3 Most Reliable Baby Thermometers For when Baby Is Sick


A parent guide to purchasing the best baby thermometer for the essential baby care kit that every family needs.

(This post contains affiliate links. Our full disclosure policy is really boring, but you can find it here.)

Our Picks: Best Baby Thermometer

Kinsa Smart Thermometer

Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer

VAVA Baby Thermometer 

Before your baby comes home, you want to be prepared for any situation and stocking up the first aid kit with baby thermometers, Tylenol and gripe water should be on your top priorities list.

The best baby thermometer on the market should be easy to use and should be able to take temperature quickly and accurately.

Because babies cannot express how they are feeling, a thermometer will help provide the insight you need and help you figure out when you should be calling your pediatrician.

We carefully chose these baby thermometers and listed them to help you easily determine which baby thermometer is best for your household and budget.

When To Call The Doctor

Sometimes it’s OK for a fever to run it’s course, and sometimes it’s not, so when do you call the doctor?

  • When you child has a rectal temperature of 100.4 F or 38 C and higher and is under the age of 3 months
  • For children aged 3-6 months the rectal temperature should not be higher than 102 F or 38.9 C, If they seem very lethargic and cranky plus have a temperature over 102 F then you should call the doctor.
  • If your child is between the ages of 6-24 months and they have a fever over 102 F for over 24 hours then you should call your doctor. If the fever is accompanied by other symptoms such as diarrhea, cough or cold then you should call the doctor sooner.

Please keep in mind this is not a medical professional website and you should trust your pediatrician when it comes to the health of your baby. We can, however, help you choose some tools to help you keep an eye on your baby such as baby thermometers, video monitors and recommend baby apps to track your baby’s health.

Our Favorite Baby Thermometers

Kinsa Smart Thermometer – Best High Tech

best baby thermometer kinsa smart

A smart device for the baby gadget loving parent, the Kinsa Smart Thermometer is our top pick for the best baby thermometer.

Use this thermometer orally, rectally or under the arm and get a temperature reading in as little as 8 seconds.

You’ll need the app to initially set up the thermometer, and if you want to track your baby’s temperatures it should be on when using the thermometer, whoever you do not NEED the app to be active in order to use the thermometer.

Let your baby play a bubble game while you take their temperature and get some advice based on your baby’s age and temperature readings right from the app.

You can track more than one family member at a time with this app which can be very helpful if you have multiple children or sick adults in the home. Be sure to sanitize the thermometer before and after each use!

This thermometer isn’t very expensive either and comes in under $25 USD which is another reason we absolutely love it! a baby gadget that is accurate, techie, and well priced is our favourite kind of gadget.

Fast and AccurateRequires smart phone to be charged
Pairs with smart phone
Tracks up to 50 previous readings
Tracks the individual health progressive for multiple family members

Reasons Why You Will Love Kinsa Smart Thermometer

Parents love the Kisa Smart Thermometer because of the convenient technology aspect of it. The app can track your data and even has some advice that is specific to the age of the person you are taking the temperature of. You can use this thermometer for the whole family, just be sure to sterilize it before and after each use.

Things to keep in mind:

You can use this thermometer without the app, except for the initial set up which does require the app to be running.

Reading time: 8 Seconds
Power: 1 CR 2032 3V battery, included
Material safety: BPA & Latex free
Compatibility: Compatible with all Android phones running 5.0 or above; all iPhones running iOS 10 or higher
Guage: Readings in °F or °C
Uses: Oral, underarm, or rectal use

Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer – Best Forehead Thermometer

The Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer is a very accurate and quick reading forehead thermometer.

While it can take a little practice and getting used to actually using this thermometer, once you do get the hang of it, it’s very easy and user friendly.

This thermometer doesn’t quite work as well on a sweaty forehead, in which case it might give a better reading behind the ear if your child is heavily sweaty.

Preferred by Nurses and PediatriciansCannot take rectal or oral temperature
Accurate Temperature With a Gentle Forehead Scan
Fast, Easy and Accurate

Reasons Why You Will Love Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer

Parents love this pediatrician recommended thermometer as it provides a very accurate reading and isn’t invasive like a rectal thermometer.

