Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Cost of Having a New Baby

I found a interesting calculator used to predict the cost of raising a baby in the first year. You can view this calculator by clicking on the following link:

Ringing Up Baby: First-Year Costs Calculator

When I went through I found that the first year cost will be around $8500. This includes one time purchase items at $2800 and an additional cost of $475 a month, not including any daycare (as my wife will be staying home for at least the first year). I like that you are able to select the items that you want and can change the cost of the item price (there is an average price listed for each item). If you do not like the calculatorthe shopping list is an excellent source of information. Any suggestions on how to cut corners? Is this list realistic?


Anonymous said...

What a scary post !

I don't live in the US so I cannot comment on the costs but I can imagine that they are substantial over there too.

I don't think that as a new parent you need to have every item and gadget. I did buy before we had DS then found that some items never got used. On the other hand, my SIL gave us many items from her youngest son which we had never considered before which turned out to be very useful

And items don't need to come brand-new either, especially as their usefulness is going to be limited if you only plan to have one child. I don't think that there is any shame in buying good quality second-hand items

Word of warning though: it is not advised to buy car seats second-hand for safety reasons.

Anonymous said...

That is nice that you can adjust the costs because I've always found those calculators pretty crazy that tell me how expensive my baby is going to be. Honestly, with our first, we didn't spend any where NEAR $8500.

We were given a lot of biggish gifts (carseat, jogging stroller, baby Bjorn) and second hand items (crib, glider rocker), borrowed a bassinet since you only use it for a couple months, hardly had to buy any toys or clothes for the first year since the baby shower and grandmas kept us plenty well stocked. And like pp said, you don't need every little thing. I'm actually sad that DS is growing up with so many more toys around him than dd had that first year because she just seemed so entertained by so little and I can tell he gets overwhelmed by all the stuff sometimes.

Now, I think DS actually cost us more because we've had to buy more clothes, got a new crib and glider rocker which were big ticket items. But he still didn't cost that much.


Anonymous said...

Watch garage sales, Goodwill and craigslist for bigger ticket items - a gently used item is often much cheaper and no issues in buying used.
Car seat and crib mattress are the only "BIG" things I would buy new without question.

Goodwill for clothing..............that almost all I buy anymore - that and end of season clearance for the following year.

Clip coupons for diapers - have heard of a couple online diaper places that may be cheaper if you can afford to buy in large quantities.
Have also heard of people starting while pregnant putting diapers into the weekly budget and shopping list - buy a pack a week and store them. For us we used maybe 4-6 weeks in newborn diapers - the next 8-10 weeks in size 1 and we are still in size 2. If you find you have a smaller or bigger baby you can always exchange the diapers too.
Buy a variety of brands in the small sizes - every baby is different about what fits best. Again, you can always exchange for what you end up liking the best.
Or - if you are very disciplined and budget minded, just start putting $10 away each week for diapers and start a diaper buying fund now.

Register at baby stores for what you want - this helps for showers and family buying gifts to get what you would really like to have.

You will end up washing clothes every 2-3 days regardless of how many outfits you have - you can get buy with less outfits, especially in smaller sizes.

Babies really don't NEED much - I don't think we have spent more then $200 "preparing" for each baby. And diapers are currently costing me under $13 a week for both kids -

Breastfeeding doesn't cost much beyond bras and maybe a pump - though I have never used a pump and we have survived fine.

If you buy baby food that would be an added cost - maybe $10-15 a week past 6/7 months.
If you make alot of your baby food it would be substantially less.

Anonymous said...

Well that is just CRAZY!!! Wink We don't spend anywhere near that! If you breast feed, there's no formula costs. We use cloth nappies so there's pretty much no cost for nappies/diapers. I buy pretty much all of DDs cloths from Primark (a really affordable UK clothing store), and can honestly tell you that our ongoing costs are pretty much negligible. Birthdays and Christmas on the other hand are a little more pricy Wink

It did cost us c. £2,500 start up (that's roughly $5000), but that's because we'd been trying for a VERY long time and we just went a little OTT - we spent nearly £1000 of that just on decorating the nursery (including carpets etc). It can easily cost you a lot less!

aida said...

i think hand-me-downs clothes are great, and we are lucky to have them so that cut our cost for baby clothes for her till she turned 2 years old.

check out consignment store and craiglists for baby bargains, though u want to buy car seat new.

with us, we didnt get anything in one shot, i had my baby shower and got stuff from there but we didnt buy any gear for her till she was born. we bought a safe 2nd hand crib for $100 and she included the change table, but its from a relative so that was a bargain and it was one of those storkcraft crib.

as she grows up, we only buy things as we need them, we wore her so we didnt get a stroller till she was 6 months old and we got the chariot strollers and lucky to hv gotten them when she was 6 months since we moved to a new place and the chariot was priceless. i got a bjorn and eventually returned it cause it was hurting my back, i bought a piece of material and made my own baby wrap and i spent $5 on it. i breastfeed so it saved some cost of formula till we switched to formula.

simple maths, the formula costs $20 and she takes a can every 2 weeks, so we roughly spent $50 on formula a month.

for diapers, it differs but using cloth will help a bit, but we use disposables and average, we probably spent about $60 - $80 a month on diapers.

good luck!

Our New Baby said...


Thank you for the post it sure sounds a lot better than my post. Do you have a blog?

Aida said...


i think you visited my blog before, but here is the address

Anonymous said...

A good way to cut costs is to have a baby shower and register at stores. I received most of my "one time" items at my baby shower, along with baby toiletries, clothes, etc.

It might be a good idea to have a "Father's Shower"...where the guys get together and do whatever it is that you do (LMAO)...and have each man bring a bag of diapers for you and your wife.

I think you costs could go down quite dramatically for the first year!

One thing is that formula is so expensive, so if your wife will be BF - you will probably save quite a bit of money there.

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