Covering the cost of having a baby
If you’re planning on a new family member – congratulations. While it’s an exciting time, the cost of having a baby can be daunting with the never-ending list of ‘essentials’ you need. But, with a little forward planning and budgeting, you can help make the cost of your new arrival more manageable and prep for any unexpected surprises your little one may bring.
How much is having a new baby likely to cost?
That’s one of the first questions soon-to-be parents usually ask. It's estimated couples spend around £50 a week* on their new arrival, which increases to around £96 on average for single parents. And that’s when the baby is here – preparing for your baby’s arrival can set you back hundreds of pounds. We’d recommend making a list of everything you need and setting aside a realistic budget to each item, which will help keep you on track.
*Source: The Child Poverty Action Group’s annual cost of a child report.
Top tip: Don’t buy everything at once
It can be tempting to rush in and buy everything at once, but you can save yourself some pennies by staggering the purchases you need to make or cutting some out entirely. For example, a pregnancy pillow may be nice to have, but it’s not as essential as a crib or car seat. Take a moment to think about what you really need in the short term, and what can wait. Keep a look out for any seasonal sales and offers on those items you need most.
What will my baby need in the first year?
While it may seem overwhelming to get everything your baby needs for their first year, you don’t have to buy everything yourself. Your family and friends are likely to want to help out with some of the essentials, like newborn clothes, books and toys. A great way to keep track of everything is to create a wish list of things that you need, which you can either buy yourself or ask friends and family to buy as gifts.
Check out Tesco’s baby and toddler shop to help you plan your list of essentials.
Top tip: Borrow, don’t buy when you can
Resist the urge to buy everything new. and borrow items when you can. You’ll probably find a lot of your friends and family with kids will rush to offer too. As babies grow out of clothes and prams so fast, it helps to borrow what you can or buy second hand to save yourself some cash.
What are the big costs of having a baby?
Some of the bigger costs of having a baby can creep up on you, like the ongoing cost of nappies and supplies like baby wipes and food. It can also be easy to forget that things like prams and car seats are not one-off purchases. Your little one will outgrow these and so they’ll need to be replaced.
Top tip: Invest in modular equipment
Think about buying items that can be modified to grow with your child, so you don’t need to make as many purchases. Be sure to read the product spec before you buy to get an idea of how long they’re intended to last. You can also buy modular travel systems that have several pieces of equipment in one, like a stroller, car seat and carrycot. They may be a bit pricier, but probably worth it in the long run.
What should I expect to pay for childcare?
There’s no denying that childcare is expensive. In Britain, the average cost of sending a child under 2 to nursery part-time is £137.69 per week according to moneyhelper.org.uk. Having friends and family babysit will help, but it’s likely nursery is something you’ll need to consider eventually.
There are benefits to help you pay for childcare, which you can check out on the Government site. If you’re eligible, your childcare allowance can be used against providers which can include play schemes, after school clubs and summer camps – right up until your child is 16.
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. Our budgeting for a baby guide will help you get started, so you can enjoy all the special memories instead of worrying about money. Remember, budgeting isn’t about not spending – it’s about not spending as much, so you’ve got more money to focus on what matters.
Top tip: Lower your prices with Clubcard
Become a Tesco Clubcard member, if you aren’t already, to receive exclusive discounts on essential baby items. From nappies to soothers and baby food, Clubcard offers are always changing to help you get the best deals and save on the items you need the most for your little one.