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#1 of 17 Old 02-17-2016, 03:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Baby costs

Does anyone "save" to have a baby? My partner and I would like to have one soon but he doesn't seem to think they're as expensive as people make them out to be. So I'm wondering how much (on average) you spent on your newborn in the first year? And what did that go money to?
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#2 of 17 Old 02-17-2016, 05:03 AM
 
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The biggest expense of my first kid's first year was daycare, and that was staggering. About $15k for the year, and that was eight years ago and prices have gone up. If one of you is planning to be home with the baby, look at what your budget will be like with only one income.

There were also some unexpected spending changes - we wound up driving a lot more. I started business school soon after my son was born and none of my clothes fit. We traded in our tiny 2-door sedan for something more comfortable to get the baby in and out of. We stopped letting the house cool to 55 overnight because we didn't want the baby to get cold. I pumped instead of buying formula, but I had an hourly job, and daycare had set hours, so I wound up sacrificing 5 hours of pay every week. Also, I was starving hungry the whole time - we spent way more on groceries than we did pre-baby.
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#3 of 17 Old 02-17-2016, 06:34 AM
 
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When they talk about the cost of a baby look at what they list and if it is relevant to you as a family. Also, they use average costs and not budget options most of the time. I remember one I looked at and they listed the cost of a stroller at 3 times what we paid. Most of the stuff you need can be found used but some costs are hard to cut out. If you formula feed the cost of formula is there and you cannot cut that much out of it, if you need child care that will cost, if you take time off work or stop working that will be a cost too...
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#4 of 17 Old 02-17-2016, 06:36 AM
 
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There are things you have to buy for the baby and be expensive


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#5 of 17 Old 02-18-2016, 04:50 AM
 
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Saving up for a baby can be a real challenge if you don't know how much you will be spending. You should try making a list of things you'll need to buy and need to spend money on and see how much it costs. You can also check to see if you can find a cheaper alternative, so for daycare, maybe grandma would love to look after her grandchild, maybe your friend has a cheap baby stroller she does no longer need, and maybe you can save up on baby monitors as well. I use an app for this! The Baby Monitor by Annie is one I can really recommend as you don't need to buy anything extra for it. If you are curious, these are the links:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...z.master.annie
https://itunes.apple.com/app/id944269894
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#6 of 17 Old 02-18-2016, 08:12 AM
 
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First make a list of how you would like to raise your child…things like breastfeeding and cloth diapering can be a huge cost savings. For example, you don’t need special items or gadgets for breastfeeding – pumps are now usually covered by insurance for when/if you need to return to work and things like disposable bra pads aren’t necessary when you can find alternatives. Cloth diapers can be purchased used in excellent condition and depending on the type of diapering system (prefold vs all in one) you can spend well under $100 for an entire stash that can last from infancy to potty training. If you plan to stay home for a period of time you won’t have day care costs but you will need to budget for lesser income. Nanny sharing can quite often be cheaper than standard daycare centers or utilize friends and family if available. Most baby “stuff” is completely unnecessary. If you have a registry, don’t fall into the trap of asking for excess crap that you won’t end up using just because it’s “recommended”. Ask for quality items – a convertible crib that goes from crib to toddler to full size bed is a great option. Skip the baby bucket and go for a convertible car seat that will last from infancy until they outgrow the seat (some convert to boosters). Baby wearing is a great way to not only bond with baby, but negates the need for overpriced bulky strollers. You can pick up a cheap umbrella stroller for when they are older and it’s much smaller for maneuvering and stashing in the car. For the most part, swings, bouncers, play mats and walkers are unnecessary. Babies can be laid on blankets, baby wearing promotes great trunk control so walkers and bouncers are more of an extra. Babies can be as cheap or as expensive as you make them out to be, just remember, generations before us got along just fine without all the gadgets.
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#7 of 17 Old 02-18-2016, 10:58 AM
 
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good info from sassyfirechick. I would add don't tell people the sex of the baby before your baby shower because you will wind up with tons of baby clothes that baby grows out of in a month or two. Also if you plan on having more than one child, gender neutral items will be better.
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#8 of 17 Old 02-18-2016, 02:07 PM
 
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I'm a SAHM, and we CD, BF, and co-sleep. We are also fortunate to have a loving extended family that has the means and the interest to buy what we ask for as gifts.

