Our purpose was to develop an optimized study design for 3D ultrashort TE lung imaging of young children without sedation. Eight preterm born subjects all at age 4 were recruited. Siemens work-in-progress PETRA_D sequence was used with respiratory triggering. Repeated short scans were acquired to reduce motion artifacts. Various techniques, including video watching, practicing lying still at home and gift incentive, were employed to help achieve subject compliance. Five subjects were scanned successfully. The images revealed abnormalities including peribronchial thickening, pneumatocele and atelectasis. Our study design allows the monitoring of lung development and evaluation of lung diseases in young children.