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Baby thermometers: How to use them, the best ones to buy and what to look for

Baby thermometer

A baby thermometer should be a staple in your medicine cabinet, allowing you to quickly tell if your baby is unwell and whether to seek professional help. There are lots of styles of baby thermometer to choose from, so here’s everything you need to know before making your choice.

How to choose the right baby thermometer for your baby?

From forehead strips to the styles that take your baby’s temperature through the ear, the choice of baby thermometers on the market can be overwhelming. Here’s a run-down of the different options available:

  • Forehead strips: According to Dr Donald Macgregor, consultant paediatrician for the Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health, whilst ‘forehead strips aren’t considered by medical professionals to be very accurate because they only show the temperature of the skin, they’re useful.’ The pros are these are often cheaper than other alternatives, and the majority are safe for babies through to older children.
  • In-ear thermometers: You’ll notice most doctors use a digital in-ear thermometer to take babies’ temperatures – this is because it is quick and painless, whilst giving an accurate representation of body temperature.
  • Non-contact thermometers: These are rather new in the world of baby thermometers, but work by taking an infrared reading from your baby’s forehead, meaning you can check on their temperature without any physical contact.
  • Oral thermometers: The kind you will remember from your childhood, these are still widely available, but are now considered to be harder to use and less pleasant than newer methods.
  • Armpit thermometers: The NHS still recommends these when taking your baby’s temperature – especially when they are a newborn.

What is the ‘normal temperature’ for a baby?

The ‘normal’ temperature for a baby can range from 36.4 degrees Celsius to 36.8, but each baby has a slightly different core temperature, so this will vary. It’s a good idea to take your little one’s temperature when you know they are well, so you can get a good idea of what their normal, healthy temperature is.

Which are the best baby thermometers on the market?

We’ve summed up our top picks here:

The best non-contact baby thermometer: Boots Non-Contact Thermometer, £39.99, Boots

Boots Non-contact Thermometer

This clever baby thermometer from boots has clinically proven accuracy and is multipurpose, allowing you to measure your baby’s bottle, food, bath water and room temperature as well. With easy to read symbols alerting you if things are out of the ‘ordinary’ range, we also love the built-in memory, recording the last 60 readings for you. It’s won frequently in our awards, and we highly recommend this reliable little gadget.

The best in-ear baby thermometer for long term use: Braun Thermoscan 7 IRT6520 Thermometer, £54.99, Amazon

Braun Thermoscan 7

Recommended by doctors, this might seem expensive, but it’s an amazing piece of kit. You can easily adapt the thermometer depending on your baby’s age, with settings for 0-3 months, 3-36 months and 36 months plus. The screen has a traffic light themed back light, so you can read at a glance during the night, and it comes with disposable ear buds, so you can avoid cross contamination. Stand out features also include the pre-warmed tip, to try and make it gentler on little ears.

The best underarm baby thermometer: Braun Age Precision Stick Digital Thermometer, £16.99, Amazon

Braun Age Precision Stick

It’s another best seller from Braun and it’s easy to see why. With the same ‘age precision’ function as the Thermoscan 7, this low-cost product is surprisingly high-tech. It’s easy to use, simply put it under your baby’s arm and wait for the beep. The thermometer also remembers one previous reading, giving you a quick reminder if things are getting better. This is a reliable piece of kit that will stand the test of time.

The best forehead baby thermometer: Peppa Pig Forehead Thermometer, £3.49, Amazon

Peppa Pig

A good one for all Peppa Pig fans, these forehead thermometers are kid friendly, to encourage even the fussiest little ones to let you take their temperature. The thermometers are suitable for babies over three months, and the pack comes with a handy storage case, ideal for being on the move with your baby.

The best room thermometer: The Gro Company Gro-Egg Room Thermometer, £24.99, Amazon

Gro Egg

This clever little room thermometer changes colour to let you know whether the temperature of your baby’s room is ok. Made by a brand you can trust, this is a must-buy when it comes to ensuring the temperature of your baby’s room is safe. A yellow glow suggests the room is a comfortable temperature, a blue glow suggests it’s too cold and a red glow suggests it’s too warm. It also acts as a comforting night light, so is an all-round winner in our eyes.

The best bath thermometer: Philips AVENT SCH550/20 Bath and Room Thermometer, £18.00, Amazon

Bath Thermometer Philips

This best-selling bath thermometer monitors both room and water temperatures at a glance. It looks cute and floats in water and is safe and fun for your tot to play with during bathtime. We love the idea of this fun and safe product, telling you at a glance whether or not the water is a safe temperature.

Read next: How to treat your baby's blocked nose 

 
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