If your baby appears to be choking, pause before you leap into action. Can she cough? If so, encourage her to mimic you coughing as hard as you can -- her own lung power will be more effective than your intervention. If she can cry or talk but clearly has something caught in her throat, call your doctor for advice. But if she can't make any sound, follow these steps:
While sitting or standing (sitting may be easier), lay your baby over your forearm. Her head should be lower than her rear end to take advantage of gravity. If you bend your knee and rest your arm on your upper leg, it will be easier to hold hers steady. With the heel of your hand, administer five back blows between her shoulder blades. This "artificial cough" may push any extra air in her lungs up her windpipe, dislodging the blockage.
If the back blows don't work, sandwich your baby between your arms and turn her so she's lying face-up on your opposite arm. Draw an imaginary line between baby's nipples. Then use your index and middle fingers to press her chest in the middle of this imaginary line. Give five firm chest thrusts. If she doesn't respond, return her to the face-down position and deliver five more back blows. Keep alternating for one minute or until the blockage clears.
If someone is with you, have her call 911 (or your local emergency number). If you're alone and have spent one minute trying back blows and chest thrusts with no effect, call 911 for help. If your baby becomes unconscious, lay her down. Grasp her tongue and lower jaw between your thumb and fingers. Lift her jaw, keeping your other hand on her forehead. Open her mouth, but don't sweep inside -- you might push the blockage farther down. First look in. If you can see what's making her choke, carefully remove it. If you can't find anything, start rescue breathing.