The Swiss Cystic Fibrosis Infant Lung Development (SCILD) cohort is a prospective birth cohort study investigating the initiating events of cystic fibrosis lung disease during infancy, and their influence on the trajectory of disease progression throughout early childhood. Infants with cystic fibrosis are recruited throughout Switzerland after diagnosis by new-born screening. It is the first European population-based prospective cohort study of infants with cystic fibrosis taking advantage of a nationwide new-born screening programme. The study was established in 2011 and recruitment is ongoing. The cohort study is currently divided into three study phases (phase 1: diagnosis to age 1 year; phase 2: age 1 to 3 years; and phase 3: age 3 to 6 years). Study participants have weekly telephone interviews, weekly anterior nasal swab collection and two study visits in the first year of life. They also complete follow-up study visits at 3 and 6 years of age. Data for this study are derived from questionnaires, lung function measurements, telephone interviews, nasal swab material and magnetic resonance imaging. To date, 70 infants have been recruited into the study and 56 have completed phase 1, including a baseline study visit at 6 weeks of age, weekly surveillance and a study visit at one year of age. More than 2500 data points on respiratory health and almost 2000 nasal samples have been collected. Phases 2 and 3 will commence in 2018. The dataset of the SCILD cohort combines lung function data, the collection of environmental and sociodemographic factors, documentation of respiratory symptoms, and microbiological analyses. The design not only allows tracking of the cystic fibrosis lung disease independent of clinical status, but also surveillance of early disease prior to severe clinical symptoms. This cohort profile provides details on the study design and summarizes the first published results of the SCILD cohort.