Rectal Baby Thermometer

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a rectal baby thermometer until your child is at least 3 months old. The reason is that the temperature reading you get will be the most accurate one possible. A fever in a baby less than 3 months is serious and it is important to let the doctor know accurately what the baby’s temperature is.

How To Use:

1. Clean the end with warm water and soap.

2. Rinse the end with cool water.

3. Put a little petroleum jelly on the end to make the insertion as easy as possible.

4. You can either lay your baby stomach down on your lap or on their back on a bed or changing table.

5. Gently insert the thermometer no more than half an inch into the baby’s rectum. Be careful if the baby squirms not to insert the thermometer any further than an inch. Never try to force it past any resistance.

6. For digital thermometers remove the thermometer when you hear it beep. For non-digital thermometers 2 minutes is about the time it will take to get an accurate temperature.


Question: What if I’m squimish about taking my baby’s temperature using a rectal thermometer?

Answer: Talk to your doctor. Many people find it helpful to ask your pediatrician’s nurse to walk you through it during your baby’s first doctor visit. Be sure to ask your doctor any questions or talk about your concerns.

Question: Why should I have some paper towels or wipes on hand?

Answer: The thermometer can stimulate the baby’s bowels and bowel movements are fairly common.

Video on How to Use:

How to Use Baby Thermometers

How to Use Baby Thermometers #2