According to research from LV=, the cost of rearing a child from birth to the age of 21 has soared 58 per cent in the last decade, or £82,000 since 2003.
The biggest expenditure for mums and dads was found to be education and childcare, with education costs surging 124 per cent to £72,832 in the last ten years.
Childcare costs have also rocketed to £63,738 - up 61 per cent since 2002, making it paramount for parents-to-be to plan ahead.
Mark Jones, head of protection at LV=, commented: "Everyone wants the best for their children, but the rising cost of living is pushing parents' finances to the limit.
"If the costs associated with bringing up children continue to rise at the same pace, parents could face a bill of over £350,000 in ten years' time."
However, a survey of 2,000 parents from Aldermore revealed many mums and dads do look to the future by starting a savings pot before having a baby.
As the 'Baby Buffers' study showed, typical parents would in fact put aside as much as £2,547 ahead of the birth of their child.
The research, which took into account the responses of parents who had children within the last five years, suggested one in 20 couples saved £10,000 or more.
A responsible 48 per cent of parents questioned said they had set a figure they wanted to hit before trying for a baby, although the average couple ended up £514 off target.
Aldermore's managing director of savings Simon Healy said: "If children are on the horizon, it is a good idea to put something away every month or so.
"It all adds up and may help ease the financial burden when the new arrival makes an appearance."
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