1st Baby Price Tag Soars To £10,500

24 October 2011

Image from: http://twobluelines.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/having-babies-is-expensive/

I don't know whether to laugh or cry about a new bit of information to have crossed my path this week: the cost of starting a family is now as much as £10,500 and shows no signs of slowing.

Wow. My poor neglected child. If we spent £1000 on her from conception to first birthday, it's a lot. And if people like me are bringing the average down, then what must the actual spend for other families be?

Gemma Campbell, data analyst at mumsmall.com who conducted the survey says: "The figure of £10,500 for a first child's first year will come as a shock to many who are contemplating parenthood, especially when they hear that around half the figure – even for budget-conscious parents – is what they’ll have to find near the beginning, to start baby off."

They put the numbers, in brief, down to this:

  • £ 1,547: pre-natal costs
  • £ 4,454: first year essentials
  • £ 4,500: childcare
    = £10,501

Well – I'm afraid I feel pity for new parents, if those are the figures they're looking at. And i'm exceeding grateful that my maternity wardrobe was small but sufficient – and totalled around £150 spent (thank you Ebay) and that we decided to have our baby sleep in our room (as recommended by “the experts” anyway) for the first while.

Additionally, breastfeeding worked out cheaper than formula, and baby led weaning meant no purees – add that to the cloth nappies, sling instead of pushchair and so on, and according to the report, we saved another £4,450. *

That and two words: Freecycle, and Ebay.

So many maternity, new born and baby items are used for such a short time, they're almost brand new when you receive them. In fact, the baby bath we used twice was sealed when we got it off Freecycle, as was the nappy bag we used initially. Some of the 0 -3 month old baby clothes we picked up still had tags on.

I think if our first child had cost us anywhere near the figures quoted, I'd have had to think long and hard before having a second child. Especially if I'd bought everything pink for her and had to rebuy everything blue later – assuming this one turns out to be a boy.

I know we all want the 'best' for our babies, but surely when we're spending that much money it's not really for them, but for us?

Sorry if I'm being old-fashioned or non-commercial here, but really? As a first time mum, seeing those figures would have ruined the joy of pregnancy or parenthood for me and I'd have spent most of my time worried about how on earth we were meant to afford it. Please tell me I'm not the only one?

*Of course there's plenty of room for personal choice. Those were the choices and options that worked for us. I don't expect all of them would work for everyone!

Image Credit

TOPICS:   News and Recalls


  • lumoruk
    cool story bro/sis? Looks like we've saved £4,500 by not having childcare and using family instead.
  • LynleyOram
    I'm a bit cautious on this one. Where do they get these figures from exactly? Childcare costs are astronomical, and if you're lucky enough to have family to fill the gap like lumoruk then you're really saving a huge amount. Assuming that you use a nursery from age 6 months, then a year's worth at that age will set you back around the £10K mark. Childminders are cheaper, but we just loved the nursery we used. I think for a lot of parents nowadays, with childcare costs going up not down, they have to reassess whether or not they can both continue to work. If you want to have your own house in many parts of the UK you both HAVE to work, there's no real choice. That's how it was for me but then you find that your mortgage and childcare costs take up all your money, and you're effectively just working to pay the bills. It isn't fun. I'm lucky enough to have been able to start my own business and work for myself but the insecurity of the income is a HUGE problem some months!
  • LynleyOram
    I don't think though that using purees adds to the overall cost that much. Surely most people make their own? I did. Jars are handy for when you're out and about but using purees is not the same thing as using jars of baby food.
  • LuschkaPP
    I don't know - I know people who've only ever bought baby food and never ever mushed as much as a banana. I don't know what baby food costs, but I'd imagine even at a pound a day, it would add up. Having family around would be useful, but not everyone has that option either. Most of my friends who've gone back to work have family/friends that they share child care duties with one or two days a week, otherwise it wouldn't be financially viable to go back to work. Lynley, as with ALL these studies, you have to take them at face value and see firstly, who paid for the research and secondly, what they wanted from it? (I remember a study that showed cloth nappies to be more expensive than disposables when you factor in washing/drying. They worked out a 60C wash and tumbledrying each nappy and said it cost more and had greater environmental impact than disposables. Except very few to no cloth users every wash/dry nappies in the way they assumed as 'standard' in the study. Or worse the recent weaning/breastfeeding study that was conducted by researchers tied to the babyfood industry. It's like statistics - it can be manipulated to say pretty much anything.
  • sarahmill1981
    I would say i spent that easily in lost earnings and childcare. And that is why a 2nd wont be anytime soon. The 'stuff' we needed cost a fraction of that, so the 10k cost is certainly not just for parents who go OTT as was suggested in the article.
  • LuschkaPP
    @Sarah, actually, lost earnings wasn't included in the original research, I guess that would skyrocket the amount. I know if I counted lost earnings I'd never have another child again! I guess they didn't include lost earnings as that would make it too 'variable' an amount, as people's incomes differ so wildly. The article was referring specifically to the stuff people spend money on.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment