Just trying to gauge, as I am expecting our first, and y'all have been so helpful...
Am I way off, or are babies (especially "crunchy" babies-- ) not too terribly expensive in the first year or two?
I mean, even though we aren't doing a nursery, cutting costs here and there, I'd say we could use ~$2000 worth of stuff to get us started (very comfortably started). I'm talking about a convertible carseat, some wraps/carriers, a crib (we plan to sidecar), a stash of CDs, some clothes, maybe a couple of nursing tops, a Sophie...
So, not JUST the essentials, but not going crazy, either. Because they're older, comfortable and this is the first grandbaby, I know my parents will be giving us a chunk of what we need/want, and then we have the ILs, great-grandmothers and plenty enough family and friends (though certainly not all well-off) to probably cover most of that "initial investment" of $2000. Even if we get a bunch of gifts we have to donate, I'm guessing we'll only be out-of-pocket $1000 or so before baby is born, which I think we can handle.
So, then... what monthly expenses are we looking at, in the first year or so? Keeping in mind...
-I'm taking additional health insurance $$ out of the equation.
-I plan on EBF, don't expect to pump much (we plan on being dual W/SAHP).
-We shouldn't need daycare or even babysitting more than rarely.
-We plan on EC'ing and CD'ing (with the initial stash+).
-We plan on BLW with whole foods.
So... what else will there be, during the first year, after our "initial investment?"
I'm thinking (assuming baby has no particular SN)...
-Occasional doctors' copays, medicine, etc.
-Breast pads, Lanisoh, that sort of thing. Maybe an extra pack of BM freezer bags or something, though, again, I don't see myself pumping much.
-A couple of really good nursing bras once I know my new size (I am already "hard-to-fit," so even at a discount, they will be $30+ each). A few new articles of clothing (and shoes!) for me.
-Possibly additional wipes, baby creams/lotions/etc. (not much).
-Some more baby clothes, esp. past 6 months (hoping to thrift a lot), maybe a few more CDs.
-Obviously we might buy a new toy or book or two (or three) during the year.
-Occasionally have to replace a missing Sophie, etc., or find that we'd rather have a My Brest Friend than a Boppy-- that sort of thing.
-Possibly a SLIGHTLY increased grocery bill for my additional caloric needs and/or a TINY bit of additional food after BLW begins.
Since we're pretty much skipping sposies, jarred baby food, formula and daycare, I figure we'll be getting off relatively easy?
What am I missing?
WAHer & Wannabe, Wife to DH 1998, Mama to Buko, Born at Home March 2013
The only thing off the top of my head is you might have increased gas $ or "activity" $ going out for extra drives to the park, zoo, etc. if you are into that sort of thing. Obviously this is not a necessity with a baby, but you may find yourself wanting to get out and meet people or do a baby music class etc. Of course, you can find free classes (like library storytimes), but I found myself going out to lunch more frequently or meeting friends for coffee, just to get out of the house and it would have been nice to not stress about that money :
Perhaps also $ for a jogging stroller if you like walking or for exercise.
Otherwise, yes, I feel like a "crunchy" baby does cut down on costs pretty effectively :)
After breast feeding two kiddos to child led weaning I never dreamed I'd have a kiddo with oral defects and end up buying formula despite pumping as well.
I also never dreamed after starting all three kids in cloth from birth that do to a significant medical issue on my own part that I'd be buying disposables because I was even able to keep up with regular laundry let alone cloth.
I wish I had started a just in case fund. It would have helped a lot with the diapers and formula I ended up buying when I never ever thought I would.
Mama to Toad (08/06), Frog (01/09)... and new baby Newt born on his due date, Sep. 8, 2010
That's a good point with the "just in case" fund... I definitely plan on that, too.
greenemami, luckily a friend of DH's is giving us his jogging stroller, so we should be good there. I was thinking some $$ for a possible baby-related class or whatnot... Hm...
WAHer & Wannabe, Wife to DH 1998, Mama to Buko, Born at Home March 2013
I can't help with medical care, I'm in Canada so provincial health insurance takes care of that.
I'm hard to fit for bras too and have one great one and one ok one. Honestly I only use them on special occasions. I live in cheap (I'm talking $15 for a three pack at Walmart) sports bras and while they don't give me the greatest silhouette, they are great for getting spitup/breastmilk/food/pee out of lol.
ECing is wonderful and will help cut down on poopy diapers, making the whole CD experience even more pleasant.
For baby clothes as gifts, see if you can ask for 6 months and up sizes. My DD (7lb 15oz) at birth was into the 6 month size by 3-4 months old (16lb 8oz at 4 month checkup) and then she really slowed down on growing. We got lots of use out of 6 month sizes and 12 months fit her from about 8 months to about 14 months of age. The newborn clothes lasted maybe three weeks and and the three month sizes didn't do much better.
Ugh gotta run kitchen faucet is leaking.
