When a woman gets pregnant, she isn't typically thinking about the cost of raising a baby or the amount of money spent in the first year alone, but the truth is, it tends to add up. Of course, that doesn't mean that having a baby is all about the expenses involved, but it's no secret that raising children isn't free and it is in that first year of having a baby that many parents come to realize this.
It's all a matter of adapting to these new expenses and making room for them in the budget, but that doesn't make it any easier. Even when parents have baby showers and are gifted with so many supplies to start off with, it rarely, if ever, covers the necessities for their baby for the first year.
Even stocking up on diapers and wipes far in advance of having a baby won't necessarily be enough. One can never be too sure of how many of each diaper size they'll end up needing and babies grow far too much in their first year to be able to stock up on enough clothes, no matter how much parents might try.
The bills parents rack up in the first year of their baby's life are unavoidable, but they're just a part of being parents, whether they're embarking on parenthood for the very first time or are seasoned veterans at being moms and dads.
A financial breakdown of the first year of a baby’s life can certainly help in preparing parents for the months ahead, but can also help their minds rest easier knowing that all of these costs, however steep they may seem, are just par for the course.
15 Childcare Costs The Most
Childcare is always optional, depending on the family’s needs and preferences, but should parents need childcare in any capacity, they should probably consider their options. Hiring a personal nanny for their home will end up costing them around $2,200 per month, and consider that cost for a good 10 months of the baby’s first year and that quickly adds up to $22,000 just for a nanny.
There is also the option of a daycare center, and should parents choose to enroll their baby in a daycare center at around eight weeks of age, it will end up tallying up to roughly $7,680 for those 10 months combined. Even less expensive is the option of a home daycare should parents be able to find one that is acceptable, safe, and trustworthy.
Home daycares tend to cost about $500 per month, so figuring that the baby goes to home daycare for 10 months during their first year, the total for that would be $5,000.
14 Diapers Are Expensive!
When it comes to diapers, there are a couple of different options parents tend to go for. If they opt for cloth diapers that they plan to wash themselves, they’re looking at a cost of around $19 per month, which equals out to $228 for the first year of their baby’s life.
If they still want cloth diapers but aren’t into the idea of washing baby poop out of their fingernails for several months, they might choose to go for a cloth diaper service. In this case, they’d be looking at roughly $76 per month, which would add up to a whopping $912 for the year.
Of course, there are always disposable diapers, which would end up running the parents $72 per month, or $864 for the first year. Obviously, there are plenty of diaper options, but in this case, washing and using their own cloth diapers is the cheapest options for parents with babies.
13 Medicine Costs Keep Going Up
Medicine might not seem like a thing that would rack up the costs, but in the first year, parents learn a lot about the different medicines their baby might need. Gas drops for extra fussy nights of gas, or Baby Tylenol when a fever strikes, or even petroleum jelly for dry skin and scrapes that need it.
Granted, a baby will not typically need a lot of medicine in their first life, but it is still a cost to consider since they will require special infants’ grade medicine varieties.
Parents will end up shelling out around $23 per month on medicines and first aid supplies for their baby. And while that might seem steep for a per month cost, the thing to consider is that medicine as a whole isn’t cheap, and infants’ medicines aren’t either, but paying a little more to help the baby and have peace of mind is a small price to pay.
12 Formula Feeding Adds Up
Another big debate is whether or not the parents will choose formula feeding vs. breastfeeding. While the big debate over both of the options has been going strong for years, the fact remains that many parents end up using formula for their babies. Whether it is a personal preference or what the baby needs for their digestive system, formula may be needed.
Of course, unlike breast milk, though, formula is not free. The cost of formula each month of a baby’s first year will be around $105, adding up to $1,260 for that first year on the powdered formula alone. Some parents might use formula for around six or eight months, though, gradually adapting to cow’s milk, but that option is at the discretion of the parents and for them to discuss with their baby’s healthcare provider.
