Baby Thermometers

For your baby’s first thermometer:

* Buy an inexpensive digital model that can be used rectally (for the first 3 months) and then later a thermometer than be used auxiliary (under armpit) and orally.

* LCD display that is easy to read.

* Start button that is easy to press.

* Don’t be swayed by ones that will read temperature instantly – its okay if it takes 20-60 seconds to read.

* Has a flexible tip so its easy to insert.

Ear thermometers are not recommended for babies under 6 months because there is inaccuracy and a lot of chance for error (plus they are expensive). With young babies it is important to know exact temperature if your baby has a fever, therefore rectally is the best way.

Temporal thermometers which measure temperature from the forehead are becoming more popular but their accuracy has yet to be verified and they are expensive.

In general, contact your child’s doctor if your child:

  • Is younger than age 3 months and has a rectal temperature of 100.2-100.4 F (38 C) or higher
  • Is older than age 3 months, has a temperature up to 102 F (38.9 C) and seems unusually irritable, lethargic or uncomfortable
  • Is older than age 3 months and has a temperature of 102 F (38.9 C) or higher that doesn’t respond to over-the-counter medication or lasts longer than one day