I remember when my girlfriend gifted me with my first pair of baby leg warmers. I looked at them curiously and thought "is this for when my baby does yoga?' and had a chuckle and put them away.
The house I birthed my baby in had an old hardwood floor that was drafty. As she was born in November, we had quite a winter to get through. I thought about the baby leg warmers often when changing her, those cute little kicking legs, all open to the air like that bothered me, especially as a new mom, trying to do everything 'right' and being as diligent as I could.
So I dug out the cream coloured leg warmers and put them on her. I oo'ed and ahh'd for a bit at their adorableness and then continued to breastfeed her. For the next diaper change I found myself pleased. I could access the diaper easily and her wee legs were still all cozy.
Naturally, I needed more! After all, that one pair needed to be washed. So I hunted around for a while for a good price, irked at the $15-$20 price tag on most I found. Since by that point I was pretty much a single mom, I couldn't afford to buy any. So I waited.
The spring came and I found myself at a friends family weekend camping extravaganza and a wonderful woman had brought a bunch she was selling for $5 a piece! Yoink!
By this time I was full well into cloth diapering my child. I had figured everything out and had my nice routine going, easy peasy. Then I had a eureka moment. Wait! You mean I can make outfits with a leg warmer and a cloth diaper? I can still show off that cute cloth too? The designer in me reveled!
I had just started Yummy Mummy Emporium as a business since I needed an income to support my child and myself. I was primarily supplying cloth diapers, wet/dry bags and amber teething necklaces, trying to share information and help other young moms with natural health information (my training is in naturopathic medicine) and on how to save money. When this woman at my friend's place suggested to me that leg warmers could be a great adjunct to my business, I agreed whole heartedly. She was kind enough to connect me to all the right people.
Suddenly, I had plenty of leg warmers to play with. I matched outfits with leg warmers and diapers and head gear, like bows, bands and clippies. There seemed to be an interesting psychological effect happening...despite my stresses, I felt like a good and caring mom. And that got me through the tired days, the stressful days, the broke days, and the depressed days.
My girl always had a pair of leg warmers on her. By studying her in them, watching her play, fall, and climb I started to gain new insight on the fringe benefits of these little tubes of cloth.
Easy Access: Leg warmers made my 10 - 13 daily cloth diaper changes a breeze. One diaper off, wipe, one diaper on. Done.
No Wicking: Pants are over rated. Uncomfortable around the waist and sometimes causing wicking from the diaper, changing pants on a wriggly baby or toddler all the time was not my favourite. I had a girl, so tossing a skirt over top was easy to do or a simple pair of shorts worked if it was cooler. But pants? Blah! Do you have any idea how fast these creatures' legs grow?? Fast!
Bridge the Gap: I get lots of customers in my store carrying their children and I always see a sock, a gap and up there...the pants. Leg warmers solve the gap. Or on an older child who is out growing his pants or his sweater or coat, leg warmers make the leap on the arm toward the wrist. Why spend $40 on a new coat when you can spend $8 on arm warmers for that last stretch before the spring? Extra clothing mileage saves you money...leg warmers are versatile and handy for your pocketbook too.
Bugs! In cottage country we have bugs. That young flesh is a tasty treat for a mosquito or worst, a deer fly or horse fly. Good luck getting through a leg warmer suckers!
Extra Warmth: It's a cold, wintery day and my girl wants to go outside to play or she is heading to daycare, a pair of leg warmers, then her pants over top, is extra protection from cold weather and falls on the ice. Aren't you a smart parent!?
UV Protection: Having fun at the beach? Despite the sunscreen use, you feel it's time to get the sun off those legs so you grab a pair and on they go. Now your child can play in the sand a little longer and your worry of a burn or excessive skin damage is gone.
Protection from Falls: I remember the one and only day I forgot the leg warmers and it's a lesson I won't soon forget. My daughter last summer, toddler, wanted to walk to the park. She had on her skirt and her fun shoes and well, mommy was thinking water, cell phone, money, hats, sunglasses and half way there...the leg warmers. Uh oh. "Oh well, we'll be okay", I thought. So we are walking on the side walk and my girl sees a puddle and takes off for it. A split second later she has tripped and lands on her knees... they are all scraped up, bleeding and our outing, ruined. In my mind I kept repeating "why did you forget the legwarmers, WHY???" If she had them on, she would gave cried a little and then we could have continued on. Instead, I had her fighting me not to touch the owies, a long discussion about bandaids, extensive crying and consoling and a massive boo-boo focus that was mentioned for DAYS. Not particularly fun. Prevention is cure.
Nice Legs! Kids are always getting banged up from their practices at walking and learning about life. A child's legs free of bruises can exist because the material from the leg warmer cushions the blow.
Patella Cushioning: Beyond the skin, we have developing structure. The patella is a delicate area with lots of nerve, tendon and ligament connections and when your baby is learning to crawl leg warmers protect this important area.
Great for Potty Training: To have on a pull up trainer and a pair of leg warmers during potty learning makes everything a breeze. They feel confident of their skills to get the job done. Win-win!
Popular! People, friends and family always commented on my daughter's adorable leg warmers. Comments like "how unique!" "that's fun!" or "can I get a pair like that?" It took focus away from the usual discussions and seemed to be a good 'ice breaker'. I actually began to carry some with me as people wanted to buy them right on the spot! Especially if I went to a park, I would bring some. Always a mom there worried about her child skinning his knees.
Choice for Children: "What leg warmers do you want to wear today love?" "The blue ones!" Children love to feel empowered to make decisions for themselves at (to me) a surprisingly young age. So to be able to give your child options when getting dressed is a great way to do this.
Long Lasting: I have a basket full of leg warmers, naturally, and they have lasted well for years. They wash easily and stains come out. They also stay useful as your child grows! The same leg warmers I had for my daughter when she was 6 months still fit her now at age 3 and as she grows they will just grow down the leg until they protect her shin only. They will fit her until she is around 10-12 years of age. Now THAT'S good value.
Events: I admit it, using leg warmers can be slightly addictive. Like many mothers who cloth diaper, leg warmers too can be an addiction, mainly because outfit planning is fun. It is also fun to plan the photo session outfits and dress them up for Halloween, Valentine's Day, Christmas, Canada Day, etc... I mean c'mon! What a legacy! Don't worry, it's a healthy addiction.
When people come into my store they see many styles of leg warmers to choose from, for both boys and girls (the boys love them too and they do NOT look silly at all). I am constantly having to update my website with styles, quite a task as a single mompreneur with a toddler! So if you are looking for any specific colours and styles, just email me and I may just have what you are looking for. Of course I ship anywhere...and they are simple to send...
Thank you for reading and supporting Yummy Mummy Emporium!
Curious? SHOP HERE for leg warmers!
Yummy Mummy Emporium is a unique store, located in Minden Ontario Canada.
Trained as a naturopathic doctor and reiki master, I am a mother of a holistically reared 3 year old, enjoying creativity in all it's forms. I love to wildcraft botanicals and blend health enhancing tisanes. I make alchemy in the kitchen with my skin care line, for healing of eczema, dry skin and rashes. I enjoy making ribbon wands for children to run and play with. My room scents are created to purify, shift energy and invoke joy. I teach parents how to use cloth diapers, why leg warmers are smart and practical for children and how to use medical jewelery instead of drugs for pain and inflammation.
We all have a unique, individual expression to bloom and this is my way of being in alignment with Source and Mother Earth, to walk my path, and share with you all these gifts and blessings. Thank you for supporting small business and holistic thinking.
Shop online www.YummyMummyEmporium.org
Unfortunately, as with many things natural, they are often untested. As a result we can have a difficult time knowing dosages, limits and individual applications. Therefore, we see varying results. Some mothers say their Baltic amber jewellery works incredibly on their child for teething and other pain relief and others say it does nothing.
As a reseller of both genuine Baltic amber and Quebec hazelwood medical jewellery I have gathered quite a bit of data from my customers and also from the use on my own child. I have also witnessed how it works differently on adults. Here are some deductions on why we can see some variation and how to get amber working for your family.
Skin Type: First of all, there seems to be about 10 to 20 percent of people with a skin type that Baltic amber interacts only mildly with. So if you have that skin type or your child does, you will not notice any significant reduction of pain, drooling, chewing and calming that many of us have experienced with Baltic amber. If you are unsure if that is you, read on. Perhaps you just need to prepare the skin to receive the amber's benefits...
Skin Receptivity: Is your child's skin in the area of the amber cleaned properly to receive amber's benefits? It's a good idea to polish the amber with olive oil and then prepare the child's skin with a baking soda wash or by using apple cider vinegar (a mild acid or base will work), then apply some coconut oil and take a warm, damp cloth and gently massage around the skin. You will be surprised how much dirt and dead skin cells come off, even directly out of the bath. A build up of soaps and other residues can leave pores unable to allow in the natural oils from the amber. Make sure the amber is cleaned and polished regularly.
Amber Dose: There seems to be a specific amount of amber worn that works best to relieve teething symptoms. With my own child, a necklace alone wasn't quite enough. Once I added two anklets with the necklace, I had a happy child on my hands. When I removed all the amber, all her symptoms returned within 10 minutes. To test further, I put two necklaces on. She began to act annoyed and irritated until I removed this second necklace. So this told me there can also be too high of a 'dose'.
Amber Timing: The best time to start a child (or test a child) with genuine baltic amber is around age 3 months or at the first signs of chewing, drooling and other teething signs (fever, crying, agitation). Some parents find that when they use amber later on, the drool amount will not lessen very much and also the fussing has become a bit of a habit. So catching things before they set up too strongly also seems to be an important factor.
Amber Type: There has been a lot of speculation about colour, shape and finish of the amber and it's abilities. Colour seems to be irrelevant. It is a myth that lighter coloured amber works better. Raw amber seems to offer about 1 to 2 percent greater interaction with the skin compared to the polished. Flat or bean shaped beads compared with baroque or round shaped beads lends a larger surface area available to the skin, so can offer a little more assistance. Avoid amber chips as these can indent the childs' skin and have the least amount of surface content. Consider these factors when choosing amber for your child.
