Threads

See more results

Topics

Usernames

Mumsnet Logo
Mumsnet is supported by readers. All our writers obsessively research every product we recommend. When you buy through a link on our site we might earn commission but this never influences our product choices.

Best baby thermometer 2022: Discover the best baby, bath and room thermometers

When your baby is unwell, a reliable baby thermometer is a must so that you know when to take action. But how do you know which on to choose? We’ve done the legwork for you and sourced the 11 best baby thermometers to buy right now.

By Laura Cooke | Last updated May 19, 2022

baby and baby thermometer

We should all have a decent baby thermometer in the medicine cabinet for those inevitable times when our child's temperature suddenly shoots up, but it’s something parents don't often think about until their children are actually poorly.

It’s worth taking precautions and investing in a decent baby thermometer for when the time comes. In fact, it's probably a good idea to add it to that baby shopping list you probably have, so you know for sure it's there when you need it. 

The best kinds of baby thermometers should help put your mind at ease, particularly when you're facing an uncomfortable, upset baby. Not only can they help you by checking your baby's own body temperature, but some can also help you check if the bath is too hot, or whether their bedroom is too cold. 

Especially if your baby or toddler is unwell, it's important to have one that can take their temperature accurately, provides quick results, is clear to read and is user friendly. 

To help you find the best thermometer for baby, their bath and their bedroom, here's our round-up of the best baby thermometers. 

How we chose our recommendations

Loved by real parents

Our expert writers and journalists spend hours researching the very best quality products for our Swears By articles. To unearth the best baby thermometers on the UK market, we consulted expert advice from the NHS and trawled the Mumsnet forums for recommendations from parents on which models they found worked best and why.

The baby thermometers on this list have been tried and tested by real parents - Mumsnet users who have recommended their favourite thermometers based on factors including speed and ease of use. 

Expert guidance

We’ve also consulted trusted medical websites, including the NHS and BMJ, to provide an authoritative voice on thermometers and the best way to take a baby’s temperature, so you can rest assured our article contains safe and reliable medical information.

Customer reviews

Finally, we collated all that information and then looked at other online reviews, like on Which?, to see which thermometers have received the best recommendations and studied parent reviews as well as online best buys.

We looked for thermometers that showed accuracy over repeat readings, were simple to use and had additional features that made parents’ lives easier.

This article is not intended as a countdown of the ‘top 11’ best products, but rather a list of tried-and-tested recommendations so you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re getting honest and reliable advice on choosing an appropriate baby thermometer.

While we were at it, we also researched the best room and water thermometers to help you work out whether your baby’s nursery and bath are the optimum temperature too. 

Here are the best baby thermometers to buy in 2022.

Mumsnet HQ's best buys at a glance

£10
braun digital thermometer
Best budget

Braun Digital Age Precision Thermometer
Amazon

Shop now
£33
tommee tippee no touch thermometer
Best for newborns

Tommee Tippee No Touch Forehead Thermometer
Amazon

Shop now

1. Best overall baby thermometer: Braun ThermoScan 7 with Age Precision

braun thermoscan thermometer

Price: £35 | Buy now from Amazon

“We have the Braun ThermoScan 7 Ear thermometer with Age Precision - pricey but so worth it! Bought it when DD was born and still using it now, always gives true readings (they match when I’ve taken her to docs or hospital).” (Recommended by Mumsnet user 1990sbaby)

“We use Braun ear thermometers in the hospital.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnetter Popc0rn)

“Braun [ear thermometer] is great.” (Rated by Mumsnetter Foxhasbigsocks)

The Braun ThermoScan 7 is a reliable ear thermometer from a trusted brand that’s easy to use and is regularly recommended by doctors and parents alike.

Braun thermometers have been a bestseller for a number of years, trusted by parents for their simple functionality and accuracy, and this latest model comes with age precision technology to alert you to a fever (the temperature for a fever differs with age).

It’s slightly gimmicky but does mean that, in the middle of the night when you can’t remember when you should start to worry, you only need to input your child’s age. A simple traffic-light system will then tell you whether you need to take action or just snuggle them back to sleep with a dose of Calpol.

