7 Best Baby Thermometers of 2020

Best Baby Thermometers of 2020

March 25, 2020

Best Baby Thermometers of 2020

Best Baby Thermometers of 2020
Babylist is the baby registry that lets you add any item from any store including the best baby thermometors. Options for ears, rectal, and rated high for safety. These make perfect additions to shower gifts!Best Baby Thermometers of 2020

Editor’s Note: Due to current concern over COVID-19, you may be more worried than usual about your child’s health. Here’s what you need to know:

Are Children at a Higher Risk for COVID-19?

Fortunately, children aren’t at any higher risk than adults and seem to experience only mild symptoms when affected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These cold-like symptoms include fever, cough and runny nose. However, if your child has underlying medical conditions, talk to your pediatrician about what you should watch for and when to seek medical care.

What can Parents do to Protect Children?

Figuring out whether children are showing signs of COVID-19 or a cold, the flu or just plain teething symptoms is incredibly challenging, says Rebekah Wheeler, certified nurse midwife, RN, MPH, with Cleo (an online health and wellness service).

Even if your child is feeling fine right now, this could be a good time to reach out to your child’s doctor, says Wheeler. You can proactively find out:

  • How to reach them after hours for something urgent
  • Recommendations for treatment of fever, cough and other symptoms based on your child’s age and medical history
  • When you should bring your child in for an exam or take your child directly to the hospital

Since kids catch up to 10 colds within the first two years of life, it’s good to keep infant Tylenol or acetaminophen and a thermometer on hand and know how to take a baby’s temperature too. If you’re having trouble finding either of these in stores or online, know that baby products are considered essential items and retailers are working to restock them. For example, Babylist is prioritizing essential items such as thermometers in order to get them back in stock as soon as possible, and Tylenol issued a statement saying they are “taking all possible measures to maximize product availability.”

Some retailers are only selling infant Tylenol or acetaminophen in stores (like CVS), so call ahead before you go out to avoid unnecessary travel. And note that the generic or store brands will work just fine.

Here are some retailers where you may be find infant acetaminophen:

For more information on how to protect your family from COVID-19, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Your baby has been out of sorts all day. When they’re awake, they’re fussing, and when they’re napping, it’s not for long. Are they teething? Having an off day? Or coming down with something? A thermometer can help you gauge what’s up by telling you if your little one has a fever and if a call to your pediatrician might be in order.

Do You Need a Baby Thermometer?

Keep a thermometer handy to take baby’s temperature, and you’ll be able to truly determine if your child needs a dose of medication, to see the pediatrician or just watchful waiting.

What Types of Baby Thermometers Are There?

Baby thermometers basically fall into these three basic types:

  • Digital thermometers: Digital thermometers take a minute or less to record a temperature. They can be held under the tongue or in the armpit or inserted into the anus. And speaking of… We hate to break it to you, but it’s important to know that rectal temperature is the the gold standard for newborns and even older babies and toddlers. That’s because having a baby or small child hold the thermometer still in their mouth is near impossible, and an armpit reading is the least accurate measurement. Before your child is six months old, a rectal thermometer is the only reliable measurement.
  • Ear thermometers: Quick and generally comfortable, ear thermometers (a.k.a. tympanic thermometers) measure the temperature inside the ear and are safe to use on babies six months and older.
  • Forehead thermometers: More accurately known as temporal artery thermometers, these thermometers are swiped across the forehead to read the temperature of the major vein located there. It’s an easy, fast and non-invasive way to get a temperature on any child older than six months. You’ll typically pay more for the convenience factor of this kind of thermometer, though.

Note about pacifier thermometers: In theory, these sound awesome if your baby uses a binky. But don’t even consider these. Why? Because your baby would have to hold the pacifier still for three to five minutes in order to get a reading. And, unless sleeping, most babies wouldn’t do that. Plus, this type of thermometer is not recommended for newborns.

When to Call the Doctor if Your Baby Has a Fever

It’s always good to keep in mind when you need to call the doctor for your child’s fever and when it’s OK to let it run its course. Per the experts, you should reach out to your pediatrician if:

  • Your child is younger than 3 months and has a rectal temperature of 100.4 F (38 C) or higher.
  • Your child is between the ages of 3 and 6 months and has a rectal temperature up to 102 F (38.9 C) and seems unusually irritable or lethargic, or has a temperature higher than 102 F (38.9 C).
  • Your child is between the ages of 6 and 24 months and has a rectal temperature higher than 102 F (38.9 C) that lasts longer than one day but shows no other symptoms. If your child is exhibiting other signs and symptoms like a cough, cold, or diarrhea, you may want to call your child’s doctor sooner based on severity. And when in doubt, call.

