The Natural Mama’s Guide to Amber Teething Necklaces

Many mamas swear by amber teething necklaces, but do they work? Are they safe? What kind of amber teething necklace should you buy for your baby? Find out now.

Amber teething necklaces. Many mamas swear by em, but do they work? Are they safe? Should you buy a baltic amber teething necklace for your baby? Find out!

It’s so exciting when baby’s first tooth appears, but it certainly doesn’t come quietly. The drooling, fussing, and long nights have many parents searching high and low for natural teething relief.

Enter amber teething necklaces. Many natural mamas swear by them, but do they work? Are they safe? Should you go ahead and purchase one for your baby?

We’ve waded through the scientific and anecdotal evidence so you can make the best choice for your family.

Amber teething necklace Mama Natural

What is an amber teething necklace?

Amber teething necklaces are designed to be worn by babies when they are teething. The common belief is that the child’s body heats the amber, causing it to release oils containing succinic acid. The succinic acid, in theory, gets absorbed into the bloodstream, helping to easy baby’s pain.

Nearly all amber teething necklaces are made from Baltic Amber, which is fossilized resin from the sap of conifer trees. It originates in the dark, cold forests of the Baltic region; by some accounts, Baltic amber is over 44 million years old.

The Baltic region is so well known for its amber deposits, they’re sometimes referred to as “Baltic gold.” Other forms of amber from other regions of the world also exist, though Baltic amber is known for having higher levels of succinic acid.

Baltic amber comes in a variety of colors, including white, yellow, brown, black, red, green, and blue. The kind you’ll most often find for teething necklaces is brown/orange and milky. Blue and green amber, caused by gas and inclusions, is rare and thus highly valuable—too valuable for teething necklaces.

Baltic Region, home of baltic amber for teething necklaces

The Baltic region refers to the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea.

Baltic amber’s magic ingredient: succinic acid

The key component affiliated with Baltic amber’s healing properties is succinic acid, which accounts for 8% of its make-up.

Succinic acid is found in many vitamin supplements, heart medicine and topical creams for arthritis. Baltic Amber, in particular, is often found as an active ingredient in Chinese medicines. Baltic Amber necklaces are sold in pharmacies in many European and Asian countries.

That’s because succinic acid can be:

  • anti-inflammatory,
  • immune boosting,
  • antioxidant-rich
  • calming and soothing

Amber in its natural state remains popular to wear for everyone from babies to adults suffering from arthritis due to its pain relieving potential.

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So how exactly does succinic acid work in amber teething necklaces?

In theory, when placed around baby’s neck, Baltic amber warms up, causing it to release oils that contain succinic acid. The acid, in turn, is absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream.

Amber teething necklaces aren’t meant to be chewed or gummed on for comfort.

They’re simply meant to be worn around baby’s neck while baby is awake.

Your baby can and will probably want to use other physical forms of teething relief like teething biscuits, a frozen washcloth, or the types of teething necklaces made from silicone or wood that moms wear and babies can chew on.

Definitive scientific studies that show how much succinic acid is released from an amber teething necklace—and whether this amount is substantial enough to have an impact—do not exist.

Succinic acid safety

Succinic acid itself is considered safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), because it “occurs widely as a natural constituent of the plants and animals which are commonly used for human food.” Succinic acid received attention and testing from the FDA since it’s often added to ingestible products.

How to use an amber teething necklace

  1. Fasten an appropriately sized necklace around baby’s neck (we recommend a “pop clasp” safety release)
  2. You may need to distract baby momentarily so baby forgets the necklace is there
  3. Leave the necklace alone; let the amber lay against baby’s skin
  4. Remove necklace during naps and at bedtime
  5. Never allow baby to wear amber necklaces unsupervised
  6. Enjoy the benefits that so many natural mamas attest to

Where to buy an amber teething necklace

Amber Necklace with bag and card – ombre

We are super excited about these brand new, TRULY raw Baltic amber necklaces on Amazon. They are the only amber necklaces we know of that haven’t been treated with autoclave (more on that below).

 

We love this rainbow-color version, made with unpolished Baltic amber. It’s double-knotted for strength and has a pop clasp for safety.

Most amber teething necklaces cost about $20.

Mama Natural amber necklace

How to find real Baltic amber teething necklaces

Do your research when purchasing an amber teething necklace. You want to be sure it’s made of genuine Baltic amber, and also that it’s raw.

To confirm you have purchased the real deal, try these two tests:

  • Put the amber necklace against something hot. You should smell a hint of pine from the release of oils.
  • Rub the necklace against a piece of cloth to see if it causes the cloth to become static enough to pick up paper. Static increases the likelihood you have real Baltic amber.

