Answer Box: How do you take your baby's temperature when they are sick? My ped had said to take rectal temps but some friends use one that goes in your ear. (Baby is 4 months.)
I always do the ear thermometer because it is a quick check. I do it twice and try to be more careful if the two numbers disagree by more than half a degree. I feel like generally, I do not need the accuracy of the rectal thermometer. I tend to think of my kids as no fever, low fever or high fever.
The only time I've done rectal readings was when my daughter (14 months at the time) had a fever of 106F. The healthlink phone nurse asked me to confirm the ear reading with a rectal reading and to try the rectal again after a cooling bath (no effect on temperature) and then they sent me to the ER.
I have both. I also have a spare rectal thermometer just in case.
DD1 July 2008 (41w3d)
November 2010 (13 weeks)
DD2 August 2011 (33w5d)
My ped says don't use a rectal thermometer on a baby who can move their body from side to side, so that pretty much eliminated that option for both of mine at birth, LOL! I always do temp checks under the arm with an instant digital thermometer. I guess my kids are built weirdly because the ear thermometers never give an acccurate reading, and even the forehead thermometers are hit or miss. I've had so many nurses say, "I can feel how hot he is, but the thermometer only says 97.8!" And then they take it under the arm and it comes back as 104. They also have pacifier thermometers but they don't work well if your baby's nose is too stuffy because he'll open his mouth to breathe, which cools the thermometer down.
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With my 2 kids, I always took it under the arm. I was used to that after their NICU stays but the pedi said they don't consider that a valid temp and to do it rectally. considering how much of wigglers they both were/are, I never did it that way.
Nicky Married to Dan on 2/28/08
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