Validated methods for lung function measurements in young children are lacking. Plethysmographic measurement of specific airway resistance (sRaw) provides such a method applicable from 2 years of age. sRaw gauges airway resistance from the measurements of the pressure changes driving the airflow during tidal breathing. These measurements require no active cooperation and are therefore feasible in children from 2 years of age. The within-observer and between-observer variability of sRaw in young children compare favorably with alternative methods. Reference values are available for sRaw and have allowed discrimination of young children with respiratory disease. Bronchial hyperresponsiveness can be determined with acceptable short-term and long-term repeatability and provides good discrimination between asthmatics and healthy young children. The effects of the major antiasthmatic therapies have also been documented by this technique, and sRaw has recently been used in longitudinal studies of young children with chronic pulmonary diseases. Future developments should provide improved algorithms for thermal correction of the respired volumes and adapt the equipment to the special needs of young children. This article reviews the method, and proposes a protocol and criteria for quality assurance for assessment of sRaw in preschool children from 2 years of age. sRaw measurements offers a method for clinical monitoring and research during this critical period of growth and development early in life.