A baby is generally regarded as being under the age of 1 year. If you are unsure, start with the process for baby CPR, and if you find it too difficult, treat the patient as a child.

How you can help

1.    Assess DANGERS

  • Make sure that you, the baby, and bystanders are safe from any dangers. 
  • Do not put your own safety at risk. 

2.    Is the baby responsive?

  • Check for response by calling the baby’s name loudly and gently squeezing their toes.
  • Moving or making a noise is regarded as a response.
  • If there is no response, the baby is unconscious and in danger of dying because of their airway becoming blocked.

3.    Send for help

Call 111 for an ambulance or send someone elseto call.

  • It is important to call an ambulance as soon as possible so that advanced resuscitation assistance is on its way.

Remember – you will be keeping the baby alive with CPR, but they need additional care to start their heart.

If you are on your own, and a phone is not readily available, do CPR for about 1 minute then call for help.

  • If portable, bring the phone with you to the patient.

4.    Open and clear the airway

When a person isunconscious their muscles relax. The tongue is a muscle and so relaxes. This is dangerous because the back of the tongue can flop downwards against the back of the airway and block it. This means the baby cannot breathe.

In any unconscious person it is important to open the airway:

  • In a baby, this is done simply by moving the head into a neutral position and lifting the chin.
  • If you see anything in the baby’s mouth, use two fingers to sweep it out.

5.    Check to see whether the baby is breathing normally

When the airway is open and clear, check for normal breathing:

  • Look and feel for movement of the lower chest and stomach area.
  • Listen and feel for air coming from the nose or mouth.
  • Check for any movement.

If the baby is breathing, move them and support them on their side with their head in a neutral position and continually monitor their breathing.

Note that occasional gasps of air are inadequate to sustain life and should be ignored.

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6.    If the baby is not breathing

  • Position the baby on any flat surface or even support them on your lap or arm.
  • Place TWO FINGERS of one hand in the centre of the chest just below an imaginary line between the nipples.
  • Push down hard and fast 30 times (push down one third of chest depth).

Do not worry about pushing too hard – good CPR requires you to push hard and fast.

  • Once you have completed 30 compressions (pushes) on the chest, breathe into the baby’s mouth 2 times.
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To breathe into the baby:

  • Keep the head in a neutral position with one hand.
  • Seal your lips around the baby’s mouth and nose.
  • Gently puff into the baby until you see the chest rise.
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  • Remove your mouth, take a fresh breath, and puff into the baby again.
  • Continue with the cycle of 30 chest compressions and 2 breaths until the ambulance arrives.


If you are unable to breathe into the baby, or uncomfortable with doing so, just perform chest compressions.

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