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Buying guide for best amber necklaces for babies

There’s a reason people use the phrase “cutting a tooth.” Teething is a painful process that requires the sharp pointy end of the baby tooth to pierce the gum. Unfortunately, many pain relievers are not approved for infants, leaving parents with limited options to help soothe their baby.

As a result, many parents use homeopathic or nontraditional methods to combat their baby’s teething pain. One method that’s gaining popularity is skin contact with Baltic amber, usually through the wearing of a beaded necklace. Amber — or fossilized tree resin — has been used in jewelry since ancient times. Some believe that amber that originates in the Baltic region is helpful in treating pain and inflammation.

Baltic amber contains succinic acid, a substance that’s historically been used to treat pain. Some believe that the amber releases trace amounts of succinic acid into the skin when warmed by body heat. Succinic acid is naturally found in the human body, and studies have shown that even large dosages are harmless.

Many parents report that their babies are calmer, less fussy, and drool and cry less while wearing amber necklaces. If you think that Baltic amber may give your child some relief, keep reading to learn about the different possibilities. When you’re done, check our recommendations for the top amber necklaces for babies.

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Amber is extremely old, so it tends to be brittle. Try not to drop it on hard surfaces to increase its longevity, and don’t store it with metal jewelry that could mar the surface of the beads.

Key considerations


Necklaces should be worn close to the neck, but not so tightly that it is uncomfortable or spurs your baby to grab at or remove the necklace. Necklaces are too long if baby can easily fidget with the beads or chew on them. Long necklaces actually pose a greater risk, because they could more easily get caught on something and strangle the child or be put in the mouth, which could create a choking hazard.

If your baby is less than one year old, look for necklaces that measure 10 to 11 inches long, unless he is especially chubby. Necklaces measuring between 12 and 13 inches long are best for children who have passed their first birthday. If you buy a shorter necklace when your baby is younger, reevaluate it periodically to make sure it hasn’t grown too tight. [If you’re looking for additional options to soothe your baby, check out our top picks for teething toys.]

Raw amber vs. polished

When buying a necklace, you’ll need to choose between raw amber beads and beads that have been polished. Some believe that raw beads have a higher succinic acid content than polished amber beads. Raw amber is largely untreated, while polished amber beads usually have been treated with heat or pressure to make them more glossy. Some retailers claim that these treatments trap the succinic acid inside the bead or lower the amber’s acid content, making them less potent. Other retailers say heat does not affect the beads’ makeup and advise that polished beads feel smoother on baby’s neck, while raw beads may have uncomfortable edges that could irritate skin or attract baby’s attention to the necklace.

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Amber is an organic gemstone — as opposed to a mineral — so it can be damaged by soap, shampoo, sunscreen, and lotion. Be sure to handle the necklace either before applying these products or after you wash them off your hands.


Individual knotting

Some amber necklaces will be strung bead-to-bead along a string. If these necklaces break, all the beads will quickly slide off and scatter. This is irritating for anyone, but can be dangerous for babies, since they may pick up a loose bead and put it in their mouths.

Higher-quality amber necklaces will be individually knotted — tied with a knot between each bead. If an individually knotted strand breaks, the majority of the beads will stay on the strand because they are literally tied into place. Individually knotted strands are more easily repaired and scatter fewer beads that babies could ingest. Some necklaces are even double-knotted for extra security.

Easy-release clasp

The clasp is arguably the most important feature of a necklace. In necklaces meant for adults, you want the clasp to be extremely secure, fastening with a spring ring or lobster claw. But in necklaces for babies, you want a clasp that will open with a moderate amount of pressure in order to help prevent strangulation.

  • Pop clasp: Many amber necklaces for babies have pop clasps, which will pop open when yanked. Necklaces with pop clasps come off more easily, but this also means these necklaces have a tendency to get lost. Since they’re meant to open when pulled, these necklaces aren’t easily broken if babies yank them off.

  • Twist clasp: Other necklaces fasten with clasps that twist or screw open and shut. These clasps stay fastened more securely than pop clasps, so a baby is less likely to pull them off and lose them. Most are designed to break apart when enough force is applied in order to prevent strangulation. If the clasp is forced open, though, it’s broken for good.


Amber can vary greatly in color, but the colors don’t indicate a specific concentration of succinic acid or country of origin. Instead, the color of the amber is mostly determined by the kind of tree from which the resin came. Since the color is mostly a matter of preference, you can choose the one you prefer or the one that looks best on your baby. Some strands feature a single color of beads; others mix colors in alternating, graduated, or rainbow-inspired patterns. Amber beads can range in color from light honey or butterscotch to dark cherry, black, or green.

Amber necklaces for babies prices

Inexpensive: You can find inexpensive amber necklaces for your baby for around $15. At this price, necklaces will usually feature a single color of polished Baltic amber beads. Even at this budget-friendly price point, you should find necklaces that are individually knotted and feature a variety of clasp styles that are safe for babies.

Mid-range: For $15 to $20, you’ll find single or multi-colored Baltic amber beads. Beads will usually be polished instead of raw and be individually knotted for security. Clasps should pop open or screw in for safety.

Expensive: The highest-quality amber necklaces will cost $25 to $30. These necklaces should be made of raw Baltic amber, featuring beads in either a single color or multicolor, and be individually knotted or double-knotted. Most clasps will pop open for safety.

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For your safety
If you’re uncomfortable letting your baby wear a necklace, consider wrapping the amber strand around her wrist or ankle.


  • Never allow a baby to wear an amber necklace unsupervised, including in the crib.

  • Avoid exposing amber to oils and soaps, which can easily coat the beads and diminish its effect.

  • Concerned your amber necklace is a fake? Place it in a bowl of salt water. Genuine amber will float, while plastic or glass beads will sink.

Other products we considered

Amber necklaces aren’t about appearances, but we love the look of this Baltic Wonder Amber teething necklace. The amber beads graduate in color from light to dark from the back to the front of the strand. A pop-open clasp keeps the necklace safe and secure. And if you’re looking for something a little different, this Amber Guru green Baltic amber necklace is sure to stand out on the playground. It has an unusual hue, but amber does come in green, and it’s certified to be genuine. Its screw clasp makes it hard for baby to yank off, but it releases in an emergency with enough force.

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Babies can start wearing teething necklaces around their fourth month. In fact, getting your baby used to wearing the necklace when she’s younger can help prevent her from pulling or biting it later.


Q. What’s the best way to clean an amber necklace?
It’s best to clean amber with a soft cloth or unused toothbrush that’s been lightly moistened with lukewarm water. Never use harsh cleaners, which can damage amber and other organic gems. Keep amber jewelry out of ultrasonic cleaners and commercial cleaning solutions. Allow your amber strand to air dry, or wipe away moisture with a clean, soft towel.

Q. Will any kind of amber have the same effect?
Succinic acid is believed to be the key to pain relief, and Baltic amber is composed of up to 8% of this substance by weight. There’s a reason this gem is also known as succinite. In contrast, other types of amber contain little to no succinic acid, so any effects would be diminished. Baltic amber comes from the countries around the Baltic Sea, such as Lithuania, Poland, and Germany. It can be a variety of colors, but most often it has a hue reminiscent of honey. Color isn’t an indicator of the amber’s country of origin, so it’s best to check with the manufacturer to verify that the gem came from the Baltic region.

Q. How do I know when it’s time to toss my baby’s necklace?
Many children wear teething necklaces until about the age of three, but it’s usually not the same necklace from start to finish. If your little one’s necklace looks like it’s digging into his neck, or if he’s suddenly tugging on it when he’s never noticed it before, it’s probably time to go up a size. You should examine the necklace regularly for beads that are cracked, shattered, or otherwise broken. If you find any beads that have deteriorated, throw it away. Toss any necklace with a frayed or compromised cord. Many quality necklaces can last up to two years, but they will probably start deteriorating at that point, if not sooner, with frequent wear.

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