Choosing the Best Baby Thermometers
Having a sick little one is a tough time for parents. No matter the illness, knowing your child is sick is always a heartbreaking feeling. We want to protect our children from harm, and knowing they don’t feel well often leaves us feeling helpless and worried as we urgently contact our pediatricians and wait for the symptoms to pass.
When it comes to high fever, the anxiety heightens, and it’s important to have one of the best baby thermometers on your side.
Having a high fever is sometimes the first sign of illness in our little ones. Knowing your child’s temperature the moment you begin to suspect illness is critical to their recovery, and being able to track the progression of their temperature will be important in order for your pediatrician to make a diagnosis and prescribe the treatment needed for our babies to feel better.
What’s more, a high fever in newborns and infants is a very serious matter. For newborns up to 3 months old, their body’s temperature regulation system is still very immature, and even a low-grade temperature can spike very quickly and escalate into a life-threatening situation.
Having a baby thermometer is crucial in these situations, and you’ll want one of the best baby thermometers in order to receive the most accurate readings and properly track the progression of your baby’s fever.
About the Best Baby Thermometers
There are many different types of thermometers available on the market today, but the best baby thermometers will be easy to use, easy to sanitize, and will give you fast and accurate readings of your baby’s temperature.
Types of Thermometers
In general, there are two types of thermometers:
- Digital: Digital thermometers use batteries to display your baby’s temperature on a screen on one side of the thermometer. They are very accurate, fast, and are generally considered safe.
- Mercury: Mercury thermometers are slender tubes of glass that are filled with mercury. As it reads your temperature and is heated, the mercury expands and causes the red line inside the glass tube to raise. Mercury thermometers are easy to read but are very slow, and breaking a mercury thermometer can cause a serious health hazard for your home, family, and pets. Mercury is highly toxic and must be cleaned up properly and precisely. Because of this, most parents choose not to use these types of thermometers.
Types of Baby Thermometers
Here are a few of the different types of digital baby thermometers:
- Rectal: Rectal thermometers give some of the most accurate readings of your baby’s temperature, as they are able to gauge their internal temperature. Some parents do not feel comfortable using this type of thermometer for fear of hurting their little one.
- Axillary: This type of thermometer is used under the armpit, but usually is not recommended for infants as it requires that they lay or sit quite still for an accurate reading
- Pacifier: Pacifier thermometers are a great concept, and can sometimes be a handy tool as it reads your baby’s oral temperature which is quite close to their internal temperature. However, these types of thermometers have typically been shown to give less accurate readings, and are not recommended by pediatricians.
- Ear Canal: Ear canal thermometers usually consist of a digital base and a small probe that is inserted into your baby’s ear. These are usually very reliable and give pretty accurate readings, however, keeping your baby still can be an issue.
- Temporal Artery: These types of thermometers scan your baby’s forehead and give quick, and usually quite accurate readings of their temperature. These are some of the most popular baby thermometers available today.
Keeping your baby thermometer in working condition will require you to regularly clean and sanitize them, and in some cases change the batteries. Here are some tips for caring for your thermometer:
- Most thermometers come with some type of protective case. You should keep your thermometer in its case whenever it is not in use. Store your thermometer in a safe area where it won’t be lost or damaged.
- You should clean and sanitize your thermometer after each use. Wipe the thermometer’s probe with a damp cloth and mild sanitizer. Afterward, wipe the probe with an alcoholic swab. Finally, wipe the probe again with a damp cloth using only water. Promptly return the thermometer to its case and store it away. You should never fully submerge a digital thermometer in water.
- For digital thermometers, refer to the instructions on how and when to change the batteries. The instructions will tell you what type of batteries your thermometer requires. Some types of digital thermometers do not have replaceable batteries, and a new thermometer must be purchased when it stops working.
The Best Baby Thermometers
We have chosen to show you the best ear canal and temporal artery thermometers, as these tend to be fast, easy to use, easy to clean, and accurate.
This easy-to-use thermometer gives accurate readings and two options for use. Either lightly touch the device to your child’s forehead, or hold it about 2 inches away from the forehead – no need to touch! A great option for when your sick kiddo is finally resting, and you don’t want to disturb them!
To allow for accurate readings, the digital LED screen gives you a positioning guide, and shows you how to adjust the position of the device in order to recieve the most accurate reading possible. The screen lights up green, yellow, or red depending on your child’s temperature.
- Touch or no-touch
- Easy to clean
- Positioning guide
- Some users reported that the no-touch readings were not as accurate
This kit comes with both a digital forehead thermometer and a digital rectal thermometer. If you should feel that the forehead scanner is not giving you accurate readings, the rectal thermometer allows you a backup method of receiving a temperature reading.