Things to keep in mind:

Be sure to use this device on a dry forehead, or behind the ear if the person is very sweaty from their fever.

Reading time: 8 Seconds
Power: 1 9V battery required
Guage: Readings in °F or °C
Uses: Forehead

VAVA Baby Thermometer – Best 24 Hour Thermometer

best baby thermometer vava

The VAVA Baby Thermometer is a baby gadget that we love, but we didn’t rate #1 due to it’s price point.

We do love that this state of the art system alert parents with real time blinking LED lights and beeps when a high temperature is detected.

You don’t have to wait long for accurate results. It’s simple to use too and perfect for newborns.

Simply attach a soft silicone patch to the armpit and watch for the temperature to appear on the accompanying LCD display. This silicone is skin sage and comfortable.

The patch does need 1.5 hours to charge but it holds that charge for 24 hours and there is an indicator that will let you know when the patch needs charging again.

24 Hour monitoring with alert systemMost expensive on our list of best baby thermometers
Holds charge for 24 hours
Comfortable to wear
1.5 hour charging time for patch
10pcs adhesives included
LED-backlit display
Alerts you with beeps when it detects a temperature greater than 100°F and a red blinking LED light when reaching 102°F, and alerts you again for each 0.9°F gain

Reasons Why You Will Love VAVA Baby Thermometer

Parents love this high tech baby gadget that really helps them monitor their little one’s temperature 24 hours a day. This gives peace of mind because you can know exactly what temperature your baby is at even when they are asleep so there is no waking up to take temperature situations.

Things to keep in mind:

For wiggly toddlers who like to pull things off their skin, this may not be the best solution. Also, some parents do not like that you have to wait 1.5 hours to charge the patch.

Guide To Buying A Baby Thermometer

Different Types Of Baby Thermometers

All parents should have a thermometer on hand before the baby arrives. A temperature above 100.4 degrees before the age of 3 months is very concerning and requires urgent attention, and unfortunatey the “touch test” isn’t going to be very helpful in helping you in an emergency.

Children develop fevers for all kinds of reasons, from serious conditions to teething symptoms, and all high temperatures should be tracked and payed attention to.

For children over the age of 3, a temperature of over 102 degrees that is consistent for over 2 days requires a visit to the hospital.

That being said, there are a few different types of thermometers to consider purchasing.

Forehead Thermometers: For a really precise temperature reading, forehead thermometers are the best option. These thermometers are high tech and measure the temporal artery temperature on the forehead which can be used for newborns and babies and children of all ages.

Rectal Thermometers: The most accurate temperature readings come from rectal baby thermometers, though they are the most uncomfortable to use. These are the best thermometers for newborns up until about 3 months of age.

Oral Thermometers: Oral thermometers are safe to use and are simple too. Just place the thermometer under the tongue and wait for the reading to appear. These thermometers are better suited for children who are older than 4 due to the fact that they can hold still long enough for the reading to come through.

Ear Thermometers: For older babies who are over the age of 1, ear thermometers are a good choice. The placement inside the ear is important for this thermometer and a newborn will have too small of an ear canal opening for the thermometer to make a reading.

Pacifier thermometers: Pacifier thermometers are cute and they seem very practical, however they are not the most reliable and we suggest you stay away from these thermometers altogether.

Armpit Thermometers: Armpit thermometers are also rather inaccurate and not suggested to be used for any baby or child.

What To Keep In Mind When Purchasing A Baby Monitor

Baby Age: Not all baby thermometers can be used for any and every age. Rectal thermometers and forehead thermometers are the best for newborn ages. Oral thermometers require the child to stay still in order to get an accurate reading so these types of thermometers are better for older children.

Display: A large back lit display is important in a thermometer because you may not always be in a well-lit room when taking the baby’s temperature. It’s very common for babies to wake up at night with a fever and you wouldn’t want to make them more uncomfortable by bringing them into a lit room during the night.

Response Time: A thermometer that has a faster response time will be very handy because babies do not traditionally stay still. Fast response time can still provide an accurate reading while not needing the child to hold still.

Accuracy: It’s best to grab a thermometer that provides an accurate reading. This means that the pacifier style and the armpit thermometers and not the best choice for accurate readings.

