Imagine being able to take your baby’s temperature without having to wake him up or stick something up his butt! Enter the FeverFrida iThermonitor from fridababy—the same makers of the popular snotsucker, the NoseFrida. This new, small thermometer/baby monitor device uses Bluetooth technology and a small monitor patch under your child’s armpit to send continual updates to your smartphone about your child’s temperature.
I used this iThermonitor on each of my children, ages two years and one month, when they were sick to see how it worked and here is my all inclusive review:
What I liked:
- I LOVE that the fridababy thermometer can stay on my child for up to 24 hours so all I have to do is open their app on my phone to check their temps. No more struggling to hold down their arm while a thermometer pokes their armpit or having to do a rectal read, hoping I didn’t stick it in too far.
- Slim and sleek design for comfort—they don’t even notice it’s there!
- Came with a battery and 5 adhesive patches so I didn’t have to worry about getting those on my own before set up. You can buy your own adhesive patches after you run out or order replacements from fridababy’s website.
- You can easily set what alerts you’d like to receive (like body temp and lost connection) and can set both high and low temperature points that you will be notified at, if your kid’s fever hits that point.
- The device will store the data if the bluetooth is disconnected for up to 10 days, with the option to connect to a cloud device so you can permanently keep that information. This comes in handy should you need to show your pediatrician the history of the fever.
- The screen on the app stays at a pleasant light blue when the fever is in the “safe zone” but will turn red when the fever get’s to your predetermined degree.
- The medicine tracker on the app! Not only could I add when and what I gave my child, that dose also showed on a nice graph, it said exactly what time I input the information, what temperature my child had when the dose was given, and gave fever management tips. I could also set reminder alerts for when the next dose was to be administered. Then, with each half hour that passed, it would tell me what my child’s fever did (increased or decreased) since giving the dose.
What could be improved:
- Short range for bluetooth device: You have to keep your phone within 10 feet of the monitor on your child at all times if you want to see the temperature continually. You could set up a smart phone or tablet to stay within range and sync it to the phone you constantly carry, but since we don’t have an extra phone or tablet, we couldn’t do this. It would’ve been nice to be able to monitor the temp from my phone, no matter how far I was from baby. Instead, I had to keep going back to their rooms and refresh the app and wait for it to update the information.
- Long initial setup for temp: The first time you put the device on your child each time you use it, you have to hold their arm over it and wait 8 minutes for data set up and to establish a correct temperature. For my toddler, it was a little easier to get her to stay still, but with my screaming infant, it was pretty pitiful and heart wrenching to have to lock his arm in place for so long. The next time I had to attach the FeverFrida to him, I let him breastfeed at the same time, which helped him hold still
- After the 8 minutes, there wasn’t any beep or indication that the set up was complete, so it felt like I had sat there holding my child’s arm for nothing. It’d be nice if there were a more obvious indication of when it’s finished setting up the initial body temp scan. I get that it needs time to get an accurate read, but 8 minutes seems pretty long.
- Price. It retails for $69.99 and I get that it needs to be more expensive than the run-of-the-mill, basic thermometer because it does SO much more, but that just seems a bit too expensive for the average mom to spend on a thermometer. Especially since many hospitals will send you home with a basic thermometer, which gets the job done if you’re on a budget.
- Failed connections from iThermonitor to phone. At least 85% of the time, I’d go to check my child’s temperature on my phone and the app would either crash, or it would say it couldn’t connect to the monitor, even though I was standing right next to my child. I made sure that the monitor was laying flat on my kids skin and they weren’t squirming and it still said it couldn’t connect. I’d have to close the app completely to restart it, or “Pull down to scan iThermonitor” multiple times before it would work.
- Battery wouldn’t stay in. Although I liked the little tool that’s included that will easily open and close/tighten the little battery compartment, I found that it didn’t lock enough to keep the battery enclosed. I would twist it as far in the lock position as possible and the battery would still pop out, which is dangerous if my toddler ever pulled off the monitor and swallowed the battery that fell out.
- Incorrect temperature readings: This is the biggest deal breaker for me. A thermometer should give you accurate readings so you can act accordingly! That’s their sole purpose. When I used the FeverFrida on my one month old, it was consistently giving me readings of about 100.2-100.4, so I thought my son was running a fever and needed medicine. He did seem a little warm, but nothing too alarming, which was why I was surprised when his temperature got to the danger zone on the iThermonitor. I did everything the FeverFrida manual said to do to troubleshoot, in case I was getting “unusual temperature data” and yet I still was told those higher readings. After calling my doctor when the temperature reading got to 100.7, she told me I should go to the hospital with him if it got to 100.4 and his fever didn’t come down. After two doses of medicine, the FeverFrida was still telling me his temperature was staying in that same range, or going higher. During this time, I did use my basic thermometer we were given from the hospital, which gave me normal readings of nothing over 98.0. I did under the arm and rectal readings but silly me, assumed the bigger, fancier device would be more accurate than this basic thermometer, so I brushed off those lower readings as false, as if I had been taking them incorrectly. So I took my son to the doctor and ended up feeling so dumb because their thermometers showed he had no fever. The nurse looked at me like I was crazy because his temp was 97.9 on her thermometer as I sat watching the FeverFrida app say it was 100.3 in that exact moment. That’s a pretty big difference.
- Customer service note: I reached out to fridababy on their website after finding these false readings and asked if they had had any other reports of this problem. I received a basic email in return a few days later stating what the manual already says in their troubleshooting section. There was nothing new suggested than what I had already tried to do to fix the problem myself. So my question about if any other moms were getting false readings wasn’t addressed, the advice was very general, and the tone of the email came across like they assumed I didn’t have the monitor on my son correctly.
Bottom line: I really loved the idea of this iThermonitor, but it needs some problems fixed before I’d ever consider buying it for seventy bucks or before I’d recommend it to anyone. I loved most elements of their app and I loved being able to monitor my children’s temperature in the middle of the night without having to wake them. But the fact that most of those readings ended up being false really bugs me. I gave my newborn baby two doses of medicine he didn’t need and took him to our doctor 40 minutes away based off of what the FeverFrida monitored. Based on my experience, even though I loved their app, I think I’ll stick to our basic under-the-arm/rectal thermometer for now.