You better hope the cash can stretch past those early days

COMMENT: The return of good weather shouldn’t bring dread

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They reckon raising a child will set you back £218,000 but I wonder if anyone’s bothered to calculate how much of that you’ll spend before the little one has even put in their first public appearance?

The cost of baby paraphernalia alone is enough to bring on a panic attack if you’re of a particularly nervous disposition.

A quick recce around the shops the other day revealed a pram and car seat – or travel system to give it the proper name – can set you back anywhere between £400 and £1,000. That’s more than most of us paid for our first car. And we’re talking about equipment that will last around 18 months.

Most parents-to-be must consider second-hand if they’re to make that £218,000 stretch a lifetime.