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Best Baby Thermometers of 2024
January 4, 2024

Best Baby Thermometers of 2024

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Best Baby Thermometers of 2024.
Best Baby Thermometers of 2024

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?

Yes, you’ll want a thermometer on hand to take baby’s temperature so you can 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 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 won’t do that. Plus, this type of thermometer is not recommended for newborns.

When to Call the Doctor If Your Baby Has a Fever

Your baby’s temperature will fluctuate throughout the day. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics “American Academy of Pediatrics fever guidelines”) (AAP), a normal temperature for a child ranges from 97 to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

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It’s always good to keep in mind when you need to call the doctor for your child’s fever and when it’s okay 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.

Best Rectal Thermometer for Baby

Why We Love It

“I love taking rectal temperatures,” said no one, ever. But it is the best way to get the most accurate temperature reading on your baby, and this model is shaped so you can’t over-insert it (the number one fear) and only takes 10 seconds to give a temperature reading. The backlight helps with nighttime temp-taking, and the large digital screen makets it easy to read.

Keep in Mind

We’ll admit it: those 10 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.

Best Forehead Thermometer for Baby

Why We Love It

Often used in pediatrician offices and hospitals, this temporal artery (AKA forehead) thermometer 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.

Best Non-Contact Forehead Thermometer for Baby

Why We Love It

Have an especially cranky or wiggly baby on your hands? A thermometer that doesn’t even require you to touch your baby might help. This non-contact forehead thermometer gives an accurate reading without any skin contact. Just hold it two to three centimeters from your baby’s forehead and the temp will appear on the large, easy-to-read screen in one second. The color LCD backlight turns red if your little one has a fever and the thermometer makes an audible beep—but you can silence it if you’re checking a temp while your baby is asleep.

Keep in Mind

Non-contact forehead thermometers are the ones parents complain the most about giving an inaccurate temperature reading. If you’re using one, it can’t hurt to take a second reading with a different type of thermometer just to be sure.

Best Baby Ear Thermometer

Why We Love It

What’s considered a fever can be different depending on the person’s age (a three-month-old month old versus a toddler, for instance). You can enter your child’s age range on this thermometer and use the color-coded display to interpret the reading. 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

If your little one is suffering from a painful ear infection, trying to get anywhere near their ears could be a problem, so you may want to try a different type of thermometer.

Most Versatile Thermometer for Baby

Why We Love It

If you own any other products in Motorola’s Hubble Connected series, or even if you don’t, you’ll want to check out this smart thermometer that connects to the brand’s Hubble Connected app. It’s non-contact measures forehead temps along with foods and liquids, too. You can use the app to track and store temperature history and set reminders for things like doctor appointments and medicine doses. The thermometer lights up red if it detects a temperature and has a nighttime mode that turns off the beep if you’re using it on a sleeping baby.

Keep in Mind

You can use this thermometer to measure things like the temperature of your baby’s bath water or of their warmed milk or food.

Best Affordable Baby Thermometer

Why We Love It

This affordable 3-in-1 thermometer lets you take your baby’s temperature orally, under the arm or rectally and provides a reading in about eight seconds. The display is large and easy to read and is color-coded: green for no fever, yellow for an elevated temp and red for a higher fever. The thermometer is water-resistant.

Keep in Mind

As with all probe thermometers, be sure to clean the probe tip before and after each use with an alcohol swab.

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