How much does it cost to have a baby!? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 09-25-2006, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay guys, this thread comes from the fact that this weekend I was at church and we were discussing how expensive it is to have children. I don't have any yet (TTC soon!) so of course, I was all ears. My mother has told me repeatedly to save, save, save because children will break the bank. Now, I have certainly received this message but I have a hard time placing a true value to it. My girls at church went on to mention that Christmas alone is about $2000 for two children when you factor in new clothes, a playstation with games, etc.! They also said that boys are way more expensive than girls. The only figure I even had in my head was daycare (the average in my town is about $650 a month)! So, tell me...my husband and I are on track to save big bucks by the time we have a baby (next August or so hopefully). What do you guys who are already mamas recommend? So with diapers, food, clothes etc. what is your monthly tally on your little ones?

Ph.D. Mama to Anaiah born 10/06/07 and Mathias born 11/14/09 and Wife to my cocoa puff DH.
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#2 of 20 Old 09-25-2006, 05:47 PM
 
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Hmm, maybe I am conservative but I don't think babies or kids need much stuff, nor does the stuff they need have to be very expensive.

Breastmilk--free. Formula costs over $1000 a year I think.

Food--pretty much negligible for the first few years, especially if you make your own baby food or feed baby a mashed up version of what you're eating. I didn't feel like I had to spend more money on food until my son reached age 3 or so.

Diapers--$10 a week for disposables or you could buy cloth diapers which are very economical unless you get sucked into all the expensive kinds like so many of us do

Clothes--we always get so much clothing for gifts that we've rarely had to buy clothes for the kids, but second-hand stores or less-expensive chains like Old Navy are great places to find good prices. Clearance racks at the ends of a season are great...

Crib--co-sleeping is free! But if that doesn't work for you then there are usually nice cribs for sale at second hand stores or as hand-me-downs from parents who are done having kids or never used the expensive crib they bought. As my kids have grown and needed their own beds I've looked for close-outs/clearance, hand-me-downs from family, ads in the paper advertising barely used beds such as from a guest room, etc.

Toys--again, we get so many as gifts that we rarely buy any. We probably spend $50 or less on each child for Christmas and birthday, and that is just for something really special... they will get more than enough from everyone else. Also, kids love homemade toys and second-hand toys.

Daycare--haven't had to pay for this but sounds like you are already budgeting for it.

Preschool--about $150/month to $100/week in different places we have lived for part time preschool for a 3-5 year old.

Doctor visits--Of course this depends on your insurance but these can add up, especially if you are vaccinating. It is worth saving some money for doctor bills, they always come at inopportune times!

Birth--if you are having a homebirth you may have to save a lot of money for it, as they are often paid out of pocket--but totally worth it! For birth center births and hospital births I think it depends on insurance. I have heard everything from a mere $10 copay to $1000 or more.

That is all I can think of... curious to see what other mamas have to say!
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#3 of 20 Old 09-25-2006, 06:01 PM
 
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breastmilk is free
prefolds and covers are very cheap
you can make a sling for very little money and buying one is $50 for a nice one.
cosleeping is free
i was given TONS of clothes, there are always a lot on craigslist.
we skipped babyfood, she just eats small amounts of our food
medicaid paid for my birth
we've paid out of pocket for the two dr's visits we've had-$120
a carseat is $75-$250, mine was $80 on sale.
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#4 of 20 Old 09-25-2006, 07:28 PM
 
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I just don't see how having children is that expensive (there's TONS of talk about it on the news and stuff). The most expensive thing must be daycare. But if you tally up how much you make after daycare & the costs of working, it often isn't worth it. Wasn't for me.

Diapers are now our biggest expense, and I wish I would have CD'd. Between our two in diapers we pay about 60$ a month. Clothes we get free or at garage sales, or for gifts. Toys we get for gifts, and we have very few. We cosleep, but got a crib as a gift.

My one weakness are baby carriers (wraps, ergo, etc...)

It's just not that expensive, especially if you have good health insurance.

Mama to 3 kids. We live in a yurt!
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#5 of 20 Old 09-25-2006, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! This is very different from what I've heard. My husband and I are honestly not the frugal type so we are really expecting to have to shell out a lot. I suppose in the beginning it's a lot cheaper than later when they're in school and fashion becomes the most important thing in their lives. I have really good insurance so I don't expect that to be a problem but copays do add up if you're visiting a lot.