The Braun ThermoScan 7 is very simple to use: just switch it on, select your child’s age, insert the tip (pre-warmed for comfort) into your baby’s ear, wait for the light and beep to confirm accurate placing, and then it gives you a reading on the backlit screen – colour-coded to help you interpret the results.

The memory can store your last nine readings (allowing you to see if your child's temperature is rising or falling), and it comes with 21 disposable caps for hygiene purposes. The tip also has a wide-angled probe which means it can be used for the whole family, including newborns.

The backlit screen is really useful for taking a reading in a dark nursery, but the buttons aren’t backlit, which is the only thing we’d change about this thermometer. Because you have to input the age before inserting it into the ear, it would be handy to be able to see what you’re doing.

It also beeps as it takes a reading (though not too loudly) which might wake a sleeping baby.

Overall, though, you’re getting a lot for your money and this is a nice design that both parents and professionals rave about. You can’t go far wrong with one of these.

Pros

  • Fever guidance related to age
  • Easy to operate
  • Backlit screen is handy for nighttime use

Cons

  • Beeps could disturb a sleeping baby
  • Buttons could do with being backlit (they aren't)

Key specs

  • Type: Digital ear thermometer
  • Age settings: 0-3m, 3-36m, 36m+
  • Memory: 9 memory functions
  • Celsius and fahrenheit: Yes
  • Batteries: Two AA batteries (included)

2. Best budget baby thermometer: Braun Digital Thermometer with Age Precision

braun digital thermometer

Price: £10 | Buy now from Amazon

“Braun Age Precision stick is good. We've tried a fair few and this one is the best and most reliable we've found. You pick the age group and it's colour-coded.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user ginandnappies)

“Our baby was in NICU/SCBU and before we were allowed home we had to buy a thermometer and show we knew how to use it. The SCBU staff told us that, for babies, underarm is the most accurate to use at home and recommended this one.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnetter GuidingSpirit)

This traditional digital stick thermometer comes at a budget-friendly price and is small enough to fit into a backpack or handbag too.

It uses Braun’s age precision feature, which recognises that a fever is lower for babies than for older children and adults.

Simply select the age of your child before each use and the thermometer will give a clear temperature reading. A red, yellow or green background will help you interpret the reading – really useful in those panicked moments when you can’t remember how hot is too hot for a newborn.

The tip of the thermometer is BPA-free, pre-warmed so it doesn’t feel cold to the touch, and is flexible too, so you don’t have to worry about wriggly babies snapping it. Just pop under their armpit and it takes a reading within eight seconds.

It also features a fever alarm system to alert you when your child is too hot and can recall the last temperature taken.

A good choice for the early days when you might want an armpit thermometer or a spare, it has all of Braun’s design expertise in a small package and at a really good price.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Fever alarm system – tells you when your baby is too hot
  • Could also be used orally or rectally, depending on preference

Cons

  • Not as advanced as Braun's ThermoScan 7

Key specs

  • Type: Digital stick thermometer
  • Age settings: 0-3m, 3-36m, 36m+
  • Memory: Recalls last reading
  • Celsius and fahrenheit: Celsius only
  • Batteries: One lithium metal battery (included)

3. Best oral baby thermometer: Beurer BY11 Digital Oral Stick Thermometer

Beurer BY11 Digital Oral Stick Thermometer in a dog design

Price: £17 | Buy now from Amazon

This adorable doggy is small and light enough to pop in your handbag or changing bag for any occasion and will also provide young children with a familiar face they’ll be happy to open their mouths for when they’re feeling a bit warm.

With no glass, no mercury and a flexible end, this thermometer is ideal for children. It’s quick and very simple to use, giving a readout in around 10 seconds, then beeps and automatically shuts down at the end of the reading. 

Unlike the Braun Digital Thermometer with Age Precision, there are no age settings or coloured-coded lights to help you to interpret the reading. So you’re only really paying the extra money for aesthetics, rather than special functional features. 

