Having a child is one of the major milestones in many peoples’ lives. It is both stressful and rewarding, a source of endless joy and occasional frustration but above all it can be rather expensive! A recent UK government study suggested that the average cost of raising a child to adulthood is now in excess of two hundred thousand pounds! Of course, much of this cost comes in the everyday requirements of shelter, food, clothing, school costs, birthdays and Christmas, but of course there are many other factors at play.
The UK is currently experiencing record energy consumption, with affordable gas and electricity prices harder and harder to find – additional and sometimes forgotten costs in raising a baby can really add to the expense. This article takes a look at a number of things which contribute to energy use and add to the cost of bringing up a child.
1. Getting a baby to sleep
For many parents, getting a baby to sleep can be a stressful process – some children require darkness and absolute quiet, others can only settle with a night light or their favourite lullaby playing on repeat! If you’re using a nightlight for a few hours, or have programmed the CD player to play for an hour or two, it all adds to the energy consumption of your household – not to mention the costs of putting on the heating or lights during a night feed! Another common way to settle a baby can be to take them for a drive in the car – whilst this may prove extremely effective, it can significantly add to petrol bills.
2. Extra space, higher bills?
Getting pregnant or expanding your family often requires a move to more sizeable accommodation. A larger house with extra rooms generally leads to increased energy consumption and thus higher bills. Similarly, couples with a sporty car or small vehicle may find a need to invest in an extra vehicle or one which can more comfortably accommodate buggies and all the extra baby gear that’s needed in the first few years – this can see costs spiral and is often not considered when initially planning a family. Many baby car seats also require specific “Isofix” car points to secure them; these may not be present in older vehicles.
3. Nappies and clothing
Everyone knows that babies get through lots of nappies, but the costs can be staggering – it’s not unusual for babies to need a dozen or more changes in a day, and the bills soon add up. Even those who “go green” and use washable nappies or undergarments will see a notable increase in washing machine loads. Similarly, there can be a high turnover of clothes due to spills, accidents and the like, and the cleaning costs all need to be factored in!
4. Baby formula
Many parents plan to breastfeed their child but are unable to do so for medical or other reasons. Thus baby and infant milks and formulas are required – this also brings associated costs for sterilising equipment, bottles and teats, pumps, the electricity required to warm the milk and more – this can become a considerable cost over a period of time in addition to any original outlay.
5. Water usage
There is often a considerable increase in water usage when a baby arrives – daily baths, washing machine use, cleaning of feeding equipment, not to mention all those extra cups of tea for your visitors! It can all mount up into a considerable increase in energy consumption and raised bills.
Disclosure: this is a promoted post written for Patch of Puddles and I have received payment to publish it.