The stages of development leading up to the formation of mature B-1 cells have not been identified. As a result, there is no basis for understanding why various genetic defects, and those in the classical or alternative NF-κB pathways in particular, differentially affect the B-1 and B-2 B cell lineages. In this article, we demonstrate that B-1 B cells are generated from transitional cell intermediates that emerge in a distinct neonatal wave of development that is sustained for ~2 wk after birth and then declines as B-2 transitional cells predominate. We further show that, in contrast to the dependence of B-2 transitional cells on the alternative pathway, the survival of neonatal B-1 transitional cells and their maturation into B-1 B cells occurs as long as either alternative or classical NF-κB signaling is intact. On the basis of these results, we have generated a model of B-1 development that allows the defects in B-1 and B-2 cell production observed in various NF-κB-deficient strains of mice to be placed into a coherent cellular context.