New parents spend £492 million preparing for baby

Pre-baby spending is up by 17% in two years to over £1,600, but many new parents are still not investing in life insurance, according to new research from Aviva.

Research released this week by Aviva has revealed that expectant parents spend an average of £1,619 on essentials like prams and baby clothes, as well as “nice-to-haves” like nursing chairs and treats for mums-to-be. A fifth of new or expectant parents also move house, typically spending £40,000 to accommodate their new arrival, and 27% replaced or changed their car.

However, 6 out of 10 parents admitted to buying things they didn’t need or use. The most common “unnecessary” items were mum-to-be toiletries (14%), Moses baskets (13%) and baby slings (12%).

When it came to protecting their new baby, expectant parents focussed on possible dangers in the home. A third (33%) of new parents installed smoke alarms, with 31% fitting carbon monoxide detectors and 53% saying stair gates were a must have.

According to the research, parents are less prepared for their child’s financial future, with just 1 in 5 saying they had taken out life insurance or reviewed their protection needs. Sixty-four percent of families have no life insurance at all, and the average family has just £2,773 in savings.

Louise Colley, protection director for Aviva and mother to twins, commented on the findings:

“It’s only natural that people want to give their baby the best of everything, particularly when they’re about to become parents for the first time, but it’s also important to think about planning for the unexpected. Life insurance should be seen as just as much an essential as the pram or the car seat, as it’s there to protect your loved ones’ futures.

“It’s interesting that most new parents admit they’ve spent money on items they didn’t need or never used. Life insurance is of course another thing that people hope they’ll never have to make use of, but the peace of mind of knowing your family will be provided for, should the worst happen, is absolutely invaluable.”