Drawn by the dog design, pet lovers have also been buying this thermometer for their four-legged friends, although there’s nothing that suggests it’s suitable for veterinary use. As far as small children are concerned though, with its child-friendly design and the fact it’s so easy to use, this thermometer is on the money.

Pros

  • Includes a cover
  • Small and lightweight
  • Cheery design makes the whole temperature-reading experience less daunting for young children
  • Comes with protective storage case 

Cons

  • Batteries required
  • Some users say it can take longer than 10 seconds to gauge a reading
  • No special features

Key specs

  • Type: Digital oral/armpit thermometer
  • Age settings: None
  • Memory: None
  • Celsius and fahrenheit: Yes
  • Batteries: 1.5V LR41 battery (not included)

4. Best digital thermometer for babies: Tommee Tippee Digital Ear Thermometer

tommee tippee digital ear thermometer

Price: £20 | Buy now from Amazon

“I found the ear ones the best and most accurate. Under the armpit was a nightmare as they wiggle too much to get an accurate reading! I got Tommee Tippee - reading in seconds. I'd suggest Tommee Tippee or Braun [as] both [are] brill.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnetter ellie1878)

This simple digital ear thermometer from the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature range is really easy to use, with a scan button that gives a clear reading on the LCD display in just one second.

Unlike the Braun ThermoScan 7 with Age Precision, there aren’t any bells and whistles with this thermometer (some backlighting would be handy), but it does what it says on the tin and for a good price to boot.

It has a fever alert – one long beep followed by three short beeps – so you know when your baby’s temperature is really high, and the LCD display is clear, though you would have to step out of a dark nursery to read it. It also stores up to nine readings to help you track your child’s temperature.

The small ear probe means you can even use it for newborns and it comes with eight hygiene covers as well.

Just one word of caution, the ear canal must be straight when taking a reading to guarantee accuracy. The instructions also recommend taking three readings each time and noting the highest one. Make sure you read the instructions carefully before use.

Pros

  • Fever alert
  • Stores up to nine readings at any one time
  • More affordable than other digital ear thermometers
  • Tiny tip is suitable for newborns

Cons

  • Display not easy to read in the dark
  • Fewer special features than other digital ear thermometers
  • Can give an incorrect reading if the ear canal is not straightened properly

Key specs

  • Type: Digital ear thermometer
  • Age settings: From newborn onwards
  • Memory: Stores 9 previous readings
  • Celsius and fahrenheit: Yes
  • Batteries: 1 lithium metal battery

5. Best ear thermometer for babies: Kinetik Wellbeing Inner Ear Thermometer

kinetik wellbeing ear thermometer

Price: £25 | Buy now from Argos

Kinetik's Inner Ear Thermometer is a decent budget thermometer, developed in association with St John’s Ambulance. If you can’t afford to splurge, this would do the job admirably for a fraction of the cost of most digital ear thermometers.

There’s no backlight as seen on the Braun ThermoScan 7 with Age Precision, but it’s simple to use, clear to read and comes with a more attractive price tag. Just insert into the ear, press the button and wait for the beep to read the temperature. Reviews suggest it’s pretty accurate too.

It stores up to 10 readings, which is handy, and comes with a travel pouch so it’s easy to sling in your bag if you’re going away. The only expense we foresee is that it comes with 20 hygiene covers so you’ll need to buy more of those at some point (around £7 for 20).

While there’s nothing ‘wow’ about the Kinetik, at less than £20 we really can’t find fault with it.

Pros

  • Simple to use
  • Comes with a travel pouch
  • 20 hygiene covers included
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Screen isn't backlit

Key specs

  • Type: Digital ear thermometer
  • Age settings: Suitable from birth
  • Memory: Stores up to 10 previous readings
  • Celsius and fahrenheit: Yes
  • Batteries: Two AAA batteries (included)

6. Best no-contact baby thermometer: Boots Non-Contact Thermometer

boots non-contact thermometer

Price: £30| Buy now from Amazon

This non-contact thermometer takes a temperature with no fuss. Just point the machine two to three centimetres from your child’s forehead and move it around. Ideal for taking quick nighttime readings without waking them up.

