Soon-to-be parents typically spend £1,645 preparing for the arrival of their first child, according to a survey.
The average cost has jumped by nearly a fifth (18%) from £1,389 when the study from insurer Aviva was first carried out in 2012.
The latest survey of 2,000 people with children aged under five across the UK found prams, car seats and cots are generally regarded as essential purchases.
More than half (57%) of parents have bought baby goods they ended up not needing.
Breast pumps, baby slings, cot mobiles and “pamper treats” for pregnant mothers such as toiletries were among the most common items people did not use or said they could have done without.
The average spend per household on unnecessary items was put at £134.59.
The survey also looked at other knock-on expenses related to having a child.
Two-fifths (40%) of new parents bought a new car, while a fifth (20%) moved house – spending an average of £45,291 to climb the property ladder.
Just under six in 10 (59%) parents have started a savings account for their offspring, while just over a quarter (27%) have taken out a life insurance policy to ensure financial resilience against the loss of a parent and their income.
Only one in every six (16%) parents with under-fives has made a will, the survey found.
Paul Brencher, Aviva UK health and protection director, said: “Ensuring that there is appropriate financial protection in place should be on every new parent’s list of essential items when they are starting a family.”