In this paper, we use mixed methods to develop a taxonomy of poverty and vulnerability to study the situation of children and their households in rural Ethiopia over time. The taxonomy is built using qualitative data from Young Lives, a long-term study of childhood poverty, with the specific purpose of analysing the context of children’s life trajectories using both quantitative and qualitative data. The approach aims to yield insights into changes over time as well as to reflect multiple dimensions and consider issues of current well-being and future ‘well-becoming’. It potentially allows for the identification of underlying mechanisms that influence and determine life trajectories. Until recently, quantitative and qualitative approaches towards the analysis of chronic and transient poverty have developed in isolation with little cross-disciplinary interaction. In this paper, we add to this body of research by using a mixed-method approach to develop a hybrid taxonomy of child poverty and well-being that can be used for a dynamic analysis. The paper also complements existing research and evidence on child poverty and well-being in the context of Ethiopia.