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Category: Natural Parenting Experience

Baltic Amber, What Is It And Does It Work?

Baltic Amber, What Is It And Does It Work?

Let me start by saying I am not a doctor, nor do I claim that Baltic Amber will be a magic cure to everything, but I will give you some background, facts, and my personal experience with Baltic amber.

What is Baltic Amber?

Baltic Amber is an organic substance that formed over 45 million years ago. It is a fossil resin produced by pine trees that grew in Northern Europe (Lithuania). Baltic Amber ranges in colors from light yellow to a dark brown color. It can contain water bubbles, gas bubbles, twigs, seeds, or even insects encased in the amber. From a chemical point of view, amber consists of 79% carbon, 10.5% hydrogen, and 10.5% oxygen. Studies that are done with a mass spectrometer show that amber contains over 40 different compounds as well as Succinic Acids, additives of salt of potassium, sodium and iron.

How does it works?

While wearing Baltic Amber the heat from your skin warms up the amber beads releasing small amounts of its healing oils, it is then absorbed through the skin and into the blood stream. The succinic acid in Baltic Amber is known to be a natural analgesic (pain reliever), anti-inflammatory, it can accelerate the healing of wounds, and help with relaxation. Baltic Amber is NOT meant to be placed in the mouth to relive teething symptoms, but it should rather be worn so the oil can be absorbed into the skin. You may not notice immediate relief of your symptoms since the oil needs to build up in your system. Also, every person reacts differently and may not experience complete relief of their symptoms while wearing Baltic Amber.

Is a necklace safe for my baby to wear?

There are a few safety measures taken to make the amber necklaces safe for a baby or child to wear. Each bead is knotted to prevent all the beads from coming loose in the event of the necklace breaking. Another safety measure is that the necklaces have a plastic screw closure that would break apart if it is pulled. This closure is not as easily broken as a pop clasp is, so there is less of a likelihood that the necklace will be lost. It is still important that proper safety precautions are used when your child is wearing an amber necklace.

How to care for your Baltic Amber and how long will it last?

Caring for Baltic Amber is very easy; it just needs to be wiped clean with a soft damp cloth then air dried. If you choose, you can place it in the sun after cleaning and it will give a boost to the oils being released. With proper care, the Baltic Amber beads will last forever but the string and clasp may need replacing after time. Since the beads are a softer texture, they may become damaged if placed or struck with harder materials; it is recommended to not wear with metal necklaces or to put a metal pendant on your Baltic Amber necklace.

My personal experience with Baltic Amber

I got my first amber necklace while pregnant with my middle son, it was intended for him once he was born but since I had it, I chose to wear it on my ankle. I wore it all through pregnancy and never had any of the common pregnancy related aches and pains. Also, my back pain that I had since the birth of my older child was no longer a problem. When I went into L&D after my water broke, the delivery nurse hooked me up to the monitor and to my surprise, I was having contractions every 5-6 minutes. They were not extremely strong contractions, but they were strong enough that I should have felt them, but I didn’t. I did feel contractions as I progressed in my labor, they were not horrible until I was ready to push. After my son was born, I chose to give him his necklace and purchase my own. I felt the need of acquiring my own necklace since my back-pain suddenly reappeared during the time that I wasn’t wearing the amber.  I had been living with this pain since I had my daughter 2 years prior. To my surprise, the amber has helped so much, and my back pain is nonexistent when I have my amber necklace on. I know most people are interested in Baltic Amber necklaces for their teething babies; here is what I experienced with my boys. Both of my boys wore their necklaces since birth but as a mom I knew instantly when they were teething. When they started teething and had their amber necklaces on, they had a reduced amount of drooling and needed less over the counter medication to help with pain and swelling associated with teething. Many don’t believe me and often question how I could possibly know the boys’ true health benefits from the Baltic Amber since they wore them from day one. The story I always tell happened during the summer months when the entire family spent a good amount of time in the pool and on the beach. We always took our necklaces off to go to the beach and pool. During this time, I always noticed that my boys were crankier and cried more.

Our Amber Necklaces

Safety precautions

  • Do NOT let babies or children sleep in amber (or any) necklaces. Amber necklaces should be

removed from neck while sleeping but you may wrap it around your child’s ankle under socks or

pajamas.

