We got an amber teething necklace for our son a couple of months ago, and now he is cutting a few teeth with almost no hassle - waking up about 4-5am but easy to get off to sleep again. The first few teeth he cut were much worse. If you don't know the sort of thing I mean - http://bums-n-roses.co.uk/index.php?main_page=page&id=5 and http://www.totscorner.co.uk/amber-teething-p-272.html.

I've just been trying to find more information about them, how they are supposed to work, whether it's just our perception or not... So has anyone else used them, know anything about them, got any stories of your own about them?

asked 29 Mar '10, 11:56

pete%20the%20pagan-gerbil's gravatar image

pete the pagan-gerbil
9062916
accept rate: 5%

I've never heard of these necklaces before but they sound interesting! I'm curious too hear if other people have had any success with them as well!

(29 Mar '10, 12:38) Shannon B

Please be aware that any jewelry can break and become a choking hazard. Even when separately knotted with high quality jewelry cord, manufacturing variations occur, and a given necklace may have a weak spot. I would be very surprised if each necklace is fully tested, and I'm quite certain they are not CE or CPSC approved as child-safe.

There are tons of links with anecdotal experiences and ponderings on the seemingly mysterious power of amber. Some even claim that "Amber has been at the center of many scientific studies" - and that is true! Notably, a lot of studies are performed on the history of amber, amber trade, use, etc - in fact a lot of work has been done on Baltic amber in particular. Since amber can be traced back to its origin, it's easy to find trading links in ancient cultures by testing amber for its origin and understanding how far it traveled from mine to end user.

But it certainly seems difficult to find medical studies on amber! I found one citation for a paper in German that might be interesting, titled "Baltic Bernstein amber. Its use in medicine, historical review and current prospects" but I don't have access to the paper. Certainly it suggests that the scientific community is aware of the folklore medicinal use of amber. I would certainly expect that a double-blind study would very quickly give people insight into its ability to lessen teething pain for infants, and should be very easily and cheaply run. Given this, I find it hard to believe that there is a positive effect but there's no literature to back it up.

Wikipedia notes, "Folklore attributed [amber] medicinal properties." I would expect that if any research provided a foundation for any of these claims, then it would eventually make it's way into at least Wikipedia, which is not a strict bastion of science. In other words, a lot of research is cited on wikipedia without the rigorous standards of inclusion on the mainstream journals, so I would expect even minor results to end up there, even if no major results surfaced.

A study was performed on the allergenicity of Baltic amber in Sweden, which showed that even those sensitive to amber and one of the compounds it contains show no reaction to amber jewelry. This suggests to me that little, if anything, is absorbed through the skin from the amber.

Further, while amber teething necklaces are the most popular (in particular, "Real Baltic Amber!" - odd since Baltic Amber is simply the most available and cheapest amber one can obtain) one can also purchase Jade and other "precious stone" teething necklaces that claim to also reduce pain and inflammation. It seems odd that several different materials that share no properties in common have similar effects.

Given the evidence, I have a hard time believing that it's much more than a lucky rabbit's foot, and a way for some retailers to up-sell baby jewelry.

link

answered 29 Mar '10, 20:22

Adam%20Davis's gravatar image

Adam Davis
4.5k517
accept rate: 31%

See, that's the sort of attitude I took towards it all, but my wife got one anyway. We found out today that he's been cutting at least 3, probably 4 teeth in the last week and has been generally fairly good about it. I guess I'm leaning in to this lucky rabbit's foot ;) But I am going to suggest leaving it off for a while and seeing how things go. I don't think it'll be all that easy to make a double-blind study of babies pain or tolerance though - all teeth are different, all babies are different, you can only rely on them making things difficult!

(30 Mar '10, 09:26) pete the pagan-gerbil
4

@pete - Anything is possible. A simple, fast double blind study would be to have three groups of 20 people with babies in each group. Send out free real amber necklaces to the first group, fake amber necklaces to the second group, and nothing to the third group. Have each participant fill out a daily survey with what pain methods they used (whether the provided item, or something they chose themselves) and the amount of pain they believed their child to be experiencing. If there's a real benefit, then there will be a significant difference in the responses from teh real amber group.

(30 Mar '10, 10:57) Adam Davis

+1. If I had to guess, the reason why several different materials that share no properties have the same effect is caused by the very well known medicinal effect of the: placebo ...

(02 Dec '10, 19:27) Alexander

My wife was interested in looking into this, so I've done a few hours of research online. We got an amber necklace for free from a friend, but I'll say I'm glad we didn't pay for it. Our 8mo daughter has worn it off and on for a couple months, but I can't say that I've noticed a difference when she has it on.

Proponents of amber's analgesic (pain-relieving) abilities assert that when the amber is worn close to the skin, body heat causes small amounts of oils containing succinic acid (also called spirit of amber) to be released from the amber and absorbed through the skin into the blood stream. This acid is said to be the "active ingredient" in the positive effects that come from wearing amber jewelery.

I have a few reservations about these assertions.

