Without doubt, questions about Baltic amber teething necklaces are the most frequently asked of us at Beginning Green. It is also our most contentious product line, so I figured what a great opportunity to write about why this is seemingly so.

Not one to do things by halves, I consulted my uni’s online library, to provide you with some boring facts about amber! It is a fossilised tree resin as a result of damage done to specific conifer varieties, backdating millions of years. There are many varieties of amber, with Baltic amber being the most widely recognised. The scientific community has established a love of amber, and no it isn’t necessarily for their love of wearing amber jewelry after hours, but for its ability to trap unsuspecting insects and flowering plants in its stickiness, and the subsequent preservation of many ancient organisms. Records indicate some species are from the Cretaceous era (66m – 144m years ago) (Source: Anonymous, The Economist, 1996). So, it is fair to say, amber is certainly no new kid on the block!

Baltic amber has been used in Europe in folk or alternative medicine for centuries, as it contains high levels of succinic acid, which proponents believe, possess many therapeutic properties. Literature reveals accounts of its use to ward away croup, tonsillitis, fever, ear and throat infections and relieve teething symptoms. Baltic amber was also burnt like wood, and used as a fumigant. Succinic acid in more recent times has been manufactured synthetically for use in anti-biotics.

I dusted off Clover's milky coloured Baltic amber teething necklace for this pic

It is also not unreasonable to conclude that Baltic amber has a somewhat rich history in its use for medicinal purposes. This is not to say it is effective in the relief of teething symptoms by any stretch, but simply presents as an alternative and perhaps, more natural approach in addressing teething symptoms.

From our perspective at Beginning Green, we feel compelled to share a couple of things about Baltic amber teething necklaces, and leave the rest up to you, if considering their use. Baltic amber is available in a full spectrum of colours, ranging from milky butter through to black. The lighter or more opaque the amber, the greater the level of succinic acid – a fact supported by evidence. If you were choosing a teething necklace to test out the therapeutic properties theory, then you would be best sticking to a lighter shade of amber. On the other hand, if you choose to buy a Baltic amber necklace, simply for your little one to rock the look, then pick any fabulously gorgeous colour you so desire! Secondly, now that you have an appreciation of how Baltic amber is created, you have possibly also concluded that it is pretty unique and it is not something that can be ‘manufactured’. Therefore, I feel I can apply the old adage here “you get what you pay for”. Cheap amber necklaces may not be what you thought you paid for, largely defeating the purpose of the purchase. Please do not be afraid to ask the retailer for proof of origin.

There are obvious associated safety concerns with their use on babies in particular. Therefore, it is essential that you adhere to any safety information provided with the sale of the necklace, to ensure their safe use (this should be readily available or the seller be able to direct you to this information source). Over the years we have sold three different brands of Baltic Amber teething necklaces, and are really comfortable with our main supplier; Selkie Designs. Workers who are paid a fair wage make the necklaces in Byron Bay, NSW. Furthermore, each necklace is genuine Baltic amber, and is sold with a six-month warranty. The clasp is sterling silver and each bead is individually knotted, so in the unfortunate event a bead was to come off, only one in theory should come free. This is not intended to be a blatant sales pitch, but instead explain why we are comfortable selling the range of necklaces we do and why these are priced around $40 - $50 a piece.

We hope this information has provided you with a better understanding of Baltic amber teething necklace, their use and ‘possible’ benefits. Shannon and I as parents, only know too well the feelings of despair and at times helplessness, when teething symptoms (or any ailments for that matter) are adversely impacting on your little ones’ happiness and/or sleep patterns. We have both chosen to use Baltic amber to help manage our little ones’ teething symptoms. For Shannon, both of her boys were/are dribblers when cutting new teeth, and found, in wearing the necklace, the flow of saliva appeared to be stemmed. The opportunity to cut back on clothing changes and therefore washing can be a great incentive for any mum (or dad)! My daughter Clover wore hers daily and it simply seemed to reduce the number of irritable days. Anecdotal and very difficult to prove I know, but Shannon also tends to support this belief. On the contrary, I have used a necklace on my youngest, Jonah, only a handful of times, as he seems to be very aware of it around his neck and tends to become pre-occupied with it, resulting in over-handling, which I am not comfortable with. We can often be manic in our quest to resolve these symptoms, and we can only hope, that these are only short-term and whatever pain-relief route you may seek, it is done so effectively and safely.

Green regards

Sally