The forehead scanner does not require touch, and has a silent mode so you don’t have to disturb your baby in their sleep. This versitile thermometer allows you to switch modes from forehead to room/object, allowing you to determine the temperature of your baby’s room, bath, baby food, or bottle!
- Silent mode
- Room and Object mode for room, bath, bottle temp
- The device and your child must be in a room-temperature environment for at least 20 minutes to recieve an accurate reading
This digital ear thermometer gives an accurate reading of your little one’s temperature in only one second with the push of a button. The innovative technology of this device allows you to keep track of your baby’s symptoms and the progression of their fever by connecting via Bluetooth to your smartphone.
Once connected, Kinsa keeps track of your baby’s temperature and symptoms as they progress, and gives recommendations on how to manage the symptoms your child is experiencing. Keep up with multiple family members with individualized health profiles.
For babies and young children, switch the device to “Sesame Street” mode to hear Elmo’s friendly voice! Elmo gives your little one words of encouragement and sympathy.
- Accurate readings in only 1 second
- Easy to use
- Bluetooth connectivity to app on smartphone
- Keeps track symptoms and progression of fever
- Gives symptom management advice
- “Sesame Street” mode
- No probe covers, so probe must be cleaned thoroughly after each use
This set also comes with a rectal thermometer in case the accuracy of the forehead scanner seems a bit off. This thermometer comes with two removable attachments for two modes of use: an ear probe and a forehead scanner. You choose your method of reading your child’s temperature to suit your need, whatever it may be at the time.
The lighted LED screen shows four colors: blue for a normal temperature, yellow for a mild fever, and red for a high fever. For your little one, this set comes with 3 cute animal stickers, just as a way to make them smile when they are not feeling well!
- Lighted temperature gauge
- Two modes of use: Forehead or Ear probe
- Comes with a rectal thermometer
- Forehead and Ear Probe attachments can come off during use if not carefully secured into place
The latest in thermometer technology is the wearable thermometer. While past versions of this type of thermometer proved less than accurate (i.e. the thermometer strip), this device has been proven more accurate and reliable than past attempts.
Simply apply the patch to your child’s skin for accurate readings that are sent via WIFI to your smartphone. The patch continues to monitor your child’s temperature while he/she is wearing it, so you get an uninterrupted stream of updates any time of the day or night.
If your child’s temperature progressively gets higher, or reaches dangerous levels, an alert will appear on your phone. Readings are saved in your phone for up to 7 days, so it’s easy to keep track of the progession of your child’s fever during time of illnesses, which is a handy feature when reporting symptoms to your child’s doctor.
- Continuous monitoring
- Alerts on your phone
- Stores temperature history on phone for up to 7 days
- Adhesive can wear off faster with sweat, dirt, etc.
Compare and Choose
Use this table to compare and choose the best baby thermometers!
|Braun Digital No Touch Plus Forehead Thermometer||$$$$||Forehead scanner,|
Touch or no-touch,
On-screen positioning system
Color-coded fever guidance system,
Lighted LED screen
|OCCObaby Clinical Forehead Baby Thermometer||$$$||No-touch forehead scanner,|
Color-coded fever tracking system,
Lighted LED screen,
Optional room/object scanning mode,
Includes digital rectal thermometer
|Kinsa Digital Smart Ear Thermometer **EDITOR'S CHOICE**||$$$||Ear probe thermometer,|
Accurate readings in 1 second,
Connects to smart phone to track fever, symptoms, and provide symptom management advice,
Personalized tracking of individual family members,
Easy to clean ear probe,
Optional "Sesame Street" mode
|Little Martin’s Baby Thermometer Set||$$$||Two removable tips for forehead scanner or ear probe,|
Lighted LED screen with color coded fever tracking system,
Includes digital rectal thermometer
|Infanttech Smarttemp Wearable Smart Thermometer||$$$$||Wearable,|
Real-time continuous monitoring of fever,
Connects to smart phone,
Alerts for high fever or progressive fever.
As always, the safety of your little ones is number one in our minds, as it is in yours. If you don’t feel confident using a rectal thermometer, but feel it is necessary to check your child’s temperature with a different thermometer (in case you think your thermometer isn’t functioning properly or giving accurate readings) consult with your pediatrician on the proper technique for taking a rectal temperature.
When it comes to high fever, this can be a serious health safety matter for your child. If you feel your child’s temperature is progressing rapidly or too high, call your doctor or take your child to the nearest urgent care facility. Watch for signs of sluggishness, headache, or rash.
Be sure to keep your thermometer clean and sanitized to prevent the spread of germs to other family members, or back to your child when repeatedly checking their temperature.