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A Guide to Taking Baby Temperature Under Arm: What Every Parent Should Know

As a parent, monitoring your baby’s health is crucial. One essential skill is knowing how to accurately measure your baby’s temperature, especially under the arm. This comprehensive guide from will provide you with all the necessary steps and tips to ensure an accurate reading every time.

Why Measure Baby’s Temperature Under The Arm?

Measuring your baby’s temperature under the arm, also known as axillary temperature, is safe, comfortable, and convenient for both you and your baby. While not as accurate as a rectal reading, it can provide a good estimate of body temperature for general monitoring purposes.

When Should You Check Your Baby’s Temperature?

You should check your baby’s temperature when they appear unwell or show signs of discomfort. Symptoms like fussiness, unusual lethargy, poor feeding, or noticeable warmth to the touch could signal a fever and require a temperature check.

How to Take Baby’s Temperature Under the Arm

Step-By-Step Guide

Follow this step-by-step guide to correctly measure your baby’s temperature under the arm:

  1. Undress your baby’s upper body to access the armpit area.
  2. Place the thermometer in the center of the armpit.
  3. Hold your baby’s arm tightly against their body to keep the thermometer in place.
  4. Wait until the thermometer signals that it’s done.
  5. Remove the thermometer and read the temperature.

Key Points to Remember

  • Ensure the armpit is dry before taking a temperature reading.
  • Readings may vary slightly each time, so consider taking multiple readings for an average.
  • Always consult with your healthcare provider if you are worried about your baby’s temperature.

Understanding Underarm Temperature in Babies

Normal Underarm Temperature for Babies

Typically, the normal underarm temperature for a baby ranges from 97.5°F to 99.3°F. Variations may occur based on factors like the baby’s activity level or the surrounding environment.

What Counts as Fever in Babies?

A fever in a baby is typically defined as an underarm temperature above 99.3°F. This may vary slightly depending on the child’s age and specific health circumstances.

Does the Underarm Temperature Vary Between the Right and Left Armpit?

Under normal conditions, the underarm temperature between the right and left armpit should be relatively similar, barring minor natural variations.

Interpreting Underarm Temperature Readings

Adding Degrees to Underarm Temperature Readings

When taking your baby’s temperature under the arm, it’s common practice to add an extra degree to the reading to account for the cooler external body temperature compared to internal body temperature.

How to Recognize a High Fever

A high fever in a baby is generally considered to be an underarm temperature of 100.4°F or higher. If your baby has a high fever, seek immediate medical attention.

Low-Grade Fevers and When to Use Fever Reducing Medication

A low-grade fever in a baby is typically an underarm temperature ranging from 99.3°F to 100.3°F. For low-grade fevers, it’s often recommended to monitor your baby and provide comfort care. However, consult with a healthcare provider about when to administer fever-reducing medication like Tylenol.

How to Take a Baby’s Temperature Under the Arm

Using a Digital Thermometer for Underarm Temperature

Using a digital thermometer to take your baby’s underarm temperature involves placing the device in the center of the armpit and holding the arm close to the body until the reading is complete.

How Often to Check Your Baby’s Temperature

The frequency of temperature checks should be based on your baby’s symptoms and condition. If your baby appears unwell or has a fever, you might need to check their temperature every few hours.

When to Seek Medical Attention for a Fever

Seek immediate medical attention if your baby is less than 3 months old and has a fever of 100.4°F or higher. For older babies, consult with your healthcare provider about when hospital admission might be necessary.

Understanding Body Temperature Changes in Babies

Why a Baby’s Body Might Feel Hot Without a Fever

There could be various reasons why your baby’s body feels hot without a fever, such as over-bundling, a warm environment, or increased physical activity.

What if the Baby’s Head is Hot but the Body is Cold?

If your baby’s head feels hot but their body is cold, it could be due to various reasons, from normal developmental changes to signs of illness. Always consult with a healthcare provider if you’re concerned about your baby’s temperature.

How Can Help

Measuring your baby’s temperature is important, but ensuring your baby gets quality sleep is equally crucial, especially when they are not feeling well. That’s where steps in. Our platform offers numerous resources and tips on improving your baby’s sleep patterns.

An elevated temperature could disrupt your baby’s sleep, leading to additional fussiness and discomfort. provides strategies to ensure your baby gets adequate rest, which is essential for their recovery and growth.

From tips on establishing healthy sleep habits to advice on creating the optimal sleep environment, is your go-to resource for all things related to baby sleep.


Knowing how to take your baby’s temperature under the arm is a key skill for any parent. It allows you to monitor your baby’s health and provide the necessary care when they’re not feeling well. Remember, is always available to support you in your parenting journey with resources that promote restful sleep for your baby.

1 thought on “A Guide to Taking Baby Temperature Under Arm: What Every Parent Should Know”

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