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An axillary temperature is taken by holding the thermometer under baby's arm. To provide a correct reading, this must be done with care. Use the steps on this handout as a guide.
Be sure to use a thermometer that is for underarm use.
Clean the thermometer before and after each use.
Be sure the thermometer is at room temperature.
Remove the cover from the thermometer.
Hold your baby on your lap. Or lay your infant on his or her back on a firm surface.
Grasp your baby's elbow. Gently but firmly, lift the arm away from baby's side.
Place the tip of the thermometer in the fold of the armpit. To get a true reading, the thermometer must rest directly against baby's skin on all sides.
Bring the arm down next to baby's side.
Follow the instructions for using your digital thermometer.
Keep your baby's arm against his or her side. This keeps the thermometer in place.
When the thermometer beeps that it is ready, release your hold and gently lift baby's arm. Remove the thermometer.
Read the temperature on the digital display. Normal temperature is around 98.6°F.
Before putting the thermometer away, clean it with soap and warm water.