Before going into the planning issues in detail it is worth knowing the financial facts, such as ‘how much do children cost?’

Figures are touted around but even the Institute of Fiscal Studies find it hard to put a figure on it as the amount is partly down to what you can afford balanced with what you would like to provide for your child. There are, however some basic costs involved with having a new baby. Items such as nappies, a cot, a pram, a car seat, additional heating, maternity clothes and baby clothes, but even here economies can be made.

Nevertheless the sum is likely to be up to £3,000 (Source: in the first months. See below for an average cost for the items you may need:

Cost of Baby Items*
Item Cost
Cot £160
Bedding £80
Baby carrier £30
Push Chair £200
High chair £50
Baby bath £18
Baby monitor £30
Disposable nappies (2,555) £500
Bottle feeding equipment £20
Total £1,088


Average Weekly Costs*
Item Cost
Fuel and Power £13.60
Food and Non-Alcoholic drinks £86.90
Alcoholic Drink £15.60
Tobacco £6.40
Clothing and Footwear £32.60
Household goods £43.40
Household services £27.90
Personal goods and services £18.50
Motoring £72.30
Fares and other travel costs £11.30
Leisure goods £29.60
Leisure services £57.20
Miscellaneous £2.10
Total £417.40

According to the Office of National Statistic’s survey on Family Spending (1999-2000), the average weekly costs follow the chart set out on the right. It is rare for women to receive full pay whilst on maternity leave so loss of earnings can add considerably to true overheads of raising a baby.