Cost: While purchasing a very inexpensive baby thermometer is better than having no thermometer, investing in a proper thermometer is important. A better thermometer will mean more money needs to be spent, but perhaps you can cut corners elsewhere in the baby essentials budget because this one is not a space you want to cheap out in.

When Do You Need A Baby Thermometer

You should purchase a baby thermometer before your baby is born. In fact, it’s a great item to put onto your baby registry. Your baby could develop a fever on their very first night home, which can be very scary for parents. Having a thermometer on hand can put a lot of fears and worries to rest.

Babies are unable to tell you how they feel, and it can be difficult to tell if they feel ill. The right kind of thermometer will help you determine if it’s time to call the doctor or go to the emergency room.

Your first aid kit is not complete without a baby thermometer, so be sure to pick one up before you little bundle of joy arrives. It is one of the most important items on your baby product list.

Frequently Asked Questions About Baby Thermometers

Can a baby thermometer be used for adults?

Yes, you can use a baby thermometer on yourself or another adult. A digital thermometer can record temperatures from ear, forehead, armpit mouth or rectum and the temperature is not affected by the size of the person it is being used on. A digital thermometer can be used for newborns, infants, children, adults and sometimes even objects.

What baby thermometer should I buy?

This is entirely up to you which baby monitor is best for your needs. We love the Kinsa Smart Thermometer because of its ability to connect to a smartphone and track the temperatures.

How to clean baby thermometer

Make sure you clean the thermometer before and after each use. Let’s get more in-depth though and go into how to clean different types of baby thermometers.

  • Digital Thermometers: Digital thermometers should be rubbed down with rubbing alcohol and left to dry. Choose at least 60 percent rubbing alcohol as this is the most effective in killing bacteria. You can also use a bleach wipe to clean a digital thermometer. Be sure to rinse the thermometer in cool running water when it’s dried up to remove traces of it before using it on your little one. Dry with a microfibre cloth or paper towel before storing or using it.
  • Rectal Thermometer: Cleaning a rectal thermometer is easy too. Just use rubbing alcohol or soap and water on the metal part of the thermometer, making sure not to submerge the reader in any sort of liquid. After it is washed up, dry it off with a cloth. Do not use a rectal thermometer orally if it’s been used in the rectum even once.
  • Infrared or Forehead Thermometers: These thermometers use only the sensor on the forehead for measuring temperature and thus the only part you need to worry about cleaning is the sensor head. A cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol will do the trick. Let the thermometer dry off before putting it away or using it.
  • Ear Thermometers: With ear thermometers, you’ll want to avoid submerging the entire monitor in water. Simply rub down the tip that goes into the ear with a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol or hot soapy water. Dry it off with a cloth before storing or using it.

Which baby thermometer is most accurate?

For infants, a rectal thermometer is the most accurate. While it is also the most uncomfortable one to use, it simply takes temperature the best.

Can I check bath water temperature with a baby thermometer?

You shouldn’t use a baby thermometer to check your bath water temperature as there are special bath water thermometers available for this sort of thing. If you do not have a bath water thermometer, you can simply use your elbow to ensure the water is not too hot or too cold for your infant.

Can a baby thermometer tell me the temperature of the room?

A baby thermometer is designed to take the temperature of a body and not the room. If you have a video baby monitor, there may be a room temperature gauge on yours.

Is there a baby thermometer that comes with an app?

Yes, the Kinsa Smart Thermometer for Fever is a thermometer that uses Bluetooth and a cell phone app to help you track and monitor your baby’s fever. It can be used for newborns and adults so it’s pretty good for the whole family. It only takes 8 seconds to read temperature which is amazing if you have a fussy fevering baby.

best baby thermometer

Wrapping Up: The Best Baby Thermometer

Our favourite thermometer is the Kinsa Smart Thermometer because it’s versatile, easy to use and has a user-friendly app that tracks baby’s temperature. We love that this thermometer can be used by any member of the family, newborn or 96 years old, as long as it’s cleaned well. It’s affordable, accurate and overall very easy to use.

We hope that you can now find yourself a baby thermometer that will give you an accurate reading and help you keep your baby healthy.

best baby thermometer

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