There's one thing that's common in almost all babies of the world: they hate their temperature being taken. Whether it is during a regular checkup at the doctor's, or in the middle of a viral fever, they absolutely hate it when you bring out a thermometer.
Regular mercury thermometers are accurate most of the time, but they need about a minute to give you the right temperature, and there is always a chance of them breaking under pressure. Even digital thermometers need 10 seconds to 2 minutes to find the accurate temperature. Your baby isn't going to give you that amount of time. This is why it is essential to own a good baby thermometer.
Baby thermometers are completely different from the mercury or digital thermometers that we usually use. There are special ones that you can use to take your baby's temperature from their ears, their rectal regions, as well as ones that can give you the accurate temperature without even having to touch the baby! The right one for you depends on how temperamental your baby is when sick, your budget, and the features you are looking for.
You can find regular mercury and digital thermometers for less than $10 in any pharmacy or superstore, but the more specific and more high-tech ones will cost something from $15 to $50. Also, some renowned international brands have special baby thermometers used by health professionals and doctors that can cost well over $100, as well.
What features should I consider in a budget baby thermometer?
What are the more advanced features that I should consider in a high-end baby thermometer?
At under $25, the Exergen Temporal Artery thermometer can be used both on babies and on adults. It’s amazingly fast; just one swipe across the forehead, and you can get the correct temperature without any hassle. This thermometer will make your job with a sick or fussy child extremely easy. Although there have been some complaints about the accuracy or the durability of this particular thermometer, when it works, it makes taking your baby's temperature a very easy job.
While other digital ear or rectal thermometers take at least 10 to 15 seconds to get a temperature, the Exergen Temporal Artery can do it in a jiffy. Just one swipe across the forehead will do the job. You won't have to hold down your child or force them to stay quiet; you can take the temperature of a playing or sleeping child and not bother them. This thermometer takes about 1,000 readings in a second and shows you the most accurate one with a soft beep. The display is easy to understand and see with a red LED light. It is safe, durable, and convenient.
Some users have complained about this thermometer giving out completely different readings within the span of a second. Each swipe can give out different readings far apart from each other and the results can get a little confusing. The readings can switch between “Celsius” and “Fahrenheit” automatically, increasing the confusion further. Besides, it might take a few practice sessions to get the hang of this thermometer.
Costing under $30, the Infrared Lens from iProven is a dual functionality thermometer. This is actually the standard price range for such thermometers on the market. You can use it to take the temperature from both the forehead and the ear. This makes this affordable thermometer quite accurate because you have the chance to compare the results of your readings. Besides, it works both for babies and adults so you don't need to keep multiple thermometers at home; only one will do the job.
Since this is a dual mode thermometer that can take readings from both the ear and the forehead, you have the freedom to compare your results. Taking both temperatures can also confirm your suspicions about your baby’s actual temperature. One single thermometer will be enough to take the accurate reading; you won’t have to bother with an extra thermometer in the house, as many parents do.
Using this thermometer is easy, too. All you need to do is to press the button you will be using: “Head” for a forehead temperature and “Ear” for an in-ear reading. The display is large and back-lit and can show you the reading in both Celsius and Fahrenheit. The display color changes based on the reading which makes it easier and faster to take their temperature even when you are tired or sleepy in the middle of the night. The ear probe is soft and delicate so that it doesn’t hurt your baby’s ears when taking a reading.
According to a number of users, the thermometer occasionally gives out completely different readings from the two modes, different by more than 3 or 4 degrees. It can even give out different readings between right and left ears, or from different parts of the forehead of the same person. Also, the temperature indicator beep is too loud and can wake up a sleeping baby, especially when used to take the temperature from the ear.
The Innovo Non-Contact is a rather beautiful medical thermometer that costs under $25. It is convenient, easy, and quick, and can be used on both an adult and a baby. With this thermometer, you can take a reading with no contact at all with your baby, thus avoiding the risk of waking up a sick, fussy child. The result is accurate and instant, especially useful for babies who refuse to stay still for a regular thermometer or gets scared of taking their temperature.
While other thermometers take at least a few seconds, the Innova Non-contact gives you an instant result. There is no need to clean the probe or the thermometer body because it doesn't have to come in contact with any part of the baby. This thermometer is really helpful in taking the temperature of a sleeping baby and not wake them up with an unwanted, cold touch. If needed, you can also use this thermometer to take the temperature of inanimate objects as well, i.e. while cooking. Your thermometer doesn't even have to touch the food to take a reading!
