Mechanical ventilation of the newborn infant is an ever-changing area. Its evolution has been hampered and stimulated by problems of small size, inadequate technology, unexpected complications, and changing expectations. With synchronized ventilation, a new technique in the neonatal ICU, clinicians again are reassessing their assumptions. HFV, a 'new' technique for 15 years, has found a niche in the treatment of infants failing CV. Its use as an initial therapy for RDS, advocated by some, remains controversial. Monitoring gas flow patterns, tidal and minute volumes, and lung mechanics has become a part of the CV, but complications still occur. The only thing certain is that change will continue.