Thursday, August 29, 2013

Review: Breastfeeding Necklaces

Like most four month old babies, Charlie is now easily distracted during breastfeeds and Kaitlyn finds wearing a breastfeeding - or nursing - necklace gives her something to keep her focused on while she feeds. I have also found they have a feed association for her that helps when I give her expressed breastmilk from a bottle while I care for her.

It is no coincidence that women in traditional cultures often wear strings of necklaces around their necks - this has probably long been a solution to an age-old problem! But like so much to do with the culture of breastfeeding, modern society has had to relearn these tricks.

With simple materials, you can easily create your own breastfeeding beads or necklace - indeed, until recently, there was no other option! But there are also ready-made commercial options available, great for the time-poor of craft-challenged!

We have checked out three options:

Pinky Mckay's Boobie Beads by Mumma Bubba Jewlery

Pinky kindly gave Kaitlyn and I two of these necklaces. 

What they say:
All babies love to grab and chew. When you become a mum, it shouldn’t mean that your days of wearing jewellery are over!
MummaBubba Jewellery offers the ideal combination of form and function, so mum can sit back and relax in the latest fashion accessories with the peace of mind that they are providing safe, much needed relief to tender little gums.
Our chewable accessory range is made from FDA approved silicone that is regularly tested and guaranteed to contain NO BPA, Phthalates, PVC, Lead, Cadmium or Mercury. It is odourless, tasteless and bacteria free with a custom designed clasp that pulls apart safely. Our jewellery is tested to Australian Standards AS NZ 8124.2010

 What we say:
These beads are the first we tried and Charlie took to the idea well. She likes to hold on to the large bead, which fits neatly into her hand. The only downside is the silicone beads tend to catch on mum's hair a little, because they cover the full necklace.

Gumi Drops Necklace by Gumi Gems Australia:

Kaitlyn purchased these at a Huckleberry Market

What they say:
The safety of our products is of great importance to us and so, Gumigem ® jewellery has been tested and is fully compliant with Australian/New Zealand Standards on Safety of Toys
AS/NZS ISO 8124-1:2010+A1:2011
AS/NZS ISO 8124-2:2009
AS/NZS ISO 8124-3:2003
Gumigem necklaces - children & babies must only interact with a necklace when worn by an adult due to long cord - strangulation risk. This is not a toy.

What we say:
Style-wise, these are Kaitlyn's favourite and most-worn. The beads don't go right around the neck, so her hair doesn't catch on the silicone. They have even handled the extra aquatic demands of both hot springs and swimming pool! Again, Charlie's fingers seek out the larger beads and she clings to them, even when not feeding.

Breastfeeding Necklace by The Cronulla-Sutherland group of ABA in Sydney

I bought this necklace and bracelet set as a gift & to support ABA!

What they say:

This colourful and interesting breastfeeding necklace can help entertain baby while feeding, allowing for a longer, more peaceful feed, thus encouraging mums to continue breastfeeding for longer.
Each breastfeeding necklace and Peek-A-Bubba Sling Mirror are hand made by Australian Breastfeeding Association volunteers.
(As they are handmade, there may be slight bead variations)

What we say:
These coloured beads are a change from the silicone and caught Charlie's eye from the start. The free matching bracelet is a nice extra, although Kaitlyn uses the traditional "poke and think about last time" method to know which side is next! The (smaller) beading goes around the back of the neck but there hasn't been any hair-catching like the silicone.

I remember when my own babies were this age, sadly putting away my necklaces and dangling earrings that were so tempting to clutching fingers. I love that mums these days still get to wear something nice and can work through The Age Of Distraction a little more successfully.

Obviously, none of these items are intended as toys and all pose a hazard to the child unless used as directed with full adult supervision.

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