Are Amber Teething Necklaces Safe For Babies/Infants?

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That tiny, single white tooth shining in your baby’s mouth! Adorable, isn’t it? Teething is an important milestone for your baby but it can be painful too. The little one wakes up in the middle of the night, crying and grumbling due to the pain from teeth eruption. You will want to do just about anything to relieve him of this pain.

So, ever heard about an amber teething necklace? It provides relief from teething pain through skin contact. Sounds like a convenient solution but want to make sure of its safety, and know if it really works that way?

This MomJunction post is out to clear all your doubts about amber teething necklaces for babies.

What Is Amber Teething Necklace?

Amber teething necklaces are made from amber, which is a fossilized resin from the bark of the trees that lived millions of years ago (1). The resin exudes from the tree bark eventually solidifying and fossilizing to become amber rocks. These amber rocks are stringed into a necklace and then used as an ornament that can be gnawed by the baby whenever he feels irritation in the teeth.

Are Amber Teething Necklaces Effective?

Amber has popularly been part of several ancient medicine systems for its purported ability to heal and cause pain relief. Baltic amber, a type of amber, contains succinic acid, which is said to provide relief to the baby when it comes in contact with his skin.

It is also claimed that amber has the ability to influence the thyroid gland, thus boosting the baby’s immune system and regulating his drooling due to teething. These benefits are said to provide relief from teething pain.

However, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that amber can relieve pain caused by teething (2). These claims are not supported by medical experts and professional childcare specialists.

[ Read : Best Teething Toys For Your Baby ]

Are there any safe amber teething necklaces for babies?

There are no such teething necklaces for babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend the use of any jewelry, including teething necklaces, for babies since it can pose a choking hazard (3). Babies may break the beads of an amber teething necklace or silicone teething necklace and swallow them. It is safe to stay away from these necklaces to prevent accidents.

Dangers of amber teething necklaces

If you are using amber teething necklaces, you are putting your baby at the following risks:

  1. Suffocation through strangulation: Suffocation is the leading cause of accidental death among infants below the age of one year. Amber teething necklaces amplify this danger. A teething necklace can accidentally strangulate or get stuck to an object and tightly tug the child’s neck. It is not surprising that amber/Baltic amber teething necklaces are widely linked to sudden infant death syndrome (4).
  1. Choking: If the string is not secure, the necklace could break while tugging. A baby could put an amber bead into their mouth thus increasing the risk of choking.
  1. Restricted blood circulation: If an amber necklace tightly entangles around a baby’s arms during sleep, then it may temporarily reduce the blood supply to the limbs. While it may not be fatal as strangulation, it is still dangerous since it can cause severe pain and discomfort to a baby.

Teething continues to happen even after infancy and many parents wonder if they can introduce amber teething necklaces during toddlerhood.

Can Toddlers Wear Amber Teething Necklace?

The use of amber teething necklace is not good even for toddlers. Medical experts recommend against the use of any jewelery until your little one is old enough to handle them independently (5).

For this, and due to unverified claims of amber benefits, amber teething necklaces are never a good idea for both babies and toddlers.

There are other ways to alleviate that teething pain of your little one.

[ Read : How To Take Care Of Baby’s Teeth ]

What Are The Safe Alternatives To Amber Teething Necklace?

There are several safe ways to relieve teething pain in babies. Here is what you can do:

  1. Mother-worn teething necklaces: Buy a teething necklace for yourself and let your baby gnaw when he is in your arms. There are alternatives too like teething necklaces made of silicone or wood in a variety of designs, so you look fashionable!

You can also string little silicone or wooden balls to make your very own homemade baby teething necklace. Just make sure the string is strong and you clean the jewelry periodically. Allow your baby to use it only when he is in your arms and never leave him with the necklace, unsupervised.

  1. Soft chew toys: There are toys specially made for baby’s teething. The chewable toys come in various shapes and relax the sore gums of the baby. In fact, these are a better choice as there is no risk of choking. Clean them with soap and water everyday to ensure hygeine.
  1. Cold damp cloth: Take a clean washcloth and dip it in cold water. Twist one end of it to form a small knot and give it to your baby to bite. The coldness will numb the nerve endings in the gum, providing pain relief while the chewing subdues the irritation. It is a safe, homely solution to your little one’s teething woes.
  1. Massage: A gentle massage of your baby’s gums can relieve him of pain and swelling. Wash your hands thoroughly and then gently run your finger across your baby’s gums without any pressure. Regular massage should keep teething distress at bay.
  1. Medication: If the pain from teething is tremendous, then you can consult your pediatrician, who will prescribe some pain relief medication. Never self-medicate your baby.

[ Read : Causes Of Teeth Discoloration In Babies ]

Remember, for chronic teething pain relief you can use chewy toys but never a teething necklace. Teething necklaces worn by mothers can be a portable solution but do not leave the baby unattended. Some caution and care during your baby’s teething days will help him sail through the phase.

Have an experience to share about teething and teething necklace? Do tell us by leaving a comment below.

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