Bathing your baby for the first time is an exciting, yet nerve-wracking, experience for first-time parents. There are many things to consider and figure out, some of which you might not yet have the answers for. How hot should the water be? Should you maintain the temperature throughout the entirety of the bath? How can you ensure that the temperature is where it needs to be? And these are only some of the things that are probably swirling around in your mind as you turn the “hot” and “cold” knobs on your bathtub or sink. While we’re sure you have plenty more questions, many of which we’ll get into in our “criteria” section, for now, we’re going to help with the main problem: Temperature. When it comes to babies, the temperature of their bathwater can be the difference between something that feels like hot coals and something that’s akin to the Arctic, but we know exactly how to fix that.
A bath thermometer is a simple device that’s designed specifically to measure the temperature of the water it’s immersed in. This is a practice that has been used since the early 1900s and possibly even longer and although it’s basic, it works. What feels warm to you might be incredibly hot to your baby and vice versa which is why a thermometer is always the most reliable option when it comes to temperature. There are several other tricks that we’ll go into later on that you can use in addition to your bath thermometer, but having a device, specifically one that’s digital can make a world of a difference. Thermometers are much more advanced now in their ability to determine the exact temperature to the decimal point and we’ve sought out some of the best to protect your little one’s sensitive skin.
Table of Contents
- 10 Best Baby Bath Thermometers Reviewed
- 1. Ozeri Turtlemeter
- 2. Ozeri Duckymeter
- 3. AQUATOPIA Digital Audible
- 4. 4moms Spout Cover
- 5. Dreambaby L321 Duck
- 6. MotherMed Red Flower
- 7. Famidoc FDTH-V0-22
- 8. Munchkin SmartDrain
- 9. B&H Floating Duck
- 10. NUK Oil Based
- Criteria Used in the Evaluation of the Best Baby Bath Thermometers
10 Best Baby Bath Thermometers Reviewed
Flashes different color to alert you of changing temperatures Takes the temperature immediately on water contact Completely waterproof Functions as a bath toy Cute and baby-friendly Water can sometimes seep into the battery pack
1. Ozeri Turtlemeter
This adorable little turtle is hiding a bit of brilliance beneath its cute exterior. It's completely waterproof and baby-safe so whether they're splashing with it, submerging it underwater, or simply just pushing it around, you'll know they're playing with something that won't hurt them or break.
What We Like About It
Color alerts really help when it comes to bath distractions. It's easy enough to get caught up in playing with your baby in the bath or allowing them to enjoy the water without realizing that the temperature is going down. By lighting up, you'll know immediately when it's time to end bath time and find a cozy, warm towel.
Flashes different color to alert you of changing temperatures
Takes the temperature immediately on water contact
Functions as a bath toy
Cute and baby-friendly
Water can sometimes seep into the battery pack
Adorable and kid-friendly Classic bath toy look Colors help to indicate temperature Immediate and accurate results Completely submersible Water might get into the display
2. Ozeri Duckymeter
It can be challenging trying to find a toy that your baby can play with that's not too big, is completely waterproof, and baby-friendly. This can prove to be even tougher when there isn't much room in a baby tub, to begin with. That's why the size of the Duckymeter is perfect for a two-in-one toy.
What We Like About It
This is a thermometer-toy that will grow with your child. Kids love playing with rubber ducks until they're well into their toddler years and it will eventually be a great way for you to teach them how to check the temperature of their bath water on their own.
Adorable and kid-friendly
Classic bath toy look
Colors help to indicate temperature
Immediate and accurate results
Water might get into the display
Durable and long-lasting Beeps to alert you of temperature changes Very buoyant Alerts you when the battery is low Batteries included It's not soft or rubbery therefore it can get slippery
3. AQUATOPIA Digital Audible
We might as well call this the "smart thermometer" as far as features go. Not only will this turtle beep to alert you of a temperature change, but it'll also beep when the battery is low and needs changing.
What We Like About It
This entire device is made with a waterproof, hard plastic, making it stable as well as solid in the tub. It's not likely to flood or show wear and tear easily which means you'll be able to use it for years as your child grows up.
