Study reveals parents' perceptions of having children vs reality.

  • Half of expecting Dads won't share parental leave because they earn more

  • 64% of parents share the cost of their child equally with their partner

  • 52% of prospective parents will upsize their property before growing their family

  • 1 in 3 think it's more important to buy a house before getting married

3 in 4 parents will take shared leave in the future

The findings suggest shared parental leave will become increasingly popular in future years; 58% of expectant parents plan to share parental leave, in comparison to just 16% who had their child in the last five years.

The steady incline in shared leave could suggest a positive move towards improved paternity rights and gender pay equality. However, 1 in 2 expectant Dads still admit they're unlikely to share parental leave because they earn more than their partner.

A family home is more important than the family name

With the average UK wedding costing over 27,000 and house deposits rocketing to over 35,000 , many young couples are having to prioritise their relationship milestones.

In recent years, marriages have consistently decreased by over 2% annually. Our recent findings reveal nearly 1 in 3 prospective parents would rather get their foot on the property ladder than get married before starting a family.

Furthermore, over half of prospective parents (52%) would look to upsize their current property before growing their family and 40% would trade in their cars for a more suitable model.

Thrifty Brits - 20% of the UK will rely on hand-me-downs

When buying clothes and furniture, expecting parents will mainly rely on gifts and hand-me-downs from friends and family.

"Baby showers are really popular nowadays and are actually a god send. My friends and family asked for a list of things we needed and bought from this which saved us so much money and meant we received things that were really useful."

Source: Hannah from Leeds told

The bank of mum and dad doesn't stop at house deposits

Over 51% of expecting parents said they would be relying on financial help from their parents when raising their newborn baby, compared to just under 44% of people who had children in the last five years. This suggests that the next generation of new parents could be starting a family before they feel financially stable.

Anti-natal still top of the list when preparing for a new baby

As new technology is introduced, so are new traditions. We have compared some of the top events and baby-related activities expecting parents said they'll be doing compared to current parents.

Event/activityProspective parentsCurrent parents
Anti Natal Classes45%24%
Baby Shower44%27%
3D Scan33%25%
Pregnancy photoshoot28%17%
Gender Reveal12%5%

"The cost of raising a child is increasing year on year and we wanted to dig a little deeper into how much this impacts new Mums and Dads. It's safe to say expecting parents are facing a growing trend of expensive activities both pre and post birth, which is forcing people to buck traditional trends like getting married to start a family.

When planning a family it's important to sit down and budget. There are a number of surprising costs that will add to your monthly outgoings, including during the conception stage, so it's important to get your finances sorted. Don't feel pressured into throwing a gender reveal party or buying the latest pushchair if it's going to leave you in debt - the most important thing to a child is unconditional love, which money can't buy."

Source: Hannah Maundrell, Editor in Chief of

We surveyed 1,000 people expecting a child in the next five years and 1,000 people who have had children in the past five years using survey provider OnePoll. The study was commissioned in March 2018.