The poll of 1,000 expectant and new parents, by AXA's Big Money Index, found that the average total needed by mums and dads to be is £5,464, rising to £5,666 for those living in London.
But only 23 per cent of those hoping to start a family wait until they have the necessary 'baby buffer' in place.
Instead, more than half of those with a baby due in 2013 are looking to their own parents for financial help in those first few months, while one in 10 expect friends and family to make a cash contribution to baby's savings accounts.
In total, researchers discovered that nearly a third of expectant parents are relying on family and friends to pitch in on the money front.
Topping the list of gift items new parents expect from their loved ones were toys, with a pram or buggy, car seat and cot featuring in the top four. One in five even expect their close friends and family to buy designer labels for their newborn.
Commenting on the findings, psychologist Donna Dawson told the Daily Mail: "The combination of an uncertain economy and perhaps an upbringing where their own parents were financial generous to them over the years, means that many expectant parents view 'giving birth' as an extended family affair, where relatives and even friends are now expected or encouraged to provide both gifts and financial aid."