The Internet’s Best Baby Thermometer: A Quest

Let’s talk for a minute about baby thermometers. 

When my son was going to the doctor frequently as a newborn, they used a rectal thermometer, and that seemed to be the preferred method of getting his temperature. Frida makes a Quick-Read Rectal Thermometer, but if you’re like me, there is little to no chance I’m reaching for a rectal thermometer when I’m at home with a sick baby (who’s also fussy and squirming).

Knowing from the beginning I wasn’t going to use a rectal thermometer at home, the natural next step is to look for the best baby thermometer alternative to a rectal thermometer. One of the many things on our registry was the American Red Cross Deluxe Health and Grooming Kit, which includes a thermometer, so we used that one whenever we were concerned about baby’s temperature – which wasn’t very often while I was on maternity leave. Of course, once the babies head to daycare or begin spending time around other babies and people in general, the onslaught of sickness begins, and you’re checking their temperature much more often.

Are the Forehead Thermometers Accurate?

There are a lot of baby thermometers on the internet with seemingly great reviews, many of which highlight their “no-touch,” “infrared” capabilities that deliver a baby’s temperature with one click. As tempting as this might be for someone with a sick, squirming baby, I have to recommend against purchasing these thermometers. I grabbed the CVS-brand “One Touch Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer” spontaneously one day, assuming because it retails for $50 (I considered this more expensive than I’d normally spend on a thermometer) that it must be effective. I was wrong! It quickly turned out to be completely unreliable with every member of my household and basically useless because if you can’t depend on the result, what good is the thermometer? I again turned to Frida because I’m a big fan of a lot of their baby and female care products. I got their 3-in-1 Ear, Forehead + Touchless Infrared Thermometer that runs about $53 thinking it would be nice to keep the easy, touchless forehead option while also having the (more reliable??) ear thermometer function when we wanted to be extra sure of baby’s temperature. Unfortunately, I was disillusioned pretty quickly of the all-powerful, 100% tried and true aspect of Frida products when I used the forehead and ear functions of the thermometer and got a range of temperatures back with 4 degrees of difference. Now I’m $100 in the hole and no closer to monitoring my baby’s temperature easily and accurately.

The Best Baby Thermometer on the Internet

Sadly the end to this story does not reveal a miracle product that truly embodies the best baby thermometer on the market. We’re back to our American Red Cross thermometer that came as part of a kit that cost $25.50 and came with other baby tools like a nail clipper, scissors, and bulb syringe. Sometimes it takes a full 60 seconds to take his temperature, it’s terribly difficult to use when he’s fussy and squirming, and I certainly can’t take his temperature during the night when he’s all bundled up and asleep (no way I’m waking him up), but this thermometer possesses the qualities I absolutely require: accuracy and reliability. I haven’t given up my search for the internet’s best baby thermometer, but I’m pausing the search for now. It may not get any better than this! 

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