Teething: Is Baltic Amber Really Helpful?

I’m pretty sure we can all agree that teething is the actual worst. There’s nothing worse than when you finally have a schedule and a routine all mapped out for your babe and then they start to cut a tooth. It seems to throw everything off! It is often the culprit for a sleep regression as well. As your baby’s Mama, you want to do everything you can to ease the discomfort for them. A popular remedy is the use of a Baltic Amber teething necklace but evidence shows it may not be as effective and safe as once thought.

Teething presents a wide range of challenges for your babe, which seem to last forever. It usually begins around 6 months of age, but some babes can start to show signs of teething as early as 3 months. Teething causes a systemic inflammatory response which can trigger symptoms like fever, excessive drooling, irritability, changes in sleep, rash or eczema flare-ups, and diarrhea. It is so hard to watch your babe go through this and as their Mama we just want to find them some relief.
Probably the most frustrating part is that their teeth can “float” or move around as it makes a spot to eventually erupt through the gumline. This can sometimes go on for weeks. With each bit of movement, it triggers the same inflammatory response.

Baltic Amber Use
A common natural remedy is the use of a Baltic Amber necklace. It is thought that it can help provide pain relief for your babe. The stone contains an ingredient called succinic acid and the theory is that when your babe’s body temperature warms up, the succinic acid is released and absorbed into their skin eliciting analgesic and antiinflammatory effects.

This is just not the case. Evidence shows that while Baltic Amber does contain succinic acid, the stone needs to be heated to 200 degrees Celsius before it will release succinic acid. Your babe’s skin will never get this hot. Also, there’s no evidence that succinic acid absorbs through the skin, nor that it can provide pain relief.

I should also caution you that there is the risk of strangulation while your babe is wearing an amber necklace around their neck. Be sure to never leave your babe unattended while wearing one of these necklaces. If you choose to put one on your child, perhaps their ankle or wrist is a safer choice.

Teething Treatments
The good news is there are a lot of options available, including products which can be found in your local drug store! Some recommendations include:

  • Gum massage: use a clean finger to gently rub your babe’s gums for about 2 minutes. You might even feel areas of swelling or the beginnings of their teeth erupting through the gums.
  • Children’s Tylenol and Ibuprofen: Can be purchased off the shelf at your drug store. Be sure to talk with your doctor or paediatrician prior to use and follow the dosing closely on the package.
  • Cold: Try freezing a wet face cloth for your babe to chew on. There is also some teether ring options that can be put in the fridge or freezer too.
  • Chew toys: there is a wide variety of options available for teething toys depending on your babe’s preference. Some can even be cooled prior to use which can help with swelling and discomfort. Here are a few that I recommend which can be purchased locally:
  • Teethers by Sarah: http://www.facebook.com/teethersbysarah/

As frustrating as teething can be, Mama you will get through it! With a little patience, their favourite teether and consistency in their routine; it will be over faster than you know it!

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