According to the 'Kids' Share of the Wallet' report from market research company NPD Group, apparel accounts for 23 per cent of discretionary spend by mothers on their children.
The research also found that the age of the child is the main driver of spending - with mothers who only have kids older than five spending around 35 per cent more than those with younger children. Mothers of girls also spend more on apparel.
"Monitoring how and where parents spend money on behalf of their kids is critical information for anyone involved in the youth market," Anita Frazier from NPD was quoted as saying on Just Style.
"There are a lot of product categories competing for a fixed amount of discretionary spending, and understanding the factors that drive purchases has profound implications for product development, marketing, promotions and licensing for all youth-oriented products and services."
Six out of ten mothers (59 per cent) reported that their children had a strong influence on the purchases they make for them.
And while brand names influence footwear decisions, it is not a major factor for other categories, whereas the style and look of a product is.
Almost half of every discretionary dollar goes into entertainment related areas including toys, books and music, while 12 per cent goes on food and beverages.