How To Take Your Baby’s Temperature

Make sure you use a digital thermometer. Glass thermometers have dangerous chemicals in them and can be hazardous if they break or leak. Digital thermometers work much faster making taking your little one’s temperature much easier. It is very important to make sure you get an accurate reading of your baby’s temperature. There are several methods which are approved for using on your little one.


Taking your baby’s temperature rectally is the most accurate. This is very important for newborns and young babies.

How To Use:

  • Make sure the thermometer is clean before use. Be sure to lubricate the tip of the thermometer with petroleum jelly or use a disposable sleeve to help with easier insertion.
  • Place your baby on their back, just as you would for a diaper change. Turn the thermometer on then lift your baby’s legs up and insert the thermometer into the rectum. Make sure the tip of the thermometer is the only thing that goes in — about ½ inch to an inch.
  • Try to keep your baby from making too much movement. This will ensure that you are able to get an accurate reading and that there is no chance of harming your baby’s rectum.
  • Read the temperature once it has locked on a number and beeped, signaling the final read of temperature. Remove the thermometer and make sure to wash it before storing it for later use.


This method can prove difficult sometimes because you will want to make sure you get just the right positioning in the ear. You must be careful when choosing the position in the ear to ensure the reading is accurate and that you do not harm the ear. This method is not recommended for newborns to 3 months since their ear canals are very small.

How To Use:

  • Taking your baby’s temperature by ear can be difficult. You may want to consult your physician on the precise way to position the thermometer. Use an electronic ear thermometer for best results.
  • You should take the temperature this way several times to make sure you are getting an accurate reading. In the beginning stages you may want to verify that your reading is accurate by taking a rectal temperature as well.

Under The Arm

This is also known as the axillary method. This method is safe, easy, and convenient. It does require more time for an accurate reading than the others, but it can be helpful when you have a resistant baby. This reading is inaccurate compared to the other two methods and should not be used on a newborn to 3 month old since accurate temperature is vital.

How To Use:

  • Remove your baby’s clothing from the waist up.
  • You want to be sure that the thermometer is making full contact with your baby’s skin. In order to do so make sure your baby’s arm is pressed firmly down to his side or across his body so that the armpit is fully enclosed.
  • Once the thermometer beeps remove it and read the temperature displayed.


Taking a temperature orally should not be attempted until your child is at least 4 years of age. Once they reach this age they should be able to keep the thermometer held down in their mouth safely.