It’s worth noting, however, that you have to ensure your baby’s forehead is free from perspiration and hair before taking a reading. This is typical of most non-contact models though.

The illuminated display is easy to read in the dark and the smiley and sad face symbols make it simple to interpret a reading in a similar way to the Braun thermometers in our round-up. Any temperature of 38 or over gets a sad face.

The Boots thermometer stores up to 60 readings. We’re not sure why you’d want that many, but it’s a lot more than most offer and enables you to track your baby’s temperature over time.

Pros

  • Easy to use without waking your baby
  • Easy-to-read display
  • Can also be used to check bottle, food, bathwater and room temperature

Cons

  • 60 previous readings is a lot and may make things confusing
  • Pricey
  • Can’t be used on a wet or sweaty forehead

Key specs

  • Type: Digital forehead thermometer
  • Age settings: Suitable from birth
  • Memory: Stores 60 previous readings
  • Celsius and fahrenheit: Yes
  • Batteries: Two AA batteries (included)

7. Best forehead thermometer for babies: Braun No Touch and Touch Forehead Thermometer

braun forehead thermometer

Price: £33 | Buy now Amazon

“I have a Braun forehead thermometer... It's OK, but in all honesty you know when they're too hot.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnetter CaviarAndCigarettes)

The Braun No Touch and Touch Forehead Thermometer takes your baby’s temperature using infrared technology on their forehead (or it can be touched to the forehead to use on yourself) in just a couple of seconds from up to 5cm away.

This handheld thermometer is super simple to use, with a button for ‘on’ and another to take your baby’s temperature. A guidance system on the unit makes it clear when you have the thermometer in the correct position so you can’t mess up a reading.

The Braun No Touch and Touch Forehead Thermometer also beeps when ready and, like the Boots Non-Contact Thermometer, the reading is given on a backlit screen so there are no struggles to see it in the dark. The screen turns green for a normal temperature, amber for elevated and red for high.

We like that you can turn the sound off to save disturbing your baby when asleep, and the fact that you can use this to test the temperature of food, milk and bath water (all from a 5cm distance, of course) is a plus.

It doesn’t have any ability to record previous temperatures, which is a shame but, other than that, it’s a very impressive piece of kit and pleasingly easy to use.

Pros

  • Backlit screen – ideal for nighttime
  • Handy guidance system ensures you have the thermometer in the correct position
  • Can be used on milk, baby food and bathwater

Cons

  • Can't record previous temperatures
  • On the pricey side

Key specs

  • Type: Digital forehead thermometer
  • Age settings: Suitable from birth
  • Memory: Can’t store previous readings
  • Celsius and fahrenheit: Yes
  • Batteries: Two AA alkaline batteries

8. Best thermometer for newborn babies: Tommee Tippee No Touch Digital Forehead Thermometer

tommee tippee no touch thermometer

Price: £25| Buy now from Amazon

With a simple and clever design plus a few handy extras, the Tommee Tippee No Touch is (as the name suggests) a non-contact thermometer that reads temperatures using infrared technology. You simply switch it on, point it at your child's forehead and click for a temperature reading in two seconds.

It stores up to 25 temperatures and has a fever alert feature to make it clear if your baby is too warm. The display is easy to read in the dark as the temperature appears on the backlit LCD display and remains for one minute before the machine switches itself off.

This model can also take surface temperature, which is useful for checking milk, bathwater and food, and you can switch between modes fairly easily.

It’s a particularly nice shape to hold and a good choice if you’re looking for a thermometer that's really simple to use - crucial when you’re taking care of a newborn.

