The human intestinal microbiome starts to form immediately after birth, and can greatly influence the health of the infant. During the first days facultative anaerobic species generally dominate, followed by a dominance of strictly anaerobic species, particularly Bifidobacterium species. An early transition to Bifidobacterium is associated with health benefits. To study the mechanisms of this transition and its hypothesised relation to oxygen, we introduce a multiscale mathematical model that considers metabolism, spatial bacterial population dynamics and resource sharing. Based on publicly available metabolic network data, the model predicts that differences in oxygen availability explain some of the observed individual variation in succession to anaerobic species. The model also predicts that anaerobic Bifidobacterium species become dominant through metabolizing lactose with a suboptimal yield, but a higher anaerobic growth rate than its competitors. The current work is the first step towards a more comprehensive understanding of the formation of a steady state adult colonic microbiota.