How to perform CPR on an infant

If this is an emergency, please call 000 immediately.

What is CPR?

If an infant is unresponsive and not breathing normally, you need to call 000 for emergency help and start CPR straight away. Learn what to do.

CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It combines chest compressions and rescue breaths to give a person the best chance of survival following a cardiac arrest. CPR is a lifesaving technique which can sustain life until an ambulance arrives.

We've updated our guidance due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Do not perform rescue breaths on the casualty.

This guide is regularly updated and aligns with the current edition of Australian First Aid (4th edition, 7/2011)

What to do

Give 30 compressions

Place the infant on their back on a firm surface.



Locate the lower half of the sternum (breastbone) in the centre of the chest.


Place 2 fingers over the lower half of the sternum.


Press down on the infant’s chest by about one-third depth.


Release the pressure. Pressing down and releasing is 1 compression.


Give 30 compressions.


Giving 2 breaths

Tilt the infant’s head back very slightly.


Lift the infant’s chin to bring their tongue away from the back of their throat. Avoid pressure on the neck and the soft tissue under the chin.

Give breaths by placing your lips over the infant’s mouth and nose, and blow steadily for about 1 second, watching for the chest to rise.

Turn your mouth away from the infant’s mouth and watch for chest to fall, and listen and feel for signs of air being expelled. Maintain head tilt and chin lift.

Take another breath and repeat the sequence above. This is now 2 breaths.


If the chest does not rise, recheck the mouth and remove any obstructions, and ensure there is a good seal around the mouth and nose.


CPR for infants fact sheet
Printable infant CPR wallet card

Related advice

How to do CPR on an adult

If an adult is unresponsive and not breathing normally, you need to call 000 for emergency help and start CPR straight away. Learn what to do.

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Learn more about the signs and symptoms of choking, and what to do in a situation where an adult or child is choking.

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Courses that teach this skill

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