Cervical teratomas are rare neoplasms which have been infrequently reported. During the period of July 1974 to April 1982, six newborns with this lesion were seen at the Mott Children's Hospital. There were three males and three females, all of whom presented at birth with large semicystic neck masses. In four infants, calcifications were seen on x-ray. Four patients required intubation within the first hours of life for respiratory distress. One child of 33 weeks gestation expired prior to operation because of a hypoplastic left ventricle and bilateral hypoplastic lungs. Cord blood T 3 and T 4 values were normal in three patients; the TSH was elevated 1.5 and 2 times normal in two of these infants. Four neonates were operated upon within 24 hours of birth and suffered no postoperative complications. One baby presented on the third day of life and expired three hours postoperatively from persistent respiratory distress. The tumors were well encapsulated and arose from or were surrounded by a lobe of the thyroid gland. In each case, the tumor was removed by performing a total thyroid lobectomy. The presence of normal thyroid tissue at the resection margin (in the isthmus) was verified by frozen section. One patient presented with cervical node metastases but is currently free of disease one year postoperatively. These six cases bring the total reported cases in the literature to 136. The 80% mortality in cases not operated upon has been reduced to 15% by prompt operation. This series substantiates the significant respiratory distress that can occur in newborns with cervical teratomas and confirms the need for emergency surgery in this group of patients.