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Rock-a-bye savings: UK spends £2.2 billion preparing for new parenthood

Thursday 18 May 2017, by
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New parents spend £1,421 each on expensive pushchairs, cots and nursery furniture

Bringing up a baby certainly isn’t cheap, with soon-to-be mums and dads forking out £1,421 each on expensive pushchairs, cots and nursery furniture, resulting in a new parenthood bill of £2.2bn nationally[1]. However, the biggest expense to parents’ bank balances are on items they thought they needed, but didn’t use at all.

£303m wasted nationally on unused baby items

The 2,000-parent poll by Gumtree revealed 93% admitted to wasting up to £195 each on unused items, resulting in £303m being wasted nationally[2]. Parents’ top unused items included nappy bins (38%), fussy baby slings (35%) and faddy ‘white noise’ machines (27%). Other unused goods included nappy stackers (33%) and baby changing tables (31%).

TOP 5 MOST EXPENSIVE BABY ITEMSTOP 5 MOST UNUSED BABY ITEMS
PushchairNappy bin
CotBaby sling
Item of nursery furnitureNappy stacker
Trade up to bigger carChanging table

To save these items from going to waste, 40% of parents gave them to a friend, 37% sold them online and 28% stored them away for their next baby. Men are the most wasteful, with 13% admitting to throwing unused items away in comparison to 9% of women.

Almost half (48%) of new parents buy bigger car and house for growing brood

And of course, it’s not just baby items which soon-to-be-parents consider when welcoming a new addition, with almost half (47%) converting a room to a nursery, trading up to a more suitable car for their family (24%) or moving to a bigger house (24%).

Pressures and concerns

‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ continues to be a concern for new parents, with over half (58%) feeling pressured by friends who have children (43%), the media and celebrities (36%), as well as parents they have met at NCT classes (31%), to buy branded baby items. Other worries included not being able to spend enough time with their child because of work (24%), while 15% were concerned that they will not have enough money to spend on them.

A Gumtree spokesperson said: “When you’re expecting your first child, budgeting for big-ticket items such as pushchairs, cots and nursery furniture can seem overwhelming. However, you’ll be surprised how much you could save by asking friends and family members whether they have any old or recently used baby items that you can borrow. What’s more, with so many competitively priced items available online, both new and second-hand, you can make huge savings by shopping around compared to on the high-street.

“For those looking to get rid of their unused baby items, sites such as Gumtree are a great resource to list products which the next mum or dad are looking for – and you could make a small fortune too!”

[1] Spend: £1,421 per UK parent x 2 x 777,167 UK births in 2015 = £2,208,708,614

[2] Waste: £195 per UK parent x 2 x 777,167 UK births in 2015 = £303,095,130

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/livebirths/bulletins/birthsummarytablesenglandandwales/2015


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