How to put a baby in a recovery position

How to put a baby in recovery position: Essential knowledge for carers

Ensuring the safety and well-being of infants is a fundamental responsibility for anyone involved in childcare. Knowing how to position a baby in recovery correctly can be vital in a critical situation. In this blog, Rose aims to educate caregivers, parents, and healthcare professionals on the correct techniques supported by relevant legislation, best practices, and up-to-date statistics. She aims to empower you with the knowledge that could be life-saving.

Importance of the recovery position

The recovery position can prevent suffocation and aid breathing when a baby is unconscious but still breathing. It is particularly crucial in managing emergencies like seizures or after resuscitation. Statistics from health services highlight that correct first aid procedures, such as the recovery position, can significantly increase the chances of recovery in emergency situations.

Key definitions and concepts

Recovery position - A position in which an individual is placed on their side, ensuring open airways and preventing choking on vomit, blood, or tongue in an unconscious state.

Regulations and best practices

In the UK, childcare providers are governed by strict regulations under bodies such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Ofsted. These organisations stipulate that anyone responsible for children must be trained in paediatric first aid, as outlined in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. Best practices also suggest that training should be refreshed regularly to keep skills and knowledge up to date.

How to place a baby in the recovery position

  • Ensure safety - First, ensure the environment is safe for both you and the baby. Do not attempt to move the baby if you suspect they have sustained neck or spinal injuries unless they are in immediate danger.
  • Check response - Gently tap or touch the baby to check for responsiveness. Do not shake the baby.
  • Call for help - If there is no response, call the emergency services immediately before proceeding.
  • Prepare for positioning:
  • Carefully pick up the baby and lay them flat on their back on a firm surface.
  • Remove any bulky clothing that could affect positioning.
  • Positioning the baby:
  • Carefully roll the baby onto their side.
  • Support the baby’s back with one hand.
  • Tilt the baby’s head and lift the chin to open the airway.
  • Ensure the baby’s top arm is gently bent with the hand under the cheek.
  • Monitor and comfort - Stay with the baby and monitor their breathing and any changes in their condition until help arrives. Offer comfort to keep them calm if they regain consciousness.

Recommendations for caregivers

  • Attend regular first aid training - Regular training updates are crucial. Enrol in accredited paediatric first aid courses that cover the recovery position and other essential lifesaving skills.
  • Stay informed - Keep up-to-date with the latest health and safety guidelines from the HSE and other relevant bodies.
  • Practice makes perfect - Regularly practice the techniques you learn in training sessions to respond effectively in an emergency.


Understanding how to position a baby properly in the recovery position is an essential skill for anyone involved in childcare. It ensures that you are prepared to act swiftly and effectively in times of crisis, potentially saving a life. Remember, knowledge combined with action can make a significant difference. Stay trained, stay informed, and stay prepared.

Join our accredited training courses to enhance your ability to care for infants safely. Click here to learn more about our comprehensive paediatric first aid programs and ensure you can handle any situation confidently and competently.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always seek professional medical assistance in emergency situations.

About the author

Rose Mabiza

Rose has dedicated over 15 years to improving health and social care quality through practice, targeted education and training. Her extensive experience includes working with older adults, individuals with mental health conditions, and people with autism and learning disabilities.

How to put a baby in recovery position: Essential knowledge for carers - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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