Both of my children really teeth. There is no easy arrival of a tooth. Each is preceded by weeks of drooling, irritability, biting hands, biting anything, refusing food, refusing sippy cups, interrupted sleep, inconsolable crying, nappy rash, horrible poos, and an insatiable desperation for boob and snuggles. My partner jokingly threatened to leave me if I bought my daughter one of the amber necklaces so many of my friends had around their teeny children’s necks in London. He thought the whole thing was laughingly ridiculous, with no scientific merit whatsoever, on a par with homeopathy which he also considers ludicrous. So I resisted the amber necklace for my first child, and stuck with nurofen, boob and homeopathic teething salts, which, if nothing else, served to distract her for a bit. We weathered the storm. At some point, her final teeth arrived without incident and that was that.
And then baby number two. Now, the teething symptoms are much the same, but in my boy’s case, it would keep him up at night sometimes for three hour stretches, and getting him back to sleep was seriously exhausting, hard work. One day I announced to my fella in a haze of resolute exhaustion (if there is such a thing) that I was utterly desperate and I was going to try out an amber necklace. I started to explain the ins and outs of Baltic amber, succinic acid and its analgesic effect…but he cut me off and said “Miranda, that’s hogwash. Go ahead but let’s not talk about it!” Fair enough. At least he hadn’t threatened to leave!!
A bit of history? My boy was twelve and a half months old the day the Baltic amber necklace arrived. He had not yet started sleeping through the night. He had showed glimmers of his sleeping potential, but I was still doing a 10.30pm dream feed, which would often become a protracted midnight feast. The necklace arrived. I bought a very light butter coloured amber from an Australian company called Flower Child Baby Boutique. They give a good spiel on Baltic amber. I slipped it around my son’s neck and he barely noticed as it was so light. He only every so often feels for it and then lets it go. My fella returned from work and commented that he actually quite liked how it looked. Phew! That night, I decided to go to bed without doing the dream feed, just to see what happened as everything was quiet. I woke at 7.30am and my boy was still asleep. Since that night (beginning of December or thereabouts), he has slept through virtually every single night, apart from a few nights of illness. I have found no legitimate evidence to substantiate the multitudes of claims that Baltic amber has special powers (not merely confined to teething). But I won’t lose sleep…or teeth over it. My boy still drools and gets upset when teeth are shifting about in his tiny little jaw. Teething is not without incident. However, perhaps it doesn’t mess with his tiny little head quite as much. Or perhaps he was just ready to sleep through the night and the arrival of the amber beads was pure coincidence.
I’ll tell you this much… I don’t care! They’re not coming off! I am not taking that risk!