Preparing to meet your new baby is an exciting moment, and you’ll probably have a lot on your mind—from the delivery to the feeding to the nursery set-up.
One of the most common omissions by parents is the cost of raising a kid and how to ensure that they have enough money and resources to care for their child.
The cost in your baby’s first year
As you prepare to welcome your baby, you may be wondering how much the first year of your child’s life would cost so that you can budget properly. It’s critical to recognize that every family is unique, with various objectives and circumstances, and that different geographic locations have varied living costs.
There are, however, certain estimations that may be useful to you. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) maintains track of how much it costs to raise a child.
For a newborn, this figure may be somewhat lower. Families spend approximately $300 less per year on their children aged two and under, according to the USDA, but teens spend roughly $900 more per year. It should be emphasized that this figure does not account for the expense of giving birth, which can cost up to $4,500 even with health insurance.
And where does all of this cash end up? According to the USDA, the bulk of money spent on children goes to:
- Housing (29%)
- Food (18%)
- Child care or education (16%)
This will undoubtedly differ depending on your child’s age and personal circumstances.
Paying for childcare, for example, may be pricey, but it is unlikely to be as costly as paying for college. When your kid is small and you just have one child, you may not need a huge room and may even be able to sleep in a crib in your room.
So you’ll have some time until you have to improve your living quarters.
What Will You Be Spending Money On?
When it comes to purchasing items for their child, everyone has a different approach. Some parents wish to totally redo their child’s nursery or other living area. Some people like to keep things simple.
When it comes down to it, infants don’t care how much things they get or how pretty it appears, and they don’t actually require that much.
Although infants require continual care, which you will have to pay for if you are not living at home with them or have family watch them for free, they have relatively few tangible requirements.
Food, a safe place to sleep, a safe car seat, a safe place to be set down every now and then, clothing—and, of course, diapers—are all necessities. Diapers galore.
Let’s speak about what you absolutely must buy for your kid and what you can go without.
Getting a car seat is an absolute must. In fact, some hospitals will not allow you to leave until you prove that you have a properly fitted and secure car seat for your child. Most experts advise against purchasing a secondhand car seat since you never know if it has been in an accident or has been damaged in some other manner.
You should also check to see whether your car seat has been recalled. You don’t have to buy the most costly car seat, but you should always prioritize safety when making purchases. The majority of baby car seats range in price from $80 to $300. (in USD).
All newborns should sleep on their backs in a crib or bassinet on a firm mattress free of blankets, pillows, crib bumpers, toys, and other items, according to the Academy of American Pediatrics (AAP).
If at all feasible, your infant should sleep in your room for the first 6 to 12 months of his or her life. A new crib can set you back anywhere from $150 to $400, while a bassinet would set you back anywhere from $80 to $200.
Baby Swing or Infant Chair
While a baby chair or baby swing isn’t required, most parents like to have a secure place to put their infant during the day if they need a break. The majority of baby swings and chairs cost between $75 and $150.
Your child will undoubtedly require some basic clothes. You don’t have to go overboard, though. Due to spitting up and diaper leaks, your baby will most likely go through more than one clothing each day.
It’s also a good idea to have clothing for the following size ready, because newborns grow so rapidly. Fortunately, baby clothing are one of the items that may be purchased used or obtained as hand-me-downs.
Supplies for Feeding
You’ll need bottles, bottle nipples, and cleaning materials if you’re bottle feeding. Breastfed mothers don’t always require bottles, but most will pump at some time and will require bottles, milk storage bags or containers, and a breast pump.
Other nursing products, like as nipple creams, are useful but not absolutely required.
Baby Carriers vs. Strollers
Strollers and baby carriers, including infant seats and baby swings, aren’t absolutely required, but the majority of parents find them to be beneficial, as holding your kid in your arms while out and about may be exhausting!
You may not need a separate stroller if you’re utilizing a portable baby car seat, but rather a stroller base to attach your infant seat onto.
Many mothers prefer infant carriers to strollers, or prefer to have both options available. Infant carriers allow you to have your hands free while keeping your baby close, which may be quite calming for your child.