You also want to be sure your amber teething necklaces are:

  • Raw and unpolished so that the oils can easily escape the necklace and soothe your child’s gums.
  • White, milky yellow, butter-colored, lemon yellow, or green in color. The traditional golden and darker colored beads are most likely cooked to enhance the color, and may be less effective as a result.
  • Speaking of color, some mamas say that the lighter the color, the more pain relieving succinic acid it contains. That hasn’t been proven and there are a range of colors of amber, so as long as it’s genuine Baltic amber, it may provide healing benefits.

Is unpolished or “raw” amber better than polished amber?

We recommend raw, unpolished amber teething necklaces. When amber teething necklaces are polished, the succinic acid can become sealed inside, making it less available to the body.

Raw, unpolished amber is the way nature intended it to be. Raw amber contains the highest levels of succinic acid (up to 8%), which can naturally help quell inflammatory processes in the body.

Not all “raw” amber teething necklaces are truly raw!

Many amber teething necklaces claim to be raw, despite being heat treated in a process called autoclave. This makes the amber easier to work with, but it disqualifies the amber from being truly raw.

Just about every amber teething necklace on the market has been treated with autoclave. This amber necklace is the only one we know of that has not been adulterated with autoclave or any other heat treatment.

When can my baby start using an amber teething necklace?

Babies as young as four months old can start wearing an amber teething necklace. It is actually recommended to start that young to get baby accustomed to wearing a necklace without biting or tugging at it.

Amber teething necklaces are usually worn until baby is 3 years old, when teething stops. But many kids like to wear them long after that because they like the way they look.

How tight should the necklace be?

A good, standard length for an amber teething necklace is 32 centimeters or approximately 12.6 inches. This fit isn’t too tight to cause discomfort, but also not too long where baby is more inclined to bite, play, or get tangled in it.

Can my baby wear an amber necklace while she sleeps?

This is probably the most asked question about amber teething necklaces, as parents are unsure if this is something that can be worn at all hours, even while baby sleeps.

It’s recommended, for safety reasons, that babies only wear an amber teething necklace during waking hours and while supervised. Remove the amber teething necklace while baby naps and sleeps.

Could baby choke on an amber teething necklace?

Parents rightfully wonder if amber teething necklaces are a choking hazard, which is understandable given that it’s placed around baby’s neck.

As mentioned above, the necklace length should be at least 12 inches long so it’s not too tight and definitely not too long, both of which can be dangerous. The necklace also shouldn’t be worn while the baby sleeps or if the child is unattended.

Many amber teething necklaces feature breakaway closures (aka “pop clasps”) and double knotted beads to provide additional safety measures against strangulation and choking.

How to care for your amber teething necklace

Wash your necklace every month or so with gentle soap and let dry it in the sun. Your child can bathe with his/her necklace on, too. It’s best to take amber necklaces off before entering a chlorinated pool.

Other benefits of amber

Online sellers of amber point out some long believed benefits, including controlling the pain of:

  • rheumatism
  • arthritis
  • and aching muscles and joints

They also claim amber can act as an anti-anxiety remedy that relieves fatigue and weariness.

Others get a little more woo woo, praising amber for its psychic protection, ability to balance emotions, and release negative energy.

Baltic amber folklore

Historians don’t know when, exactly, humans began using amber as a medical tool. However, there’s evidence that people prized amber as far back as the paleolithic period (think cavemen).

With amber’s age somewhere in the tens of millions of years, there’s little surprise that extensive lore exists as to both its metaphysical and medicinal properties. Amber used to be worn to protect the swapping of newborn babies, not to mention preventing snake bites. But from very early on, those who grew up with it believed it to have healing properties.

There’s written mention of amber as a healing agent as far back as 79 AD. Amberpieces.com describes the recommended uses of amber in ingestible and distilled forms in the 17th and 18th century:

[D]octors recommended the use of amber remedies for rheumatic and heart diseases, skin tone and convulsions, neuropathic disorders, ailments of the lungs, kidneys and other internal organs, and for curing ulcers. Another recommendation of amber as a traditional remedy was the use of it against common coughs or stiff-neck pains.

Amber enthusiasts will point to how, in 1886, Nobel-prize winner Robert Koch discovered that a derivative of amber had “a positive influence on the body.” (Technically, he discovered an acid via his own bodily secretions that happens to be in amber, but the story remains true-ish.) The 1930s and 1940s found that the same acid was critical to how the body functioned.

Today, the Baltic region still carries amber products in its pharmacies.

Should you buy an amber teething necklace?

Given all this information, should you consider buying an amber teething necklace for your baby?

Anecdotal evidence of amber’s efficacy as a teething necklace abound in both directions, but the scientific research is sparse.

The natural healing properties of amber could potentially soothe the discomforts of teething pain, which is a win for both baby and parents.

If you choose to use one of these necklaces, always supervise your child while he or she wears it.

