Fourteen intubated infants recovering from neonatal respiratory disease had arterial blood gases and lung mechanics measured in the supine position and in two variants of the prone position. Prone positioning resulted in significant increases in mean (+/- SEM) arterial oxygen tension (Pa(o2 70.4 +/- 2.5 to 81.1 +/- 4.4mm Hg), dynamic lung compliance (1.7 +/- 0.24 to 2.55 +/- 0.37 ml/cm H2O),and tidal volume (8.6 +/- 1.0 to 10.5 +/- 1.2 ml) when all prone values were compared to supine values. Prone positioning with the abdomen protruding freely, when compared to all supine values, was associated with significantly increased dynamic lung compliance and tidal volume. Values for prone-abdomen free were not significantly different from values for prone-abdomen restricted. This suggests that there are clinical benefits from prone positioning in neonates recovering from respiratory disease.