Mild hypothermia () is an effective neuroprotective strategy for a variety of acute brain injuries. However, the wide clinical adaptation of has been hampered by the lack of a reliable noninvasive method for measuring brain temperature, since core measurements have been shown to not always reflect brain temperature. The goal of this work was to develop a noninvasive optical technique for measuring brain temperature that exploits both the temperature dependency of water absorption and the high concentration of water in brain (80%–90%). Specifically, we demonstrate the potential of time-resolved near-infrared spectroscopy (TR-NIRS) to measure temperature in tissue-mimicking phantoms (in vitro) and deep brain tissue (in vivo) during heating and cooling, respectively. For deep brain tissue temperature monitoring, experiments were conducted on newborn piglets wherein hypothermia was induced by gradual whole body cooling. Brain temperature was concomitantly measured by TR-NIRS and a thermocouple probe implanted in the brain. Our proposed TR-NIRS method was able to measure the temperature of tissue-mimicking phantoms and brain tissues with a correlation of 0.82 and 0.66 to temperature measured with a thermometer, respectively. The mean difference between the TR-NIRS and thermometer measurements was for the in vitro experiments and for the in vivo measurements.