How to Use a Thermometer to Take Your Baby’s Temperature?

Do you know why in clinical practice pediatricians consider it so essential to monitor the vitals of the baby? Even when an adult goes to the clinic for a regular checkup, they would measure your pulse, respiration rate, and blood pressure. Wait; is there something that we are missing out on? Yes, checking the temperature is very crucial. Whether it is you or your child, body temperature can predict a lot about a human body. Any deviation from the regular body temperature of a newborn can cause hypo or hyperthermia.

Apart from being your baby’s play buddy, nutritionist, and friend, you are their doctors as well. Ideally, you should take the temperature of the baby regularly. It helps to eliminate any condition such as fever, infection, any others. For that, you will need a thermometer. However, many parents are confused about how to use it for the baby. Should we record the oral temperature or the axial one? These are some common doubts that every layman has. We are here to answer the queries related to this. Many parents also fear that it is safe to use the thermometer for babies at home or not!

People often give you suggestions of using fever strips that indicate the temperature change, as it is a more convenient way. However, the readings on it might not always be accurate. Therefore, if you want to know about the actual temperature of your child, here is how to use a thermometer for baby:

Baby Thermometer

Either you can use mercury or a digital thermometer for measuring the temperature of your child. The second most common concern of parents is which body part should be used for this purpose. Mostly, it is taken from four regions. Have a look at the following:

1. Oral temperature

After hitting the age of four years, one can readily use the thermometer to measure the oral temperature in your child. Here are the steps that you will need to follow:

Position the tip of the digital thermometer under the surface of the tongue on one side. Place it back enough for recording the right temperature.  Ask the child to hold the thermometer in place using hand and sealing action of lips. Make sure to keep your teeth away from the thermometer. Also, do not take oral temperature immediately after consuming a too hot or cold edible.

2. Rectal temperature

Use vaseline or any medicated lubricant on the baby’s anal region and thermometer tip.  Now, insert the tip inside the baby’s anus. An insertion of ½ inches is enough for recording temperature. Measure the final temperature when the thermometer starts beeping. Make sure that you never use a rectal thermometer and oral thermometer interchangeably. It can lead to infection and other problems. Use a disinfectant at home to clean the thermometer every time before and after use.

3. Forehead temperature

For measuring the forehead temperature, one needs to take a temporal artery temperature. Make sure to have that thermometer as well. With the use of the sensor head, keep it on the forehead. Now, gently move the thermometer to the sides of the forehead until it reaches the ear. Keep it close to the skin. Now, when you reach the hairline, stop recording.

4. Ear temperature

To read the ear temperature, place the tip of the thermometer inside the ear canal of your child. To know how much to introduce inside the ear canal, make sure to read the instructions mentioned by the provider. Keep the thermometer inside the ear of the child until it starts beeping. Take it out and write down the final recording.

5. Armpit temperature

Place the digital thermometer in between your child’s armpit. As the toddler might not hold the thermometer in place, hug your child, carrying him/her on arms. Record the temperature when the device starts beeping.


We hope that you find it helpful. Thanks for reading!

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