How to: save a baby, Part I

A worry has been niggling at me – Cath and Mr Cath went to a baby first aid course before Pip was born, and I meant to go to one but for some reason haven’t quite gotten around to it yet. As each day passes I worry that I don’t really know what to do if Elphie is faced with a life threatening situation.

Yesterday I had a scare, I was sitting on the sofa with Elphie beside me happily, er, self-winding, when suddenly she was letting out a strange cry and seemed to be having difficulty breathing. I sat her up and rubbed her back and things returned to normal. I have no idea what it was – she hadn’t been fed for a while so I can only imagine that she was choking on a bit of vomit or spittle.

Either way, this was the wake up call I needed to do some research into basic baby first aid. As Stephen Fry’s favourite newspaper reports, choking is the third most common cause of infant death in the UK, after road traffic accidents and house fires; and even if resolved fast enough can result in brain damage.

The following videos cover responses to an unconscious baby and the second set to a choking baby.

CPR (loss of consciousness)


I found I needed to watch them twice to get the to sink in.

I am tempted to attempt the baby sandwich manoeuvre on Elphie… On second thoughts maybe I should use a pillow to practice on!

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