The audit published this week by Pregnancy & Birth magazine estimates the cost of a first baby to be a whopping £52,000 from the moment of conception up to the child’s fifth birthday.
According to the Times, the figure assumes that parents buy all their baby equipment new, but does not include the hidden costs of lost parental earnings including taking leave or buying a car or house to accommodate the new addition.
Detailed costs are (amongst others):
- Extra food = £864
- Books = £50
- Maternity bras = £60
- Maternity clothes = £920
- Ante-natal classes = £320
- Baby monitor = £60
- Food and feeding = £4,868
- Nappies (disposable) = £1,126
- Life insurance = £600
But by far the biggest expenditure are nursery fees priced at £30,150, worked out on a basis of 50 weeks a year from the age of six months.
Reported in the paper, Kaye McIntosh the editor of Pregnancy & Birth advises new parents to draw up a gift list to help ease the financial burden:
“It may sound mercenary but you will find that friends and relatives will shower you with gifts when your baby is born, so why not direct them to something you really need? That way, you’ll avoid getting duplicates and hopefully everything will co-ordinate.”
Earlier this week, HRZone reported on plans announced by Patricia Hewitt trade and industry secretary to extend maternity pay from six to nine months by April 2007 with the goal of a year’s paid leave by the end of the next parliament, a right that they hope to make transferable between mothers and fathers.
Plans are also afoot to extend the right for parents to request flexible working from the 3.7 million with children under six to a further 1.8 million who currently look after sick or disabled relatives.