Pros

  • Easy to use to make life simple for new parents
  • Can be used for checking the temperature of bathwater to help protect newborns from potential scalds
  • Ergonomic shape
  • Backlit display makes for easy reading in the dark

Cons

  • Beeping could wake a sleeping baby
  • Hair and sweat can affect reading
  • Can’t be used during or immediately after nursing

Key specs

  • Type: Digital forehead thermometer
  • Age settings: Suitable from birth
  • Memory: Stores last 25 readings
  • Celsius and fahrenheit: Yes
  • Batteries: ‎Two AA batteries required (included)

9. Best rectal thermometer for babies: Femometer Digital Thermometer

Femometer Digital Thermometer

Price: £5 | Buy now from Amazon

It may not be the most pleasant way to have your temperature taken, but a rectal thermometer gives a highly accurate reading and is less likely to be affected by external factors - forehead thermometers, like the Tommee Tippee No Touch Digital Forehead Thermometer, are usually affected by hair and sweat, for example.

The Femometer Digital Thermometer rates highly for speed and accuracy, plus the price is pretty tempting too.

It’s true that the Femometer is a no-frills piece of kit in comparison to our best overall baby thermometer, the Braun ThermoScan 7 with Age Precision, but it beeps to tell you it has finished taking a reading, has a handy fever alert and automatically shuts down after 10 minutes. It also comes with a handy case and its slimline shape makes it ideal for travelling or slipping into changing bags.

As well as rectally, the Femometer can also be used orally and under the armpits. But for obvious hygiene reasons, you shouldn’t switch between body parts to take a temperature reading.

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Small and lightweight
  • Fever alert 
  • Great value

Cons

  • Beeping could wake a sleeping baby
  • Taking a rectal temperature is highly likely to wake a sleeping baby!

Key specs

  • Type: Rectal, oral and armpit thermometer
  • Age settings: Suitable from birth
  • Memory: Stores the last reading
  • Celsius and fahrenheit: Yes
  • Batteries: ‎One LR41 battery (included)

10. Best baby bath thermometer: TensCare Digi Duckling Water Thermometer

digi duckling water thermometer

Price: £7 | Buy now from Amazon

“We have this one - cheap and cheerful but does the job. Flashes red when too hot and gives the temperature.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user SquigglyOne)

This sweet little rubber duckie is both a bathtime toy and a water thermometer and, at less than £7, it’s also an absolute bargain.

Many parents say that they quickly get used to estimating the temperature of bath water using their hand or elbow, but in those early days it’s great to have a bit of reassurance which is where this inexpensive but reliable thermometer comes in handy. It would also make a great baby shower gift if you are looking for something practical, but cute, for a first-time parent.

Simply pop it in the bath once run and tap to activate the digital LCD display. It will then show the temperature for an hour before it switches itself off again. If the water is too hot, a red light will flash, so you can add a bit of cold water until you see the temperature fall on the readout. 

Pros

  • Stays on for an hour so you can see how cool the bath is getting
  • Appeals to children
  • Reassuring for new parents
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Some reviews say their duck occasionally sinks a little
  • Can take quite a firm hand to switch it on

Key specs

  • Type: Water thermometer
  • Age settings: Suitable from birth
  • Memory: Not applicable
  • Celsius and fahrenheit: Celsius only
  • Batteries: ‎One CR2 battery required (included)

11. Best baby room thermometer: Tommee Tippee Groegg Room Thermometer

groegg thermometer

Price: £17 | Buy now from Amazon

“I really like the Gro Egg, it gave me peace of mind, as the temperature in our house drops dramatically overnight, so it was really easy to just glance over and see if I needed to add an extra layer or not. It's also like a very dim nightlight. I still use it, and my boy is one.” (Recommended by Mumsnetter GiveMeFiveMinutes)

A favourite among Mumsnetters, the Groegg has become a bit of an iconic baby product, gently glowing in its various colours in nurseries up and down the country.

It plugs into a USB port so no need for batteries, and then displays the temperature of the room clearly on a lit display so you can see it from the door of your baby’s room. It also changes colour as the temperature rises (from blue through to yellow and red) so you can see at a glance if the room is too hot or cold.

It even comes with a handy guide to show you which baby sleeping bag weight is recommended for which room temperature, taking the guesswork out of bedtime for you.

