New parents are making their own baby clothes and dressing their children in hand-me-downs to beat the recession, a survey revealed today.
The poll of 3,000 mothers found the average family will have spent more than £27,500 on their child by the time they celebrate their third birthday.
But the recession is having an effect on parents’ spending habits with 50% saying they are trying to cut costs.
Popular tactics include accepting hand-me-downs, done by |almost half of families, and buying second hand toys and clothes.
A fifth of parents said they made their own baby clothes and some admitted potty training their child earlier than planned in a bid to save money on nappies.
The cost of raising a child is also putting off new parents from extending their family, with a fifth saying they are unsure if they will have more children.
A third of parents said they had received financial help from family or friends and more than 50% said other people had bought clothes for their baby.
A quarter reported someone else buying them a cot.
The Baby Budget 2009 was commissioned by Gurgle.com, a social networking site for mums and mums-to-be.
The site’s editor Nifa McLaughlin said: “The results of the Gurgle.com Baby Budget lift the lid on just how expensive it is to be a new parent in the UK.
“But while having a baby is not cheap, there are lots of ways to keep the costs down, from accepting hand-me-downs to making your own baby clothes to knowing where to go for free activities and social events with your child.
“We find people have almost become quite proud to be saving money.
“Whereas 10 years ago people would not have been talking about having hand-me-down clothes, now they are boasting about how cheap things are.
“Everyone is feeling the |pressure so there is no shame about it.”
Children: How the costs mount up
£311 The average amount parents-to-be spend on trying to conceive, with most of it being spent on pregnancy tester kits, health supplements and fertility treatment.
£13,696 The average amount parents spend on their new arrival in their baby’s first year, with more than £2,000 of that going towards childcare.
£1,496 The cash shelled out by parents in the first three years of their child’s life simply to feed them. A further £1,142 is spent on clothes and another £1,289 on books and toys.