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Covering the cost of a new baby

When you’re planning for a new baby, it can feel like there’s a never-ending list of costs and ‘essentials’ you need to buy.

With a little forward planning and smart budgeting, you can help make the cost of your new arrival more manageable and prepare for those unexpected bills or surprises babies can often bring.

Published

31 Jul 2017

How much is having a new baby likely to cost?

That’s one of the first questions soon-to-be parents usually ask. So we put it to the experts – otherwise known as Tesco customers. They’ve been there, done that and bought the babygrow.

Almost a quarter of them (24.8% to be exact) said they spent between £601 and £1,000 getting ready for their baby’s arrival.

What will my baby need in the first year?

A lot less than the ads in baby magazines tell you. More than half of Tesco Baby Club’s thrifty Mums and Dads said they borrowed essentials from friends or bought second-hand.

So, you have family or friends with young children, ask to borrow as much as you can. (They’ll probably all rush to offer. Parents know the beauty of borrowing!)

Check out the Tesco Loves Baby guide to What you need to buy for your baby to help you plan out your list of essentials.

What are the big costs?

It’s easy to think of the bigger items such as prams, car seats, and cots etc. as being one-offs, but they’re not. Your baby will outgrow these too, so it’s good to read every bit of product blurb to get an idea of how long they are intended to last.

Buying the essentials first hand isn’t cheap. You could pay £500 for a new pram or £90 for a car seat - and that’s before you consider the likes of your baby’s clothes and food.

And let’s not forget the ongoing costs. Babies tend to go through 10-12 nappies a day so you can imagine how that can soon add up.

Dad attaching a mobile to a baby cot

What should I expect to pay for childcare?

More than one third of new parents surveyed by Tesco Baby Club said childcare was the most unexpected cost.

There is no denying that childcare is expensive. In Britain the average cost of sending a child under 2 to nursery is £116.77 per week, part time. So unless you’ve got a big support network to hand, this is something you’re going to face sooner or later.

There are benefits to help you pay for childcare, but the provider has to be registered. If you’re eligible, your allowance can be used against providers which can include play schemes, after school clubs and summer camps – right up until your child is 16.

Childcare vouchers can be a tax-effective way to pay for a childminder or nanny when you go back to work. Read Financial support for new parents to find out what’s available.

How do I budget for a new arrival?

Once you have a clearer idea of the major costs, the next step is to start budgeting – if you haven’t already. Budgeting for a baby will help you get started, so you can enjoy all the special memories instead of worrying about money.

Important information

The content on this page aims to offer an informative introduction to the subject matter but does not constitute expert financial advice specific to your own situation. All facts and figures were correct at time of publication and were compiled using a range of sources.