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Baby A’s First Fever – What Type of Thermometer Do You Use For an Infant?

On Sunday morning my little 7 month old baby boy woke up with a fever. His little body was unbelievably hot to the touch, so I stripped off all of his clothes and tried to cool him off with a wet washcloth. Before applying the towel to his skin I grabbed two different thermometers and attempted to take his temperature.

The first is an inexpensive thermometer that can be used under his arm. That’s the way the nurses took his temperature at the hospital. (It’s actually the very same one they used on his first day in this world.)

The second is an expensive temporal thermometer that is supposed to work with just a swipe of the forehead. It’s not invasive and it provides a reading within seconds.

The problem is both devices had their problems. The first took forever to register a reading and I had to try to occupy my very active baby boy with one hand while trying to keep the thermometer in place with the other. It wasn’t an easy task, but the final temperature seemed to be accurate.

The temporal thermometer wouldn’t work for me at all. Every time I swiped that little device across his forehead it registered a different number. I tried it on myself and found the same problem. I read the directions over and over to make certain I was holding down the button for the appropriate amount of time, pressing it against the right part of the head, etc, but no matter what I did I received a different temperature every time.

I’ve thought about buying an ear thermometer. I even asked the nurse at the doctor’s office what kind they use and whether or not it would be worth purchasing. The price is somewhere between $35 and $40 for one with good reviews on Amazon.

While this is Baby A’s first fever I know it certainly won’t be his last, so I’d really like to find a device that works quickly and accurately and isn’t nearly impossible to use with a fussy, fidgeting baby.

I know a lot of moms read this blog. If you have any suggestions on what you’ve used for your little ones PLEASE leave me a comment.

Beverly Jefferson

Thursday 30th of October 2014

For me, non-contact infrared forehead thermometer is perfect for your little one. This thermometer allows fast and accurate readings/results without disturbing your child..

Regards. Bevs

Shannon J. Perkins

Monday 29th of September 2014

For newborns, many say that rectal thermometer is the best thing to use. But as of now, some are saying that forehead thermometer (infrared) is much preferable. Well, I guess I have to agree because in my experiences, I could say that it is a great thermometer.

One Frugal Girl

Thursday 14th of June 2012

Well it seems I caught the same bug as my son. It feels like the plague embarked upon my home and I'm just starting to feel better today. I used to be able to lay in bed all day, eat chicken noodle soup and wait to get better, but not with a little one at home. I had no idea how difficult it can be to deal with being sick while dealing with a sick child!

Thank you for all of your comments. It seems the ear thermometer gets a vote for when they get a bit bigger, but for now a squirmy infant might need the rectal or underarm approach. I also plan to research the Forehead IR thermometer. It sounds like an interesting invention, but I can't find many user ratings about it.


Wednesday 13th of June 2012

My pediatrician has said that they want you to take the temp rectally for infants. In fact if you call them and have taken it a different way, they ask you to retake it rectally. I've got a thermometer that has several different "heads" that you can plug into it: rectal, underarm or mouth. It seems to do the job.

Justin @ The Family Finances

Tuesday 12th of June 2012

We have a 14 month old and have an ear thermometer. It's worked well for us, and we've never had any issues with it. Though we've been lucky. The only times ours has had a fever has been after getting shots, and they never lasted very long.