As an alternative, baby can also wear a bracelet version or the necklace wrapped around his wrist or ankle. Some parents have found that if the baby is wearing an amber necklace on his or her ankle, pulling a sock up over it keeps it out of sight so baby doesn’t tamper with it.

How about you?

Did your baby wear an amber teething necklace? Let us know if you’ve tried an amber teething necklace and how it worked!

Genevieve Howland

About the Author

Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 85,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.

Maura Winkler Certified Nurse Midwife square

Reviewed By
Maura Winkler, CNM, IBCLC

Maura Winkler, CNM, CD, IBCLC is a Certified Nurse Midwife, Registered Nurse, Certified Doula, Board Certified Lactation Consultant, wife and mother of two.

38 Comments

  1. Can this be worn around the ankle and still be effective?

    • Yes!

  2. Could you tell me when they come in I would love to purchase some. As have been mentioned before You still cannot find your necklaces on Amazon? I have purchased some for my grand kids and need more…
    Thanks!!!!!!

  3. Hi! The amazon link for the necklaces isn’t working! Someone tried to purchase one off my registry and couldn’t. Is it just a tech issue or are they sold out?

    • Sorry about the hassle! There have been some Amazon snafus lately, but we have new stock arriving soon! They should be available for purchase again via this link early next week. Thank you for the heads up and for your patience!

  4. Just tried finding your necklace on Amazon but the link isn’t working. Can you please help?

    • Sorry about the hassle! There have been some Amazon snafus lately, but we have new stock arriving soon! They should be available for purchase again via this link early next week. Thank you for the heads up and for your patience!

  5. Thanks for the info! I used one with my first son (4 years old now) I almost immediately saw a huge difference in the amount of drool he had. He wore it until he was probably 3 and started maybe around 6 months. That being said my 3 month old has started drooling a lot so I was going to start putting the necklace on him in the next month or so. Should I buy a new one? Or is the one I’ve had and used for my first son still effective?

  6. Succinic acid can only be released from amber when it’s heated to 400 degrees F. Body heat will not release succinic acid from amber.

  7. I’m curious your thoughts on this study regarding succinic acid, amber teething necklaces, and anti-inflammatory properties:
    Nissen, M. D., Lau, E. T. L., Cabot, P. J., & Steadman, K. J. (2019). Baltic amber teething necklaces: Could succinic acid leaching from beads provide anti-inflammatory effects? BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 19(162). doi: 10.1186/s12906-019-2574-9

  8. I just purchased this necklace and am excited to try it.
    I completely understand why “pop clasps” are necessary for safety. However, I feel like the clasp on this necklace is super weak…is this normal??
    If so, I’m ok with that. I just wanted to make sure it’s not “defective” and I don’t need to contact the company to exchange. Thanks!

  9. How long does it take for the necklace to work?

    • Many people find that it works right away – like 30 min after placing it on baby.

  10. The largest size this necklace comes in that I can see is 12.5″. Will you consider making a larger one for us Mamas? Thank you!

    • I second this! I’d like to wear a necklace or bracelet – @MamaNatural is there one you recommend for us mamas?

  11. I also bought the necklace you recommended but haven’t tried it yet because I’ve read that spit up can harm the knots tied in the middle of each bead and potentially mess up the beads. And my LO still spits up a lot after every nursing (at 6 months old) but is gaining weight fine so doctors not worried. But how does this effect the necklace use?

    • I’d go ahead and use it and not be too concerned about spit up harming the necklace. The knots and string are very strong and I don’t think they will be harmed at all. After all, drool and spit up are just a natural part of teething!

  12. I noticed that it says that this is the only necklace that isn’t autoclaved but I see that the Amazon link contains amber necklaces in darker colors. I know that light colored amber teething necklaces are possible without using heat but how are the darker amber colors obtained if autoclave is not used? ask because I actually prefer the look of the darker amber but if it involves autoclave I don’t know if I want it especially if this article is saying that the amber is of lesser value if heated.

    • Hi Char, thanks for your comment! The green amber in those necklaces we link to is naturally occuring. It’s rare – about 2% of amber is naturally green – so it’s more expensive to source, but it’s worth it to make a fully raw product. Thanks and best wishes to you!

  13. My baby is 24 months and has 6 teeth. I notice he bites EVERYTHING and it very fussy so I recently just bought the Amber teething necklace but Im worried that he might already be to old for it. Any thoughts?

    • Never too old! Many adults wear them to help with inflammation and find the amber helpful. Good luck, hope you and baby get relief soon!

  14. Did you read her whole post? The necklace is not to be worn unsupervised, during naps etc so there shouldn’t be any worry of strangulation or choking when used properly. Many people also put them on the baby’s ankle and tuck them under their sock, works the same. It brought more than a tiny bit of relief for my son personally, I’m super into safety and never had any worries when using it as recommended.

