklace on her during all waking hours. She was a late teether, too…getting about 6 or 7 teeth in at once around 11 months. No issues at all, very little drooling, no biting on my nipples, and not much use for teething toys. AMBER MUST HAVE HELPED!!!

  25. Jennifer Tuchbaum says

    My sisters kids wear them an there is a big following in my town along with the mothers that tend to breastfeed. My first daughter had major problems cutting her teeth and I have tons of pictures with drool all over her face (not my fav pics). I am pregnant with my second daughter now and am going to try the necklace and hope it helps. But I am going to keep a close eye because I am a little nervous about the chewing on the beads.

  26. My grandson (my 7th grandchild) has been wearing one for the last six weeks. He was drooling the other day with his fist in his mouth and whining. I commented to my daughter as it was unusual, her response? Rushed to her back pocket to retrieve the amber necklace that had been off since last night. He popped his first tooth this morning and it’s been brilliant. The necklace has only been off twice since he had it and both times he has had teething pain and no sleep. He is a very fidgety and active child but it has not been chewed or caught. We are very happy with results. I am considering using it after him for my joint pain!;-)

  27. Amber necklaces are so inexpensive, why not just try them instead of searching for statistical data? It seems like there are enough people who have had success… I bought 2 for my twin daughters on ebay and with shipping spent less than $25. I have the Sophie and my son loved her but we also had the luxury of Hyland Teething tablets when he was going through it and those are no longer in the toolbox. I hope the necklaces work but it isn’t like buying the wrong $1000 stroller (just an example, I did not do that… just saying the potential mistake could have cost a lot more!)

  28. Hi, i am all for amber teething anklet, my husband and i are very sceptic, teething gels have been known to numb the back of their throat and baby to choke on their saliva, so after MONTHS of a clingy unhappy little girly that was stuck to my hip all day everyday we decided to buy one, its was like magic within hours, now she sits on her own and plays with her toys, laughs and smiles and i can do ma ting ha ha, theres no harm in trying its not just for teething, it has soothing and calming and de stressing properties! Give it a go!

  29. I have used amber teething necklaces on my two children since they were very young, at night too. As with everything concerning your child, it boils down to supervision but the necklaces are designed to break if excessive force is placed on them. In terms of a choking hazard, the beads come away individually whilst the intact ones stay knotted on the string. If a bead comes loose and a child eats it, it would be small enough that they could eat it without choking and it would pass right through them. No different to them picking up a small stone from the garden and eating it behind your back! The clasp is also amber with a small plastic insert which again, is knotted and is designed to break away with force.

    If you are a very nervous parent, you can double up the necklace at night and wrap it around one of their ankles.

  30. Marketing101 says

    It is quite unfortunate that so many people have been duped by this and similar products. I’m not happy to admit that I’ve consulted with one manufacturer that doesn’t even bother to use real Amber. How can they get away with this? The truth is it’s not regulated because it doesn’t matter. You would have to heat Amber to an unbearable temperature to pull anything out of it – a baby’s body temperature just doesn’t do the trick. It’s an industry in Europe, not because it is true, but because the materials are readily accessible. The reason why many people think it works is basic human psychology. We tend to seek out these silly remedies when life is at its worst, and then when we average down, we attribute the success to the trinket. This is true for anything from good luck charms to the more serious naturalistic medicines for cancer treatment. What is unfortunate for me is that I consult on consumer psychology, and I have to sit there while the manufacturers laugh at the consumers for being ignorant. I’m very sorry, but this is a gimmick. I’m sure you will find comfort in the fact that “yours” worked because the severity of this child’s teething was definitely less than your last. Of course it was… we call it “failure to realise regression to the mean” and we make millions off you because of it. My deepest concern is that I’m eventually going to hear that a child has died because of this. Please use your heads.

  31. Teething – its natural process. I know what it means because I have been living with my cousins from their birth. They are like my own children and I really love them. But dealing with it I have no problems because I offer to start to using natural method – safe amber teething necklace or bracelet for children that I bought from Baby Amber Teething that my friend recommended . Not those that I have found on the internet : ‘According to the NHS website you can use painkilling medicine that is designed especially for babies such as; Calpol/ baby tylenol.’ . It makes me feel that : brrr… feeling. I agree that medicine is good but for the other side I am depending on natural things firstly and see if it is working.

  32. Well, few years ago, I had the same question: does it work? Now I can certainly say, that amber teething necklace was one of the best purchases I have done in my entire life. It really helped for our baby and difference before necklace / with necklace was more than obvious. We got it from http://www.amberxxl.com/en/13-baltic-amber-teething-necklace , you can check their site, maybe you will find something useful. On the other hand, safety first, make sure that necklace you have received or buying is really safe to use as there some fraudsters in the market who will sell you anything without any hesitations, just to make money.

  33. I heard that amber has very useful features. I think it works http://www.babyamberteething.com/products/necklace

  34. Nowadays people are turning more and more to everything natural and there is a solution to healing that is almost as old as time itself – Natural Baltic Amber. http://www.amberartisan.com

  35. Genuine Baltic amber has been put to use for hundreds of years in Europe and has recently become incredibly popular in the Western world. Toogli baby products offers two really cute models of this product in our shop on Amazon (www.amazon.com/shops/toogli) and, from the reviews, it’s clear that our customers absolutely swear by its healing properties.

  36. Got one as well and I absolutely love it. Bought mine from Toogl and it seems really well made and I really think it works.

    http://toogli.com/products/multi-color-amber-teething-necklace

  37. My youngest have worn these from onset of teething. It definitely reduced the drooling, and acidic poops. We have never had safety issues, it’s worn mostly under their clothes and they don’t even realize its on them. 🙂

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