It happens at least twice a week. Someone tells me how adorable my daughter is. I know I’m not alone here. Plenty of my friends with boys have people call their babies girls, and plenty have their girls called boys. Its fine, really. Babies kind of all look the same.
But after I correct them, I always hear: “Oh, I just assumed…you know…because of the necklace.”
If you don’t live in Mommy-Land (or perhaps even if you do), you may not have heard of them; Baltic amber teething necklaces. The idea behind them is that the Baltic amber is high in succinic acid, which is an analgesic. When the amber touches the skin and it warmed, the succinic acid is purported to help ease teething pain. For that reason, they are supposed to be worn close to the skin, and as often as possible.
Simon has been wearing his polished lemon colored necklace since he was about 5 months old. So far he has 4 teeth, and they came in fairly uneventfully. I have bought him the next size (in raw cider, what is perhaps a manlier color…thoughts?), but he is still too small for it, because it flops outside of his shirt. Cute, but doesn’t serve its purpose.
Good news too, they aren’t just for babies. The succinic acid is supposed to be good for any kind of pains, and that I can testify to. When I was pregnant with Simon, I had a really sharp pain at the top of my belly. I bought a necklace designed for back pain, and wore it over the pain. If I wore it, it didn’t hurt. If I didn’t wear it, it did. Crazy? Placebo Effect? Maybe. But it still eliminated my pain.
So my logic was something like this. This pain that I had, which was fairly bearable, but uncomfortable, was eased by this necklace. If all I have to do is put a necklace on my son’s neck to avoid the completely foreign feeling of sharp teeth pushing through soft baby gums, why not? Really, just why not?
I know homeopathic treatments aren’t for everyone, but this is a simple enough one for many people. I’d say about half of Simon’s baby friends wear amber necklaces.
Some other points on Baltic Amber:
Raw vs Polished: Raw is supposed to be better as far as transferring the succinic acid. Makes enough sense to me. This is why Simon’s next necklace is raw.
Light vs Dark: I have read varying opinions on this. Some say that lighter is higher in succinic acid. Some say it doesn’t matter as long as its raw. The choice is yours.
Does He Chew On It?: No. No no no no. If your baby can get it close to his mouth, it is far too big. They are not meant to be chewed on. Since it is called a teething necklace, I understandably get this question a lot.
Should my baby wear it to bed?: No company will ever tell you that it is okay to have your baby wear a necklace to bed. If you want to know what we do, send me an email.
Beware of Fakes!: Apparently there is a lot of fake Baltic amber out there. There are a few ways to test your amber, but we always order from a reputable source: Inspired by Finn.
Can I Bathe In It?: Nope! Remove it for bathtime. Soap will clog the amber, making it less effective. Dad has a hard time remembering this, which is part of the reason I bought Simon a new one!
My Back Hurts, But I Want To Wear The Pretty Necklace: That’s cool, it might still help, but the best thing you can do is wear it as close to the pain as possible. That’s why I wore it right over my belly, and that is why babies wear necklaces, to get it as close to their mouths as possible.
If you’d like to do some other reading about Baltic Amber, here are some resources that I like:
Baltic Amber FAQ
History of Baltic Amber
How To Test For Fakes
Cleaning Baltic Amber
Other Uses for Baltic Amber
I figure, if its working for him or not, at least he looks cute in it. Really, plenty of men wear necklaces anyway.