Like most adults, I was first introduced to “amber” while sitting terrified watching Jurassic Park in a movie theater.
So when someone suggested I try an amber teething necklace for my teething baby, the image of her gnawing on a giant golden nugget with a mosquito trapped inside turned me off.
How wrong I was.
Let me walk you through the most common mistakes people make when shopping for an amber teething necklace, and how to make sure you get the real deal when you finally decide to take the plunge.
Trust me, this article is going to save you from dumping money on plastic yellow beads. Here’s how to end up with the best amber teething necklace $20 will buy.
How to Get the Best Amber Teething Necklace
The first step being conned into an anklet of yellow beads is to avoid these common 5 mistakes.
- Ignoring amber teething necklace reviews
- Buying a fake.
- Overlooking important safety features.
- Using a discount seller.
- Not testing the final product.
So I’ve listed them. (Yay.) Now you’ve got to learn how to avoid these common amber teething necklace mistakes! Here we go…
Ignoring Amber Teething Necklace Reviews
I realize that the whole “wear a necklace to help teething pain” can sound kind of hokey. I’m with you. I thought that way too. I’m somewhat of a skeptic when it comes to natural medicine.
So the Mighty Moms and I reached out to Hazelaid and asked if they would donate teething necklaces to our fine subscribers so they could give us a “boots on the ground” kind of look into this teething remedy.
Each mom was given specific instructions and asked to fill out a brief survey at the end of two weeks about their experience. Here’s what these regular-moms-like-you said in their amber teething necklace reviews:
100% of Our Reviewers Recommended Amber Teething Necklaces (What?!)
Did you catch that last line on the infographic?
100% of the testers would highly recommend giving amber teething necklaces a try. That’s an amazing number.
Since when do we agree on anything? Sure, our sample was significantly smaller than, I don’t know, the whole world, but I think it still says something.
It says that you might as well float $20 towards an amber teething necklace, rather than another $40 on teething toys, drugs, and other desperate clutches for teething/sleeping relief.
Still, wasting $20 sucks, so let’s make sure you know how to spot a fake. After all, if you’re going to try something, why not try something that’s not a guaranteed failure before you open the package!
But buyer beware! Some shops will sell you amber teething necklaces that will help. Others are going to sell you snake oil. Which leads us to…
Buying a Fake Amber Teething Necklace
When worn against the skin, body heat causes the amber to release an oil containing succinic acid, which when absorbed into the skin, works like a natural Ibuprofen, blocking pain and reducing inflammation.
Inflammation is just a fancy-pants way of saying “this part of my body is swollen in flames of agony.” (That’s how I always remember it. Inflammation = swollen flames of agony.) So those puffy red gums on your baby’s sweet face? FLAMES OF AGONY.
Time for the bloodstream to truck some succinic acid up there and soothe it to bliss.
Location. Location. Location.
You don’t want amber teething necklace from just anywhere. You want the amber to come from the Baltic region, because amber from that region has been has been tested to show higher rates of succinic acid than anywhere else.
Sure, I could sell you a Wisconsin amber teething necklace, but it would be just as effective as a necklace made of cheese curds. Location matters when it comes to amber teething necklaces.
Hazelaid gets all their amber from Lithuania and tests each crate in various ways (some of which are mentioned below) to make sure that every little piece is 100% authentic Baltic amber.
Here are the most common “imposters” in the amber teething necklace market.
- Copal ~ often sold as amber, copal is like adolescent amber – not quite matured to beeffective.
- Phenolic Resins ~ used in artificial amber beads
- Celluloid ~ looks like amber, but is an imposter.
- Casein ~ a plastic made from milk
- Pressed Amber ~ this is actually amber, but fused together under high pressure. Since the natural pieces are compressed, the succinic acid in each is also compressed, making it less effective.
Why spend money on something that doesn’t work as well (Pressed Amber) or, worse, doesn’t do anything but look pretty (all the others).
If you’re trying to look like you’re using an amber teething necklace, any of these will work.
But if you’re actually wanting the amber teething necklace to help, stick with the real deal.
Overlooking Important Safety Features
This necklace (or bracelet or anklet if you prefer) is going to be sitting against your baby’s skin, under his clothing.
Because of this fact, there are some safety features you’ll want to pay attention to when looking for the best amber teething necklace. Make sure…
- the beads don’t have any jagged edges that are rough against the skin
- each bead is knotted individually
- the beads are threaded (and tied) with multiple strands for increased unbreakable strength
- everything on the necklace is made from all-natural materials
- the clasp is either a pop-clasp or a screw clasp. No hook and eyes!
- the necklace isn’t too tight to be constrictive, nor too lose to get tangled around anything. It has to fit just right!
Using a “Discount” Seller
Do you know what I like more than saving money?
Not wasting it.
There are zillions of places that will sell you “Gen-u-eye-n Baltic Amber Teething Necklaces!!” *ahem* (Ebay.)
I wouldn’t shop for amber teething necklaces there. Here’s why.
Auction Sellers vs. Established Company
Auction Sellers are flash-in-the-pan sellers. If their product was revealed to be a fake, Google will bury those reviews at the bottom of the search pile. No one will ever know. Besides, what normal parent is going to extensive testing to make sure it’s real?
Plus, they are less likely to give you the finer details on the amber in the description section – like how it’s tied, where specifically the amber came from, what tests have been used to verify it’s authenticity, etc.
Established companies (like Hazelaid) have their entire business on the line with every sale. If one of their customers starts raising a fuss, Google will happily put that on the front page. Goodbye shoppers.
They can’t afford to sell hooey. It’s got to work.
Not Testing the Final Product
There are a few at-home tests you can conduct to make sure your amber teething necklace is the real deal. Time for science!
The Look & Touch Test
If it’s real Baltic amber, you should see/feel…
- Non-round beads ~ they should vary in shape
- Non-perfect beads ~ you should be able to see air bubbles, and other teeny-tiny imperfections inside
- Warm tacky beads ~ they shouldn’t feel slick like glass
- Unexpected lightness ~ it’s not as heavy as it looks
The Saltwater Test
Mix two cups of salt in four cups of water (1:2 ratio) and toss the necklace in. Real Baltic amber will float. Fakers will sink. (Toss in some plastic or glass jewelry as a control and you’ll see what I mean.)
Are There Other Tests?
Yes. If you have Acetone, an IR-spectroscopy, or don’t mind burning your brand-new necklace.
Hazelaid shares how they test their Baltic amber and offers a few other do-at-home versions (the UV Light one is pretty cool) in this article.
The Best Amber Teething Necklace is Also
an Inexpensive Family Heirloom
If you are struggling with a teething monster and feel like the “end of your rope” passed by two days ago, give a real Baltic amber teething necklace a try. If you’re new to the amber world and don’t know what to pick, Brian and Severine, parents and owners of Hazelaid, suggest one of these…
Remember, amber is considered a precious gem. This means any necklace you purchase now, can be still helping your great grandchildren.
How is that for the cheapest family heirloom ever?
Have You Read These Yet?
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None of these look like dog toys. (Sophie. I’m looking at you.)
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Heather is the Chief Encouragement Officer here at MightyMoms.club and has been writing and encouraging parents online since 2007. She’s a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach, has been a featured parenting expert writer on blogs like DaveRamsey.com, SimpleKids.net, Cafe Mom, and others. If it’s 2am and you’re desperate to read SOMETHING, check out her deepest darkest secrets, including why she really shouldn’t be allowed to blog.