Relative to the wealth of information in the medical literature regarding developmental outcome for infants who have had cardiac surgery available, few studies specifically detail how those who have undergone major surgery grow and develop. The few published studies tend to be disease specific, making their results difficult to translate to a more general setting. As mortality for most infants who require surgery in infancy continues to decrease, the focus for researchers and clinicians should be on how these children will grow and develop. As parents realise that their infant will survive, this becomes their next major concern. The most common conditions requiring early major surgery have been reviewed in relation to data on infant developmental outcomes.