My husband and I have put baltic amber necklaces on both our children from the age of around 4 months to almost 2 years old. You might have seen adorable babies, toddlers, around 4 months to almost 2 years old, and even adults sporting these darkly beaded necklaces:
The beads are made of baltic amber, which is not actually a gemstone, but a resin. When this resin is warmed by the skin of the wearer, it releases a tiny amount of healing oil that is said to have analgesic properties. In other words, keeping this resin in contact with the skin can provide some relief from pain in areas near where the resin lies. You can read more about how amber necklaces can relieve symptoms associated with teething on the description page of our Healing Hazel Raw Baltic Amber Necklaces.
Amber necklaces used on babies and young children are often called amber teething necklaces. This phrase can be a little bit of a misnomer because the necklaces are not to be chewed! In fact, one of the number one considerations when fitting an amber necklace for a child is to make sure that the necklace is too short for the baby or toddler to put the beads into his or her mouth.
One of the main concerns from new mothers considering baltic amber is safety. Healing Hazel, the brand that Cotton Babies has selected for our amber necklace provider, is just as concerned about safety as we all are, as mothers. As a mother myself, I have found that selecting a quality brand is the #1 best way to ensure safety because there are several ways that an amber necklace must be made in order to be safe.
The beads are strung together with string, not plastic polymer and not leather or metal. String breaks away when put under stress. If the necklace were to get caught on anything, the necklace is manufactured to break. You’ll notice that the clasp is a screw closure, making it easy to pop apart. In addition, the string can break away. I have never personally had any of our amber necklaces break on one of my children, but it has popped out of the clasp.
The string is knotted between each bead. If the necklace were to break for any reason, the knots between each bead will keep the beads from spinning off in every direction and becoming a choking hazard. While neither of my children have broken a necklace, I did accidentally break an amber bracelet once. It worked in exactly that way - there was no avalanche of beads all over the floor. We only lost the one bead that was on the piece of string that broke and, due to the pressure of the break, that bead went shooting off so far away that we never saw it again!
As a mom, here is my personal experience: by the time a baby is old enough to control his or her hands reliably (6-9 months with my own children), he or she is also strong enough to wrench away and completely break the necklace if it were to become entangled. A baby under 6 months old wearing a necklace that is appropriately short should actually not be able to accidentally snag the necklace at all, because it should be lying very closely against the neck and they simply do not have the hand control at that point in their lives.
As for effectiveness, my testimony as a mom is that baltic amber has been effective for our family. While it does not relieve all the pain of teething, it has visibly increased my children’s comfort. There were several nights after a bath where one of us forgot to put the necklace back onto the child and that child went on to have an extremely restless night and day because the teething pain was no longer being relieved.
What has been your experience with baltic amber necklaces? Have you ever used amber for teething or other pain? We’d love to hear your experience here in the comments or as a review on our Healing Hazel Baltic Amber Necklace product page.