My DH and I are considering a baby but we are really wary of the costs. My DH is currently in school and I work full-time, and we can't afford to lose either income, especially mine, as much as I would love to SAH. We live paycheck to paycheck and pretty frugally now, so we have to plan in advance for any major expenses. Our biggest concern is not only being able finding someone we trust to take care of our child, but also just being able to afford the sky-high rates here. We would like to be able to pay what good childcare is worth, but we really can't afford more than (maybe) $300/month. Is it ridiculous to even consider a baby at this point? How do you afford childcare (we live in Ellicott City)? I realize that you can never really afford a child, but it seems irresponsible for us to make the leap at this point, considering the situation. Please convince me otherwise!
affording a baby
Unless there is some pressing medical condition that will leave you unable to have children in 2 or 3 yrs I would wait. You will NOT find quality child care for 300/ month. Have your DH finish school and get a job then get pregnant so you can be a SAHM. I have had a child when I was under financial stress and it isn't a fun thing. Even here in little Hagerstown MD infant child care is over 100/ week and you dont find part time care. Wait .. get stable have 2 jobs live on one pay check for 6 months and see how you do.
Come on over to the Not Mama Yet Tribe...we're in various stages of trying to figure out the answer to this exact question. Also, the mamas in the Frugality & Finances subforum are really good at looking at budgets and squeezing extra money out of them. They might have some ideas!