Over the last few months, I’ve seen several babies and toddlers in Missoula wearing very cute little baby necklaces. When I saw them, I thought they were adorable little accessories but since I could barely get our little nugget clothed and out the door on time for appointments I figured putting on cute baby accessories was out of our league.
Then last month at a clothing swap, another mama had brought her baby along and he was wearing one of these adorable little necklaces. I asked her about it and found out it was an Allspice teething necklace she had made. So not only was it super cute, it had a purpose!
She told me to gently tug on her baby’s necklace to pull it off since it was closed with a magnetic clasp. I was a little freaked out, thinking I would choke her baby! But I did as she instructed and with a very gentle tug, the necklace came off. She explained to me the idea behind using Allspice necklaces to help with teething and told me how to make one. I couldn’t wait to make one for our little nugget!
The next day I did a little internet research on Allspice teething necklaces and this is what I found out. Allspice is a natural spice that contains tannin, the tannin slowly enters the system through the skin when wearing an allspice teething necklace. Tannin is supposed to help gums tighten making it easier for teeth to push through. Allspice teething necklaces help reduce irritability and help baby to sleep better. Many families who regularly use the Allspice teething necklaces state that their babies don’t get teething fevers.
Of course there is no official research out there to back the use of Allspice teething necklaces but since it is a natural remedy with no harmful side effects we figured we would give it a try. At the very least it looks cute even if it is a myth! I will note that folks who use these and some families who swear by using them for generations will tell you that they really do work.
Babies can start to wear the Allspice teething necklaces as early as four months old. We take ours off for baths and at night/naps although some families leave them on since there is a magnetic clasp. We do what a lot of other families do when baby is sleeping, wrap the necklace twice around baby’s ankle if it is not too tight so it can still work its magic.
I added “whole allspice” to our grocery list and next time I went to the Missoula Coop, I bought a little container full since I was not sure how many I needed. At the time, our little nugget was not showing any major signs of painful teething and I was busy with other crafting, gardening, hiking, and camping adventures as our spring weather warmed.
Then our poor little nugget got her first fever. It never went too high but she was cranky and needy, definitely not her usual sweet self. We figured out she was likely teething after scouring some baby care books and doing some internet research on trusted websites. I felt like a guilty mama for putting off making her Allspice necklace since it may have helped prevent some of the discomfort she was experiencing.
After her fever broke and she was less needy, I finally had a few free minutes to make her first Allspice teething necklace. It was super easy and took me less than half an hour. Our little nugget sat next to me in her wooden highchair and played with thread spools, content to watch her mama create something for her.
What you will need to make an Allspice Teething Necklace:
¼- ½ cup whole Allspice
Colorful beads of your choice
First step is to soak the Allspice in water to soften them up to make threading on a needle and string possible. I put a pile of Allspice in a bowl, filled it with water and let it sit on our counter overnight.
The next morning after a cup of coffee and feeding our little nugget breakfast, I started in on the project so the Allspice soaked for about 8-9 hours.
To figure out the length you need to make the necklace, take a piece of string and measure around your baby’s neck. Cut the piece of string a few inches longer than the measured length.Tie one end of your beading thread to one end of the magnetic clasp. I used a fisherman’s knot which I know is strong and leaves a little tail I can thread back through to hide at the end (see end of tutorial for this step.)
Thread your beading thread onto your needle. If you want a specific pattern to your beads, lay them out so you can make sure it can be threaded as evenly as possible. You can also just thread beads on randomly without any specific pattern and it will be just as beautiful!
Now start threading. I started with several pieces of Allspice. I picked the largest pieces of Allspice from the bowl since they had more girth to thread through and I figured they would be more durable and less likely to split apart when threading. Try to pierce the Allspice in the center so it is threaded more solidly, there is a little circle in the center which helps to guide where to pierce it for threading.
There were 2-3 pieces of Allspice that did split a little, I pulled them off the thread and set them aside for the compost bin.
Once the length looks about right, hold it around your baby’s neck to ensure it will fit. Then tie off the end of the thread to the other magnetic clasp.
After knotting it several times, push the needle back through several Allspice beads and pull the end of the beading thread back through to hide it.
Cut off the small end of thread sticking out and now you can’t even see it.
Do this with the other loose end of thread from the starter end of the necklace.
Our little nugget’s necklace turned out so beautiful and the earthy, spicy scent smells wonderful too!
I put it on our little nugget and she didn’t seem to mind, pull it off or play with it. I think the key is that she can’t see it to be curious about it!
The left over Allspice was dumped into our compost bin and I have a tub of dried Allspice left over for the next necklace we make since they are to be replaced every couple months as the tannin in the Allspice naturally seeps out.
If you make one, please share about your project and post a picture if you can since we’d love to see what others are creating!
There is also a lot of info out there about amber necklaces being helpful for teething babies. I just picked up some amber beads at a local bead shop so stay tuned for a future DIY blog post on making an amber teething necklace!