You'll get a warning beep whenever the temperature exceeds 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37.6 degree Celsius). The display is quite elegant, too; instead of a regular LED display screen, you get large numbers showcased right on the thermometer.
When you get so many high-tech features on a budget-friendly price, you cannot really expect it to last very long. Indeed, many users have actually complained about how the thermometer has stopped working only after a few weeks. It is not a very durable product; within some time, it might start to give wrong readings and then completely stop working. More often, it was seen that the Innova Non-Contact reads fevers wrong after it exceeds 100 degrees, which can be quite dangerous at times.
Braun is a leading company when it comes to producing small user-friendly gadgets, and the No-Touch thermometer is an important part of it. This thermometer is budget-friendly under $30 and has all the basic as well as high-tech features you need in a modern piece. This is perfect for babies, toddlers, young children, teens, and adults! You won’t need to bother your sleeping baby while checking for their temperature every now and then because you are worried. You can take their temperature without any contact while they go on napping.
With this non-contact thermometer, you can take your baby’s temperature without bothering them or waking them up from a peaceful slumber. Or, if they are okay with it, you can use the “Forehead” mode to swipe the thermometer across the forehead for a reading. You have two modes to choose from with the Braun No-Touch Plus Forehead thermometer.
It has a large back-lit display that gives you the reading in three different colors according to fever: green, yellow, and red. You have to be only 2 inches away from the skin to take an accurate reading. You won’t need any probe cover because there is nothing breakable about this thermometer, and there’s also no need to clean it after every use.
As with most budget-friendly high-tech thermometers, the Braun No Touch also has been known to become faulty or stop working after a few months. After a while, the readings can become faulty and you might have trouble pinpointing the exact temperature. You cannot change the temperature mode instantly. Instead, you have to go back to where the batteries are to change between Celsius and Fahrenheit.
As with any infrared non-contact thermometer, this piece from Dr. Madre certainly makes dealing with a sick child easier. Taking the temperature with a thermometer that doesn’t require waking up or bothering a fussy child down with fever is a big deal to parents. This is a classically beautiful thermometer that you can take readings in both Celsius and Fahrenheit, within a very short time. You just need to hold it a little away from your child’s forehead, and the reading will come instantly.
As with any infrared no-contact thermometer, this piece from Dr. Madre certainly makes dealing with a sick child easier. Taking temperature with a thermometer that doesn’t require waking up or bothering a fussy child down with fever is a big deal to parents. This is a classically beautiful thermometer that you can take readings in both Celsius and Fahrenheit, within a very short time. You just need to hold it a little away from your child’s forehead, and the reading will come instantly.
One unique feature this thermometer has is that you can use it in two languages: English and Spanish. The thermometer can say the reading out loud in both languages, or you can mute the sound. The back-lit display is clear and large.
Like most other infrared thermometers, the Dr. Madre Non-Contact can give you wrong readings sometimes. This can be quite dangerous at times if your child has a 103-degree fever or more but the thermometer keeps giving out a normal range. The sound the thermometer gives out is loud, actually, and there is a chance of your sleeping child waking up. The beep, too, after the reading has been taken, happens to be loud.
Can be used orally, rectally or from underarms
Simple and Accurate
Flexible, soft probe
Simple LCD display
Very affordable at under $5, this is a traditional, regular digital thermometer from Safety 1st that parents have been using for decades. It is fairly simple and accurate and can take a temperature reading within 30 seconds. You can use this thermometer to take a reading orally, rectally, or from your child’s underarms. This thermometer might take a longer time to take the temperature or cause your child to wake up or fuss. It is actually the kind of thermometer parents trust over the more high-tech ones.
This thermometer from Safety 1st is a basic digital one, the kind that parents and caregivers trust all over the world. They have simple features that can be perfect for keeping a temperature tab on your child, or on yourself. They are extremely inexpensive, too so you can keep a steady supply around the house, or keep one as a backup. You will hear a beep when the reading is final, and the temperature can be seen in both Celsius and Fahrenheit. The thermometer comes with a cover for the probe and is lightweight enough to always carry in your bag.
When the whole world around us has gone smart, this thermometer from Kinsa isn’t much behind. The Kinsa QuickSmart Digital Thermometer costs under $20 and has been designed especially to be connected to your smartphone. It can take a reading within 8 seconds or less than that. It has been approved by the FDA, and you can use it to take readings orally, rectally, or from under your baby's arms.
One unique feature of this thermometer is that you can use it and get connected to Kinsa’s specialized smartphone app. This app will not only show you the temperature reading, but it will also keep track of previous readings, medicine names, and timings, as well as advice for you on what to do next. The app is easy to use and very helpful in slight fevers or for new parents. You can create separate profiles for all your family members and put in their photos, details, symptoms with fever, and doctor’s suggestions. This is actually a one-stop record keeper for the whole family.
Unlike other digital thermometers, this one can take a reading in less than 8-10 seconds, which is actually impressive.
While this is a great thermometer+app combination for keeping a track of your family’s health, the thermometer itself is a basic device. It takes more time to take a reading than the other infrared, rather high-tech thermometers of the same price range. It is the Kinsa app that is more useful here than the thermometer, and there are other such apps available in the app marketplace for free. While the combination together can be useful, there are other substitutes that you can find at less than $20.
The QQCute Digital is another infrared thermometer at an affordable price under $20, with basically the same features you can find in the other thermometers these days. It is easy to use with just one press of a button, comes with a back-lit display, and can be used to take a temperature in just a quick second.
One unique use of the QQCue Digital is that it is also great in measuring the temperature of any liquid, i.e. you can use it to take the temperature of your baby’s bathwater, drinking water, or formula, as well as their body temperature. While other infrared thermometers can also be used in this manner, the QQcute is more adaptable at measuring the temperature of liquid substances.
Other than that, you can use this thermometer in both forehead and ear mode. The probe needed for the ear mode is soft and flexible, and you won’t have to worry about your baby’s ears. If you want to use the forehead feature, all you have to do is to place a cap on the probe and take the temperature from the forehead.
As standard, this thermometer can store up to 20 previous readings that you can view anytime. The LED display is back-lit and easy to see in the dark, too.
You might need to take several readings to get the right one, especially when the thermometer has been used for several weeks. This is not a device that you can flawlessly use for years, given the affordable price. The temperature from the ears is usually more accurate than the reading taken from the forehead.
Costing somewhat under $40, this is an Ear thermometer from Braun – the Braun Thermoscan 5 Ear. With this thermometer, the reading is as accurate as possible and can be taken from your baby’s ear. Ear temperature and rectal temperatures happen to be the most accurate judges of whether your baby has a fever or not. Although it is not the easiest to take, readings from your baby’s ear will at least give you an accurate temperature that you can further assess.
This is a specialized ear thermometer only, and more accurate than the other digital, high-tech devices. It only takes a few seconds to show a result with this thermometer, no matter what the temperature. The probe is soft and flexible, and no danger to your baby's delicate eardrums. Professionals, as well as parents, have found this thermometer accurate and helpful.
An ear thermometer doesn’t help if your baby has a fever due to an ear infection. If this is the case, the reading will always show a few degrees more than the temperature actually is, which can cause confusion. Besides, although accurate, this is not a very durable product and you might need to replace your thermometer every few months.
This is another specialized thermometer that can be only used to take temperatures from the rectal area, but one that is quite inexpensive at under $10. It is perfect for newborns and babies who are below 3 years old, and is very accurate. Doctors and health professionals also prefer a rectal temperature above anything else, so this is the best way to truly know whether your baby has a fever or not.
The most accurate temperature comes from the rectal area, especially when it is a sick child. Although it is not that easy to hold a squirmy baby still for 10 seconds, this digital thermometer is faster than any other thermometers in this price range. Its maker – Vicks – is world renowned for cold relief ointments and medicines. This thermometer from them is respected and trusted as one of the best, especially at such an affordable price, in the market.
It is not the easiest task in the world to take a rectal temperature from a sick child, especially one that takes around 10 seconds. The probe is long and not very soft or flexible, and there is a chance of hurting your baby if not too careful. The display has been known to deteriorate quickly while the thermometer still works, which makes it practically useless. Even though this thermometer comes with a lifetime warranty, it won't last that long.
It’s not easy finding the right thermometer for your baby. Most of the ones in the market won’t last very long and you will have to keep replacing them again and again. But since most thermometers cost under $20, you don’t have to think twice about getting more than one.
While the more high-tech infrared thermometers are easy to use and make your life as a parent easier, they are not always accurate or durable. The inexpensive, digital ones are more accurate but they take a lot of time to take a reading. The specialized ones for rectal use or for ears are the most accurate, but they are also harder to take a reading with. The best option is to try one of each type so that you can compare the results and find one that both you and your baby will be satisfied with. With the help of this guide, you will know exactly what kind of baby thermometer will best serve the needs of you and your little one!