The cost of starting a family has soared to £10,500

Thursday October 20,2011
By Sarah O’Grady, Social Affairs Correspondent

THE cost of starting a family has soared to £10,500 and shows no signs of slowing.

Even before the baby arrives, parents typically spend more than £1,500 on pre-natal expenses – including maternity ­clothing and essential nursery furniture such as a cot.

Then spending jumps sharply after the new arrival makes an appearance, a survey found.

Buggies, car seats, safety measures, toiletries travel accessories and daily essentials like nappies, formula milk and weaning food can easily add another £4,450.

And with designer strollers such as the Bugaboo Donkey costing as much as £1,200 and nursery sets priced up to £2,000, it is easy to top that if adoring parents want to give baby the best.

Gemma Campbell, data analyst at price comparison website, which conducted the study, said: “The amount for a 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 will have to find to start baby off.”

The amount for a child’s first year will come as a shock to many who are contemplating parenthood

The other cost that parents have to consider is the choice between loss of earnings and childcare as for most couples, one or other is inevitable.

Ms Campbell added: “Childcare for full-time working parents in the first year of a baby’s life can cost as much as £4,500, though in reality we see many parents spending a good deal more.”

Types of parenting can also make a big difference. Breast-feeding is clearly cheaper than formula milk, and cloth nappies and wipes cost a lot less than disposables.

And when it comes to weaning, blended fruits and vegetables can be a lot cheaper, as well as potentially healthier, than tins and jars.

With the inflation rate soaring “it is more essential than ever for first-time parents to be aware of how costs mount up and to make wise decisions on how to buy for their new baby”, warned Ms Campbell.

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