For our first baby we spent about $800 on the stuff he needed for his first year. That went to:

About $200 on cloth diapers (we use flats and wool covers), and an additional $50ish on laundry.

About $100 on a fancy, preemie-approved infant car seat (he was a 28 weeker).

About $100 on clothes and accessories (most were used or homemade).

About $50 on a convertible carseat for when he outgrew the infant seat (most kids outgrow the infant seat within the first year, so I would recommend just using a convertible right from the beginning unless you have special circumstances like we did)

About $100 on supplies to make baby carriers (a woven wrap and a mei tai)

About $50 on toys (again, used/homemade will save you a lot of money)

About $50 on miscellaneous gear (used high chair, used bouncer) that we could have done without but I liked to have

About $50 on traditional needs (first Christmas ornament/stocking, etc.)

And about $50 on maternity clothes and supplies for making my own

Then there's the stuff that's hard to calculate, like buying extra food to support pregnancy and lactation, heating the house a bit more (especially important if you have a homebirth), increased rent/moving costs if you need a bigger home, and increases in your insurance premiums.

There are other incidental costs as well, especially if you are surprised by having a medically fragile kid, like medical care, gas for traveling to/from specialist appointments and NICUs, eating out more, lactation consultant appointments and hospital-grade pump rental, milk storage supplies, prescription co-pays, preemie/micro-preemie clothing, home medical equipment rental, etc. But we were able to cover those with LO's SSI.

But I would say that in general, if you don't pay for childcare, formula, baby food, cribs/playpens and other containers, baby electronics, or disposable diapers, you should budget $1000-$2000 for a first child's first year depending on COL in your area. Subsequent babies are obviously much cheaper, representing only a few hundred dollars outlay, as you only (generally) have to buy a new carseat and a few new items for seasonality or to replace things that have worn out.

Many people, instead of saving up to have a baby, buy clothes and gear and diapers incrementally over the course of a few years before they start TTC. But if you go that route, you might end up wasting money buying things you THINK you will need/like and then discovering, once you have the baby, that you are not the kind of parent you thought you'd be. For example, I bought a bunch of footed sleepers and bodysuits in the years leading up to the birth of my first child, but it turns out that we have string bean babies and are better served by gowns and separate tops and bottoms.
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#9 of 17 Old 02-18-2016, 02:29 PM
 
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The only thing new we purchased was diapers, wipes breast pump and formula. The majority of the stuff we accumulated through baby showers and hand me downs. In the end he had this amazing nursery...that he never used, cause we ended up co sleeping, baby wearing parents. The only piece of baby furniture that was 100% useful was the bouncer, because he had to watch everything you were doing. Oh and pacifiers, but you can skip that cost by just not giving it to him.
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#10 of 17 Old 02-23-2016, 03:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by sassyfirechick View Post
First make a list of how you would like to raise your child…things like breastfeeding and cloth diapering can be a huge cost savings. For example, you don’t need special items or gadgets for breastfeeding – pumps are now usually covered by insurance for when/if you need to return to work and things like disposable bra pads aren’t necessary when you can find alternatives. Cloth diapers can be purchased used in excellent condition and depending on the type of diapering system (prefold vs all in one) you can spend well under $100 for an entire stash that can last from infancy to potty training. If you plan to stay home for a period of time you won’t have day care costs but you will need to budget for lesser income. Nanny sharing can quite often be cheaper than standard daycare centers or utilize friends and family if available. Most baby “stuff” is completely unnecessary. If you have a registry, don’t fall into the trap of asking for excess crap that you won’t end up using just because it’s “recommended”. Ask for quality items – a convertible crib that goes from crib to toddler to full size bed is a great option. Skip the baby bucket and go for a convertible car seat that will last from infancy until they outgrow the seat (some convert to boosters). Baby wearing is a great way to not only bond with baby, but negates the need for overpriced bulky strollers. You can pick up a cheap umbrella stroller for when they are older and it’s much smaller for maneuvering and stashing in the car. For the most part, swings, bouncers, play mats and walkers are unnecessary. Babies can be laid on blankets, baby wearing promotes great trunk control so walkers and bouncers are more of an extra. Babies can be as cheap or as expensive as you make them out to be, just remember, generations before us got along just fine without all the gadgets.
Great tips! Thank you! I do plan on breastfeeding and my partner really wants to use cloth diapers. Personally, I'm a little nervous about that. How was it for you when it came to cleaning them? Would you use disposables when you took your baby out?
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#11 of 17 Old 02-23-2016, 03:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MissAnthrope View Post
I'm a SAHM, and we CD, BF, and co-sleep. We are also fortunate to have a loving extended family that has the means and the interest to buy what we ask for as gifts.