I found that for us (I budget for our famly) that the initial 3 mo period pp "hump" that we use quite a bit more money. Not outrageous amts but thats when all those "unexpected" seem to hit us, but we also alaready have other kids. so much that after the first baby we started a "over the hump" fund we find out were expecting. We throw in extra money here and there. But usually end up using it for things like take out or unexpected things like we I needed to get a manula BP (I hadnt needed a manual one before but now I did) or even gas because we were making vists to show off the baby. I also found that our grocery bill was slightly higher at first because I was more dedicated to eating lots of fruits and such because I really wanted to get bfing established, plus I was ravenous
For us, an unexpected expense was convenience food/eating out (ugh!!!). We had a NICU baby for one month and had to pump and bottlefeed when DS got home. We didn't have a lot of family near by and I wasn't able to cook like I normally do. It was honestly about 3 months before things settled back into the normal routine. If baby hadn't been preterm, I would have had a better stock of post-partum meals. Other than that possibility, I think your list and PP suggestions sound reasonable. It's really surprising how cheap crunchy babies are!! :)
Happily married to DH
Stay-at-home mama to DS1 (01/12) & DS2 (01/14)
Expecting again! (11/15)
I agree that crunchy babies are super cheap (priceless of course, but cheap - )... especially if there is no daycare involved. I am an apartment dweller, so the water bill expense for CDing is non-existent. I have a slightly higher utility bill for the AC from the hot flashes of BFing, but that started the summer I was in my third trimester. And the food bill has definitely gone up a bit for extra calories, but mostly for the convenience foods that the PP discussed. Everyone I knew kept telling me how expensive babies are and I couldn't figure it out... I still can't. Of course, once I go back to work my tune might change, but that's a ways off for now. I may have underestimated just how many breastpads I would go through in those early months, but I overestimated how much I'd use the Lansinoh, so I guess it evened out. The baby classes can be an expense, but I just do all the free stuff in my city... fortunately we have a LOT of free stuff to choose from. And bras... I spent a lot more than I thought I would on nursing bras. The extra weight of the nursing boobies seems to wear them out more than I expected too.
I think it's def a good idea to have a reserve fund. I was planning on EBF but within two weeks I was EPing and supplementing. So I ended up bying...
Two useless bottles
Four good bottles
A drying rack
Bibs (I already had a steriliser from a friend)
A couple of paci's, DD turned out to be addicted to sucking
A new mobile, old donated one broke within a week
And a few very simple cheap nursing bra's, the fancy ones I had were useless!
Also i got a bit paranoid and bought an Angelcare mat. I can't CD so I do buy sposies in bulk but apart from that I bought a couple of pieces of clothing when the weather changed and DD grew really fast. I had a good freezer stock of meals for the first few weeks but it is nice to take the pressure of and have a take away once a week :)
My youngest ds is eight weeks. So far I've spent $42 on a changing table, $38 on a bassinet, $5 on a cute outfit at the consignment store and $40 on nursing tops. The rest was covered by our baby shower and the Grandmas. I can't think of anything else I'll need to spend money on in the upcoming month.
Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds 11yo dd 9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds
One thing we did do before the baby was born was buy a couple of big ticket items while our budget was a bit more flexible even though we knew we didn't need them straight away. So we got our high chair and learning tower, left them in the boxes and put them under the bed. Then we didn't need to come up with that money after she was born.
Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012
Carryout. With 3 out of 4 babies, I was basically useless to fix food beyond a sandwich. When the baby has been screaming for hours and DH finally comes home, the LAST thing I would do is hand over baby and then go cook a meal! It was more like meet him at the door, throw the screaming baby to him, and then go hide in the bathroom after calling in a pizza. Our food bill for the first 6 months of a new baby's life is insane.
i highly reccomend making a just in case savings. i really wished we had had some more money this time at least for take out or easy to fix kid food. things were real tight this time. i already had all the dipes and clothes and big ticket items so i didnt need anything. i spent our tax return on the midwife and birth supplies. i bought a months worth of food and toiletries before baby was born. and then DH could find alot of work, then taking 1 week off after baby he had 2 or 3 days of work then found himself pretty much unemployed, and i ended up eating more than i thought i would have. now we have to wait till the 1st of Aug to get food stamps to buy groceries. by then we will be living off of beans and rice. and wic milk. sigh. i will tell you one thing though. i would do it all over again to have the midwife and the homebirth. i do not regret it. i just wish we could have had some money in savings too. i am lucky we had no problem with nursing or anything, i already had stuff from the other kids, and i got all the clothes i will ever need from friends. i love hand-me-downs. but $1000 in a savings right now would be awesome.
Me,DH,DS1'95, '98,DSD'03,DD1'07,DD2'09,DS2'12 Living with Fructose Malabsorption Syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Type 3-Hypermobility.)o( and sometimes I get toif I am lucky.
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