Newborn Life Support (NLS) courses use manikins for demonstration and practise of skills required for newborn resuscitation. The aim of this study was to compare currently available manikins for physical characteristics and feedback during psychomotor tasks. Four testers reached a consensus opinion about these features for each of four manikins. Although Laerdal manikins were considered to provide the most realistic airway patency, feedback during mask ventilation and chest compressions, none of the manikins were individually considered to have ideal physical characteristics. Features of the 'ideal' manikin are proposed. Manufacturers should consider these features when developing manikins for training in newborn resuscitation.