  1. Mere body heat does not seem to be warm enough to cause anything to come out of the amber. Succinic acid is a solid at STP, and its melting point is 185 °C, far above average skin temperature of ~35 °C. One website, in a section about how to identify authentic amber, suggested that for polished amber, it would take vigorous hand rubbing before the amber started to elicit the smell of tree sap.
  2. I have found no references to research into succinic acid's analgesic properties that are not on websites selling amber jewelery as a natural remedy, and the references on the selling websites tend to be vague and provide nothing to support their claims: "well known in Europe for healing properties..."; "recent scientific research has shown..."; "reduces red inflamed checks, stimulates the thyroid gland to reduce drooling"; "has a very positive influence on the body"; etc.
  3. Many of these sales websites either refer to each other or have the exact same text explaining how this is supposed to work. A bunch of copy and paste websites don't make for corroborating evidence.

That's three strikes for me. I don't buy it.

link

answered 30 Mar '10, 16:28

Scottie%20T's gravatar image

Scottie T
1.4k1513
accept rate: 15%

edited 30 Mar '10, 17:03

1

Good to hear from someone who tried it and it didn't work... it's always so hard to find those reports when you want information about things!

(31 Mar '10, 11:33) pete the pagan-gerbil

We did not use them on our son, he seems to be a rather easy teether until now. We saw some other kids wearing these; if you expect or fear teething problems, use them.

For us, it's more "hocus pocus", and fortunately it turned out that we don't need it.

I also have to add that it's very hard to find evidence of the effectiveness. Every child is totally different, and while the amber might help, you can't tell how difficult it would have been without it (or not difficult at all).

link

answered 29 Mar '10, 19:26

brandstaetter's gravatar image

brandstaetter
2.8k11023
accept rate: 24%

edited 30 Mar '10, 06:03

Amber needs to be heated to a temp of 200 C before it releases any volatiles. Body heat won't cut it. There does not appear to be any science to support the effectiveness of these. And if it were my child I would not take the risk of putting a strangulation and choking hazard around your baby's neck. If you must try it, I would suggest only have it on your child when they are supervised, and never when they are asleep.

link

answered 21 Sep '10, 00:00

Stephanie%201's gravatar image

Stephanie 1
211
accept rate: 0%

edited 21 Sep '10, 01:00

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦
7.6k22839

1

Hi Stephanie and thank you for your response and insights. Would you be able to provide a reference for you first statement per our back it up principal? http://moms4mom.com/back-it-up

(21 Sep '10, 00:56) Tammy ♦♦

I have used them. We got one for my son when he was about 11mos, and had already cut 12 teeth - rather miserably. Crying, up all night, cranky for a week or two before the teeth cut, even with Camilia. He wore it 24/7 after we got it, and his last teeth were cut with MUCH less fuss - this included his canines! He still had some minor sleep disruption, but none of the previous endless sleepless nights. Yes, it might have been that he got better at tolerating teething. He keeps wearing the necklace now, even though he is past teething - it has become a source of comfort for him (ie he will rub the beads when upset).

We were convinced enough to try with our daughter. We put her necklace on really early, around 2 months. She has cut all of her teeth wearing it, and has been such an easy teether. She will occasionally cry out in her sleep and wake the next morning with a tooth! I realize that that different children will experience teething differently... but I feel that the necklace makes a difference.

I do recommend putting it on your child at a younger age, so they are less aware of it. My daughter has never touched hers, as it has always been there. My son has gone through phases where he has played with it, tried to chew it, pulled on it...

For more information - I bought mine @ Inspired by Finn. There is more info about the benefits of amber in that link.

link

answered 29 Mar '10, 13:32

Krista's gravatar image

Krista
1.7k39
accept rate: 18%

I heard a lot of people saying that amber helps, and a lot of people saying that it doesn't. I'm kinda in a crossroad. Recently I found little amber jewellery e-shop which sells teething necklaces, I might give it a try.

link

answered 26 Mar '11, 10:04

amber19's gravatar image

amber19
01
accept rate: 0%

edited 28 Mar '11, 09:27

We love our teething necklace. My baby had been soaking her clothes with drool, and just starting to get fussy. We began using the teeting necklace and almost immediately the drooling stopped. Her cheerful demeaner returned as well. Still, we thought it might be a coincidense, until she became fussy again. I wondered what was wrong with her. When I noticed the drooling, I realized I'd forgotten to put her necklace on her for two days. I put it back on her and again the drooling ceased. It happened once more, so I am convinced it helps! It certainly doesn't hurt! It's important not to get soap or lotion coating it, so I always remove it during the bath. We were also concerned at first about a possible choking hazzard, so only put it on her during the day. However, now we feel secure enough to keep it on her at night as well. I have a friend who also keeps it on her child 24/7. We're sold!

link

answered 09 Aug '11, 20:24

Netter's gravatar image

Netter
11
accept rate: 0%

edited 09 Aug '11, 20:28

Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here

By RSS:

Answers

Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text](http://url.com/ "Title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "Title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Tags:

×15

Asked: 29 Mar '10, 11:56

Seen: 18,726 times

Last updated: 09 Aug '11, 20:28