How To Give Infant CPR – Babies are not mini-adults. Their systems are very fragile. In adults, CPR is most often done due to a sudden cardiac arrest emergency such as a heart attack [1].  Infant CPR is most often needed due to a respiratory issue [2]. The most common question asked is, “How many compressions for infant CPR?” Deliver 30 quick compressions using this method.

Table Of Contents
Step By Step Guide CPR Guide Babies

Here are the most common reasons an infant will need CPR;

  • Near drowning
  • Suffocation
  • Choking
  • Poisoning
  • Severe asthma
  • Smoke inhalation
  • Head trauma
  • Electrical shock
  • Obstructive Apnea
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

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The goal of CPR is to restore blood flow to the heart, brain, and other vital organs so that permanent damage is avoided. CPR also restores breathing until advanced life support is given. Thus, it should be started as soon as possible [3].

However, infant CPR should be initiated only when there are no signs of life, an infant is unconscious, unresponsive, or experiencing difficulty breathing [4].

With that said, it’s understandable that it’s hard to think when you see an unresponsive infant. Questions about how to give infant CPR and specifically “How many compressions for infant CPR” will come to mind as the number of compressions differ between infant, child, and adult. Take the time to memorize the steps in how to give infant CPR. It can be hard to think during a crisis. The more familiar with the steps, the better you will be able to save your child’s life.

How To Give Infant CPR
How To Give Infant CPR Step 1

Ensure the area around you and your baby is safe. However, only move the child if they are in an unsafe area. You want to avoid causing (or exacerbating) a spinal injury. Otherwise, roll the baby on their back to prevent further injuries [5][6].

Step 2 - Check For Responsiveness
How To Give Infant CPR Step 2

In infants, tap the soles of their feet to check for a response. (Never shake an infant as this can cause brain damage [7][8].)

To check for a pulse, locate the brachial artery by placing 2-3 fingers on the inside of the upper arm between the shoulder and elbow. Press the fingers gently for 5-10 seconds to feel for a pulse. Do not push too firmly, as this may occlude the pulse [9].

Step 3 - Call For Help
How To Give Infant CPR Step 3

If your child does not respond, call 911. If someone is close by, direct them to call 911 and immediately give approximately 2 minutes of care [10][11].

CPR Step 4 - Open The Airway
How To Give Infant CPR Step 4

Kneel beside your baby. You will need to open up the airway of your baby’s air passages by laying your child on his back on a flat, hard surface such as the floor or a table. Tilt their head back slightly [12][13].

CPR Step 5 - Listen Intently
How To Give Infant CPR Step 5

Check if your baby is breathing. Bring your ear close to the mouth to listen for about 10 seconds. Remember, infants normally have changes in breathing patterns, but intermittent gasping is not considered normal breathing. If your baby isn’t breathing, continue with 2 rescue breaths. (Rescue breathing forces air into the lungs supplying enough oxygen to help preserve life. [14][15])

CPR Step 6 - Breathe Into The Mouth
How To Give Infant CPR Step 6

Deliver two rescue breaths by covering the entire mouth and nose with yours. Make sure that the head is tilted back slightly as you breathe into your baby. (This is called the head-tilt chin-lift maneuver.) First, blow in for one second to make the chest rise, then deliver 2 rescue breaths. Start CPR if there is no response [16][17].

CPR Step 7 - Chest Compressions
How To Give Infant CPR Step 7

How To Administer Chest Compressions:

It’s crucial to know the not only how many compressions for infant CPR are done, but how to deliver them as well. (On an infant, the rescuer does not perform chest thrusts. Compressions are done with only two fingers.)

How Many Compressions For Infant CPR

  • Kneel beside your infant and move clothing away from the chest.
  • Use two of your fingers at the center of your baby’s chest on the lower half of the sternum (breastbone) directly below the nipple line. (Avoid the xiphoid process, the narrow part at the very bottom of the sternum.)
  • Press down about 1½ inches and let the chest return to its normal position after every compression.
  • Deliver 30 quick compressions using this method.
  • Continue with this until the EMT’s arrive or you see obvious signs of life [18][19].

Infant CPR Education And Prevention
Infant CPR: Education And Prevention

Babies are experts at finding small things in corners and under counters. As for toys, make sure that they are age-appropriate and have no small or loose parts.

As a parent, the safety of your baby is paramount so take preventive measures to ensure that your baby will always be out of reach of standing water and other hazards.

Get CPR Certified
Get CPR Certified

For new parents, how to give infant CPR is as crucial as knowing how to feed and change a newborn. Consider getting a CPR certification. In a CPR class, you’ll learn both infant and child CPR. You’ll also learn about compression-only CPR versus mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. That’s important because the compression to breaths steps vary for how to perform infant CPR, child CPR, and adult CPR. Steps also differ between one-person and two-person CPR.

When you take a CPR class, you’ll be given the opportunity to get a feel for the process through simulation. You’ll learn about rescue breaths and how many compressions for infant CPR. In fact, even if you don’t plan on having any children, undergoing CPR training is well worth the few hours it takes.

The American Heart Association and the Red Cross hold infant CPR classes that you can attend in your area. You want to know as soon as your infant is born what steps to take should he/she develop a problem. MADE OF Organic Baby Products

How To Give Infant CPR Resources:
[1] [2] [3] [4]  EMC CPR & Safety Training; Causes of CPR Being Administered on Infants, Stephanie Duehring, February 06, 2014.
[5] [6] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19]  American Red Cross; Child & Baby CPR.

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