Having a fussy and crying baby is no fun. You have no idea what is bothering him/her and s/he has no other way to tell you except to cry. This is when having a thermometer is handy. It helps you determine if baby is down with fever, or if it's something else.
1. Do I Need A Thermometer?
If you think holding your palm against baby's forehead is sufficient to tell whether or not there's a fever going on, let us tell you - that is just not enough as it is simply not accurate.
You see, when it comes to babies (especially newborns), even one or two degrees of discrepancy makes a HUGE difference on whether or not your baby needs to go to the doctor immediately, or not.
A thermometer gives you the peace of mind (well, as much as it can since you'll be downright worried with a sick baby in your hands!) on whether or not baby is really having a fever before you explore other possibilities.
2. The Different Types of Thermometer
Now, don't think using any thermometer will do. There are thermometers specially made for babies and there are certainly different types that cater to children of different ages.
1. Rectal Thermometers
As dreaded as you may be, this is still the best way to get the most accurate temperature of infants. This is because it is just next to impossible to get your little one lay still to let the thermometer does its job, which will affect the accuracy of its measurement when baby moves around. This is the best thermometer for babies up to 3 months old.
2. Ear Thermometers
This is a common option with minimal invasion, however, you will have to know where exactly to place it in the ear to get an accurate reading. It is not suitable for children under 12 months old, as their ear canals may still be too narrow to fit a thermometer.
3. Forehead (Temporal) Thermometers
This is the newest and most advanced way whereby you scan the thermometer onto baby's forehead and the infrared technology will measure the temperature of the temporal artery on the forehead. It is the safest, most accurate and most convenient as you do not need to touch baby in any way, however, it is also the most expensive. Hospitals are also using this method but for babies below 3 months of age, it is still best to check with a rectal thermometer to be sure.
4. Oral Thermometers
This is by putting the thermometer under the tongue to get an accurate reading, however, the same problem of getting your little one to stay still to get a reading still exists. It is therefore best for children 4 years and older.
5. Armpit (Axillary) Thermometers
This is the least accurate method and we'd advise against it unless you don't have a choice.
6. Pacifier Thermometers
This is where a thermometer is built into a pacifier so that when baby suck on it, you get a reading. Sounds like an ingenious invention, however, they are not very accurate. Doctors wouldn't recommend it, and we echo the same sentiment.
3. Top 4 Best Baby Thermometer
Let's move on to our baby thermometer reviews to see what's the best baby thermometer for you.