A UK study shows that British parents are spending £5,000 which translates to 7,700 US dollars before their baby has turned one! That seems completely insane to me. There are IKEAS in the UK, what gives?
Then I saw the breakdown: What would you guess the biggest expense would be? A Bugaboo? An Oeuff crib? Seven thousand designer onesies? Gold-encrusted Diaper Dekors? Nope. The number one expense is: formula and baby food. Second on the list, diapers. Here’s the breakdown as reported in The Daily Mail. (I ordered the items from highest to lowest expense. A UK pound is about $1.50 US)
Babyfood and formula milk £1,108
Toys, games and books £771
Nursery, pram £547
Toiletries, bouncers £148
Car seat £131
Clothes for newborn £106
Toiletries and medicines £96
Travel cot £91
Sterilising/feeding equipment £82
Baby monitors £68
Apparently over 80% of new parents said they overdid it and bought things they did not need. The study also showed that only 56% of first time parents were happy with second hand items for their first baby, this went up to 77 % with parents of one or more kids.
Starting a family does require some initial spending: Even if you go the IKEA route and skip the changing table, which we did, there’s no denying it all adds up. With our second baby spending was a fraction of what it was the first time round. Not because we cared less about Number Two, but because we had the co-sleeper, Bjorn, stroller, pump, nursing bras, crib, jammies…
I do encourage first time parents to score some free hand-me-downs when possible. Infants don’t tend to trash things (other than their diapers). Lightly used newborn gear is often just fine. Certainly splurge on some nice new things, but throw in some “vintage” — Babies grow out of this stuff before you know it and then you’ll need money for other things. Like school. Here’s a helpful dos and don’ts guide to secondhand gear for babies.