Individual lung development during the first year of life was studied in surfactant treated preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and healthy controls, as well as in a group who subsequently developed chronic lung disease of the newborn (CLDN). Lung development was assessed from functional residual capacity (FRC) and compliance of the respiratory system (Crs). Twenty-one infants with RDS after preterm birth received surfactant treatment. Six of them developed CLDN. Eighteen preterm infants without RDS served as a control group. Lung function measurements were performed at term age and 4, 8, and 12 months afterwards. FRC was obtained by means of the closed-system helium dilution technique whereas static Crs was obtained by means of the weighted spirometer technique. At term age, FRC was lower in the CLDN group compared with uncomplicated RDS and controls (p < 0.05). No significant differences between groups were found in the development of FRC during the first year of life (p = 0.4). No differences were found in Crs during the first year of life in surfactant treated infants who recovered from uncomplicated RDS and the control group. However, lower values were found in the CLDN group (p < 0.05). We conclude that surfactant treated infants without CLDN have similar lung development during the first year of life as control preterm infants.