For our first baby we spent about $800 on the stuff he needed for his first year. That went to:

About $200 on cloth diapers (we use flats and wool covers), and an additional $50ish on laundry.

About $100 on a fancy, preemie-approved infant car seat (he was a 28 weeker).

About $100 on clothes and accessories (most were used or homemade).

About $50 on a convertible carseat for when he outgrew the infant seat (most kids outgrow the infant seat within the first year, so I would recommend just using a convertible right from the beginning unless you have special circumstances like we did)

About $100 on supplies to make baby carriers (a woven wrap and a mei tai)

About $50 on toys (again, used/homemade will save you a lot of money)

About $50 on miscellaneous gear (used high chair, used bouncer) that we could have done without but I liked to have

About $50 on traditional needs (first Christmas ornament/stocking, etc.)

And about $50 on maternity clothes and supplies for making my own

Then there's the stuff that's hard to calculate, like buying extra food to support pregnancy and lactation, heating the house a bit more (especially important if you have a homebirth), increased rent/moving costs if you need a bigger home, and increases in your insurance premiums.

There are other incidental costs as well, especially if you are surprised by having a medically fragile kid, like medical care, gas for traveling to/from specialist appointments and NICUs, eating out more, lactation consultant appointments and hospital-grade pump rental, milk storage supplies, prescription co-pays, preemie/micro-preemie clothing, home medical equipment rental, etc. But we were able to cover those with LO's SSI.

But I would say that in general, if you don't pay for childcare, formula, baby food, cribs/playpens and other containers, baby electronics, or disposable diapers, you should budget $1000-$2000 for a first child's first year depending on COL in your area. Subsequent babies are obviously much cheaper, representing only a few hundred dollars outlay, as you only (generally) have to buy a new carseat and a few new items for seasonality or to replace things that have worn out.

Many people, instead of saving up to have a baby, buy clothes and gear and diapers incrementally over the course of a few years before they start TTC. But if you go that route, you might end up wasting money buying things you THINK you will need/like and then discovering, once you have the baby, that you are not the kind of parent you thought you'd be. For example, I bought a bunch of footed sleepers and bodysuits in the years leading up to the birth of my first child, but it turns out that we have string bean babies and are better served by gowns and separate tops and bottoms.
Wow! What a comprehensive breakdown! Sounds like your DIY skills came in handy I, unfortunately, am not as crafty haha..but am grateful for the ballpark figure and advice. I wonder how much cloth diapers save you...
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#12 of 17 Old 02-16-2017, 08:54 AM
 
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How much do you spent on baby tech stuff like baby monitors, motion sensors or safety gates? If you spent that kind of money on this items
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#13 of 17 Old 02-16-2017, 09:50 AM
 
