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Best Baby & Infant Thermometers - Reviews

Updated on January 17, 2010

Best Rated Thermometers

There are many factors to consider when choosing a baby thermometer. Accuracy is a key factor, and one that is very important in a baby thermometer – especially for new babies less than 2 months old. There are many thermometers on the market, and prices range from under $10 up to as much as $100. Digital Thermometers and Temporal Artery (forehead) Thermometers are known to be the more accurate options, while pacifier thermometers and ear thermometers may be more convenient and easier to use on babies who don’t like to stay still.

Digital Thermometers provide accuracy
Digital Thermometers provide accuracy

Best Rated Digital and Pacifier Thermometers

Types of Thermometers Available

The following types of Thermometers are available:

Digital Thermometers – Digital thermometers are very accurate and fast. They can be used to take a rectal, auxiliary (under arm), and oral temperatures. (Oral temperatures only once the child is old enough) A rectal temperature is the most accurate method, however if this makes you uncomfortable, you can take the temperature under the armpit – though it will take longer for the temperature to register this way.

Pacifier Thermometers – taking a temperature is really easy this way. The pacifier goes in the babies’ mouth, with the thermometer inside the nipple of the pacifier. The digital screen is on front, so seeing the temperature is easy. The ease of use of this type of thermometer may be at the expense of accuracy – since a baby doesn’t understand to keep their mouth closed, and it’s quite easy for the pacifier to slip out. As well, these pacifiers don’t usually have a signal to let the parents know when the reading is done, so parents don’t know whether or not the pacifier has been in place long enough.

Ear Thermometers – ear thermometers often us infrared sensor technology to take body temperatures, and work quite quickly. However, this type of thermometer has not been proven to be accurate. A little bit of inaccuracy isn’t as much of a concern in older children, but accuracy is important for infants.

Temporal Artery Thermometers – these are the newest type of thermometer, which gauges the body temperature by scanning the forehead. They are so gentle that they can be used on a sleeping baby. In a Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital study they were found to be as accurate as a rectal reading in infants 0 to 12 months old. They are good at identifying a rapid change in temperature. However be sure to read and follow the instructions as there are some specific instructions to follow for an accurate reading. Some of these instructions include:

  • Avoid using after the child has taken a bath
  • If the child has been sleeping, do not use on the side of their had which they were lying on


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      jc 4 years ago

      Do the rectal temperature the best way .

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      Spellcheck 7 years ago

      that would be axillary, not auxiliary???