Infants with congenital abdominal wall defects pose an interesting and challenging management issue for surgeons. We attempt to review the literature to define the current treatment modalities and their application in practice. In gastroschisis, the overall strategies for repair include immediate closure or delayed operative repair. The best level of data for gastroschisis is grade C and appears to support that there is no major difference in survival between immediate closure or delayed repair. In patients with omphalocele, the management techniques are more varied consisting of immediate closure, staged closure or delayed closure after epithelialization. The literature is less clear on when to use one technique over the other, consisting of mostly grade D and E data. In patients with omphalocele, a registry to collect information on patients with larger defects may help determine which of the management strategies is optimal. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.