Taking Baby's Temperature

Taking Baby's Temperature

When you suspect that your baby is sick, take his temperature.

  • A baby’s normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees F.

  • Always take the temperature twice as it may fluctuate.

  • Though the most accurate method to check an infant’s temperature is to take rectal readings by inserting a slightly lubricated rectal thermometer into the rectum for a minute, most parents prefer to use the underarm method*. This method shows a lower temperature than the actual internal body temperature by about 1 degree F.

*Underarm method: Put your baby on your lap. Wipe his armpit dry, shake the thermometer, and put the bulb into the folds of his armpit. Hold his arm flat.

Keep a close watch on baby and maintain a record of your baby’s condition to help your doctor make the right analysis and offer the appropriate treatment. A combination of symptoms must be recorded and reported to your pediatrician.

Once the doctor ascertains the cause of your baby’s illness, you should carefully follow his instructions along with prescribed medication protocols, and continue to nurse your baby until he recovers completely.

Helpful Tips

If your baby has diarrhea, vomiting, or high temperature, ensure you give him plenty of fluids to replace lost fluids.


  • Try to bring down baby’s temperature by sponging him with lukewarm (boiled and cooled) water.

  • Remember to keep him wrapped up inside a towel while sponging.

  • Cover him with light clothes and ensure that there’s plenty of fresh air in the room.

  • Keep a periodic check on his temperature every 15 minutes until it comes down below 102 degrees F (38.5 degree C).