Babies, like newborns and infants up to one year old are so tiny and cute. Their little tiny hands and feet… ohh so precious. Measuring the body temperature of a baby has a set of challenges that really must be taken into consideration when deciding which thermometer to buy. What kind of thermometer is best for babies is best answered by first understanding these challenges, which we’ll explain while giving our recommendations
We recommended 3 types of Thermometers for babies, but all have pros and cons. Lets have a quick overall view of what they are:
Regular Digital Thermometers: are usually the most accurate ones, specially if temperature is measure on the Rectum. These are however invasive, can cause discomfort for both the baby and the parents, and not many parents feel confident enough that they are doing it right.
Infrared Forehead thermometer: does not requite contact and is really fast and very accurate if used as indicated by the manufacturer. These do require however a still subject… which is not always the case with a baby.
Digital Forehead Touch Thermometer: are fast but require contact (which could wake up the baby) and that the baby is still. However, due to it being contact it is a lot easier to maintain the sensor on the exact location where the measurement is being taken (usually the Temple). They are fast, and accurate.
Lets not forget Pacifier Thermometers. There are really handy and easy to use. They are not very accurate however, due to possible movement inside the mount of the baby. If accuracy is not critical in your situation, they are a good way to keep an looking eye on your baby, but you should have a more accurate type of Thermometer on standby, in case a more accurate measurement is need.
So, What kind of thermometer is best for babies?
For best accuracy a Regular Digital Thermometer with measures made on the Rectum gives the best results for almost every case. For speed and convenience, but still very accurate, an Infrared Forehead Thermometer is an amazing option.
What we don’t recommend
Ear Thermometers are not recommended for newborns, and small infants up to 6 to 1 year old. The External Ear Canal is not developed enough, and measurements could be performed in a wrong way. These require clear field of view to the Tympanic Membrane, which could be very difficult to achieve by a nervous parent.
Forehead Strip Thermometers, which are not accurate at all.
What was taken into consideration while choosing a Thermometer for a Baby
- Babies are not fully developed and have tiny body parts, like small External Ear Canals.
- Babies are not always still.
- While the Baby is asleep it a good time to do a temperature measurement.
- Extreme accuracy is very important in certain situations, but just very accurate is usually enough for everyday cases.