Thermometer readings can be inaccurate when taken wrongly, so we have come up with a guide for how to correctly take your baby’s temperature based on various methods.
1. Rectal temperature.
First, clean the tip of the rectal thermometer with soap water or with rubbing alcohol, then lubricate the tip of the thermometer with petroleum jelly. Lay your baby on her or his back, use one hand to gently separate the buttocks with your thumb and forefinger, and insert the lubricated thermometer 1/2 to 1 inch into the rectum. Do not try to force the thermometer past any resistance as the rectal wall may be pierced. Hold the thermometer in place until it signals that it is done. Remove the thermometer and read the temperature. Turn off the rectal thermometer, wash the tip with soapy warm water. Dry well.
Alternatively, you can play your baby on her or his back, lift her or his legs, and insert the rectal thermometer.
2. Temporal artery temperature (forehead).
Turn on the thermometer. Place the thermometer at the center of your baby’s forehead. Press the button and move the thermometer across her or his forehead till you reach the hairline. Remove the thermometer and read the temperature.
3. Oral temperature.
Clean the thermometer with cool soapy water. Turn on the thermometer. Place the tip of the thermometer under your baby’s tongue toward the back of the mouth. Your baby needs to keep her or his lips closes. Remove the thermometer when it beeps and read the temperature. Clean and dry. If your baby has been eating or drinking, make sure you wait 10 to 15 minutes before taking her or his oral temperature.
4. Axillary temperature (armpit).
Turn on the digital thermometer. Place the thermometer under your child’s armpit and make sure it is touching skin, not clothing. Hold it in place until the thermometer beeps. Remove the thermometer and read your baby’s temperature. The axillary temperature is least accurate, so it is recommended to double check your baby’s temperature with another method.
5. Ear temperature.
Use a clean probe tip. Turn on the thermometer and gently place the thermometer in your child’s ear until the ear canal is sealed. Squeeze and hold down the button until it signals that it’s done. Remove the thermometer and read the number. You might need a baby ear thermometer to ensure the probe isn’t too big for your baby’s ear, this would prevent inaccurate readings.
Practice makes perfect, you will become a pro with experience!
We know that there seems to be a lot of ways to check your baby’s temperature, but it really boils down to your baby’s age. Read our Top 3 Baby Thermometer to know what type of thermometer you should get and why.
To understand how to deal with the thermometer reading, read 3 Steps To Deal With Your Baby’s Fever.