  15. My 9th month old is constantly busy and stays pretty distracted from teething pain during the day. However, the pain really bothers her at night and keeps her (and me) from sleeping. If she wears the necklace during the day will the acid that she absorbed throughout the day be able to ease the pain through the night or does it only help while being worn?

    Are amber anklets are safe to wear through the night if worn under socks?

    • Hi Katie – I don’t know about the oil absorbing through the day. However, while sleeping we double up the necklace around our daigher’s ankle and put a sock over it. She then wears footed pajamas over that. In my opinion, that is safer than wearing it around her neck!

      • We did the exact same thing. Doubled around the ankle, under a sock, in footie jammies. Never had an issue with it coming off. She wore it every night/nap that way for about 2 years Oh, and she sleeps like a wild monkey swinging through the trees so it definitely had the opportunity to move and it didn’t. I think as long as you have the kind that pops on/off vs screws on/off it’s safe.

  16. Hi there! My baby wore her amber necklace since she was four months old and it helped her tremendously. When she turned 9 months she’s started popping it off and putting it in her mouth. She has not worn it since because of fear of her choking and constantly taking it off. She is now 14 months and is getting her molars and I wish she would wear it to help with the discomfort as it did before. Any mamas have any tips of how I can keep it on her? Any recommendations of amber necklaces for toddlers? TIA!?

    • Wow!! sounds like a close call. I would be worried about the toddler getting it off even easier. I guess I was lucky my 4 kids never had any trouble with teething. Probably helped my wife nursed the kids to two.

  17. How early can I use the teething biscuits on my child — she is now 5 months. Is there any danger of choking on these? Not sure of the age or when I can start this…? Thanks!

  18. My lil man is almost 7 months and has been teething since 5 1/2 months. Always complaining or crying with his temperature out of control. I received my necklace & anklet from mycutiepie.com.au when he was 6 months! It took a day before it kicked in, but once it did, there was hardly any crying and his temperature regulated by itself. I’m honestly so stoked that I bought these!!! I was really reluctant to buy these out of skepticism, but I am going to buy these for every baby I know when their parents complain about teething coz THEY TRULY WORK!!!

  19. My mother in law made my baby a pillow filled with 2 ponds of amber. Is that going to work or the amber has to touch the skin to activate the oils?

    • The amber being warmed by the skin is what activities the oils.

  20. Baltic amber necklaces worked wonders for us! We used them in conjunction with homeopathic remedies which were also very helpful. Another option for teething necklaces are those made of hazelwood…they works differently than amber but can be very helpful for when teething is accompanied by those really acidic stools that cause bum rashes. 🙁 We usually had both on…hazelwood wrapped twice around the ankle and an amber necklace around the neck (which you can remove for naps).

  21. My daughter has 6 teeth coming in- all back teeth!?- at 3 1/2 months and I’m ready to try anything! I’ve tried the narural teething gel (didn’t realize it had clive oil in it ?) tethers, frozen washcloths, cold bottle (no help at all from those 3) chamomile tea, chamomile oil, teething cookies….similasan gas and colic tablets bc of their similarity to hylands teething tablet (some relief), ibuprofen/tylenol and traditional teething gel (some relief but very temporary) it’s killing me to see my Willow in this much pain! My son was a bad teether but this is the worst! How can my 3 1/2 month old be getting her molars already?!?! Her Dr had no words of wisdom either, besides “Oh! Wow! Um good luck!” any advice please!

    • Oops typo city lol

      • Did the onions work? Did you try that?! That sounds amazing and scary!

        I’m with you – my 4 month got her first 2 teeth on the bottom and now at 5 months is really going hard for the top ones. It’s miserable all around and I don’t know what to try. I ordered the Amber necklace and am waiting for it to arrive.

    • Try onions! I know that sounds completely odd but I have a 4 month old that started teething about 2 weeks ago (fussiness, crying, screaming at the top of his lungs the whole nine yards) and my mother told me to try an old traditional remedy that she used on my siblings and I while we were teething. At first I simply rejected the idea but after trying a million teething toys and Tylenol, I finally decided to give it a shot a few days ago and it absolutely worked!! My son had not slept well for over 3 weeks and the past few days he’s been catching up on some serious zzZzz!!! Simply cut up a white onion, grab a sliver, rub it against their gums and allow him/her to gnaw on it (they don’t mind the taste! Super weird I know!) I always rinse the outside of my sons mouth afterwards because I can’t stand the smell haha but trust me it works! Give it a shot! And good luck!

  22. Too funny — I bought the exact necklace you recommend just last week. It’s really helped! My 10mo got his first eight teeth without much fuss, but his molars were hurting him.

    • Glad the necklace is helping. And oh man, I know how it goes when the molars are coming in — it can take weeks too. ?


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