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I also save for my kid but I did not noticed that how much I spent for first year. Having a child makes me more difficult in finance. But I am so happy because of him.
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#14 of 17 Old 02-16-2017, 10:32 AM
 
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you spend however much you want

And however much you've got. Childcare is massively expensive, formula is too. I agree with not buying anything until you're well in the clear as honestly, not every pregnancy is a success. Also if you know any people at all, even remotely, who have just had babies, you may get mountains of free stuff. Depends on timing and luck and who you know. You will not need a crib right away (maybe never), or a play pen or baby gates or a highchair. I didn't use baby monitors or a crib mobile or a diaper genie, or even a baby bath, all the traditional trappings that get marketed to new parents. I would say the bare essentials include a car seat/stroller/baby carrier, diapers, clothes, outerwear, baby blanket, and then however you decide to feed the baby. Newborns don't need toys, they can't even grasp anything properly for quite a while and toys might be what you get as gifts if there are any indulgent relatives or friends. You won't need any feeding equipment until about 6 months, bibs, bowls, spoons etc. I collected clothes, diapers etc slowly over the months before my son was born, then ended up getting a garbage bag of free clothes when he was about 3/4 months from one person, another person gave me a bumper jumper, and another heap of clothes, someone else, a baby seat. While I was pregnant my neighbour gave me bales of bread from the bakery her sister was working at (I kid you not). I think there is a Jewish expression something like: "Every baby comes with a loaf of bread under it's arm" The world is awash in barely used baby stuff if you decide to take advantage of that
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#15 of 17 Old 02-16-2017, 03:54 PM
 
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As the oldest of nine children and the mother of four, I can tell you some tips on how to save $ while having a family.

1. breastfeed - formula is expensive
2. cloth diapering and I used a clothes line to dry them.
3. home birth
4. stay healthy, use a pediatrician/family practitioner sparingly - I never had health insurance when my children were growing up
5. no candy/junk food/sweets - fewer dental problems.
6. use hand-me-downs in furniture, maternity clothes, baby clothes, toys. Visit your local GoodWill, etc.
7. make your own babyfood. It is not hard at all.
8. Do not scrimp on a baby carseat. If you have a babyshower, do your research and ask for what you what. An old carseat may not be up to the latest standards or may have been in a collision.
9. We slept on a futon on the floor with all the children. NO danger of them falling out of bed. No crib necessary.

After our children were grown, my husband took a job doing inventory in supermarkets. It was there that he noticed how expensive disposable diapers, baby formula, baby clothes, and other items were. He appreciated me! I appreciated the fact that he worked hard enough to allow me to stay home and do those things. We rarely used a babysitter, and chose to take baby/ies with us wherever we went.

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#16 of 17 Old 02-16-2017, 05:33 PM
 
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Great tips! Thank you! I do plan on breastfeeding and my partner really wants to use cloth diapers. Personally, I'm a little nervous about that. How was it for you when it came to cleaning them? Would you use disposables when you took your baby out?


Cleaning was easy. We installed one of those little trigger water squirter things in the toilet and just rinsed the poo off with that. Wet nappies went straight into the nappy bucket. When we had two full buckets we tipped it all into the washing machine. I think it worked out at about one extra load of washing a week for us.

If you are considering them for environmental reasons it is worth noting that they are only better for the environment *if* you wash them in cold water, line dry and use the same nappies for more than one child. Otherwise they have much the same impact, albeit in different ways.

We did a mixture of cloth and disposable when we went out. It depended on the circumstances.


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#17 of 17 Old 02-16-2017, 05:37 PM
 
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How much do you spent on baby tech stuff like baby monitors, motion sensors or safety gates? If you spent that kind of money on this items


We didn't use any sort of monitor. We had a few baby gates which we used in various circumstances. So DD1 couldn't climb out the cat door and down a flight of concrete stairs. On the bathroom door as the nappy buckets had to be on the floor. When we moved to a house we had one across the laundry door so the cat could use his litter tray in peace. That sort of thing.


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