The BabyDoc Club parenting community reveal the real cost of baby, with the first in-depth survey of its kind in Ireland.
The research with over 1,450 parents concluded that the average expenditure on baby from birth to their first birthday totted up to €10,546.
The BabyDoc Club parents calculated their actual average spend across 12 universal baby spend categories at €6,076 for the first year of life. When six months full-time childcare was included for the 61 percent of working parents, the total cost of meeting baby’s needs in the first 12 months came to €10,546.
Supporting parents as they prepare to bring their baby into the world, BabyDoc Club today launch their Baby Basics Pregnancy & Newborn Guide to complement their Cost of Baby research. Baby equipment can be expensive and the choices parents make should last for years. The BabyDoc Basics Guide gives parents a preview of what to expect, a list of what they actually need and some advice to help them along the way. The guide is available to download for free from the BabyDoc Club website and comes with a guarantee that no retailer or brand has paid to appear in the publication.
The BabyDoc Cost of Baby research revealed the most expensive purchase for the most parents is the baby’s travel system including a car seat with over €1,000 being spent by 53 percent of parents. Racking up the next biggest bill is baby’s nursery furniture with 4 in 10 parents spending between €500 to €1,000 on cots, cribs, wardrobes, changing stations and décor. Although gifts from grandparents helped over a quarter of parents when it came to procuring their baby basics.
While parents are generally happy to buy some baby essentials second-hand, 94% insist on buying baby’s bedding brand new. Baby’s car seat must also be new for 89% of parents and the buggy for 73 percent of parents. Baby clothing was generally accepted as the best baby basic to buy second hand for 61 percent of parents. This is because babies grow so fast during the first 12 months, moving up a size every three months.
While keeping their little ones safe is paramount when it comes the baby basics, there is a disparity when it comes to how parents view protecting their family with financial products. Both health insurance and life insurance are important purchase considerations when you have a young family, but over a third of parents have neither. 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.
Our attitudes have markedly shifted when it comes to family size with most BabyDoc Club parents favouring 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 40 percent.
Childcare costs account for over €4,000 worth of expense in the first year of baby’s life, assuming both parents work full-time. Our BabyDoc Club survey revealed that childcare costs are a huge source of stress for new parents with 70 percent predicting that childcare will be their biggest baby cost over the next five years. While four in ten parents say that they can only afford to have two children for this very reason.
Despite the desire to emulate the lives of their favourite social media mum and dad influencers, Irish parents reported that their baby product recommendations did not hold the same weight as medical and parenting experts. Just one percent of parents said they followed social influencers for baby-related product advice, with 27 percent using peer recommendations and 38 percent preferring to do their own online research. The most popular resources for 69 percent of parents were baby, parenting and consumer experts for trusted product recommendations.