Durable and long-lasting
Beeps to alert you of temperature changes
Alerts you when the battery is low
It's not soft or rubbery therefore it can get slippery
Easy to read light-up display Measures water as it comes out of the faucet Accurate and immediate readings Easy to install and easy to take off Can be used by the entire family It will not keep track of the water temperature once the tub is full
4. 4moms Spout Cover
For those who find it easier to give their babies a bath in the bathtub, this device might be exactly what you're looking for. You'll be able to read the temperature of the water as it's flowing out of the faucet which means you can catch a temperature that's too hot or too cold before the tub is even full. Now that's what we like to call set up for success!
What We Like About It
There's a decent amount of guesswork when it comes to figuring out a bath temperature that's just right for your baby. You might even end up draining some water out in order to bring the temperature up or lower it and that can be a huge pain, not to mention a waste of time. This product makes it easy to average your water temperature before the tub is even full, cutting down on both time and frustration.
Easy to read light-up display
Measures water as it comes out of the faucet
Accurate and immediate readings
Easy to install and easy to take off
Can be used by the entire family
It will not keep track of the water temperature once the tub is full
Works outside of the bathtub as well Flashes various colors to alert you of temperature changes Baby-proof and makes for a good bath toy Simplistic design Easy to read display It doesn't have a long shelf-life
5. Dreambaby L321 Duck
The advanced features don't stop there with this alluring little ducky -- It can even be used to measure the temperature of a room as well. When it's not floating around in the bathtub, it can do its job just as well outside of an aquatic setting. We guess you could say that it does well as a fish out of the water!
What We Like About It
The fact that this thermometer can go straight from the bath to your baby's dresser to measure the temperature of their room is a key quality of this product. It pulls double-duty to ensure that your baby is always comfortable and will be the perfect indicator to let you know when it's time to raise or lower the thermostat.
Works outside of the bathtub as well
Flashes various colors to alert you of temperature changes
Baby-proof and makes for a good bath toy
Easy to read display
It doesn't have a long shelf-life
Flashes various light colors to alert you to changing temperatures Immediate readings Accurate in the water and out of the water Fun shape for babies to play with Tight-locking battery pack The temperature varies when placed on top of the water as opposed to underneath
6. MotherMed Red Flower
This waterproof toy might look a bit strange but it's a hit with babies. The unique look and shape of it will pique their curiosity and turn baths into a fun place to be while you get proper use out of their "toy" in the form of a digital thermometer.
What We Like About It
This device can also be used to take the temperature of the room as well. When you're finished with the bath simply take it out, dry it, and set it up in a safe and obvious place in order to monitor your baby's room temperature as well.
Flashes various light colors to alert you to changing temperatures
Accurate in the water and out of the water
Fun shape for babies to play with
Tight-locking battery pack
The temperature varies when placed on top of the water as opposed to underneath
Colorful and fun Long battery life Functions as a cute toy LCD display is easy to read Light indicates temperature level It takes a bit longer to read the water temperature
7. Famidoc FDTH-V0-22
The LCD display is crisp and easy to read on this device and puts it in the top running for high-quality thermometer products. Water can easily distort the image and make numbers tough to read but that's not an issue you'll find with this cute stingray.
What We Like About It
The battery is guaranteed to last at least one year which is longer than many bath thermometers on the market. Even though it's constantly exposed to water, this is one tough little device that's sure to outlast the competition.
Colorful and fun
Long battery life
Functions as a cute toy
LCD display is easy to read
Light indicates temperature level
It takes a bit longer to read the water temperature
Lights glow bright enough to be seen from the top of the water Three temperature levels for adequate alerts Helps to plug up the drain Can be installed and removed easily Reads the most accurate part of the bath water It has no temperature display
8. Munchkin SmartDrain
You won't even miss the digital temperature reading with this handy little device. Since the temperature underneath the water is always the most extreme, you'll always know what's going on down there without even needing to check it yourself.
What We Like About It
The colors glow very bright to let you know exactly where the temperature is at before your baby even goes into the tub. It's sensitive enough to adapt to changing temperature conditions and will produce immediate results.
