What Does It Cost To Have a Baby?
When it comes to having a baby, there are some costs that are unavoidable. On the other hand, there are many extra items that expectant parents spend their money on that are completely unnecessary. Having a baby can cost as little or as much as the parents want to or are able to spend, in many cases.
The most important costs to consider are the one-time up-front medical expenses. Depending on whether you choose to use a midwife or an OB/GYN, where you choose to have your baby, and whether or not a cesarean section is necessary the cost of prenatal care and the actual birth can range anywhere from around $3.000 to $12,000. Fortunately for those that have insurance, the insurance company will generally cover a large amount of this bill. You should check with your insurance company or your employer’s Human Resources department to find out exactly how much the insurance company will pay.
The next most important item for your baby is a place for her to rest. You may choose to first purchase a bassinette and then move your baby to a crib later on, or you many be able to put your baby into a crib right from the start. A crib, mattress, and bedding can range from $150 to $2000, depending on style, quality, and features. Often you may be able to find a used crib for a fraction of this cost (but be certain to check for structural defects and other problems before purchasing it).
You will, presumably, want to travel with your baby. For this, you will need a car seat at the minimum. Many car seats have a lift-out carrying portion that you can use to bring your baby with you. car seats start at around $40. You may also wish to use a baby carriage, or perhaps eventually a stroller. These can range in price from $15 for an “umbrella-type” stroller to several hundred dollars for designer carriages.
Beyond the initial costs, there are the regular ongoing costs. Your baby will regularly need clothes, outgrow them, and need more clothes. Here again, costs can vary greatly.
Your baby needs to eat. If you choose to breastfeed, you will need nursing bras and breast pads. If you are bottle feeding, you’ll need bottles, a bottle cleaner, and formula. Formula can be rather expensive, and many parents will spend over $150 per month for the first year on formula.
The next expense is diapers. Disposable diapers, especially in the early months, can cost as much as around $100 per month. Cloth diapers can cost less, if you aren’t using a diapering service and can launder the diapers yourself.
One of the largest expenses will be childcare. If a parent is not able to stay home with the baby, someone will have to care for the baby while you are at work. This could be free (utilizing a grandparent or family member) or expensive, using a daycare service.