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Like most adults, I was first introduced to “amber” while sitting terrified watching Jurassic Park in a movie theater. It popped up again when my babies were teething. Friends kept encouraging me to giving my teething baby an amber teething necklace.
I immediately pictured my little babushka gnawing on a giant golden nugget with a mosquito trapped inside, so I never took the plunge and tried them. My loss.
They probably would have helped my nightmare teether, Elena. But before you launch off and start your google searching, let me offer up the most common mistakes people make when purchasing an amber teething necklace. It will save you from dumping $45 on plastic yellow beads.
5 Amber Teething Necklace Mistakes to Avoid
- Not understanding what they are.
- Buying an imposter.
- Choosing the wrong design.
- 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…
Amber Teething Necklace Mistake #1
Not Understanding What They Are
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 (which they all followed) 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:
Whoa. Read That Again.
Did you catch that last line on the infographic?
100% of the testers would highly recommend giving amber teething necklaces a try.
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…
Amber Teething Necklace Mistake #2
Buying an Imposter
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.
Amber Teething Necklace Mistake #3
Choosing the Wrong Design
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. 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!
Amber Teething Necklace Mistake #4
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.
Amber Teething Necklace Mistake #5
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.
A Useful, 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.
Probably one of the most least expensive family heirloom possible.
Have You Read These Yet?
5 Mistakes Parents Make When Buying an Amber Teething Necklace
Want to avoid spending your money on plastic brown beads? Better read this.
The Hazelaid family took a risk, sponsored this post, and gave away free necklaces for readers to try and report back on. Honestly, I was a little nervous about the results. (I like being nice.) Fortunately for THEM, all the reviews we got back were glowing with compliments. Bullet dodged, Hazelaid! 🙂
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.