The First Thousand Days of Life’ is fast becoming a field of inquiry that has direct implications for policy. Recent findings in neurosciences and epigenetics suggest that the material and emotional contexts of this early period of life (measured – at least in the biomedical sciences - from conception to approximately two years of age) are critical in establishing both individual well-being and the heritable qualities of material environments. The emergent field both synergises a range of disciplines in the biosciences (such as epigenetics and neuropsychology) and develops new sites of humanitarian intervention, reframing current debates about ‘the best interests of the child’ in newly biological ways. As these findings are taken up in policy and practice (e.g. South Africa’s nutrition policy; policies on early childhood development, etc.), we are witnessing the making of a social object with material effects.