Pulmonary 1H ultrashort echo-time (UTE)-MRI provides clinically relevant structural information in neonates with lung disease of prematurity (bronchopulmonary dysplasia, BPD) and has strong, unexplored potential to evaluate regional pulmonary function. Retrospective respiratory-gated UTE-MRI allows reconstructed images from different phases of the breathing cycle. Here, we compared four retrospective gating approaches in 3 BPD subjects with different weighted time intervals: 1 hard-gating and 3 soft-gating (exponential, inverse and linear weighting functions). Overall, linearly weighted soft-gating provided better compromise between apparent SNR (aSNR) and motion-blurring. This optimized respiratory-gating approach opens the door for improved understanding of regional pulmonary function deficits in neonates.