  • Babies and children should always be supervised while wearing any necklace including amber

necklaces.

  • Always let caregivers know that your child is wearing an amber necklace so that they can be the

judge if they feel it is best to remove it when in their care.

  • Amber necklaces are NOT meant to be chewed on and will break if bitten.

Cloth Diapers: A father’s Point of View

To this day, I consider my experience with fatherhood as one of the most extraordinary blessings I could ever encounter. From the moment I witnessed my first born Jalissa’s arrival into this world, my life was forever changed. I knew from that moment on, all I wanted to be was the best dad that I could be, the best husband a wife could ever ask for and I wanted to always be there for my children. As a first-time dad, there was so much information about parenting I didn’t know about, and so many different ways out there to raise your children. When my daughter was two and a half years old, my wife brought up the idea of cloth diapering Jalissa. At that point in my life, the only experience I had with Cloth diapers came from when my when my youngest brother was a baby. Being that I was born in Central America 30 years ago, it was common back then to cloth diaper your baby mainly out of necessity.  My siblings and I were all cloth diapered until potty trained, and when I say cloth “diapered”, I mean just wearing flats and plastic pants.

My first thought to her sudden suggestion was to turn her idea down, because I felt like I could afford to pay for disposable diapers. I also thought cloth diapers would be an inconvenience or a nuisance. At that time, I didn’t know there were additional benefits from cloth diapering your baby other than to save a buck. I learnt early in my parenting career to respect and take into consideration my wife’s recommendations that concerned our children. I remembered being astonished at how natural it was for her to breastfeed and nurture our daughter; I also knew my wife was very determined to cloth diaper and it could turn into a losing battle if I was to oppose to this idea.

When we first introduced my daughter to cloth diapers, she was at the stage of potty training. I remembered being stunned by how much cloth diapers had improved since my brother was a baby. Not only did they look modern and trendy, but they were also absorbent. During the time my wife took to learn the ropes of Cloth Diapering, I still had my doubts about them and hoped she would soon lose interest. What really changed my mind and put everything into perspective was noticing how much my daughter’s skin improved after switching to cloth. Before making the change, (no pun intended) I remember having to constantly apply diaper cream to my daughter, as she cried hysterically from awful blistered diaper rashes. This is not a biased opinion from a cloth diapering father or even a sales pitch from a business owner, my baby’s skin truly made a remarkable improvement after switching from disposables. There was no need for more diaper cream because the rashes completely disappeared. After you noticed something like that, as a parent, you start to question what kind of chemicals you’re exposing your baby to.

Despite the fact I had considerable doubts about cloth diapering, my whole attitude soon changed, and I was fully on board with this parenting decision. I was more supportive of my wife and often offered her help with diaper changes as much as I could. I even hung cubbies that stored all her diapers on top of the baby’s changing table. A few months went by and we were pleasantly surprised to know that my wife was pregnant again with my 2nd born. This time around, we agreed to start cloth diapering him full time from newborn on. When Jayden arrived into our lives, we had put together a stash of pocket diapers plus whatever hand-me-downs Jalissa had grown out of. These one-size diapers have adjustable snaps that can work for most babies and toddlers. Yes, a full diaper stash of 30 or more diapers may be pricey, but soon you start to notice your investment pay for itself, after you consider all the savings due to the diapers’ sustainability.

 

Diaper storage
Cloth diaper shelving above changing table

 

A year goes by and my wife tells me she is pregnant again with baby number three. At this point in my life, cloth diapering has become the norm in our household. The fear I had of the “inconvenience factor” was diminished and proven to be less work than I originally thought. With the help of items like wet bags, diaper liners and a good ol’ washer and dryer, cloth diapering was breeze. By the time Tino was born, we had doubled up our stash count. I continued being supportive of this lifestyle with Tino as much as I did with Jayden. Fortunately for us, Tino is now fully potty trained and only uses cloth diapers at night as a precaution. Among many things, I credit my wife for making me cognizant of the importance of maintaining a low carbon footprint. My advice to new dads contemplating cloth diapering, is to weigh in the benefits against disadvantages; I understand this parenting choice is not for everybody but I’m very happy I gave it a chance. Whether you and your significant other agree or disagree on a parenting choice, you should always do the research and keep an open mind.

 

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