How aware are you of the costs of bringing up your baby or toddler?Â Are you like me and simply donâ€™t think about it, or are you one of those parents who are very aware of the costs from birth right through to your little ones leaving home?
Last month LV published their annual report (read small sample survey!) on the costs of raising a baby â€“ presumable to try and get a little press coverage while frightening the life out of expectant parents!
The report revealed the cost of raising a child from birth to their 21st birthday now totals a record Â£218,024. This equates to Â£10,382 a year, Â£865 a month or Â£28.44 a day.Â Really – nearly Â£30 a day! If thatâ€™s correct I probably owe my two little ones quite a tidy sum by now.Â Â£30 seems an awful lot, until that is you read what it includes which suddenly makes the sum seem not too unrealistic.
The report shows childcare and education to be the greatest expenses, costing parents a massive Â£71,780 and Â£62,099 respectively. The cost of education includes school uniforms, after-school clubs, and university tuition fees!Â Why not include the cost of buying them their first car or home as well â€“ just to whack on a few 000â€™s!
If youâ€™re wondering how that effects parents of babies or toddlers, LV put the cost for year one at a touch over Â£10,000 â€“ but remember that includes childcare.Â From one to five the cumulative amount is Â£56,500.
With times for everyone proving a little tight the report interestingly says that over a third (35%) of those cutting back are buying items from second-hand shops and 34% are making extra cash by selling goods on eBay and at car boot sales. While nearly a third (30%) of parents are making reductions to their outgoings have devised a specific budget for the family to stick to.
So how can you enjoy this wonderful time but not incur massive debts along the way?Â Now we canâ€™t help with childcare or university fees but here are our top ideas!
Our top baby budget busting ideas
Carry donâ€™t push!
Slings and carriers not only promote great bonding between parent and child but they also make fantastic economic sense.Â A quality, good fitting sling may mean you can go without a lightweight buggy for a few years.Â But make sure you choose a carrier that you feel comfortable in and on that is built to last â€“ something like an ERGO may be a few pounds more than cheap slings found on the high street but itâ€™ll last and youâ€™ll enjoy the experience a whole lot more!
One fantastic buggy is better than two not so great buggies
Before choosing a pram, pushchair or buggy think about what youâ€™re really going to need. So many people buy huge 3 in 1 travel systems that in principle are great but in reality can be unsuitable for day to day activities â€“ a bit like buying a Rolls Royce when really what you need is a small Polo! The result â€“ buying a smaller stroller six months because they canâ€™t get them on the bus!Â So think about something that really fit your lifestyle – thatâ€™s why many of our customers love The Bugaboo Bee+ – it works from birth to walking and theyâ€™re nifty enough for the bus or tube!
Non- Disposable nappies = disposable cash
Now youâ€™re probably aware of the eco-benefits of reusable nappies but fewer parents know that washable cloth nappies will save you money as well!Â (Especially if you raise them for future babies as we did with our kids Maya and Jacob).Â So even if creating a greener planet isnâ€™t high on your priorities then saving well over Â£500 can prove very motivating.Â For a breakdown of costs check out Money Saving Expert.
Youâ€™ll see that the savings you can enjoy with washable nappies will depend upon the type you choose â€“ but out top tip is to balance the savings with making sure the nappies that are right for your lifestyle.Â Â Our expertise with washable nappies is second to none so feel invited to come in to one of our stores to discuss which are best for you.
For more information why not read our Reusable Nappy guide
Swap & reuse
Parents have always borrowed or received handed down clothes from friends and family with older children. Â Things have moved on since I was dressed in my sisters hand-me-downs with more and more websites springing up that offer baby clothes to swap, so itâ€™s worth seeing how youâ€™re local NCT can help or online sites such as nappyvalley.co.uk
In the US itâ€™s increasingly common to find parents choosing to rent baby products, including clothing rather than buying outright.Â This is especially true for items you may only need for a small period of time.
Currently both our stores rent out hospital grade breast pumps, great for if you only need one for a short time or to make sure you will get on with it before buying one. Â Soon we hope to be able to offer the ability to rent other equipment and even clothing, so watch this space!
Quality over quantity
This is our mantra with everything we source and really sums up what Born is all about!Â We may sound a little bit like your grandmother but itâ€™s certainly true that spending a bit more on buying quality, well-made items that will last, will help you save in the long run.
Choose things that grow with your child
The Stokke range of furniture is a great example of how choosing well can also save you money.Â The Stokke Tripp Trapp has been in our stores since we first opened over 12 years ago â€“ not only is it a wonderful bit of furniture for the home and a design classic but it also makes fantastic economic sense because it can be altered to fit your childâ€™s age from new born to old age.
The Tripp Trap chair is the only high chair we display in stores because itâ€™s the only one we can whole heartedly endorse as it is the only high chair that goes from birth to adult. Whatâ€™s not sensible about that?
Like many other areas of life, the role of marketing in the baby sector has come under increasing scrutiny in the past few years – especially as it seems more and more attention is paid to how celebs pamper their babies.
If you’re interested in the commercialization of the baby sector then I strongly recommend hunting down a copy of Parenting Inc by Pamela Paul (the New York Times Features Editor) Â – well worth a read!