Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Amber and teething babies. Does it work?

I'd never heard of amber jewellery being used as a teething relief for babies until my cousin recommended it for my little girl. I'm pretty skeptical at the best of times and really couldn't see how this could work? I dismissed it as yet another baby fad that I wasn't about to sign up to.

How does amber work?

The active ingredient in Baltic amber is called succinic acid. When worn against the skin, body heat warms it and allows it to release an oil containing succinic acid. This acts as a natural pain reliever and analgesic - so ideal for teething pain. 

Teething begins

Forward a few months and the teething process begins - cranky baby, sleepless nights, cranky parents. We tried paracetamol, teething powders, liquids, gels and fancy teethers. While we had some success with these, our baby was just generally cranky. This is when I decided to give amber a try.

Under EU and UK regulations, amber jewellery is not recommended for children under 36 months as the beads may pose a choking hazard. Children should also be supervised while wearing amber jewellery. I decided to opt for an anklet I could put on under her tights or sleepsuit so I knew she couldn't get to it easily.

Once she'd had the anklet on for a few days, there was a marked calming effect. Hhhmmmmm but maybe this was just a coincidence? I didn't think too much more about it, but continued to put the amber anklet on her each day anyway.

Then one day our super cranky baby was back and we couldn't seem to settle her. "Must be teething time again" I said to my hubby. "Does she still have her amber anklet on?" he asked......and then it dawned on me - No she didn't! It had fallen off when I was changing her that morning and I just didn't get around to putting it back on. Surely this crankiness couldn't be cured by the anklet? We popped it back on and sure enough she calmed within a few hours. By now I'm coming around to the idea that this anklet may actually be working!

First amber anklet didn't last long

Several months down the road and baby decides to tug the anklet and ping! it's broken. I had struggled to find an adjustable anklet when I bought it so opted for one on an elastic, but it didn't last.

Broken amber anklet
Broken amber anklet

The next few days erased any doubt in my mind about the power of amber. We had an incredibly cranky baby, we used much more medication, we had a few instances of upset and crying for hours at a time and a few very early morning upsets too.

I'd heard of a local lady who hand made amber jewellery and ordered a better quality adjustable one from her. Take a peek at Afkar to see what she has to offer. 

Our new amber anklet

Our anklet arrived and how fabulous it was too. I loved the selection of unique beads and the colourful chord holding it together was such a pretty touch. It's individually knotted too which means if does break, it's more likely to break in one place and won't send beads flying everywhere like our first one did.

Adjustable amber anklet
Adjustable Amber Anklet £7 from Afkar

So we popped it on our little girl and hoped it would make a difference. Sure enough it did. Although still quite cranky during her first evening of wearing an anklet again - she did sleep right through the night and she did the same the second night, the third night, the fourth night and so on. Yes! Our happy baby was back.

Baby wearing amber anklet
Calmness restored with our new amber anklet

She still has her moments with teething troubles but the frequency is much less often than without the anklet. Although amber jewellery is not recommended for children under 36 months I felt comfortable that my child did not have easy access to the anklet under her clothes. That was my personal choice and you would need to make your own informed choice as to what is right for you and your child.

As I chat to other mums about their experiences with amber - they are invariably positive stories with many of them saying they too were skeptical to begin with.

Do you or your child wear amber? Do you think it makes a positive difference?

By Lee


  1. Replies
    1. We have found it works wonders. I'm thinking of trying an adult bracelet too.

  2. my son is 3 in July, he wore an anklet from around 3 months and we swapped to a neck lace around a year old and we only ever knew he was teething because he had smelly nappies, he cut all his teeth no problem! unfortunately he has developed poorly teeth and is under a specialist dentist but i do believe that if it was not for the amber necklace he would be in a lot of pain and he isn't, i think it is wonderful thing to have been discovered xx

    1. Glad it worked for you too CharZJ. Hope your little one has his teeth issues resolved too.

  3. I saw this on C4's Health Freaks (I think that's what it's called). Lots of people have said it's worked but I'd worry too much about the beads being put were they shouldn't!