Cost of raising a child in the UK

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Raising a family isn’t cheap. In the UK, the cost of raising a child up to the age of 18 costs around £150,000 for couples and £200,000 for single parents. This works out as around £938 per month.

Average cost of a baby in the first few months

In first few months, you can spend a lot buying things for your baby. 

This is especially true if you are only buying brand-new products. While there are certain things that do need to be new, many items such as clothing and toys can be bought second-hand for less. 
Here are some essentials that you may need, along with average costs:

Car seat

Average cost: £50 - £200
A car seat is one of the few items that will need to be brand new, as you need to know that it has never been in an accident. 


Average cost: £90 - £2,500
A pram or pushchair that can recline completely flat or comes with a carrycot could last longer. This is because you can use it from birth until your child begins walking. 


Average cost: £12 - £24 in the first month
You will need to change your new-born’s nappy up to 12 times a day. As such, buying in bulk can work out cheaper. Reusable nappies can also save you up to £1,500 from the time your baby is born until they are potty trained.


Average cost: £100 
Babies grow fast and will grow out of clothing quickly. Buying second-hand is a great way to save money here. 


Average cost: £50 - £100 per month
Easy access underwear is key if you are a breastfeeding mum, as well as a breast-pump and bottles. If you are bottle-feeding you will need formula, bottles, and sterilising equipment. 


Average cost: £50 - £200 for a crib, £20 - £50 for a mattress
You’ll need somewhere for the baby to sleep, so you’ll need a crib and new mattress.

Average cost of childcare

Childcare is a big part of the cost of raising a child. Children’s charity Coram has found that the average cost of a full-time nursery place for a toddler under two years old is just under £15,000 per year
In the 2023 Spring Budget, the government announced plans to provide support for childcare.
From September 2025, up to 30 free hours of childcare will be available per week for children over 9 months and under 5 years old. 

How to save money as a parent

Of course, we all want to save money. Here are a few ways that you can save money as a parent:
Buy second hand – car boot sales are a great place for this!
If you earn under £60,000, apply for child benefit.
Re-sell anything that you no longer need.
Look out for coupons and deals.
Consider buying supplies in bulk, such as nappies.
The content on this page is for reference and is not financial advice.
For impartial financial advice, try MoneyHelper.