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Normal Baby Temperature: Everything You Need to Know

Normal Baby Temperature Everything You Need to Know

As parents, one of the things we worry about is our babies running a fever. As a soon-to-be mom, I have yet to experience and learn how to deal with it. 

But as early as now, I’ve been trying to educate myself about the normal baby temperature and how to check it. 

As much as possible, I want to be equipped with the right information by the time my baby comes. 

Today, I will share some information I discovered about baby temperature. You, too, can stay on top of your parenting game, whether you’re a first-time mom or not.

What Should My Baby’s Temperature Be?

What Should My Baby's Temperature Be?

The normal temperature for babies is anywhere between 36 to 37 degree Celsius. However, remember that this can vary depending on where you check the temperature. 

Most doctors recommend checking your baby’s armpit, forehead, and rectum temperature.

The armpit and forehead method is usually the most accurate, common, and convenient approach. Some parents don’t even use a thermometer and just check if it’s warm or not. 

Checking the temperature in the rectum might sound intrusive, but it is the most accurate of the three. 

It determines the internal temperature of your baby, which is crucial to determine if they’re running a fever. 
Regardless of where you’re checking, use a reliable baby thermometer.

What If My Baby’s Temperature Is Slightly Too High or Low?

What If My Baby's Temperature Is Slightly Too High or Low?

In general, there are two situations that parents need to watch out for: when their baby’s temperature is running too high or too low. 
With the help of your favorite thermometer, you’ll know where your baby stands. Here are some helpful, quick relief solutions when your baby’s temperature fluctuates.

What to Do If Temperature Is Too Low

If your baby’s temperature is running lower than 36 degrees, you need to start warming up your baby immediately. There could be several reasons, like when your baby’s room is too cold

Thankfully, you can easily address this issue by adjusting the AC temperature in the room. 

Some doctors also recommend dressing your baby in warmer clothes. This ensures they don’t get a chill while they’re sleeping. You can use a long-sleeved onesie or even wrap them with a blanket. 

Just ensure not to overdo it, or your baby could overheat. 
If your baby’s temperature remains too low despite all efforts, go to the hospital immediately. If it drops below 35 degrees Celsius, your baby risks suffering from hypothermia.

What to Do If Temperature is Too High

Babies can also feel warm to the touch, although it doesn’t automatically mean they’re running a fever. Sometimes, it could be because their room is too hot to sleep in. 

They might feel warm to the touch, but their temperature is normal upon checking. 

When this happens, you can swap your baby’s clothes for something light and breathable. They’ll feel more comfortable and won’t sweat buckets overnight. 

However, a reading of 38.9 degrees Celsius or higher is dangerously high. I recommend getting help immediately because your baby could be suffering from an infection. 

Babies haven’t fully developed their immune systems yet, so they won’t be able to fight the infection on their own.

How to Take Your Baby’s Temperature

How to Take Your Baby's Temperature

Taking our baby’s temperature will eventually be second nature to us parents. Soon enough, we don’t even have to use a thermometer because it’ll be part of our sixth sense as a parent. 

But we must already learn how to take our baby’s temperature properly. This ensures we get an accurate reading each time and know how to resolve any issues properly.

Taking the Temperature From the Head

Taking a temperature from the head is easy by using an infrared thermometer. All you have to do is place the sensor of the thermometer at the center of your baby’s forehead. 

Switch on the thermometer for it to determine the temperature. In a few seconds, you’ll be able to tell the temperature on the screen. 

Your baby has a fever if it reads 38 degrees Celsius or higher. 

Some of my mom friends share that this is their favorite method because it’s fast and the least intrusive. They don’t have to bother their baby just to take their temperature.

Taking the Temperature From the Armpit

If your baby’s head is hot, but their body is cold, consider checking their temperature through their armpit. 

Simply place the tip of the thermometer on your baby’s armpit, and hold your baby’s arms down. 

Ensure the thermometer doesn’t fall off, or you’ll have an inaccurate reading. More importantly, make sure your baby’s armpit is dry. 

Wait for a few seconds until the thermometer beeps with the reading. A reading of 37.2 degrees Celsius or higher means your baby has a fever. 

Unfortunately, few doctors recommend this method because it’s the least accurate. I recommend following up with other ways of reading your baby’s temperature.

Tips for Taking Your Baby’s Temperature

Tips for Taking Your Baby's Temperature

Taking your baby’s temperature isn’t usually the most comfortable experience, especially if you’re using intrusive methods like rectal reading. 

Thankfully, I discovered several helpful tips to help parents take their baby’s temperature successfully.

Tip 1: Make the Experience Comfortable

Always choose non-intrusive methods for taking temperature, like through the head. 

It’s fast, convenient, and effective! You don’t have to put up a fight with your kids, especially if they’re in their toddler years.

