Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and transient tachypnoea (TT) are the most frequent acute respiratory diseases in the newborn. This study investigated the risk factors for RDS and TT in newborn infants. A population of 63,537 newborns was enrolled in a 12-month survey in Italy, 734 (1.15%) affected by RDS and 594 (0.93%) affected by TT. Multivariate regression analysis of maternal and perinatal data and the calculation of odds ratios (with 95% confidence intervals) were performed. It was demonstrated that gestational age, birthweight, maternal age, elective and emergency caesarean section (CS), and male sex were risk factors for RDS, while gestational age, maternal diseases, twinning, birthweight, operative vaginal delivery, elective and emergency CS, and male sex were risk factors for TT. The data confirm previous reports and demonstrate that advanced maternal age is a risk factor for RDS, while ruling out maternal diseases as independent risk factors for RDS.