How to Check Baby Temperature without a Thermometer? Ways You Need to Learn

Some say a mother is a master of all trades. You see, I am a chef, teacher, pastor, fashion designer, planner, and so many more. A little bit of everything, of course, at home.

Are you dependent on using thermometers?  When my children are sick, I know how to check the baby temperature without a thermometer. Then, my kids call me their “mom doctor”.

With that, I earned another mom degree at home!  

Ways on How to Check Baby Temperature without a Thermometer

Taking care of my baby has given me experience that made me proud and confident. Fever is especially common all throughout the year. There are situations that even using a thermometer is out of reach.

Since I have been through with it a lot, I already learned how to check the baby temperature without a thermometer. You will learn too eventually, but why wait for long? You can start educating yourself right now. Here are the different techniques that you should master.

1. Learn to spot the symptoms of fever

You will have an idea that your baby has a fever in just one glance. The symptoms of fever manifest through your baby’s appearance. Be alert on the following warnings:

Learn to spot the symptoms of fever

Red or Flush Skin

Observe if the skin is flush or red. My child’s color is slightly dark, so it is difficult to tell if the baby has a fever or not. However, the cheeks are the best part for me to determine. My little one’s chubby cheeks will appear to be red or too rosy than the usual.

Inactive and too sleepy

My baby girl is hyperactive. It is an alert to see her sleeping when it is the usual playtime. Therefore, if the child refuses milk and does not show interest even to her favorite toys or chocolates, something is up!

Sweating and Shivering

Once, when we had a family camping, I had an urge to peep in the tent to see how my baby was doing. I was thankful I did. I noticed that she was sweating all over and at the same time shivering.

Even with no thermometer, I know that she is not well. A fever causes the body temperature to fluctuate thus making us feel very hot and chilly after.

Nervous Fit (Convulsion)

This symptom scares me the most. I was fortunate that my little one had a convulsion when she was in the hospital. I saw her shaking so much that her arms and legs were jolting, and eyes rolled up before collapsing.

The doctor explains that it was due to the sudden rise in body temperature caused by her lung infection. It may happen before or after the sudden change of temperature. It was a relief also to know that it does not cause permanent injury to my baby.  That was all that I need to hear!

your baby having a convulsion

I hope that you will not see your baby having a convulsion. Nevertheless, if in case you need help, this is what I have learned that you need to do with the situation:

How to:

  • Step 1- Look for an area that is clear and flat for her to lie down.
  • checkStep 2- Place your child on her side.
  • checkStep 3- Do not leave her side until the shaking ends. It usually lasts for about two minutes.
  • checkStep 4- During the attack, hold her and NEVER put anything inside her mouth.

REMEMBER: If the seizure takes longer than three minutes, call for immediate medical help.

Ask Your Child How She Feels

Newborns are an exception, but when your child is old enough to tell how she feels, it is a relief. My five-year-old girl was not enjoying her birthday party last year. Being strange, I asked her if something was bothering her. She replied that it was painful for her to swallow and her head hurts.

Fever usually brings discomforts such as pain, vomiting, and fatigue. In my baby girl’s case, it was due to tonsillitis.

Touch Your Child’s Skin

2. Touch Your Child’s Skin ( Forehead, neck)

All the symptoms that you learned from above are indications that your child has a fever. However, it is an instinct to want to touch your baby. For me, when I see that my baby is unwell, it is a reflex to touch her forehead, neck and then down to her body and arms. When the baby is too hot than the usual feel, there is a possibility of fever.

You should familiarize yourself the feel of a normal temperature of your baby. Surprisingly, it is natural for a hands-on mom to know this.

This method is the most common way on how to check the baby temperature without a thermometer.

How to:

  • checkUse the back of your hand to feel the skin of your baby. Do not use your palm since the skin of the palm is not that sensitive.
  • checkChecking the temperature by touching your baby’s hand and feet is not reliable. These parts turn cold when the body temperature is high.

Take note: Keep in mind that this method is just a primary way to find out if the baby has a fever. However, babies may feel too hot with no fever at all. Therefore, it is not advisable to check temperature after your child‘s physical activities.

Fever and Dehydration

Each time my baby has a fever, I am careful to let her take in fluids.  Dehydration often occurs in children with fever. Can you tell when your baby is dehydrated?

Here is a video explaining signs we need to look out for that indicates dehydration:

The Right Time to Call the Doctor

It is not enough to know how to check baby temperature even without the use of a thermometer. It is also vital that you learn how to react when your baby needs the proper medical attention. If you notice some signs like below, do not hesitate to call for immediate help.

Extreme weakness

I have to carry my child and bring her inside the car when she suffered a high temperature due to her bronchitis. She used to be active, but for that day, she cannot even speak or move. She missed her favorite breakfast and spent the whole morning sleeping. As I rushed her to the hospital, she hardly opens her eyes.

Stiff Neck, abdominal and chest pain

Fever, stiff necks and headaches are a dangerous combination. As I have searched, it is a sign of meningitis. Consider this symptom as high priority and needs medical assessment. 


In situations wherein we cannot rely on medical tools, these methods to know how to check the baby temperature without a thermometer usually what mothers do at home driven by maternal instinct. The longer a mother takes care of her baby while sick, the faster the reflexes are in checking if the baby is sick. Right, moms?

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Sarah Palmer
Hi! I'm Sarah. My husband and I have a beautiful little girl; plus we’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of Baby #2, so this is a very exciting time for us. Throughout this amazing journey called Parenthood, I’ve learned so much and love sharing my experiences with other parents at I'd love to share my discoveries with you too!
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One comment

  1. […] the underarms or rectum, with the latter being the most accurate. By the way, do you know how to check the temperature without using a thermometer? Avoid tight situations that may arise and learn the basic techniques a mother should […]

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