I am lucky because I will have paid leave for 3 mo. before I have to return to work so I won't have to pay for daycare for at least 1 year after conception so that leaves a lot of time to save.

Tell me this...how in the world do you handle using cloth diapers? Do you just dump the entire messy thing in the washer or do you have to scrape before dumping. I am not opposed to using CD's but my oh my I can't get away from the visual I've created in my mind.


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#6 of 20 Old 09-26-2006, 02:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Inspired007 View Post
Tell me this...how in the world do you handle using cloth diapers? Do you just dump the entire messy thing in the washer or do you have to scrape before dumping. I am not opposed to using CD's but my oh my I can't get away from the visual I've created in my mind.

Visit the CD'ing forum here. You will learn so much! Honestly I thought they would be gross too. I only tried them so I could say I'd tried and didn't like it. Then I loved it! I was a complete CD addict for a while.

On the original topic, IMO the bottom line is this: having kids is as expensive or inexpensive as you make it. There are certain basic needs and irreducible costs, and then there are the millions of things that society has convinced us we need. Some of it really helps, but a lot of it is just extra. If you want it and can afford it, great--but kids can also be just as happy without it. Here on MDC many of us are striving to consume less, so what you hear on these boards is often different from the "norm." But every family has different values that work for them and it's always nice to be aware of all the options.
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#7 of 20 Old 09-26-2006, 02:14 AM
 
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Babies are expensive but not for the reasons of needing all that baby stuff. First, figure out how much birth is going to cost with your medical care. With the medical plans we had with my two children, I barely paid anything out of pocket, probably 10 $5 copays, and that was for c-sections and two hospitals visits for the first one.

Now for this pregnancy, things are going to be much more expensive.

I've heard of mdwife assisted homebirths in this area costing from $2500 to $4500.

Other than that, think about how many slings you might need, whether you will get many hand-me-downs, whether you want to furnish an entire nursery or whether baby will sleep in your room.

In the future, any trips you take via airplane will cost an extra seat, usually full price.

It really, really depends.
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#8 of 20 Old 09-26-2006, 10:03 AM
 
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Or you could move to Canada where HOMEBIRTH WITH A MIDWIFE IS FREE!

Sorry, but my country rocks.

I read somewhere that the average family spends about 25% of their income on their children. So, if you have more money, you spend more.

If you start saving for their university educations when they are very young, it won't be a huge expense later.

I spend very little on clothes and toys. I've worked out a trade deal with another mom for clothes and it seems like we are ALWAYS getting new toys, and I never buy them. I don't know where they come from, maybe my kids have started shoplifting.

Marja: consensual-living, unschooling, piano-teaching, doula and mom to 3 creative, independent people:
DD, 8, DS, 6, and Baby DS born July 1, 2010 Married to DH for 10 years!
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#9 of 20 Old 09-26-2006, 06:27 PM
 
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$2000 on Christmas!!!!!!!!! OH MY GOODNESS!! Sorry but those kids are going to be spoiled!! We usually just get a few gifts for each child because they get so much from family. if i spend $2000 i would have to add on a new room to the house for all the stuff!!

Angela: Catholic Homeschooling Mom to Sierra(11/00), twins Addison & Kendall(3/03), Jack(4/06), Brielle (7/08), Levi (2/2011); due with#7 (9/13). Birthed every witch way.....hospital. C section. VbAC. Unassisted water birth (hypno/painless). Assisted waterbirth to an almost 10lber! (Not painless!)
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#10 of 20 Old 09-26-2006, 06:43 PM
 
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Babies are pretty cheap, especially if you bf and don't need daycare. Even if you do need daycare, that's likely to be your biggest expense.

Kids, on the other hand, do tend to cost. Even without spending a ridiculous $2000 on gifts. Some of the not particularly outrageous things that cost you with kids are: school supplies, museum/zoo memberships, clothing (harder to get used once they get past 5), shoes (especially if they have big/wide/problem feet), field trips, theater tickets, if you like that kind of thing, music lessons, if that's important, preschool, art supplies, books, furniture for their rooms, sheets, blankets, winter boots, raincoats, winter coats... it all adds up. And that's not even mentioning a college fund.