Lights glow bright enough to be seen from the top of the water
Three temperature levels for adequate alerts
Helps to plug up the drain
Can be installed and removed easily
Reads the most accurate part of the bath water
It has no temperature display
Tells the time Beeps when the temperature changes The display is easy to read Makes for a cute bath toy Great for any child age It is a pricey option
9. B&H Floating Duck
This would make a perfect gift for new parents since it takes all of the guesswork out of running a bath for their baby. This little device will save time and stress when it comes to figuring out temperatures and keeping track of how long your baby has been in the bath.
What We Like About It
This is something that's useful for all ages, not just for babies. When your toddler or tween is in the bath, this can be a helpful device to let them know when they should be getting out the bath.
Tells the time
Beeps when the temperature changes
The display is easy to read
Makes for a cute bath toy
Great for any child age
It is a pricey option
Traditional temperature-reading method Always accurate Uses canola oil rather than mercury Tough and durable Can be used outside of the bath as well Only displays the temperature in Celsius
10. NUK Oil Based
Even in the toughest of conditions, this device will do its job and maintain its accuracy. Sometimes, traditional methods are the most trusted, and this is one product that is proving that point right.
What We Like About It
The versatility of this device allows it to easily go from the bath to the bedroom and back with no issues. It's waterproof and even has marks on the sides to indicate when the bath water is safe for your baby.
Traditional temperature-reading method
Uses canola oil rather than mercury
Tough and durable
Can be used outside of the bath as well
Only displays the temperature in Celsius
Criteria Used in the Evaluation of the Best Baby Bath Thermometers
Now, it’s time to answer some of the other things you’re probably thinking before it’s time for your baby’s bath. As a grown adult, let alone a parent, it can be challenging to know how your baby feels since they can’t formulate words or full sentences yet. While they can cry and express how they feel, there’s no way for them to say, “this water is too hot” or “I’m chilly”. We’ve already shown you a wide array of thermometers that are ideal for testing out the waters before allowing your baby free reign of his or her bathtime, but now it’s time to discuss how we found them.
While on the hunt, we first needed to make the distinction between digital thermometers and traditional thermometers. Both serve a purpose and are very reliable, but you’ll find mostly digital on this list. In today’s day and age, a digital thermometer is much faster as it provides an immediate read-out and will keep track of the water as the temperature goes up or down. However, we have included one non-digital device for those who would rather read the temperature manually and keep track of bathwater the entire time rather than constantly re-checking with a digital device. Neither way is wrong, it’s just whichever you, as a parent, are more comfortable with.
Another concern was figuring out which devices were the most baby-friendly. We asked ourselves whether or not these devices could be turned into colorful, inviting, and comforting bath accompaniments and lo and behold, they could! We were able to find thermometers that were shaped like rubber ducks, vibrantly-colored animals, and even found one that lights up. When it comes to babies, anything that is fully baby-proof and can also act as a toy is something that will inevitably be successful. There was something that went hand-in-hand with this idea, though, and that was safety. We needed to ensure that any product we found was undeniably waterproof as well as baby-safe when it comes to playtime and water leakage. Through various customer reviews as well as reviews of the brand itself, we were able to determine which products remained on the list and which got tossed down the drain… so to speak! What we were left with was nothing short of the best list of baby-safe, accurately-reading thermometers you can find and it’s a list that we are confident in presenting to you as well.
How Hot Should the Bath Actually Be?
This is perhaps the most commonly asked question when it comes to bathtime for babies. Ideally, the water should be no higher than the human body’s internal temperature — roughly 100-degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature will ensure that your baby is comfortable since the temperature is on par with their own internal thermostat, but hovers just slightly over to keep them warm. You don’t really want to go any higher than this because you run the risk of scalding your baby’s sensitive skin. This is especially important for newborns as their skin is still adjusting to external temperatures and while they do need to be kept warm, they shouldn’t be kept hot.
