How to take a baby’s rectal temperature using a digital thermometer
Always use a digital thermometer, mercury thermometer are not recommended anymore.
- Clean the end of the thermometer with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. Use cool water, do not rinse with hot water.
- Apply petroleum jelly to the tip of a digital thermometer
- Lay your baby on his back, and lift his legs up like you are going to change his diaper.
- Gently slide the thermometer about ½ inch into the rectum, hold in place for about 2-3 minutes or until the thermometer signals that it’s done.
Important Tip- Try to distract your baby during this time, it may seem like a lifetime, but just keep them busy and they won’t notice. When taking a rectal temperature, you stimulate the rectum and might cause a bowel movement. Just be prepared (i.e. have towels or an extra diaper on hand)!!