My advice: save up when you have a relatively cost-free baby, because you'll be needing it later.
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#11 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 02:33 AM
 
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Like all the other mama's have said.... children can be as expensive or inexpensive as you like. But once a child is in the picture you will always find a way to make ends me. Sometimes it's just easier than others.

Megan ~ mama to the Mountain Man (9 years old)
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#12 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 02:40 AM
 
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I don't think I got $2000 worth of gifts with every Christmas & Birthday combined for my entire life!

Here's the rundown of what DS has cost since his birth:

His birth: $1700 (remainder of what wasn't covered by insurance for my m/w)
Cloth Diapers: $200-ish (this will get him through potty learning)
Clothes: Maybe $100, probably not that much
Carriers: $30 (I make my own)

Um... that's about it.... I'll spend maybe another $50 on clothes for the rest of the year.... maybe $50 at Christmas and $150 for his birthday party & gifts.

So that's a grand total of just over $2200. Even then, I won't spend nearly that much for the next few years, his birth was the most pricey thing.

Dawn, mama to D (3.06) & N (9.07) C (11.09) & Still-in-shock surprise due in Aug!
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#13 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 02:53 AM
 
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I don't really think that it's the kind of thing that you can save for specifically. I think that you should save as much as you can every month regardless of if you're having a baby or not, then you will at least have something to lean on if times do get hard after the baby. I would encourage you to breastfeed, even if you have to pump at work. Do research on formulas (and what's in them), so that if you do have to use one or supplement you're solid on what kind you should use. If you do not choose to stay home, daycare will be the biggest expense. Our crib this time around was 400.00, but for the first two we had a 89.00 K-mart crib and it worked just fine. ( I just wanted a pretty one this time since we could afford it, and I wanted our baby girls room to be pretty!) Strollers, carseats and other stuff adds up, but you only buy that stuff once. See if any of your friends or family that had kids are willing to pass anything down to you. Finding someone that will pass clothes on is great, even if the baby just wears them around the house, you can buy a few cute new things to go out in. Also, plan to spend some money on new clothes for work, maternity clothes can get expensive, especially the cute things they have now. And try not to worry too much, we had our first baby with and income of about 19,000 and I stayed home. We were just as happy then as we are now that we have more money.
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#14 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 03:27 AM
 
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I think it really really depends.

For us:
baby's room (that is totally unnecessary for the first year or two if you co-sleep but I enjoy decorating so I wanted to do a "baby's room"): crib/paint/dresser/armoire: $1000 (actually crib was a gift from my mom for my first baby so we re-used it this time around.)
carseat: $250 but actually we got that as a gift too.
diapers: cloth here too, couple hundred bucks on start up
birth: homebirth $2500 plus $100 for lab fee and birth supplies
breastmilk: free
clothes: depends on what you buy and are given as gifts, etc
gadgets: unnecessary but depends on what you want: swing? highchair? bumbo? toys?

You really only NEED boobies, diapers, clothing, and a carseat though.

My almost 4 year old costs way more than a baby. Kids get more expensive as they go IMO. LOL We dont celebrate Christmas so I cant help ya on what that costs as I have no idea. LOL I think that would depend on what you buy.


Best wishes on ttc!!

Desiree

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#15 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 03:43 AM
 
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Cloth diapers are very easy. I have a little sprayer, so when they're poopy you just hold it over the toilet, and spray off the poop. Put it in a pail with some water and vinegar and when you're ready to do a load. You throw them all in and wash. It's so easy. REally it is. And diapers will cost $2000-$3000 over the 2-3 years if you buy disposables. Cloth, maybe $500 if you buy fancy ones?

The things I'm finding expensive as dd gets older are the classes. Clothing, toys etc.. you can always get cheap and people will always give them gifts. We buy very little for dd at xmas. She gets stuff from family and one toy from santa and one from us. But I don't believe in overwhelming children with xmas gifts.

So dd's dance class this year (she's 4.5) costs $70/month. Music classes, probably $40/month. School $100/month.

The other thing that costs more is holidays/travel. So where as before you wanted to fly to see your sister or whatever, 2 tickets, well now you're buying 4 airline tix...
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#16 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just so you guys can understand where I come from...

One Christmas, my little sister and I received each: a bicycle, a nintendo with 2 games, a tv, a vcr, a cabbatch patch doll, a Corky doll (remember those?) and a whole lotta clothes. This, back then in '78, had to cost a buck.

