Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Oh my God... you're a HIPPIE!"
"NO I'M NOT! I swear I just... well, crap."

Okay, so maybe I am a little bit of a hippie mom (and hippy. But I’m working on that). Which is bizarre, because that is one of the few "insults" that could never have been leveled at me before I had Larkin. The hippiest thing about me was… well, nothing. Give me stilettos and sparkles and pretty makeup and non-organic food and better living through pharmaceuticals (legal ones!).

And I still don’t consider myself hippie, per se. We chose cloth diapers because of the financial savings – I didn’t even learn of the health benefits until after we made the choice, and the environmental benefits were just very nice side benefits. Yes, I wear my baby in a wrap, but that started because he flat out refused to go in his stroller. I co-sleep, but that started out of desperation for a decent night’s rest (that DIDN’T occur sitting in a recliner with a baby on my chest).

Some of my changes are temporary and mom-induced. I’ve set aside my stilettos (can’t carry a baby around with 4 1/2” heels) and most of my jewelry (ever had your favorite earrings ripped from your ears by a tiny pair of hands?). Others are more permanent. The extensive research I’ve done has led me to better consider the quality of food we eat and the importance of using fewer toxins and chemicals around the house.

One change that was brought along forcibly during my pregnancy was a reconsideration of pharmaceuticals. When I found out I was pregnant, I of course discontinued the prescription medications I was taking. I spent a great deal of time with my doctor, discussing what over the counter remedies were safe, and all-natural replacements to help me. After Larkin was born, I was blessed to be able to remain off of all my medications (controlling the symptoms of my anxiety, migraines, and other ailments through mental meditation, prayer and diet changes – yay for gluten free!) so that I have been able to continue breastfeeding without concern.

Of course, when Larkin was born, I had a bottle of infant Tylenol on hand. We didn’t need to open it until he began teething, but I hesitated to use it. I know over the counter pain relievers are hard on baby’s bodies, and (since alternative remedies had been working so well for myself) I figured there was a safer way to treat his aches and pains. Once he cut his first tooth, and we dealt with the DRAMA (crying, fussiness, tummy pains and fever), I upped my search for a safe, natural remedy.

I kept hearing moms online swear by amber teething necklaces. But I took all their anecdotal evidence with a grain of salt. I just wasn’t buying how a necklace (that the baby didn’t even chew on!) could relieve teething pain. So I did a bunch of research. There is a compound called succinic acid that occurs naturally in Baltic amber. The theory proposed is that when worn against the skin and warmed to body temperature, the succinic acid in amber is released into the bloodstream and serves as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory.  

I am a born skeptic, so I continued my research until I finally found a small mention of the successful use of Baltic amber in a study of patents with arthritis in a medical journal. Another study showed that succinic acid has shown to reduce anxiety and stress induced temperatures in mice. Between all of the empirical recommendations and some scientific evidence, I decided it was worth a try.

I ordered a teething necklace from Inspired by Finn, the website I saw most recommended by parents online. They have a wonderful tip sheet that explains the best way to choose a necklace. The most important tip is that the lighter the amber, the higher level of succinic acid it contains (i.e. – the lighter the necklace, the higher the pain relieving properties). I was glad to read this, because I aesthetically prefer dark amber, but that wasn’t the point of the purchase.

When the necklace arrived (in very quick time after ordering it – just a few days), I was pleased upon inspection. It was cute as can be, without being overly girly (I chose a honey colored, unpolished necklace). He looked just like a little surfer dude! I also appreciated that the clasp was secure, and the strand was knotted between each individual stone to reduce any danger should the necklace happen to break.

"Hang ten, man!"
I would like to say that I wish I had a better photo, but now that Larkin is getting the hang of *crawling*, he's not a big fan of posing for pictures anymore.
So, I put the necklace on Larkin and decided I would form an opinion on how well it actually works the next time he started cutting teeth. I figured that at the very least, we had an adorable piece of baby jewelry. He wore it for a little less than a week, and I was ready for him to start teething again so I could see how it worked. I kept checking his bottom gum, waiting for that second middle tooth to poke its way through.

One day we were playing on the bed, and I was making him laugh. When he opened his mouth wide, I realized he had TWO new teeth up top! TWO TEETH, Y’ALL! I didn’t even NOTICE. No crying, no fever, no tummy issues. NOTHING. I almost fell over. At the moment, he is cutting four teeth. Once that fourth one stated making its way to the surface, the fussiness did increase a bit, but nothing too bad, and still no fever or tummy issues.

Can I say that again? FOUR TEETH AT ONCE – NO PROBLEMS.

Let me clarify - this is not a scientific study. It is purely empirical evidence on something that has worked for us that I recommend as being worth a try. And, like I said, at the very least, you have a very cute piece of baby jewelry that will last forever. I also definitely recommend buying from Inspired by Finn – their customer service is wonderful (they responded to my questions within the day) and they sell legitimate pure Baltic amber (other ambers do not contain succinic acid). I’ve heard of parents buying from other sellers receiving glass beads rather than amber. Plus, their prices are great and their attention to safety-related details is admirable.

They also sell necklaces in adult sizes, and I’m enough of a convert to be purchasing a necklace for myself to help with my back pain and headaches. I will let you know how it works for me!

***Disclosure*** Inspired by Finn did offer me a discount on Larkin’s necklace in exchange for this review. However, the discount was offered after I had already made up my mind to purchase one on my own at full price. I assure you that all of the words you read are truly my opinion on a great product that I highly recommend. 

Does my baby ever wear a shirt?

6 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Great post! I don't think you are a hippie- I just think you do what's best for your baby and yourself! So glad the necklace is working- amazing!

Sara W. said...

I agree, I thought it was complete and utter myth. When my daughter got SIX teeth in 1 1/2 week, I was totally sold. I LOVE IBF teething necklaces.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen much of a difference in my son's fussiness since I bought the necklace, but I'm intrigued enough to try it out on my migraines.

Julie said...

My daughter loves her amber necklace! I notice that it takes a day or so to be effective, so don't wait until your kiddo is in pain to put it on.

Anonymous said...

Who says being a hippie is a bad thing? :)

Jana Green said...

I tried and tried and tried to get them to let me review for the percentage off and nobody ever got back to me..... So sad. Ended up ordering from someone else on Amazon, because I can't afford the IBF at full price right now.

Post a Comment