Infant Chest Compressions: Depth Guidelines for Effective CPR

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving technique used to provide immediate care to infants in emergency situations. Chest compressions are a vital component of infant CPR, helping to maintain blood flow to the heart and brain. Understanding the appropriate depth for infant chest compressions is crucial for effective CPR and increasing the chances of a positive outcome. In this blog post, we will discuss the guidelines for the depth of infant chest compressions, emphasizing the importance of proper technique. MyCPR NOW offers valuable resources and training programs to equip individuals with the skills needed to perform high-quality infant CPR.

The Importance of Proper Chest Compression Depth for Infants:

Infants have delicate anatomical structures, and chest compressions must be performed with caution and precision to avoid causing harm. Proper chest compression depth ensures adequate blood flow to the vital organs without exerting excessive force that could result in injury. Understanding and implementing the recommended guidelines for infant chest compression depth is critical for effective resuscitation efforts.

Guidelines for Infant Chest Compression Depth:

Guidelines serve as the standard for proper technique and are widely recognized and implemented. The recommended chest compression depth for infants is approximately 1.5 inches (4 centimeters).

Key Steps for Achieving Proper Chest Compression Depth in Infants:

1. Positioning:
Place the infant on a firm surface, such as a table or floor, with their back against it. Ensure the infant's head is in a neutral position and slightly extended to maintain an open airway.

2. Hand Placement:
Locate the infant's sternum, which is the flat bone in the center of the chest. Position two fingers (index and middle finger) just below the nipple line on the infant's sternum.

3. Compression Technique:
Using your fingers, compress the infant's sternum to achieve a depth of approximately 1.5 inches (4 centimeters). The compression should be smooth and delivered at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute.

4. Adequate Force and Speed:
Apply enough force during compressions to achieve the recommended depth while maintaining a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute. It is important to avoid applying excessive force that may cause injury to the infant.

5. Allow for Full Chest Recoil:
After each compression, allow the infant's chest to fully recoil to its normal position. Avoid placing continuous pressure on the chest, as this may impede blood flow during CPR.

6. Continuous Monitoring and Feedback:
Continuously monitor the depth of chest compressions as you perform infant CPR. Utilize visual cues and feedback devices, if available, to maintain consistent compression depth. These tools can provide real-time feedback on compression quality, ensuring that you achieve the desired depth.

MyCPR NOW's Resources for Chest Compression Depth in Infants:

As part of their comprehensive CPR training programs, MyCPR NOW provides valuable resources and training materials to support the learning and application of proper chest compression depth for infants. These resources include:

1. Instructional Videos:
MyCPR NOW offers instructional videos that demonstrate proper technique for infant chest compressions. These videos provide visual guidance on hand placement, compression depth, and the overall process of performing high-quality infant CPR.

2. Interactive Learning Modules:
Their interactive learning modules cover the principles and best practices of infant chest compressions, including the recommended depth. These modules provide in-depth information, interactive exercises, and scenarios to enhance understanding and skill development.

3. Expert Guidelines:
MyCPR NOW's resources for chest compression depth in infants align with national guidelines. They ensure that learners receive accurate and up-to-date information from reputable sources.


Performing chest compressions with the appropriate depth is crucial for effective infant CPR and increasing the chances of a positive outcome. By following the recommended guidelines for infant chest compression depth, as outlined above and supported by MyCPR NOW's resources, you can confidently administer high-quality CPR to infants. Remember, proper training and regular practice are essential for maintaining proficiency in chest compressions. By choosing MyCPR NOW for your CPR training needs, you can access comprehensive resources and gain the knowledge and skills necessary to perform effective chest compressions on infants and potentially save lives.

Back to blog