Tip 2: Lubricate When Using a Rectal Temperature

Rectal thermometers are so intrusive they can cause some discomfort in babies. Using a lubricant will help out a lot. 

Just be sure to read what type of lubricant can be used on the thermometer.

Tip 3: Keep Your Baby Secure

Make sure your baby isn’t crawling around while you’re taking their temperature. 

You might end up with an inaccurate reading and have to repeat it. Also, the thermometer might fall and break.

What Are the Different Signs of Fever?

What Are the Different Signs of Fever?

Knowing the first signs of a fever in a newborn is always crucial. You’ll be able to get on top of their fever immediately and find a solution. 

Knowing these signs are often hard for new parents like me, unlike seasoned parents who hardly need a thermometer to tell if their baby is sick.

Thankfully, I discovered some tell-tale signs if our babies have a fever. 

It’s no secret that babies often cry. However, check for fever once you notice it’s unusual from their normal day. 

They might be showing signs of discomfort because something is causing them pain. 

Babies can also have unusually red-looking cheeks when they have a fever. They can even start sweating more than usual, especially if their temperature is high. 

You can also feel for their chest and back if it’s hotter than usual.

What Should You Do If Your Baby Has Fever?

What Should You Do If Your Baby Has Fever?

You’d think it’d be second nature for parents to know what to do when their baby has a fever. 

Unfortunately, some parents would panic and forget about the dos and don’t when their baby gets sick. 

That said, I’ve listed what you should do if your baby has a fever:

  • Visit your baby’s pediatrician: having your baby checked with their pediatrician is best. They can give the proper advice and even recommend the right medication for your baby. 
  • Hydration is key: keep your baby extra hydrated when they’re sick. Give enough fluids and milk when you can. 
  • Check-up on them: regularly check your baby for any changes in their behavior. Take note if the medication is working or if their condition is worsening. If it is, don’t hesitate to contact your baby’s pediatrician. 
  • Keep them comfortable: as a parent, our job is to keep our baby’s comfortable even while they’re sick. Make sure to dress your baby appropriately, especially at night. Keep them warm by providing extra blankets to ensure their comfort. 

You can always check back on this list or save it on your phone. Spare yourself the trouble of figuring out what you should be doing next.

Frequently Asked Questions

Thanks to my research, I could read some of the questions most parents asked from their doctors. I’ve listed some of them here, which I’m sure you’ll find very useful.

What Is the Ideal Room Temperature for My Baby?

It’s easy to say that our baby’s room shouldn’t be too hot or cold. Most of the time, it’s a guessing game for parents to figure out what temperature it should be. 

To save you the trouble, the right temperature is between 20 to 22 degrees Celsius. This should keep your baby comfortable and ensure a good night’s sleep! 
Nevertheless, make sure to watch out for signs that your baby is feeling too hot or cold while they’re sleeping. Adjust the temperature accordingly so it doesn’t disrupt their sleep.

What Should the Normal Temperature Be for a Newborn Baby?

A newborn baby’s normal temperature is between 36 to 37 degrees Celsius. It could vary depending on the time of day and is normal as long as it’s within range. 

During the day, make sure your baby is wearing light clothing, especially if it’s hot. At night, keep your baby warm and dress them in proper clothing. 

This is true for babies who sleep in air-conditioned rooms.

When Should You Take Your Baby to the Doctor?

If you’re unsure of your baby’s condition, it’s best to seek professional help. Here are some instances when you should take your baby to a doctor immediately:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever which is running 40 degrees Celsius and up 
  • Constant shivering despite wearing warm clothing or being in a warm environment
  • Non-stop puking

Remember that this list is not exclusive; these are just some examples. Should you observe any unusual signs, don’t second guess if you should go to the hospital.

Conclusion

Our babies must rely on us for their needs, especially if they are sick. The best we can do for them is to educate ourselves as early as now on the right things. 

We can all start by knowing their normal body temperature and how to read their temperature properly. We’ll have a better idea of how to effectively move forward! 

Always seek your doctor’s help if you’re unsure what to do. Don’t wait for things to get worse, especially if there’s a solution you can do.

Josie Mariano
Josie Mariano

Hello, my name is Josie Mariano, and I’m proud to say I’m a soon-to-be mom.
Although my partner and I are still waiting for our firstborn to arrive, we’re already doing whatever it takes to prepare for our baby’s needs.
I’ve been joining a lot of parenting forums and asking my doctors for advice on how to prepare for my baby. They’ve all been very informative and I was able to spot the areas I still need to work on.
At the same time, I also rely on my mom for tips on what to do during my pregnancy journey.
With everything that I’ve learned so far, I’d like to share these experiences to fellow parents and soon-to-be parents!