Objective: To predict mortality or length of stay (LOS) >109 days (90th percentile) among infants with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). Study design: We conducted a retrospective analysis using the Children's Hospital Neonatal Database during 2010 to 2014. Infants born >34 weeks gestation with CDH admitted at 22 participating regional neonatal intensive care units were included; patients who were repaired or were at home before admission were excluded. The primary outcome was death before discharge or LOS >109 days. Factors associated with this outcome were used to develop a multivariable equation using 80% of the cohort. Validation was performed in the remaining 20% of infants. Results: The median gestation and age at referral in this cohort (n=677) were 38 weeks and 6 h, respectively. The primary outcome occurred in 242 (35.7%) infants, and was distributed between mortality (n=180, 27%) and LOS >109 days (n=66, 10%). Regression analyses showed that small for gestational age (odds ratio (OR) 2.5, P=0.008), presence of major birth anomalies (OR 5.9, P<0.0001), 5- min Apgar score ⩽3 (OR 7.0, P=0.0002), gradient of acidosis at the time of referral (P<0.001), the receipt of extracorporeal support (OR 8.4, P<0.0001) and bloodstream infections (OR 2.2, P=0.004) were independently associated with death or LOS >109 days. This model performed well in the validation cohort (area under curve (AUC)=0.856, goodness-of-fit (GF) χ(2), P=0.16) and acted similarly even after omitting extracorporeal support (AUC=0.82, GF χ(2), P=0.05). Conclusions: Six variables predicted death or LOS ⩾109 days in this large, contemporary cohort with CDH. These results can assist in risk adjustment for comparative benchmarking and for counseling affected families.