Expensive little angels

There was a gasp of shock in the Heart office when news reached us of the latest child cost study. Apparently on average a newborn costs parents four thousand pounds before it reaches the age of one.

The research by Philips Avent among 2,891 parents found that only around 1 in 5 families manage to save before their new arrival. After kitting out the nursery, buying clothes and nappies and toys it can leave mum's and dad's with a hole in their pocket.

Where does all the cash go? Well according to the survey nearly £300 is spent on the baby's nursery including cot, furniture, soft furnishings and paint.  Toys will come in at another £661.20, while many parents are also looking at spending nearly £750 on clothes. On top of all that car seats, pushchairs and other bits and pieces can send the cost soaring for first-time mums and dads.

With a baby on the way Heart reporter Emma Reid has been getting some top tips from leading family financial advisors Sue Haywood.

Click here to listen to the interview in full.

Top tips:

1) Save, save and save during your pregnancy. You may only have a few more full pay cheques before going on maternity leave.

2) Think about buying top brands when it comes to your key items like buggy's as they have a really good second hand re-sale value so you may be able to get a good chunk of money back. Oh and while your at it don't be afraid to buy second hand yourself there are some great bargains to be found on internet auction sites and in classified pages but always get a good look at the items before you buy.

3) Make sure you make the most of every penny THAT you are entitled too. There are lots of forms to fill in but make sure you don't miss out on any child tax credits, healthy pregnancy grants and make sure you set up your little ones child trust fund.

4) Speak to friends and family. They are a great source of advice when it comes to knowing what items are essential and worth paying a bit more for and which items end up at the back of the cupboard.

5) Don't be afraid to take items back if they haven't been used, quite often stores will swap clothes for the next size up even if it is after your 28 day refund period. It’s amazing how quickly your little one will grow.

6) Talk to your boss about child care vouchers, as not many people know about the scheme , it may help reduce the cost of childcare when you do decide to go back to work as it means you pay for your child care from your pre-tax income.

7) Check out the supermarkets for value packs, especially on things like baby grows.

8) In the months before your baby is born it can help to buy one thing a week, especially if it’s something that you can pop in the supermarket trolley. Things like nappies, baby wipes and feeding milk.

Good luck.