Gone are the days of using the back of your hand to decide whether your little one has a fever; if your baby feels warm, looks flushed, is sweating or shivering, or has flu-like symptoms, it’s time to break out one of the best baby thermometers to get an accurate temperature reading. (Remember that for a baby, a fever is considered any temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit). Digital thermometers allow you to get a quick temperature reading, which, when you have a baby is exactly what you need, so they’re the best choice for most parents.
There are digital thermometers designed for use in many different places on the body, so to decide which is best for you, consider your baby’s age and your personal preferences. Keep in mind that many thermometers are designed to be used on multiple places on the body. When it comes to baby, these are the best types:
- Rectal thermometers (Best for 0 months+)
Rectal thermometers give the best reading, especially for babies under three months old, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, many of these can also be used in the armpit (which is usually the least accurate spot to take a temp) and mouth when your child gets a little older.
- Forehead thermometers (Best for 3 months+)
Forehead thermometers, also called temporal artery thermometers, can be a little pricier, but are a quick and easy-to-use way to get a temperature reading. However, it's best for little ones three months and older. They’re also the most accurate after rectal thermometers.
- Ear thermometers (Best for 6 months+)
Ear thermometers are another good option for babies six months and older, and are safe and quick to use. They’re fairly accurate and are comfortable for most babies.
Features: In general, the faster the temperature reading, the better, so make sure to pay attention to this when picking a thermometer. It can also be helpful to find one that can store several past temperature readings for reference later on (some thermometers even have apps that can do this).
To help you quickly find the best for you, here are four thermometers for your little one that Amazon reviewers swear by.
1. The Best Rectal Baby Thermometer
This rectal thermometer from Kamsay is an easier-to-use one thanks to the soft, flexible tip that won’t poke or chafe your child’s delicate skin. Rectal thermometers are recommended for accuracy and this pick is no different. You'll get an accurate reading on the jumbo, easy-to-ready LCD monitor in as little as 10 seconds. This waterproof baby thermometer features an alarm that indicates when a fever is present. The thermometer can also be used orally and in the armpit, and automatically shuts off on its own. The only downside is that it only stores the previous temperature reading (unlike some other picks which can store more than a dozen readings). This is a great pick for newborns.
What other parents on Amazon say about it: “Fast reading & flexible tip, love the size and the large readout, the instructions were easy to follow and it works great. I am so confident in using this for my kid, and feel so at ease with how quick and accurate it is!”
2. The Best Forehead & Ear Baby Thermometer
This forehead and ear thermometer from Vigorun takes your little one’s temperature in just one second. And as if that wasn’t super convenient enough, the thermometer also records the previous 35 temperatures, which allows for better tracking of body temperature changes. It’s simple to use in both the ear or on the forehead. An indicator light changes colors to tell you if your baby has a fever, and there is also has a mute mode, which allows you to take your baby’s temperature without making any noise. This is best for kids three months and older.
What other parents on Amazon say about it: “Let me tell you, 100% worth it! Extremely easy to use, very quick, and highly accurate. It's pretty nice quality, the digital readout is very easy to read. [...] I brought it with me to my doctors appointment and checked my temp right after the nurse used the office's one, perfectly accurate.”
3. A No-Touch Forehead Thermometer
When your little one is sick, having them get as much sleep as possible is everything, and this no-touch thermometer from Braun allows you to take your baby’s temperature completely undisturbed. For that convenience and a greater chance of not waking up baby, this pricier pick might be worth it for you.
The thermometer is simple to use: Select the age range of your child (while forehead thermometers are typically best for kids 3 months and older, the manufacturer markets this one for newborns, too), position the thermometer (on or up to 2.5 centimeters away from the center of the forehead), and press the temperature button. In just two seconds or less, the display will glow green, yellow, or red to present the temperature reading. You can even use the thermometer to check the temperature of your baby's bath water or food.
What other parents on Amazon say about it: “No need to worry about a squirming baby, this thermometer uses the forehead for measurement and you don't even need to touch the baby with it. I has settings for 0-3 months, 3 months - 36 months and 36 months plus for the adults who want to take their temperature at the first sign of a sniffle! [...] Fast, convenient, easy.”
4. A Rectal Baby Thermometer With An App
This smart thermometer from Kinsa connects to a smartphone app, which takes a lot of the guesswork out of caring for your child. The app considers your little one’s age, fever, and symptoms to make suggestions on how to help them feel better faster. The app also stores temperature readings for you to access later on. The thermometer itself is simple, yet accurate. Get a rectal, oral, or armpit temperature reading in eight seconds or less, and its digital screen is easy to read thanks to the large backlit display.
What other parents on Amazon say about it: “The Kinsa QuickCare Smart Digital Thermometer has been so much easier to get a consistent reading of my kids temperatures. The App is simple and connected immediately with the thermometer. [...] being able to see the history of the temperatures taken for family members is also nice, especially when tracking the progression of an illness.”
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