If “How much does it cost to have a baby?” is the question on your mind, we have a few answers. Pregnancy tests cost about $10 each, one month’s supply of prenatal vitamins are anywhere from $10 to $25, maternity clothes can add up to hundreds of dollars along with the things for the nursery, the items you’d need once the baby actually arrives – this is just a preview of the expenses related to having a baby.
If it’s your first time to welcome a child into the world, you even have the tendency to overbuy because of your excitement in filling up the nursery with cute, but frequently unnecessary items.
So how can you gain control of your finances when having a baby? You might have an idea about how much a pack of diaper costs, but there will definitely be a lot more things that you need to spend on while raising the baby. A good solution is to know what to expect.
Here, we will go in-depth into the costs involved in having a baby – starting from the time that the pregnancy is suspected, up to the time that your new son or daughter is welcomed into the world.
In this guide...
Saving Up for a Baby
About half of pregnancies are surprises while the other half is planned. The very first expense that you’d spend for when having a baby is buying the pregnancy test. Once the pregnancy is confirmed, the second expense goes towards visiting your gynecologist so that you can be given prenatal vitamins and check on the health of the mom, the baby, and maybe get a date of when the baby is due to arrive.
Now, whether the pregnancy is a surprise or not, it is a must to have sufficient funds which you will use for raising the baby. Once you are old enough to start your very own family, you should prepare for the possibility of having a baby. How you save up for it is entirely up to you, but knowing exactly what you are saving up for will help a lot. To get you started, here are a few statistics regarding saving up for a baby:
- According to RedbookMag.com’s survey of 1,000 new and expectant parents, 76% said that they felt financially prepared for having a baby – while 41% admitted that, looking back, they were not as financially prepared as they thought.
- 46% of expectant parents counted on friends and family to buy the baby’s first year of clothes; 40% of toys; and 39% of baby care items as gifts.
- 48% of expectant parents underestimated the overall financial impact of having a baby, as well as the costs of daily expenses; while new parents spend half of that.
- 36% of expectant parents expect that tension in their marital relationship will increase after the baby’s birth. Nearly 50% of new parents found that to be exactly the case. This is partly due to the financial difficulties and everyday pressures of having a kid.
Costs to Prepare for During Pregnancy
Next, what are the costs that you need to prepare for during the mom’s pregnancy? One of the biggest mistakes made by first-time parents is getting overly excited about the arrival of the baby, so much so that they forget a more important aspect: caring for the health of the mom and the baby inside her womb. Early and continuous prenatal care is a must to ensure a healthy delivery for the mom, and a healthy baby to come out.
Here are a few costs related to caring for the health of the mom and the baby during pregnancy:
- Those who have health insurance should prepare for miscellaneous costs for prenatal visits, diagnostic tests such as ultrasound, and other preventive care procedures.
- For those who do not have health insurance, the average cost of prenatal care is around $2,000.
- Over-the-counter folic acid supplements cost $10 to $20 for a month’s supply. This is one of the most important things that you need to spend on during pregnancy because folic acid helps prevent possible birth defects.
After focusing on what the mom and the baby must have, that’s when you can budget how much you have left over to spend on accessories and other stuff for the baby.
The baby’s due date is almost here and you’re preparing your wallet for the hospital expenses. What are the typical costs that you need to prepare for? According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, hospital deliveries in the US cost $3,500 per stay. This does not yet include prenatal care, the expenses for the delivery itself and post-partum healthcare. All in all, you’re looking at a bill of more than $8,000.
However, the exact cost still depends on the type of birth that you are expecting. Here are a few pointers for the expenses of each type of delivery:
- For vaginal births, the average cost is $2,600 if the delivery is without complications.
- For C-sections, the average cost is $4,500.
The figures are from the same agency. Out of 10 childbirths, 7 are vaginal deliveries while 3 are C-sections.
The additional expenses for C-sections are for the anesthesiologist. The longer a mom stays at the hospital, the higher the bills would be. The most expensive type of delivery is vaginal childbirth with complications, because it usually requires the use of an operating room – which has the highest price tag among all types of childbirths. The average cost for this type of delivery is almost $7,000.
What about the Costs of Raising the Baby?
Next comes the fun part – preparing for the days that the baby has been welcomed into the family. Although there are lots of expenses associated with this, nothing beats the feeling of seeing the baby in the beautifully decorated nursery for the first time. For you to know what to expect in terms of the costs of raising a baby, take a look at the following list:
Setting up the nursery
As the baby’s due date nears, you need to finish setting up the nursery. Some of the must-have items include the following, the opposite of which indicates the average cost:
- Crib with a mattress: $160 to $750, depending on the brand and type
- Bedding set: $35 to $250
- Mattress cover: $10 to $20
- Changing table: $79 to $500
- Dresser: $90 to $600
If you want to save money on baby furniture, go comparison shopping or ask relatives or friends who had babies if they can lend you or sell you their baby furniture for a fraction of the price.
Nursing the baby
If you’re breastfeeding, you can save a lot of money because you don’t need to buy formula. But if you cannot breastfeed for whatever reason, you would have to shell out anywhere from $30 to $35 per week for milk. During the first six months, your baby will only drink milk so the costs would amount to more than $900 for the duration. After introducing solid food, you’d need less than $5 per day for a jar of baby food – or you can simply whip up natural food for the baby from your own kitchen.
Buying the car seat, stroller and similar accessories for the baby
A car seat can set you back anywhere from $40 to $280. A good stroller has a price range of $50 to $800 for the high-end ones. If you plan to do a lot of walking with the baby, you definitely need a durable, good-quality stroller. There’s also a playpen or a baby crib which can cost anywhere between $60 and $180; and a baby sling or a baby carrier which costs around $40 to $180. Also consider buying a high chair, a diaper bag, a baby monitor and a gate if your house has stairs.
Buying diapers and baby supplies
Newborn babies can use up to 75 diapers per week. If one piece costs 25 cents, that’s about $80 per month. This is in addition to at least two boxes of baby wipes, soap, lotion, powder, oil, ointments for diaper rash – all of which can amount to more than $250 per year on top of the costs of buying diapers. You might save a bit when buying cloth diapers, but the cost of laundering makes them pretty much even with disposable diapers.
Buying baby clothes
Remember that babies grow up so fast so you don’t want to overstock on baby clothes that they will easily outgrow. Some of the staple clothes that you will need for the baby include: sleepers, hats, booties, socks, gowns, overalls, coats, shirts, pants, and clothes for cold temperature. You will need several sets in every size – so again, don’t overbuy because the garments can easily be outgrown. The average cost for all of these, at one piece for each item is around $1,000.
Related: How to Save Money on Kids’ Clothes
Finally, you would have to spend on child care especially if the mom plans to go back to work as soon as she’s able. During the first few months, you would need to spend an average of $6,750 per year on childcare costs. This amount decreases as the baby gets older.
As you can see, there are serious costs involved in having a baby – starting from the time that the pregnancy is confirmed up to the time that your little angel is welcomed into the world. By preparing yourself for the costs involved in having a baby, you can treasure the experience for all its worth while still ably meeting the financial challenges along the way.