I was 9 and my sister was 6.

Now, needless to say I was VERY spoiled. We also each got barbie dolls every Friday. We even celebrated our half-birthdays!!!

My parents weren't really wealthy, they were probably middle class or so.

I on the other hand do not intend to spoil my children this much but, I can honestly say that I probably will to some extent.

Our goal is to try to save $10000 by the time our baby is born (at least 1 year since we haven't even started TTC). This will go to things like daycare the first couple of months, baby furniture ( I know we probably won't use it but I can't wait to decorate a nursery!) and other things. We are soooo new at this (we don't really live near our nieces and nephews and I NEVER babysat) that we just want to be safe rather than sorry. Did I mention that we spend money like water? So I am afraid that we'll be living paycheck to paycheck once we add a child.

Thanks so much for the insight. keep it all coming! This is all really helpful!

Ph.D. Mama to Anaiah born 10/06/07 and Mathias born 11/14/09 and Wife to my cocoa puff DH.
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#17 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 12:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inspired007 View Post
Our goal is to try to save $10000 by the time our baby is born (at least 1 year since we haven't even started TTC). This will go to things like daycare the first couple of months, baby furniture ( I know we probably won't use it but I can't wait to decorate a nursery!) and other things. We are soooo new at this (we don't really live near our nieces and nephews and I NEVER babysat) that we just want to be safe rather than sorry. Did I mention that we spend money like water? So I am afraid that we'll be living paycheck to paycheck once we add a child.
I think you have set a great goal for yourselves. But I really, strongly urge you not to spend any of that hard-saved $$ on baby furniture, which you admit you won't use anyway. Go out, price that baby furniture (if you're planning to buy it new) and then put the hundreds of dollars you'd spend on it in a college or savings fund for your child. Believe me, that kid will thank you one day.

For me, a changing table was indispensable (leaning over to change a baby on the bed was too much for my back), and a crib came in handy occasionally. But those things can be found used (and not very used, at that) on Craigslist or consignment shops. Spending money on a nursery is like pouring it down the drain, imo. It may be fun to do, and while you're pregnant you may love to go in there and think about your baby.

But once that kid is born you will be way too exhausted to even notice those expensive frilly curtains, matching rug, and all the rest of it. And as far as your child is concern, the only important things in the world are your breasts.
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#18 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 11:43 PM
 
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To actually GIVE BIRTH? Well, with my first one the hospital bill came to 13K. I had my second at home with a midwife who charges $1300. We're still waiting on insurance to cover it ( they will, we just made a mistake with the paperwork ). Hell have a UC and *having* the baby is free. I think your friends are crazy. 2K for Christmas??? Raising a child can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want it to be. I breastfeed, cloth diaper, make my own baby food, and have my babies at home from now on....so the expense honestly isn't a big concern around here.
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#19 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 11:57 PM
 
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I pretty much agree with everyone else. We have 3 boys, ages 8yr, 5yr and 9wks. We didn't really have to spend much, people find out your having a baby and just start giving you stuff, clothes, carseats, high chairs, ect. I would agree that it can get very expensive if you let it, if you feel you need the "best of the best" and don't believe in second hand stores then of course you can spend a great deal. I have always breastfed, not only because it's best for baby but because it's free! I have just recently started on CD this time around and I love it, I just wish I would have done it with the other 2. If you want to use disposables then you can always use store brands, they seem just as good as name brands and cost much less. Of course when they get older the things they want do get more expensive such as Playstations but we usually save the big things like this for Christmas and then you have all year to set aside a little extra. Of course I think 1000's of dollars is a little extreme! If you start out giving your child tons and spending tons then they come to expect it. Hope this helps some, good luck.

Atara wife to Joseph mom to Kaleb and Jacob : Caeden Ashlyn : and our angel baby ,:,
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#20 of 20 Old 09-28-2006, 05:09 PM
 
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It was pretty cheap. The most costly thing I incurred was the $1500.00 Mid-wife fee. Other that that pretty inexpensive. BFing free. CD relatively cheap. CLothes and things can come from second hand shops, Craigslist or freecycle. A baby carrier doesn't have to cost a ton of $$$. I think many
of these things have been addressed already.
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