In two newborn infants, morbidity was associated with long-term use of polyvinyl chloride feeding tubes. In one case, a hard, sharp catheter was thought to be responsible for peritonitis. In the other, the polyvinyl tube hardened into a coil that could only be extricated by introduction of an intraluminal guide wire and prolonged manipulation under fluoroscopic control. The rigidity acquired by these tubes is thought to present serious potential for morbidity and mortality. Methods and materials appropriate for short-term alimentation should not be presumed appropriate for long-term use, and alternatives should be considered.