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Expecting Your First Baby? These Are The Must-Buys According To New Parents

New data on first-time parents reveals which five baby products are the most used, as well as the most-searched for brands that hold the best resale value.

* New parents are spending £2,722 on first baby essentials1 but £209 on items they never use
* The five biggest purchases by average spend are pram (£427), cot or cot bed (£254), car seat (£224), nursing or rocking chair (£211) and a sleep pod (£195)
* Very’s baby buyer Demi Lord shares her tips for choosing a car seat and high chair

A nationwide survey of first-time parents by Very.co.uk, e-tailer of popular baby brands including Joie, Bugaboo, Doona and Silver Cross, has uncovered the true cost UK parents are spending on their first baby - and it’s an increase of 172% on 2014 data2. From bottles to bouncers, the research asked new parents their spending patterns across 22 of the most popular baby products, revealing that they are spending an average of £2,722 on these newborn essentials.

The Priciest Purchases

The five biggest purchases by average spend are a pram, cot or cot bed, car seat, nursing or rocking chair and a sleep pod, setting parents back an average £195 - £427 per individual item. Although the average pram spend is £427, one in 20 claim to spend over double this, spending between £1,000-£1,500 on this item alone (6%). The average spend for cots and cot beds is £254, a car seat is £224, a nursing or rocking chair is £211 and a sleep pod is £195.

It the past 12 months, car seats were Very’s most sold baby product. As well as being essential for transporting a baby home from hospital according to the NCT3, children are also required by law to use a car seat until they are 12 years old.

Very’s child and baby buyer, Demi Lord, adds that, "There are options which can grow with the baby, such as the Maxi-Cosi Mica 360 rotating car seat which lasts from birth to approximately 4 years old and investing in one of these would be advisable to maximise usage and save money in the long term."

The Most-Wanted Brands and The Rise of Re-Sell

According to on-site searches at Very.co.uk, the most popular buggy brands last year were Bugaboo, Silver Cross, Cosatto, Joie, Hauck, Maxi-Cosi, egg and Cybex, with the most searched for model types being the egg2 and Cosatto Woosh 3.

In fact, for the space-restricted family, selling used baby products can be a great idea to recoup some money back and the products parents are most likely to buy second hand are a high chair (47%), safety gate (41%), pram or buggy (40%), bouncer (38%) and a baby monitor (37%). Investing in popular branded products will provide the best resale price, for example a used Bugaboo Fox can sell in excess of £400, providing a 36% return on the newest model’s recommended retail price5,6. You can always look into What to do with old car seats if you would be considering any further options.

Whilst the majority would consider buying baby products second hand, less than a fifth (16%) said they would not, with the main reasons cited as a belief that second-hand products are not clean/sterile (40%), a distrust in the quality (31%) or because they “only want the best for the child” (24%). The products which people are least likely purchase second hand include a changing mat (16%), nursery bedding (13%), a car seat (11%), muslins (11%), towels (10%), breast pump (9%), bottles and bottle steriliser (9%).

Most Versus Least-Used Products

The items parents use every day include bottles and bottle steriliser (72%), sleepsuit and baby grows (71%), a changing mat (71%), cot mattress (68%), a cot or cot bed (67%), nursery bedding and blankets (67%), a sleeping crib or moses basket (59%) and a baby monitor (59%). Combined, the average spend on the five most-used essentials is £902.

Google searches for ‘baby essentials’ average 1,900 every month and have increased 10% since last year, as expectant parents try to get prepared7. However, almost a third of parents said they purchased products that they have never used (30%), including a nursing chair (38%), breast pump (29%), safety gate (23%), carrier or sling (20%), sleeping bags (15%) and a sleeping crib or moses basket (10%), spending approximately £209 or 8% of the average total spent on essentials.

More than a third had purchased products they had only used once (38%), at a cost of approximately £278 or 10% of the average total spent on essentials. Despite a sleep pod being the fifth highest cost item on a parent's shopping list, almost half (44%) say they have never used it making it the least used ‘essential’.

To avoid this, Demi recommends only purchasing what you need, when you need it - “Despite parents wanting to get everything prepared before the baby’s arrival, I’d advise only purchasing the high chair once the baby is around 6 months old as this is when they develop the ability to sit up unaided and weaning can begin. There are many styles to choose from, including wooden, plastic and padded so, as well as the aesthetic, consider how practical it is to clean as you’ll be wiping it down daily - and finding food in all the crevices!”

To browse Very’s full child and baby range, click here