The Environment is Just as Important as the Bath Water
Consider how you feel when you get out of the bath or a shower on a cold, winter day. If you don’t have heat in your bathroom or even if you have cold tile floors, you often feel a chill, correct? This same thing can happen to your baby in the event that the room they’re being bathed in is not warm. You might not notice the temperature change at 68-degrees Fahrenheit but with water clinging to your baby’s skin, you can guarantee that they’ll notice it. It’s important to make sure that the temperature of the room is just slightly higher than normal in order to make for a smoother transition when taking your baby out of the bath. Additionally, have your most comfortable, cuddly towels ready and waiting to wrap them up and make them feel warm again. It’s the little comforts such as this that will make bath time a friendly experience and one that they won’t fear rather than enjoy.
Beware of Faucets That Hold Heat
A common practice is to bath your baby in the sink in a bathtub that’s designed specifically for them. While this is perfectly normal and fine, something you should be aware of is the faucet out of which your water is coming from. Especially in some older houses, metal faucets might remain hot to the touch after running hot water through them. Even if you’ve run cold water through it as well, the faucet may still be holding onto a significant amount of heat. If your baby happens to touch this, they could run the risk of an uncomfortable sudden heat that could hurt or scare them. Always check to make sure that your faucet has cooled down and, if possible, turn it as far as you can away from your baby and his or her bath.
When Giving Your Baby a Bath in the Tub
If you are giving your baby a bath in the bathtub and even if you’re still using a baby tub, it’s important to remember to mix the water up. It can be challenging to get that perfect temperature of 100-degrees or somewhere in that range but it can also be misleading if you’ve been running both the hot and cold water. Water won’t naturally mix at two different temperatures and not only could you be waiting a long time for that to happen, but your baby might encounter a particularly hot or cold spot in their bath. In order to avoid this and gauge an accurate reading, simply use your hand to mix the water up a bit until it feels uniform. Doing this can greatly decrease the chances of an uneven water temperature and the need to end the bath early because of an unhappy baby.
There are definitely some things to remember when it comes to your baby and the bath but all in all, use your own instincts and judgment. The number one rule of thumb to remember is that bath water temperature should be below 120-degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to have an accurate water temperature by mixing water up with your hand before putting your baby in the bath. Additionally, you can check the progress of the water by dipping your elbow — a sensitive part of your arm — into the water periodically. This will help you get an idea of what it will feel like for your baby. Also, watch out for faucets that might still be hot and make sure that the room is comfortable and not too hot or too cold. Have your cozy towels ready and waiting and, most importantly, don’t stress! A baby’s first bath is a momentous occasion and something that should be celebrated with laughter and fun. Enjoy it and make memories while your little one is still a baby!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do these need to be calibrated?
A: Any directions will be found in the summary of each product but for the most part, no — These thermometers are ready to go from the moment you take them out of their packaging. Normally, food service thermometers need to be calibrated if they’re non-digital. Anything that is digital is usually pre-calibrated and ready to be used.
Q: Will this remain on automatically if I want to progressively measure how quickly the water temperature cools down?
A: Most of these are designed to shut off automatically when not in use. This saves the battery power and prevents it from being drained completely in one use. Non-digital thermometers are great for this reason. However, since most of these are digital, they’re easy and fast when it comes to turning them on and taking a measurement.
Q: What’s the best way to store them when not in use?
A: You would store these just like any other thermometer in a place that’s cool and dry. After each use, make sure to thoroughly dry the product before putting it away to keep it hygienic and ensure a long shelf-life.
Q: Can my baby play with this while it’s still on?
A: Yes. Each one of these products that also doubles as a toy is designed to be completely baby-friendly. That means regardless of whether or not it’s acting like a thermometer or a toy, your baby will be perfectly fine playing with it.
Q: How do I replace the battery?
A: There should be a panel on the bottom of each product that can be unscrewed. The description of the battery will be found in the “product detail” section on its Amazon page.
Q: Could this throw off an inaccurate reading?
A: It’s not likely. Thermometers these days are designed in such a way that virtually eliminates false readings which means you’ll likely get something as accurate as possible, each time. If you do get an inaccurate reading, that means something is faulty with the thermometer itself and it should be returned or exchanged.