The early life period is characterized by fast growth and development, which can lead to high reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Young animals thus have to balance their investment in growth versus ROS defence, and this balance is likely mediated by resource availability. Consequently resources transferred prenatally by the mother and nutritional conditions experienced shortly after birth may crucially determine the oxidative status of young animals. Here, we experimentally investigated the relative importance of pre- and early postnatal nutritional conditions on the oxidative status of great tit nestlings (Parus major). We show that resources transferred by the mother through the egg and nutritional conditions encountered after hatching affect the oxidative status of nestling in a sex-specific way. Daughters of non-supplemented mothers and daughters which did not receive extra food during the early postnatal period had higher oxidative damage than sons, while no differences between sons and daughters were found when extra food was provided pre- or postnatally. No effect of the food supplementations on growth, fledging mass or tarsus length was observed, indicating that female nestlings maintained their investment in growth at the expense of ROS defence mechanisms when resources were limited. The lower priority of the antioxidant defence system for female nestlings was also evidenced by lower levels of specific antioxidant components. These results highlight the important role of early parental effects in shaping oxidative stress in the offspring, and show that the sensitivity to these parental effects is sex-specific.