In recent years, many examples have been found globally of mistreatment of women at health facilities during childbirth, which likely discourages them from using health services. While focus has been on respectful maternity care generally, there has not been much attention on the specific needs of newborns or families of stillborn infants during this vulnerable time. The WHO recently published quality of care standards, defining the needs of mothers and newborns in reproductive care, including both clinical and experiential factors. However, the experiential side of quality of care for newborns has not been well developed. Specific needs for newborns, for example, include good communication with caregivers about the type of care the infant needs and emotional support, including for those with a loss. A literature review was conducted on disrespect and abuse of newborns. Starting with seven categories developed to look at respectful care for women, the examples from the literature review of newborns were categorised; evidence was found for six of the categories. Many of the issues were related to poor professional care at facilities, stigma, health system limitations, and poor relationships between patients and providers, and fewer related to outright verbal or physical abuse. Two new categories were also identified related to accountability and bereavement care. More research is needed to determine how widespread these issues are, how to better define mistreatment of newborns and how to provide better care for all families.