We break down the top baby costs and suggest ways you can save on each because having a baby doesn’t come cheap.
Having a baby is more than your desire to bear one. It’s even more than your readiness physically, mentally and emotionally for the life-altering changes a little one brings in your relationship with your partner. Both of you needs to be financially ready for your planned bundle of joy as well.
While pregnant, you likely have little or no time to take care of yourself. According to research, 64% of pregnant women report being more stressed during pregnancy than before they became pregnant. — Irena Milentijevic, Ph.D.
Below are the top seven baby costs expecting parents encounter. For every expense, we included tips on what you can do to economize a bit.
Baby Delivery – $5,500 to $15,000
One financial portal quotes $5,500 to $15,000 as the price range for birthing expenses in the US. How much you pay for your baby’s birth depend on these circumstances:
- The facility you used and the care you had – Did you give birth in the hospital, a birthing clinic or opted to do the delivery right at the comfort of your own home? Additionally, having an obstetrician take care of you also costs more than having a midwife attend to your delivery.
- Your method of child delivery -Whether you had C-section or natural vaginal birth.
- The state you’re living in – Accordingly, Alaskan mommies dish out more as the state is an outlier.
Ways to Save: If you don’t have any health insurance now and is planning to have a baby, it is best if you get one before going through with your plan. If it’s too late for that, you can inquire about government aid as all US states offer assistance to expecting but uninsured mothers. You can consider applying for your state’s Medicaid program or the WIC [Women, Infants, and Children].
Infant Formula Milk – $70 to $150 a month [For fully bottle-fed babies]
Formula milk takes a considerable space in your weekly budget if you plan on exclusively bottle-feeding your baby. The price range above doesn’t include how much baby bottles, cleaning brushes, sterilizers, and other bottle-feeding-related items costs, so you have to add them in for your first-month formula milk budget or as part of your pre-baby preparations. Finally, you have to be prepared financially in case your baby has feeding problems. You might need to get him specially formulated milk which can be quite expensive.
“At most, we have to pay $300 to $400 a month for my son’s hypoallergenic formula,” one mom shares.
Ways to Save: Think about breastfeeding your baby before zeroing in on formula-feeding him/her from birth onwards. As what experts say, breast milk is still the best food you can give your little one. If you’re worried about how you can manage to breastfeed and work at the same time, you can look up expressing and storing breast milk online. You’ll find lots of sites offering helpful tips about it. Besides, many moms are doing it successfully.
You can also get the powdered infant formula instead of the ready-to-use liquid concentrate. The former costs lesser compared to the latter allowing you to save a few dollars every month.
According to neuroscientists, our brains are hardwired to focus more on the negative, including worry, disapproval, danger, illness, fear, and even the word, “no.” As we verbally express these thoughts, additional stress chemicals are released. — Marilyn Price-Mitchell Ph.D.
Diapers – $30 to $60 every month [For disposables]
One mom average spending is $800 a year buying disposable diapers for her baby. Moreover, disposable diaper expenses go up every three months or so as your baby grows up. It is because the sizes of disposable diapers depend on your little one’s weight. The heavier the baby gets, the bigger the diaper size he needs.
Ways to Save: Try using reusable diapers. They’re not only the “in” thing today, the same mom above estimates that you can save as much as 27% if you choose to use reusables on your baby [that’s about $590 a year versus the $800 you spend on disposables].
“Using reusable diapers isn’t a hassle at all,” says one first-time mom. “They’re convenient and easy to use. They also come in awesome prints.”
Food – $50 to $100 per month [When babies reach six months onward]
Most moms start their babies on solids at the age of six months. If you’re formula feeding your baby, this and the money you spend on baby food could add more strain to your weekly and monthly budgets. Commercially-prepared baby food can cost up to $1 per jar [price depends on the brand and how the content is prepared] and, as what mom disclosed, a baby can consume as much as five baby food jars in a day.
Ways to Save: Make your baby food as much as possible. Not only are you sure of what your baby is eating, but you also get to save a lot when you do it this way. One mother advised on getting a quality blender to make mashing more convenient. And if there are instances when you need to stock up on jarred baby food [like traveling], try to clip discount coupons.
Clothes – $420 to $100 a month
Like diapers, the amount you need to set aside for every month varies as your child grows up. How much money you dole out for your baby’s clothes also depend on the brands you get, the sizes and even from where you get them.
Ways to Save: You, like many new parents, may find you don’t have to buy baby clothes for the first few months because of the gifts you receive from doting family members and friends. Subsequently, you might find these tips beneficial:
- Don’t go on buying every cute baby outfit you can see all at once. Chances are, your baby will outgrow them quickly. Not only did you lose money, but you’ll also discover that some pieces weren’t worn at all.
- Consider getting gently-used clothing from garage sales, consignment stores, thrift shops and the likes.
- There’s no shame in accepting hand-me-downs from families and friends. Your baby won’t complain about how he/she isn’t getting brand-new clothes to wear.
- Finally, think about using laundry boosters or stain removers to treat your baby’s stained and soiled clothes so that they can be worn again.
Baby Gears, Toys, and Books – Costs Vary and Could Go from $20 to $500
Baby gears [cribs, strollers, baby beddings and the like items] are, perhaps, the most costly things in your baby’s budget allocation especially as you’ll have to make expensive one-time payments for some of them [versus monthly allowances for food and diapers].
Ways to Save: Make a registry pre-pregnancy so friends and other family members will be able to pitch into your baby gear needs like car seats, bouncy beds, cribs, and strollers. After everyone has thrown in their lots, check if you’re still lacking anything and buy these items. Most baby gears are barely used anyway, and most moms will be glad to get rid of these bulky items.
Negative effects of parental stress and anxiety continue after the baby is born, with visible effects in the first two years of life. — Vanessa LoBue Ph.D.
As for toys and books, one mom discovered how her son only liked 2 of the 20 plus toys she bought for him. So, before going on toy shopping [and lose a considerable amount of money to toy marketing sharks!], Why not ask some of your friends who have kids for old playthings, the ones theirs have outgrown? You can also buy them secondhand, or you can do toy exchanges with neighbors who have babies the same age as yours. But the most practical advice comes from a mother of three:
“Babies love playing with household items so, I let them play with what I believe are the safest ones. I did this with all my three kids. As of now, my youngest loves tinkering with the whisk.”