Baby's Temperature

Taking Baby's Temperature

Here are some tips that may make you more comfortable taking your baby's temperature next time.

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-Hi everybody. I'm Juli. Welcome to Baby Basics. Taking a newborn's temperature can be a very stressful situation for new parents especially if you're doing it rectally. How do I hold the thermometer? How far should I insert it? And am I hurting my baby? These are all good questions that most moms and dads ask at some point. Now, here are some answers that will hopefully make the whole process a lot easier for you and your baby. When new mom Kate wants to know if six-week old Parker has a fever, she takes Parker's temperature rectally 'cause it's the most accurate way. But some parents we know shy away from the rectal thermometer altogether because they're afraid they might hurt their newborn. It's important to learn, though, 'cause it is the most reliable way to take your baby's temperature especially for babies younger than three months old. So, here are some tips that may make you feel more comfortable taking your baby's temperature next time. First, mercury thermometers are no longer recommended because of the danger of being exposed to the toxin. And second, you wanna read the directions that come with your digital thermometer so you'll know which beeps mean what. Put petroleum jelly on the bottom end of the thermometer. Hold your baby's ankles together and push your knees back until they touch your belly. Now, gently insert the thermometer about a half an inch, stopping if you feel any resistance at all. Continue holding your baby's legs while loosely holding the thermometer so it can move with your baby. Remove the thermometer when it beeps to check the reading. So, when should you call your pediatrician? Well, for newborns younger than two months, always call if baby has a fever and that's defined as a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher. Need more advice on how to care for your newborn? Check out our other informative baby basics videos. Also, if you want some information on any of the fabulous furniture you saw in our nursery, go to Thanks for watching Baby Basics on Parents TV, your source for the best information for your growing family.