Clinical experience over the last 20 years in neonates and infants with the short-gut syndrome is reviewed. In this period there has been considerable development with respect to the problem. Today one can say that, basically, all children (even those with only a few cm of small intestine) can be kept alive by means of parenteral nutrition. Further life is only possible and meaningful if the child can adapt itself to the new situation. This is usually no problem if more than 50 cm of small intestine remains. Surgical methods of slowing the passage through the gut and of improving absorption have proved failures; transplantation of small intestine offers new prospects. For children to adapt to peroral feeding it is important that this be introduced stepwise with "gradual" diet.