Below are some thermometers you may want to consider adding to your medicine cabinet.

Affordable & Accurate

Why We Love It

“I love taking rectal temperatures,” said no one, ever. But it is the best way to get an exact temperature reading on your little one, and this inexpensive model is shaped so you can’t over-insert it (the number one fear!) and only takes eight seconds to give a temperature reading.

Keep in Mind

We’ll admit it: those eight seconds can seem like an eternity when you’re trying to hold a squirming baby or deal with a bout of crying. But we promise after a few tries, the whole experience won’t be nearly as daunting as you might think.

Smart Phone Temp Taker

Why We Love It

Thermometers got techie, but this one is anything but intimidating. Simply take your child’s temperature—rectally, orally or under the arm—and get a fast readout on the thermometer or on the Kinsa smartphone app. (You can even hand the phone over to your toddler to play a bubble-popping game on the phone while they wait.) You’ll get the results in eight seconds or less, and the free app will let you record other symptoms and notes to share with your pediatrician later. The app also provides advice based on the fever reading and your child’s age. Even better? It’s powered by your phone so batteries aren’t needed.

Keep in Mind

This thermometer can be used with or without the app, but the app is required for initial set up and use of smart features (symptom logging, advice, etc.).

Effortless & Effective

Why We Love It

Often used in pediatrician offices and hospitals, this just requires a simple swipe across the forehead to give a quick reading with minimal disturbance to your little one. Because of that, we especially like it for taking temps on a sleeping child. And it’s the next best thing to getting a rectal temp.

Keep in Mind

It takes some practice to get the forehead swipe exactly right, but after a few tries, you’ll get it down. Also, if your child has a sweaty forehead, it could throw off the reading—in that case, you’ll need to take the temperature by holding the thermometer behind their ear.

Modern Temp Tracking

Why We Love It

Thought Bluetooth was only good for your music speakers? Think again. Meet the FeverFrida, a wireless thermometer that allows you to remotely monitor your little one’s real-time temp via a low-energy wearable Bluetooth device. Simply stick the non-irritating adhesive patch under your child’s arm and receive an alert on your phone when your little one’s temperature starts to rise over a customizable preset number.

Keep in Mind

The app stores all of your temperature readings, which may come in handy during a visit to the pediatrician. You can also set an alert for medicine dosage.


Why We Love It

Unsure whether you’ll prefer an ear or a forehead thermometer for trying to take your little one’s temp? This one has both. There’s even a backlit screen for easy middle-of-the-night reads.

Keep in Mind

If you’re using the ear mode, be sure to pull your little one’s ear back and up and aim gently at the eardrum area—it’ll make for a much more accurate reading.

No-Fear Rectal

Why We Love It

Because of its bulbous shape, this rectal thermometer is a cinch to hold and impossible to push in too far. It’s made to use on infants and children up to two years old. After 10 seconds, the thermometer beeps, indicating that the reading is complete.

Keep in Mind

This thermometer is waterproof, so you don’t have to stress about how to clean it.

Speedy Reading

Why We Love It

Super-fast results—in two seconds—are generated by this non-invasive thermometer. And unlike other ear thermometers where the cold tip can cool the area leading to inaccurate results, the Braun Thermoscan has a pre-warmed tip so it’s a non-issue.

Keep in Mind

It might be difficult to get the thermometer in exactly the right position in the ear canal, which could give misleading results. Also, if your wee one is suffering from a painful ear infection, trying to get anywhere near their ears could be a problem.

Choosing What’s Right for You

Remember that the rectal thermometers can be used on newborns, but you’ll need to wait until at least six months of age to use the forehead or ear thermometer and until four years old to use a thermometer in the mouth or under the arm. The right thermometer for you and your family is the one you will feel comfortable using during what can sometimes be a worrisome time. Armed with a thermometer and a good pediatrician, you can rest assured that your baby will get the care they need when they need it.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content.