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Babies usually begin teething sometime between their third and seventh month of life. Though some little ones don't seem to be all that bothered by the process, and only display modest amounts of drooling, a tendency to bite on things, and a teething rash, others become completely inconsolable for months on end. Think about it — you're talking about teeth slashing their way through the baby's delicate flesh into the outside world. Frankly, if it happened to me, I don't think I'd be too chuffed either.
Not only do parents of babies with severe teething symptoms feel totally sorry for their sprouts, they will also quite inevitably go half-insane listening to the constant crying. Of course, you are looking for a safe and effective remedy that will ease your little one's symptoms and make you all happy again.
Thankfully, you have plenty of options. Teething toys, including those with gels that you can put in the freezer to provide a cooling sensation that really soothes those sore gums, are one very popular possibility. Cold foods and drinks (in babies over six months), placing pressure on your baby's gums with a clean finger, and pacifiers are all options as well. Should none of that make much of a difference, you can also ask your pediatrician about offering baby Tylenol (also known as paracetamol and acetaminophen) to your little one. (Note: The Food and Drug Administration now strongly warns against the use of topical numbing agents for the gums, which were very popular during previous generations.)
Is your baby still not happy? Or are you, perhaps, philosophically opposed to, or medically concerned about, using over-the-counter analgesics in infants? Chances are that you'll bump into another supposed remedy for baby teething very soon. A friend of yours may swear by amber teething necklaces, or else you'll come across them during a Google search for natural teething pain remedies.
What Are Amber Teething Necklaces Supposed To Do?
Amber is, of course, the ancient fossilized resin that sometimes contains trapped bugs and plant bits. Amber is really very pretty and has been used as jewelry for a long time, for good reason.
Read about amber teething necklaces — either on natural parenting websites or within the blurbs salespeople offer you in a bid to convince you to buy one — and you will hear the same claims over and over again:
- Amber has "been used for centuries for teething and is renown [sic] for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties". (Source: BellyBelly.)
- Amber "is said to work by stimulating the thyroid glands". (Source: BellyBelly.)
- "When amber is worn on the skin, the skin's warmth releases small amounts of healing oils from the amber which are then absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream." (Source: Healing Amber.)
- "In Austria, Switzerland and Germany, you will find amber teething necklaces sold in local pharmacies" (Source: Healing Amber"
- Amber "boosts the immune system", "reduces inflammation (especially in the gums)", and acts "as a natural energizer". (Source: Amber by Amanda.)
Note that I picked three random sources here — no matter which advocate of amber teething necklaces you ask, they'll also make the same claims. Do those claims hold any water? We'll investigate that on the next page.