Cerebellar injury is increasingly recognized through advanced neonatal brain imaging as a complication of premature birth. Survivors of preterm birth demonstrate a constellation of long-term neurodevelopmental deficits, many of which are potentially referable to cerebellar injury, including impaired motor functions such as fine motor incoordination, impaired motor sequencing and also cognitive, behavioral dysfunction among older patients. This paper reviews the morphogenesis and histogenesis of the human and rodent developing cerebellum, and its more frequent injuries in preterm. Most cerebellar lesions are cerebellar hemorrhage and infarction usually leading to cerebellar abnormalities and/or atrophy, but the exact pathogenesis of lesions of the cerebellum is unknown. The different mechanisms involved have been investigated with animal models and are primarily hypoxia, ischemia, infection, and inflammation Exposure to drugs and undernutrition can also induce cerebellar abnormalities. Different models are detailed to analyze these various disturbances of cerebellar development around birth.