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From buggies to cots and childcare, first year of a baby's life costs parents €10,500

A quarter of new parents are helped out by grandparents

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Stock image: Depositphotos

Stock image: Depositphotos

Stock image: Depositphotos

The huge expense of raising a baby from birth to their first birthday has been laid bare in new research.

The cost for year one has been calculated at €10,500.

The most expensive purchase for most parents is the baby's travel system, including a car seat, while full-time childcare is a massive outlay for parents who are both working outside the home.

But even for those parents with one of them engaged in full-time child minding, the cost of a new bundle of joy is large, according to research with 1,450 parents conducted by BabyDoc Club, an online parenting community.

The average spend without childcare has been put at €6,076 for the first year of life for the new arrival.

More than half of parents buy a travel system including a car seat, the research reveals.

The next biggest bill is nursery furniture, with four in 10 parents spending between €500 to €1,000 on cots, cribs, wardrobes, changing stations and décor.

This is despite gifts from grandparents helping more than a quarter of parents when it comes to procuring their baby basics.

Parents are often happy to buy some baby essentials second-hand, but the majority insist on buying bedding brand new. The baby's car seat and a buggy must also be new for most parents.

Baby clothing was generally accepted as the best baby basic to buy second-hand for 61pc of parents. This is because babies grow so fast during the first 12 months, moving up a size every three months, according to the survey.

The research revealed differences among parents about buying financial products to protect their family.

Some experts argue that both health insurance and life insurance are important purchase considerations when you have a young family.

But the survey revealed that more than a third of parents have neither.

BabyDoc Club's Laura Erskine said that with €200,000 worth of life insurance available for as little as €27 to cover from cradle to the college years, it seems like a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Most parents who responded to the survey said they favoured smaller families for mainly financial reasons.

Today, the average family unit size is just two children, while the number of families with four or more children has fallen by 40pc, according to Census 2016.

Childcare costs account for more than €4,000 worth of expense in the first year of a baby's life, assuming both parents work full-time and are not minding their own children full-time in the home.

The survey revealed that childcare costs are a huge source of stress for new parents.

Some 70pc of respondents predict that childcare will be their biggest baby cost over the next five years. Four in 10 parents say that they can afford to have only two children for this reason.

"It's easy to see why almost two-thirds of BabyDoc parents are happy to use pre-loved baby clothes seeing as they are gently worn for such a short period," Ms Erskine said.

"The decision to buy new when it comes to the car seat, buggy and bedding is perfectly understandable as this is where parents are putting their baby's health and safety ahead of any financial concerns."

BabyDoc Club has launched its 'Baby Basics Pregnancy and Newborn Guide' to complement the cost of baby research.

It is at www.babydocclub.ie.

Irish Independent