One of the most important tools you simply need to have to care for your baby’s health is a baby thermometer. This is because nothing can unsettle us more than thinking that our precious little baby has a fever. And while most of us would be quick to give him or her acetaminophen for babies or even bring him or her to his or her pediatrician, it is still advisable that we have a baby thermometer to monitor the status of our baby’s body temperature.
Here are the top 10 baby thermometers we are confident will help you care for your baby a lot better.
How We Chose the Top Baby Thermometers in Our List
If you are thinking about the same thermometer that were used on us when we were still kids, don’t worry because those glass thermometers are clearly things of the past. Today, everything is digital. Unfortunately, as there are so many products that claim to provide the most accurate temperature readings, it is very important to choose which ones are truly the best.
It is for this reason that we came up with this top 10 list of the best baby thermometers. We had to carefully examine each product to determine their accuracy as well as ease of use. We also had to take into consideration whether it will be comfortable for baby as any undue stress can only elevate the temperature even further. We then looked at any sign of certification or recognition from accredited government agencies as well as professional organizations as these are often indications of quality. The different features of the thermometers were also taken into consideration as well as the reviews and feedbacks of parents like us.
Fevers among Babies and How to Take Your Baby’s Temperature
Nothing worries Mom and Dad a lot more than feeling baby hot and flushed. Couple this with the knowledge that babies’ immune system and thermoregulation are not yet fully mature and parents can be seen scrambling for answers as to why their babies feel hot. Is it fever? Or is it just Mom and Dad’s apprehension that is making them feel baby is warmer than usual.
There are many reasons why babies have a fever. In most cases, it is often an indication of an infection. Among babies, the most common infections are those caused by viruses and the fever, if any, should readily subside within 3 days. These often coincide with known seasonal infections like flu season and cold season. However, if the fever persists for more than 3 days and is unusually high there is a very strong likelihood that your baby has a bacterial infection. This is especially true if the fever is accompanied by other manifestations such as earache, the production of thick and tenacious phlegm, and other signs and symptoms. If you really suspect bacterial infection, make haste as this is usually a medical emergency especially in the first 3 months of life.
But how do you know it’s really fever? More importantly, when does the body temperature of your baby mean that it is already fever?
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that any 3 month old baby who has a body temperature of not less than 38oC or 100.4oF is deemed to have fever. Doctors, particularly pediatricians, recommend bringing your baby to his or her primary healthcare physician or pediatrician if he or she has fever and any one of the following:
- The baby looks very sick, very irritable, and/or unusually sleepy or drowsy
- The baby shows other manifestations like severe ear pain, stiff neck, repeated vomiting, unexplained rash, or diarrhea
- The baby has had convulsions or seizure
- The baby has been in an unusually hot place like an overheated car
- The baby has known immune system problems
- The baby’s temperature rises to more than 40oC or 104oF
- The baby’s condition seems to be getting worse
- The baby’s fever has persisted for more than 24 hours
It is clear that the temperature we should all be watching out for is the 38oC or 100.4oF mark. As such, we should all be competent in taking the body temperature of our kids.
There are 4 different methods of taking the temperature of children. These include the use of rectal thermometers, axillary thermometer, oral thermometers, and tympanic thermometers. For young infants below the age of 3 months, there is only one method that is considered to be highly accurate – the rectal method. For infants older than 3 months, tympanic and axillary thermometers are considered acceptable. The use of oral thermometers are generally reserved for older children preferably at least 4 years old.
Understand that rectal thermometers are the most accurate, albeit quite inconvenient. It provides a very accurate measurement of the body’s core temperature. Axillary, tympanic, and oral thermometers are susceptible to temperature fluctuations of the surfaces upon which the temperature probe is in contact with. These thermometers only provide an estimate of the internal body temperature. The good thing, however, is that these methods provide convenience for Mom and comfort for Baby. Unfortunately you won’t really be able to gauge your baby’s temperature very accurately.
Today’s thermometers are very easy to use because everything is already digital. There is no more need for trying to figure out the mercury readings in old mercury-filled glass thermometers of old. Today, it’s as easy as following the manufacturer’s instructions and keeping the probe as clean as possible. You only need to place the thermometer in the intended body part, wait to hear its beeping sound, and then read the digital display.
It is important to keep a record of your baby’s temperature readings so you will have an idea whether his or her fever is decreasing or not. At the very least, you will have something to show your baby’s pediatrician should you decide to bring your baby to the clinic. This will help in the planning of your baby’s care.
Fever in very young children can scare even the toughest Moms and Dads. That’s why we have listed the top 10 baby thermometers so you will feel more empowered to care for your baby.