Best Oral/Underarm Baby Thermometer

The OCCObaby Baby Thermometer is both affordable and accurate. It takes oral, underarm and rectal temps.

We only recommend using oral or underarm thermometers after one year of age. Because fever in babies under one year can be significantly more dangerous than in babies over one, pediatricians prefer parents use a rectal thermometer for the most accurate reading. After one year of age, any temperature (taken orally or underarm) of over 100° F should be considered a fever—notify your doctor ASAP. Pro tip: your doc will want to know what other symptoms your child has in addition to a fever. This helps the doc better diagnose the cause of the fever.

Best High Tech Baby Thermometer 

If you’d like to your track your baby’s temperature on a phone app, the Kinsa Smart Thermometer does just that—the thermometer connects via Bluetooth to your iOS or Android phone. We found the Kinsa to be accurate and the app well designed. If your child has multiple illnesses (or you have more than one baby), the app helps keep track of all that, including medications. Accuracy on the Kinsa is excellent, based on our testing. The latest version of the Kinsa thermometer now displays the temperature right on the device—an improvement over the previous version that required a wired connection to a smartphone to see the temp. Overall, the Kinsa is recommended as a good techy solution to see if your baby has a fever.

Best Pacifier Thermometer

Summer’s simple pacifier thermometer is a quick, non-invasive way of taking a baby’s temperature. Best feature: it glows when baby has a fever. And it includes a memory function to see what the last temperature reading was.

Best Baby Rectal Thermometer 

The Vicks Baby Rectal Thermometer is intended only for use as a rectal thermometer. It reads out the temp in only ten seconds, making it impressively fast. Parents note the thermometer is also very accurate when compared with a hospital grade thermometer and it’s affordable.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing thermometers since 2005. In addition to hands on testing of thermometers, we consulted with top pediatricians on the best bets. Our staff pediatrician, Dr. Ari Brown of the Baby 411 book series, was also quite helpful in our quest to find the best baby thermometer. Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Baby Bargains is your independent and unbiased source for expert baby gear reviews. We’ve been writing and reviewing baby gear since 1994. Yes, that long!

At what temperature should I be worried?

Here’s an excerpt from Baby 411, a book we co-authored with award-winning pediatrician Dr. Ari Brown about fever.

So when should you be worried about your baby or toddler’s fever? The management plan is based on a child’s age. The protocol is fairly universal for all babies under three months.

Priority 1: Needs Immediate Evaluation And Treatment—NOW:

◆ Age zero to four weeks: any fever in this age group is an emergency!

1. A rectal temperature of 100.4 or greater requires hospitalization ASAP.
2. Newborns have a unique risk of serious bacterial infections due to delivery and congenital urinary tract defects (Group B strep meningitis, pneumonia, sepsis, urinary tract infections/kidney infections). They are tested for all of these potential infections and treated with antibiotics until bacterial cultures are clear of growth.
3. Never give acetaminophen (Tylenol) to your feverish newborn. Call your doctor.

◆ Age four weeks to three months: any fever in this age group is an emergency!

1. A rectal temperature 100.4 or greater requires examination and lab evaluation.
2. These infants need to be seen either in the doctor’s office or in an emergency room depending on the hour. They still run the risk of having those bacterial infections that newborns get.
3. If there is an obvious source of infection (e.g. a cold), and the baby’s lab work looks reassuring, hospitalization is unnecessary.
4. Never give acetaminophen (Tylenol) without calling the doctor. Exception: If your two-month-old baby received his vaccinations, and then starts running a fever within 24-72 hours, it’s not a problem unless there are other symptoms going on. We expect your baby to run a fever after getting his shots.

◆ Age three months to six months: a fever AND these problems in this age group is an emergency.

1. A fever over 102.
2. A fever lasting more than three days.
3. A new fever, after a recent illness.
4. No obvious symptoms of viral infection (cough, runny nose, diarrhea).
5. Fussy mood/inconsolable.
6. Petechiae rash.

◆ Age six months to one year:

1. A fever of 104 or above deserves a phone call. (We know—that’s way beyond your comfort level.)
2. A fever lasting more than three days.
3. A new fever, after a recent illness.
4. No obvious symptoms of viral infection (cough, runny nose, diarrhea).
5. Fussy mood/inconsolable.
6. Petechiae rash.

Priority 2: Needs appointment the next day.

◆ Age three months to six months:

1. If everyone in the house has the flu and your baby has the same symptoms, make an appointment if the fever persists longer than three days (or something else is concerning—i.e. dehydration, labored breathing).
2. You can give acetaminophen (Tylenol) for the fever. Just make sure you have figured out why your baby has the fever first.

Priority 3: Watch and wait. Needs appointment if there is no improvement or worsening of symptoms

◆ Age six months to one year:

1. Obvious symptoms of a virus (cough, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea), you can probably manage the infection without a doctor’s visit.
2. You can give acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin) when your baby has a fever. Just make sure you know why your baby has the fever.

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