Revealed - the financial cost of a baby in its first year

Survey reveals just what sort of expenditure can be expected

Kilkenny People reporter

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Kilkenny People reporter

Revealed - the financial cost of a baby in its first year

Poppy Erskine-Neligan pictured at the launch of BabyDoc Club - Cost of Baby's 1st Year Research

The average expenditure on a baby from birth to their first birthday in Ireland totted up to €10,546, according to a study released today.

The BabyDoc Club research with over 1,450 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% of working parents, the total cost of meeting baby's needs in the first 12-months came to €10,546.

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% of parents. 

Racking up the next biggest bill is baby's nursery furniture with four in 10 parents spending between €500 to €1,000 on cots, cribs, wardrobes, changing stations and décor. However, 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% of parents.  Baby clothing was generally accepted as the best baby basic to buy second hand for 61% of parents. This is because babies grow so fast during the first 12-months, moving up a size every three months.

Supporting parents as they prepare to bring their baby into the world, BabyDoc Club today launches their Baby Basics Pregnancy & Newborn Guide to complement their Cost of Baby research.  

 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% 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.

Commenting on the research, Parenting Expert with BabyDoc Club, Laura Erskine said: "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. 

“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.

"No parent would ever knowingly put their baby's life in danger, however there is a significant risk in using a second-hand car seat which may have been mishandled or in an undisclosed accident. While using a mattress passed down from a sibling or friend increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS that can occur in a baby's first 12-months of life. This is because a baby needs a firm mattress surface for safe sleep and research shows that a mattress can lose up to 25% of its firmness in the first couple of years of use."

She added: "Most first-time pregnant and new mums can feel overwhelmed with all of the choice available to them when it comes to buying their baby essentials. This is where the BabyDoc Club Basics Guide is really helpful. We have reduced hundreds of options on everything from buggies to bedding to just a few simple recommendations based on the experience of our team of in-house mum experts and feedback from our parenting community."