Amber for Adults: The metabolism of an adult versus a child differs greatly. For adults I find when they purchase an adult necklace from me (or add two child/baby necklaces together) feel tired when they wear amber during the day. It seems to be best for an adult to wear amber when sleeping only, in fact it can assist as a sleep aid, and not to wear it throughout the day. It may be creating a slight healing crisis or is too calming on the adult metabolism or gland network.
Amber Chemistry: Amber will absorb energy over time and be altered based on the chemistry of the skin it is interacting with. Therefore it is best not to buy used amber or transfer jewellery between different people or children. Some energy can be cleared by exposing amber to sunlight, similar to how one would cleanse gemstones, however amber is more resinous than many gemstones and therefore difficult to reset back to it's original, unworn chemistry.
Tooth Cutting: I found Baltic amber worked the best to alleviating pain and discomfort for movement underneath the gums: all that growing, pushing and inflammation (pre-dentition). When my child was actually cutting a tooth through the gum line I noticed her pain increasing so I would give her homeopathic chamomilla or aconitum or Hyland's Teething Tablets. Together with the amber, the homeopathic boost worked amazingly well and she went back to her playing. So amber can work in synergy with other natural products.
At Night or Daytime Only? I never removed amber from my child once it was on. I co-slept with my child so I watched her sleeping behaviour closely. Never once did her necklace or anklet cut off circulation or twist or cause any problem. A few times we lost an anklet, once on a hike (rodents love to eat amber by the way. A squirrel ran away with her first anklet!) and another time at the beach. Removing socks seems to be the culprit to watch for as they can roll off. People seem to have all these choking fears around a child wearing an amber necklace. However, this style of necklace is designed specifically for babies. If you are losing sleep over it, then take it off. I do not recommend putting a necklace around the ankle because THAT can tighten in an unbalanced way and cause an issue, much more of an issue than keeping it on the neck!
Applying The Amber: When you first put amber on a baby, make sure to distract them as you tuck it under their clothes. Double check that you have tightened the clasp well, sometimes it loosens off a little the first day or so. Once you re-tighten, it stays on well. As it warms to their skin, it is so light, they will forget all about it. If they notice it, just distract them again with something else. It soon becomes just an extension of them and they leave it be. Amber is NOT for chewing! It stays out of their mouth. Got it?
Amber with Hazelwood: For those 10 to 20 percent skin types, consider using hazelwood instead. The jewellery will wear out over time and need to be replaced, however there is a known analgesic in these beads, so pain killing properties are present. As well, hazelwood can be worn alongside baltic amber to help with not only teething pain, but digestive and bowel issues, skin rashes and growing pains. To get the most out of our hazelwood, I would put in on my child during the day if I felt she needed it and most of the time, remove it at bedtime. The benefits of hazelwood not only give pain relief but can balance out the liver enzyme system thus assisting with an over burdened liver. When the liver works better, so does the skin, bowels and digestion as a whole.
Losing Beads: Amber beads are handcrafted and fairly strong, however with wear, the chemical milieu will change and some beads can break off. This can be expected but doesn't always happen. If your child eats a piece, not to worry, it will slightly digest and be safely moved out through the bowels.
Make Sure It's Genuine! Your amber will not work if it's made from copal because it's not amber!! Here are three ways to test if you have the genuine or the fake amber:
The Rubbing Test: Take a soft cloth and rub it a lot – if it’s true amber it will become electrostatically charged enough to pick up small pieces of paper. Copal will not take on an electrostatic charge and may become sticky. (source)
The Alcohol Test: Both copal and plastic will deteriorate when they come into contact with a solvent. (source) “Plastics are quickly attacked by alcohol (95% ethyl alcohol), acetone (100%), and ether. A few drops of acetone ( non-natural fingernail polish remover) or alcohol dripped over the surface of the piece will reveal if it holds up to the solvent. If the surface becomes tacky, it’s not amber. Amber will not feel tacky or dissolve under these solvents.” (source)
The Saltwater Test Amber is a resin which is very light so it will float in salt water. To test your necklace, mix together a solution of 1 part salt to 2 parts warm water. (You could use 1/3 cup salt to 2/3 cup water.) Dissolve the salt completely and drop your necklace in the mixture. Any plastic or glass will sink, true Baltic amber and some types of copal will float. If you’re not sure whether your necklace is amber or copal, try the rubbing test.
So please consider these factors when thinking about genuine Baltic amber and how to use it for your family. Yummy Mummy Emporium sells only the highest quality Genuine Baltic Amber from Lithuania, strung by hand. Each bead is individually knotted and comes with a safety clasp so that the jewellery breaks away under strain. If you have any questions or feedback about using amber or hazelwood, feel free to ask!
Amandha D. Vollmer
This creative mompreneur herbalist