Pricey products are best for baby, a third of new parents say

Nearly a third of new parents believe buying pricey baby products is worth it, a new Canstar Blue survey has revealed.

Asked whether they agreed with the statement ‘I believe buying more expensive baby products pays off in terms of quality and durability’, 29% of respondents agreed, with Western Australian parents the most likely to think that paying more pays off in the end. (Parents in WA were also more likely to say that they bought many baby products that didn’t get used by their baby!).

On the flip side, one in three Aussies (31%) were happy to make do with second-hand baby items; Queenslanders were the most enthusiastic about buying recycled baby goods, while WA residents were the least. Across Australia, 39% said they saved money by using hand-me-down baby clothing and products.

Canstar Blue’s latest parenting survey was based on the feedback of more than 1,200 new parents who’ve bought and used various baby products, from small items such as baby bottles and nappies to big ones including cots, car seats and prams, in the last three years. Sufficient answers were received in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia to derive state-specific results.

Baby shopping

Premium or second-hand baby products?

Canstar Blue’s Home & Lifestyle Editor, Megan Birot, said Aussie parents were divided over whether buying premium or second-hand products for their baby was the right approach.

“While some Aussie parents spare no expense when it comes to buying for their babies, others are more budget-conscious, perhaps because they know baby products are only used for a short time,” she said. “A good chunk of parents surveyed also sold baby clothing and products their baby no longer needed to recoup some of their costs.”

Babies blow out household budgets

When it came to the changes a baby brings, more Australian parents surveyed by Canstar Blue reported an impact on their finances (20%), than the group did on their career, social life, or self-care time. Just 5% of respondents said they felt no lifestyle impact from parenthood.

West Australians and South Australians were the most likely to report feeling a blow to their hip pocket after a baby joined their household, while Victorians felt the least impact. And Queenslanders were less likely than parents in other states to report a diminished social life.

Babies blow out budgets

More than a third of parents (37%) around the country admitted having underestimated how much it would cost to have and care for a baby, with almost half (47%) saying their household bills increased significantly after having a baby, while 40% had to cut back on discretionary spending or seek additional income to cover the cost of a new bub.

New parents in New South Wales were the most likely to have underestimated the cost of parenthood, while Western Australians were the most likely to report a big jump in their bills, and South Australians were the most likely to have cut their spending or looked for extra cash to cover the shortfall.

In a separate survey of more than 500 parents around Australia, Canstar Blue found that more than half (52%) often overspent when buying from a baby store.

How much do Aussies spend on baby products?

Here’s how much parents included in our survey spent on average on the following baby products.

“Having a baby isn’t cheap, but that doesn’t mean parents can’t save on baby essentials while still buying quality items. That’s where comparing and researching products is important before making a purchase decision,” Ms Birot said.

Baby products Average spend
Pram or stroller $582
Baby car seat $351
Baby cot or crib $312
Baby monitor $186
Breast pump $185
Baby carrier $156
Baby bouncer $155
Baby high chair $137
Bottle warmers $114
Baby food $91 (monthly)
Disposable nappies $70 (monthly)
Baby wipes $29 (monthly)
Baby bottles and teats $15 (monthly)
Baby dummies $13 (most recent purchase)

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