The soft light it gives off also works as a night light, giving your baby’s room a gentle glow and providing just enough light for you to pop in and check on your baby when needed.

We also rate the Groegg2, which is a bigger and brighter version of the original Groegg, with four (rather than three) colour settings.  

Pros

  • No batteries required
  • Doubles as a gentle nightlight
  • Colours make it easy to interpret readings

Cons

  • Needs to be plugged in to a USB socket to work, limiting where you put it
  • Plug not included

Key specs

  • Type: Room thermometer
  • Age settings: Suitable from birth
  • Memory: Not applicable
  • Celsius and fahrenheit: Celsius only
  • Batteries: ‎None (USB rechargeable)

Why do I need a baby thermometer?

Now more than ever, with COVID-19 still a concern, it’s important to be able to tell exactly how hot your child is. But a baby thermometer is also handy for all those ordinary colds and sniffles your baby will no doubt go through.

It’s also useful for times like teething to be able to tell if they’re just flushed and grumpy or are actually running a temperature.

Babies’ temperatures can rise very quickly and also fall just as fast, and it’s often a good indicator of whether they are on the mend or getting worse. In the unlikely event that your baby is ever seriously ill, you’ll be glad to have a decent baby thermometer on hand if you need to call your doctor to give an idea of symptoms.

What type of thermometer is best for babies?

A digital thermometer is best for babies. The NHS advises that old mercury thermometers are not suitable for babies and that digital versions are more accurate.

They also advise that strip thermometers – the sort you put on a child’s forehead, but not to be confused with the new digital forehead or no-contact thermometers – are not accurate enough for use with children.

The three main types of digital thermometer are:

  • Ear thermometer: measures the temperature inside the ear using infrared technology
  • Stick thermometer: used under the armpit or rectally
  • Non-contact thermometer: used on a baby’s forehead without touching them

A quality thermometer is an essential tool for any first aid kit and can help you to discover if your child is sick, teething or experiencing a post-vaccination fever. For the continued comfort and health of your baby, you may also want to invest in a baby room thermometer to keep your baby’s bedroom at a safe temperature to prevent overheating. A water thermometer can also be a useful addition to the bathroom in order to get bath water at just the right temperature.

How does a digital ear thermometer work?

Digital ear thermometers are simply inserted into the ear, after which you click a button and it gives you a digital reading.

While they are one of the most popular types of baby thermometers to use, they can sometimes be too large for the ears of very small babies, so do check this before you buy, especially if you have a newborn.

You also need to make sure you’ve inserted it exactly as instructed or it may not take an accurate reading.

How do no-touch digital thermometers work?

The newer no-touch (sometimes called non-contact) thermometers can be aimed at your child’s forehead, enabling you to take a reading without even touching them.

As with any baby thermometer, you need them to stay still while the reading is taken, but these are really quick for taking the temperature of a sleeping child as you’re less likely to wake them.

What are digital stick thermometers?

These are digital versions of old-fashioned glass and mercury thermometers, only safer to use and more accurate.

For use on older children, you can put it under their tongue, but you can also use it under the armpit. They can sometimes be used rectally too.

Digital stick thermometers tend to be the cheapest type of thermometer on the market and also the most compact. It’s worth having one just to pop in your bag or take away with you even if you’re investing in a larger, fancier ear or non-contact version.

Which type of thermometer is most accurate for babies?

According to medical research, the most accurate way to take a baby’s temperature is rectally, using a stick thermometer. This way the thermometer is measuring the core temperature and is not being influenced by any external or environmental factors.

It’s common for no-touch digital forehead thermometers to be affected by sweat or hair getting in the way, for example, and ear thermometers have to be positioned correctly in the ear canal in order to achieve an accurate reading. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before using your thermometer. 

Is a forehead thermometer accurate for babies?

The old-fashioned strip-style thermometers aren’t, no. They actually only measure the temperature of the skin, not the body.

