It is well established that the lung disease of CF can occur early in life and may progress through the preschool years when accurate lung function assessment has been challenging to perform. We hypothesized that respiratory inductive plethysmography (RIP) and spirometry could be effectively performed in 3-6-year-old children and could be used to assess both longitudinal changes in lung function and the acute changes that occur during exacerbation of pulmonary disease. Both RIP and spirometry were equally feasible; however, the success rate for spirometry gradually increased with age to become higher than that for RIP in the 6-year-old subjects. Forty-four subjects were studied longitudinally and demonstrated significant increases in FVC, FEV1, and FEV0.5, but not in FEF25-75 or RIP variables. There were significant differences in FVC, FEV1, and phase angle (a measure of thoracoabdominal asynchrony) during exacerbations of lung disease. Although both RIP and spirometry were able to show differences in lung function in subjects with acute clinical worsening, spirometry was more robust in demonstrating change in lung function longitudinally and in children who had an exacerbation of lung disease.