Baby monitors, bottle warmers, pacifiers, and even changing tables are all useful, but they are not necessary. If and when the necessity arises, you may always acquire them.
You may change your baby’s diaper on the top of a dresser or your bed, depending on your space, but you may discover that having a real changing table is useful down the road.
Diapers will be one of your most expensive purchases throughout your child’s first year of life. Diapers vary in price based on the type and whether you use cloth or disposable diapers, but anticipate to spend approximately $70 to $80 per month on disposable diapers.
Cloth diapers may be less expensive initially, but you’ll need to spend several hundred dollars for diapers and materials, which you’ll need to replace as your baby develops.
Baby Food and Formula
Depending on the type you choose, formula feeding your kid will cost you anywhere from $70 to $250 each month. As your kid begins to consume more solid meals, this will reduce, but you will then be paying for solid foods.
Yes, a lot of your baby’s first foods end up on the floor, but as time passes, they start to pile up. Breastfeeding isn’t always free, especially if you’re pumping and storing your milk.
If you and/or your husband both work outside the house and need to pay for daycare, this will most likely be one of your biggest costs and something you’ll need to budget for when planning your baby’s first year.
The price of childcare varies based on where you live and whether you hire a nanny or a daycare center.
Daycare is generally less expensive than hiring a nanny, who must be paid a full wage. The typical American pays $800 to $1,230 per month for childcare, according to the Center for American Progress.
To Stay Home or Work?
One financial factor that is rarely discussed is whether both parents should continue to work or if paying for outside daycare is the best option for your family.
This isn’t only a financial decision; it’s also an emotional one. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for you, but there are a few factors to consider.
Staying at home with your child instead of working could seem a no-brainer if you have a job that doesn’t pay you enough to cover the expense of daycare. Even if your pay covers this expense, you must additionally account for the time spent driving your child to and from daycare, as well as the numerous sick days and medical appointments.
If you work for a flexible company, this may not be an issue. Continuing to work may not be financially or logistically worthwhile if this is not the case.
You should also consider the expense of quitting a job or putting one on hold. Will you be able to stay on track with your job if you take a few years off? Keep in mind, however, that children, even as they grow older and enter school, remain to be a logistical and financial strain for many years.
Whatever path you take, once a baby enters the scene, most of us will have to devise new methods to make our working and financial lives work. Changing jobs, requesting more flexible hours or work-from-home hours, bringing your baby to work with you at times, and trimming your budget to allow you to stay at home with your kid until they are a bit older are all options.
How to plan for the financial cost
There are several things you can do to save money and prepare for your new financial obligations as you plan for the financial expense of parenting your baby:
- Create a budget based on your new projected spending, and attempt to stick to it in the months leading up to your baby’s arrival to see where you can save money.
- Request hand-me-downs from family and friends, as well as advice on where to get the greatest bargains on new baby items.
- Contact the businesses to see if there are any methods to lower your monthly bills—you’d be amazed at the variety of programs they have if you take the time to inquire
- Examine your existing entertainment subscriptions; some may be unnecessary.
- As you sort out the logistics of daycare and time management, consider opening a savings account to assist support your baby’s first year.
- As you explore how to manage and invest your money for the future, hiring a financial planner may be beneficial
You have a lot on your mind when you’re expecting a kid. You’re planning your forthcoming delivery, preparing your baby’s nursery, and double-checking that you have enough diapers, feeding supplies, and those all-important adorable baby clothing.
You’re probably also considering how your life and identity will alter when you take on parental responsibilities.
For some parents, all of these factors are sufficient, and money worries are low on their priority list. Trying to figure out how to fund a baby is a continual cause of worry for other parents.
The fact is that all parents find out a way to make the financial element of child rearing work, and budgeting isn’t something you should start thinking about as soon as you get those two lines on your pregnancy test.
Simultaneously, many parents are woefully unprepared for the financial decisions that must be addressed when a kid is welcomed into their lives.
Knowing how much your kid’s first few months and first year will cost you may go a long way toward ensuring that everything runs well and giving you peace of mind as you welcome your new baby.