But the newer no-touch thermometers that are aimed at the head are usually fine to use as they’re using infrared technology to check body temperature rather than skin. Non-contact thermometers provide a highly accurate reading, but you should be mindful that environmental factors can potentially affect the result. 

The Tommee Tippee No Touch Digital Forehead Thermometer comes with some excellent tips on how to ensure an accurate reading, including making sure the patient and thermometer are in the same stable room temperature for 15 minutes before the temperature is taken. It also states that a child must be inside for 30 minutes before a reading can be taken.

How do you take a baby’s temperature?

The NHS advises using a digital thermometer, and recommends an under-armpit reading as the simplest method.

First, for a clear reading, ensure there’s no other reason your child is hot. So check they haven’t been wrapped up in too many blankets and that their room isn’t too hot. You may want to take them into another room first for a few minutes if that’s the case.

Always follow manufacturer instructions down to the letter. If you haven’t inserted an ear thermometer correctly or held a no-touch model close enough, it won’t be accurate. Some of the higher-end models will have features to stop you taking a temperature unless the machine is being used properly.

Once you have a reading, make a note of it. Some models have the ability to store a few readings, which is handy. If you aren’t sure, wait a couple of minutes and take another reading to compare it.

How do I check my newborn’s temperature?

For tiny newborns, the NHS advises using a digital thermometer in the armpit. Newborns are sometimes too wriggly for ear thermometers and the probe can be too big for very tiny ears – temperature-taking gets easier as children get older.

Just hold your baby in your arms on your knee. Switch the thermometer on and follow the instructions for getting it ready for a reading. Pop the thermometer under your baby's arm for as long as the instructions tell you to – some beep when a temperature reading has been taken but it’s usually about 15 seconds.

If your newborn’s temperature is high but you think there’s another reason they could be hot, let them cool down for a few minutes and try again.

Best baby thermometers

When should you take a baby’s temperature?

If your baby’s forehead or tummy feels hot to the touch, or they are clammy, sweaty or look flushed, you should take their temperature.

What is a normal temperature for a baby?

Around 36.4°C is regarded as a ‘normal’ body temperature for a baby, but it can vary by a few points either side of that.

What temperature is dangerous for a baby?

A high temperature is officially 38°C but, even if it’s lower than that and you have concerns, it’s always worth seeking medical advice.

Doctors would always rather see a baby that turns out to be absolutely fine than not see a baby until things get serious. NHS advice is that you should call your GP or 111 if your baby is:

  • 0-3 months with a temperature of 38°C or above
  • 3-6 months with a temperature of 39°C or above

When should you worry about a baby’s fever?

A fever is a temperature of over 38°C. It’s usually not something to worry about and is a sign that your child’s body is fighting an infection. Usually a temperature comes down in three to four days.

You can help by ensuring your child gets plenty of fluids and checking for signs of dehydration, administering paracetamol suitable for your child’s age (over two months), offering food if they want it and checking on them regularly.

If the temperature persists or there are other symptoms present, call 111 or your GP. If your child has any symptoms of more serious illness (with or without a temperature), such as febrile convulsions, a rash that doesn’t fade under pressure, a blue or grey tinge to their skin or a weak, high-pitched cry, always dial 999 or go straight to A&E.

What other symptoms should I look out for with a fever?

Call 111 if you see:

  • A bulging fontanelle (the soft spot on your baby’s head) as this is a sign of dehydration
  • Fewer wet nappies
  • Diarrhoea and/or vomiting

Call 999 if you see:

  • Seizures
  • An unusual rash (particularly one that doesn’t fade under pressure)
  • Extreme irritability and disliking light
  • Unresponsiveness or being very hard to rouse
  • Blueish tinge to their skin
  • Weak, high pitched crying that sounds unusual to you

How to bring down a baby’s temperature

You can help by ensuring your child gets plenty of fluids and checking for signs of dehydration, administering paracetamol suitable for your child’s age (over two months), offering food if they want it and checking on them regularly.

Recommendations are no longer to give cold baths for a fever, but anything you can do to make your child feel more comfortable will help, so if a cold flannel wiped on her face and hands helps then go for it. Make sure they’re in a room that’s a comfortable temperature too.

