Baby number one demands the best of everything. First-time mothers, excited at the prospect of kitting out a nursery, can spend a fortune on designer outfits, dinky little shoes and the cutest toys.
But by the time baby number two comes along, things are a little different.
A fifth of mothers spend £200 less on their second child, a survey found. And it’s not because they don’t care as much. They just have a much more realistic idea of what a baby actually needs.
A third of second-time mothers are prepared to buy supermarket-brand wipes and nappies and a fifth are willing to accept hand-me-downs, according to the survey.
Nearly four out of five first-time mums admitted buying unnecessary baby items for their first child, with a third saying designer clothes were the most useless purchases. A fifth said shoes for newborns were the most likely to gather dust.
Experienced mothers are more realistic about what really needs to be done to look after a baby. Over half no longer weigh their child daily, two fifths take care not to over-sterilise utensils and 15 per cent give up ironing muslin squares.
They also spent less time swatting up on baby books or online parenting forums, with four fifths relying on instinct and experience, compared to three fifths of new mothers who turn to others for advice.
While they may not rely so much on friends and family for information, the second-time parent still makes the most of the help on offer. Rather than seeking their guidance, mothers are more likely to use their loved ones to make sure the baby’s cupboards are well stocked. Over half said they asked for specific gifts for their second child, rather than welcoming yet another fluffy teddy bear.