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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

CPR (resuscitation) for babies (0 to 1 year)

Whakarauora ā-kōpeketanga (CPR) ki pēpi (0 ki te 1 tau)

This page gives simple instructions on what to do if a baby aged under 1 year has stopped breathing. For children over 1, follow the information in CPR for adults & children. If anyone else is there, ask them to help.

CPR stands for cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. It involves pushing on their chest and blowing air into their mouth to try to restart their heart and get them breathing on their own again.

Follow the instructions on this CPR video by St John

Basic resuscitation for a baby – remember DRs, ABC

D – Dangers

Check the area is safe before you approach. If it is not safe, do not continue. Wait for help.

R – Responsive

Shout their name and gently squeeze their toes. It's considered to be a response if they move or make a noise. If they respond, put them on their side in the recovery position and wait with them for help. If they do not respond, continue as follows.

s – Send for help

If no one has called for help yet, ask someone to call 111. Tell them to let you know when they have. If you're alone, do steps A, B, and C below before calling for help.

Calling 111 for an ambulance has information about calling 111 in a medical emergency and what happens when you call.

A – Airway

Open their airway by tilting their head back and lifting their chin. If you see an object in their mouth, use two fingers to sweep it out. Do not try to sweep out an object if you cannot see it.

B – Breathing

Check if the baby is breathing normally. If they are, hold them in the recovery position. If they aren't breathing normally, start CPR.


Start CPR. Do 30 compressions followed by two breaths by sealing your lips around the baby’s mouth and nose. To do a compression, place your hands in the centre of their chest. Push down hard and fast. If you're alone, do 30 compressions, followed by two breaths. Then stop and call 111.

Continue CPR until you get a response, or the baby starts breathing normally again.

GoodSAM app

St John has a system that can notify a person who knows how to perform CPR and use an AED that someone nearby needs their help. It uses the free GoodSAM app.

If you know how to perform CPR and use an AED and are prepared to voluntarily respond to a patient suspected to be in cardiac arrest, consider signing up as a responder.

For more information see GoodSAM app on St John's website or this poster. Both tell you how to sign up as a responder and download the app.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed December 2022.


Page reference: 141031

Review key: HIFAD-141030