How do I choose a baby thermometer?

There are a number of things that you should consider before buying a baby thermometer:

  • Age of your child: Consider whether the thermometer is suitable for your baby’s age. If you have a newborn, check that the thermometer is suitable for them. Some ear thermometers, such as the Tommee Tippee Digital Ear Thermometer, come with tiny ear probes which are suitable for newborns. If you have a slightly older baby who is a bit of a wriggler, you may struggle to keep them still long enough to hold a stick thermometer in their armpit.
  • Ease of use: When you’re taking a child’s temperature, you want a thermometer that’s easy to use and comes with clear instructions. Hi-tech thermometers that can store dozens of previous readings and flash different colours according to the temperature may prove useful, but if you find them difficult to use, for example you may find it tricky to get the correct angle when using an ear thermometer, then you may prefer a more straightforward stick thermometer, such as the Femometer Digital Thermometer
  • Display: You need to be able to read and interpret the results of the temperature reading quickly and accurately. A thermometer that has a fever alert, or one that changes colour to indicate that your baby is too hot, are useful features to have. Backlit screens are handy for taking a temperature reading in the dark, without having to turn the light on and risk waking baby up.
  • Portability: Some forehead thermometers can be a bit bulky, but slimline stick thermometers, such as the Femometer Digital Thermometer are lightweight enough to be slipped into changing bags and handbags.
  • Features: Do you want a thermometer that changes colour, sounds a fever alert and stores dozens of previous readings? Or do you just want a straightforward thermometer to pop under your baby’s armpit and present you with a reading, with no fancy gimmicks attached? 
  • Price: Always set yourself a budget. The thermometers on our list range in price from around £5 all the way up to the £40 mark. There are plenty of good-quality, accurate thermometers at the lower end of this range if you’re looking to save some pennies.
  • Batteries included? While many thermometers come with batteries included, some don’t. If this is the case, make sure you have the correct ones in the house and save yourself a midnight dash to the nearest 24-hour Tesco.

How do you clean a baby thermometer?

You can use an alcohol wipe but make sure you let it dry completely and then rinse in water before using it again. The NHS recommends simply cleaning a baby thermometer with soap and water.

Some thermometers may have small plastic parts that you can pop in a baby bottle steriliser, but check yours is suitable for that first. Others have disposable ear covers that you throw away and can buy more of when you need them.

It’s always a good idea to run the thermometer under clean water first. A non-contact thermometer will require less cleaning. Just ensure it’s had a good wipe down between uses, particularly if the whole family is ill.

Do I need a room thermometer for my baby’s nursery?

It’s not a must, but a room thermometer is really useful for helping you make quick decisions about whether you need to open a window before bedtime or get out a different baby sleeping bag tog.

Babies can’t regulate their own temperature in the way adults can, so a room thermometer can help give you peace of mind that your child is safe and comfortable all night.

Look for models that double as a nightlight and have a really clear display that you can read from the door without having to go in and disturb your baby. The Groegg Room Thermometer is particularly good for this with its clear ‘traffic light’ system to let you know at a glance whether your room is too hot, too cold or just right. 

Should I buy a bath thermometer?

Again, you can make do without one - parents have been dipping their elbows into baby baths for centuries without too many issues. But if you want the extra reassurance, a bath thermometer is a useful little gadget and you can pick one up for just a few pounds. Many of them double as bath toys too. 

What is the best baby thermometer in the UK?

The Braun ThermoScan 7 with Age Precision comes highly recommended by UK parents who’ve tried and tested a number of different baby thermometers in their everyday lives. It comes with a range of features to make sure you take the temperature correctly, its traffic light system means it is easy to interpret the results, plus it can be calibrated according to the age of your child.

braun forehead thermometer
We have the Braun ThermoScan 7 Ear thermometer with age precision - pricey but so worth it!

1990sbaby

Braun ThermoScan 7 with Age Precision

Braun
Amazon

Buy now

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful reviews like this one.

;