Parents waste £200 on useless items for new babies

New parents waste almost £200 on unused baby paraphernalia such as white noise machines and slings, while they fork out close to £1,500 on newborn necessities such as prams and cots, a report has found.

The study from Gumtree found that soon-to-be mums and dads pay out an average of £1,421 each on expensive pushchairs, cots and nursery furniture, resulting in a new parenthood bill of £2.2bn nationally.

A quarter of parents said they had had to pay for even bigger purchases scuh as a bigger house or new car to prepare for the arrival of a new baby.

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Meanwhile, a separate study from The Baby Show with website MadeForMums, found that a third of new parents said they were not prepared for parenthood, with a lack of sleep, post-delivery pain and lack of alone time listed as the biggest problems in looking after a newborn.

Gumtree found that over half of parents said they felt pressured by friends who have children, the media and celebrities, as well as other new mums and dads they have met at ante natal classes, to buy expensive branded baby items. Around 15 per cent of people expecting a new baby said they were concerned that they will not have enough money to spend on them.

Of those polled, 93 per cent of new parents admitted to wasting up to £195 each on unused items, resulting in £303m being wasted nationally. Parents’ top unused items included nappy bins, fussy baby slings and faddy ‘white noise’ machines. Other unused goods included nappy stackers and baby changing tables.

A Gumtree spokeswoman said: “When you’re expecting your first child, budgeting for big-ticket items such as pushchairs, cots and nursery furniture can seem overwhelming. However, you’ll be surprised how much you could save by asking friends and family members whether they have any old or recently used baby items that you can borrow.”

Scottish parenting blogger Gemma Fraser, author of blog WriteonMum, said: “Before you have a baby, you haven’t got a clue about what you actually need so you get sucked into this infinite money pit and reemerge with a plethora of useless items.

“You buy an expensive oak changing table - to match your expensive oak nursery furniture, obviously - when a £5 changing mat would suffice. You buy a Moses basket which your baby will sleep in for a couple of months at best. You buy a swing seat, vibrating chair, play gym, newfangled sling, expensive travel system, steriliser, breast pump, Jumperoo, Bumbo seat, a device that sucks bogies out of your baby’s nose, the list is endless.

“You don’t need all that stuff to be a parent, and most of it is used once and then sold on for a fraction of what you paid for it.”