Monday, January 7, 2008
Thanks, Beth, for my first official question. I think most pediatricians will recommend a digital rectal thermometer for your baby. If anyone actually still has a mercury thermometer, I shudder to think of the mess that will make if it breaks. Although a mercury one is the gold standard for thermometer calibration, save it for the grown ups. A plain old digital one (you will probably get one at the hospital - I got two) does the trick.
There are other kinds, like the ear thermometer, underarm thermometer and forehead temperature strips, any pediatric hospital in the country pretty much only relies on rectal temps for babies. And forget about adding one degree if it's an underarm temp and subtracting one if it's rectal. That is unreliable and varies on the user technique and the baby squirminess. Just suck it up, get some Vaseline and stick the thermometer where the sun don't shine. Not too far, of course. That is a whole other show.
Also, once a rectal thermometer, always a rectal thermometer. A good general rule of thumb. Just sayin'.