Mums-to-be waste £158 million on baby products they’ll never use

An average new British mother wastes more than £200 on items such as baby DVDs, room humidifiers and changing bins, a new survey has revealed.

Useless baby products to appear in the top 20 list of never-used buys include air purifiers, Video monitors, car seat covers and baby bath stands.

Interestingly, items that some children might enjoy – such as baby swings and baby walkers –aren’t rated as particularly useful by mums.

Sally J. Hall, product champion for, which conducted the research said: “It’s hard to know what to buy for a baby if you haven’t had one before. You can listen to advice from other mums, friends and family and swot up with books and the internet, but the fact is, each mum has a different lifestyle and income – and should choose to suit herself rather than blindly follow an off-the-shelf ‘baby list’.

“Each child is different too – if you have a placid, calm baby that sleeps through the night you might not be as concerned about checking the temperature of the room and the air purification every five minutes.”

The survey shows that the majority of mums (86%) started to stock up on baby products long before they even had the child – but 43% say they totally over-bought on what they needed. The average new mother admitted to spending nearly £700 in total on baby products and 14% of women got into trouble with their partner for over-spending on things they didn’t strictly need for the baby.

Nappies, baby clothing, wet wipes, prams and bottles all featured highly as essentials that mums should buy, while basic furniture such as cots, highchair, nursery furniture and Moses baskets are considered essential for British mums.

“We commissioned this research as the current economic climate has seen families having to tighten their belts. Having a baby is already an expensive business and we wanted to understand from new mums themselves which products they found really essential – and which they could have definitely done without,” Sally said. “New parents generally have less disposable income, through taking maternity leave and having to get by on one salary – but to look round some of the shops, you’d think that babies couldn’t manage without endless accessories. When it comes down to it, all babies need are to have their basic needs met – to eat, be kept clean and warm – and to be loved – something parents should keep in mind if they’re watching their spending.”

Bounty has used the information to launch the answer to this dilemma. The Bounty Baby Product Guide will be distributed to around 96% of all first time pregnant mums at the beginning of their third month of pregnancy – just when they are making these important decisions. It shows pregnant women how to buy sensibly for their income and lifestyle and recommends products that will save them money and give them more time to spend with their new baby.

1. Air purifier
2. Video monitor
3. Baby DVD
4. Room humidifier
5. Designer pram / pushchair
6. Changing bin
7. Room thermometer
8. Feeding pillow
9. Sound and movement monitor
10. Baby bath stand
11. Top and tail bowl
12. Baby shoes
13. Bath thermometer
14. Round rubber baby chair
15. Car seat cover
16. Brand name nappies
17. Bath seat
18. Baby swing
19. Baby walker
20. Soft cuddly toys

1. Nappies
2. Baby grows
3. Wet wipes
4. Pram or pushchair
5. Baby vest
6. Bottles
7. Cot
8. Changing mat
9. Bedding
10. Car seat
11. Steam steriliser
12. Bibs
13. Baby blankets
14. Clothing
15. Highchair
16. Baby bath
17. Nappy bags
18. Nursery furniture
19. Stair gates
20. Moses basket/crib