If your baby is teething, then chances are you’ve probably spent a couple of hours days researching remedies online and come across the theory that an amber necklace can help relieve some of those growing pains. But do they actually work? Here’s what you need to know.
Why amber necklaces? According to proponents, Baltic amber contains a “natural analgesic” called succinic acid. When a baby wears the necklace, his or her body heat then releases this magical chemical from the gemstone and gets absorbed into the skin, thereby easing their pain.
And do amber necklaces actually work? Nope, sorry. There’s zero scientific evidence to back up these claims. While it’s true that Baltic amber does indeed contain succinic acid, there is no proof that it is absorbed into the skin or that it has any pain-relieving properties. In fact, putting one of these necklaces on your kid could actually do more harm than good.
How so? Babies love putting things into their mouths (pacifiers, toes, dog food, basically anything within reach), which means that a beaded necklace poses a serious choking hazard. Not to mention that a string around the neck could also cause strangulation, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against infants wearing any jewelry at all. Bottom line: Give these amber teething necklaces a miss.
So, what’s the alternative? Try offering a chewable toy (like Sophie the giraffe) that will gently massage the gums (the added pressure also distracts from the pain). If your babe has started on solids, you could give her some chilled fruit in a feeder for a numbing effect, or try placing her pacifier in the fridge (never the freezer). And if your kid is in a lot of pain, pediatricians recommend using baby Tylenol.
Anything else? Those chompers will be in before you know it, so enjoy those gummy, toothless grins while you can.