11 Breast Milk Pumping Accessories And Tools
Luckily, breastfeeding is 100 percent free for however long the parents decide to keep their baby breastfed. But there are still going to be costs involved during that first year of their baby’s life. Storage bags for breast milk, along with ice packs and breast pads will add up to about $73 for the year, while the combined cost of nursing bras and a good nursing pillow will be roughly $148.
Then, there are the options of breast pumps, which some mothers note are better suited for them. A manual breast pump can run parents around $30, but an electric pump will be significantly higher, ranging in price from $150-$350. Of course, accessories like breast pads and ice packs aren’t exactly needed in order to continue breastfeeding, but they’re totally necessary for the comfort of the mother.
10 Drowning In Costly Wipes
Even for those parents who are all about cloth diapers, baby wipes are going to become a fast staple in their home. They’ll likely be looked to as the quick cleaner upper for their baby’s sticky hands or face covered in food, and even their high chair tray.
And even babies with cloth diapers need to have their bottoms cleaned with fresh, moist baby wipes. For the first year of a baby’s life, the parents are looking at an overall price tag of about $252.
Now, that isn’t a hugely intimidating cost for just wipes, but that is also in addition to any other diapering expenses, including the time it will take to wash the cloth diapers and the space in garbage bags that disposable diapers will take. Regardless, baby wipes are going to be necessary for any baby’s first year.
9 Baby Proofing Isn't Cheap!
Baby proofing the home isn’t as daunting of a task as some might make it seem. True, there are all kinds of areas to consider, like outlets, doorways, pointed furniture corners, hard edges, and the list goes on and on. But buying the tools to cover and protect these areas can be as simple as purchasing all of the supplies in one fell swoop and baby proofing everything even before the baby is mobile.
For the year, childproofing supplies will likely run the parents upwards of $40, but again, that’s a small price to pay for the home-wide safety of their child. There are also ways to cushion hard edges and doorways that parents might be able to find instructions to do themselves, but if they’d rather trust the tools prepackaged for them, they won’t be spending too much.
8 Bottles And Bottle Accessories, Ka-Ching!
The costs involved in using bottles to feed a baby can certainly add up, especially since there should be several fresh bottles available right away each time they might need one. For the year, an estimated $60 is spent on both bottles and nipples, while bottle brushes themselves will run parents $8, given that they’ll probably go through one at some point and require a new bottle brush.
Burp clothes can also be included in this arena since babies will be utilizing burp cloths long before they can start on solid foods. A decent supply of burp clothes will end up costing about $20 for the year for the parents. Which again, isn’t an exorbitant fee, but it certainly adds up when included in everything else.
7 Baby Feeding Utensils And Plates
Bottles and milk or formula are all well and good, but a lot can happen in the first year of a baby’s life. Well, a lot does happen actually. They transform from a helpless and tiny newborn to a bona fide toddler, possible teetering around on unsteady little legs.
So at some point, solid foods come into play. Now, that doesn’t necessarily refer to actual food that is actually solid, but instead table food that is puréed as much as possible to give the baby a nice texture to gum around in their mouth.
For the cost of a high chair, plates, bowls, toddler and baby eating utensils, and toddler sippy cups, parents are looking at a combined price of around $145 for that first year alone.
6 Routine Doctor's Visits Are Pricey
During the first year of a baby’s life, they will end up going to the doctor about eight times. A few days after the baby comes home, and then at the on- month mark, the two-month mark, at four months, six months, and then nine and 12 months.
While these are pretty typical for a baby during their first year, it’s probably best to factor in those surprise visits parents end up embarking on when baby has their first fever or extensive rash.
If the family has health insurance, the copay out of pocket can be anywhere from $10 to $30 dollars and throughout the course of the year, that can certainly add up. Again, it’s one of those baby costs that are simply unavoidable, but high all the same.
5 Bathing And Grooming Products Ain't Cheap
Baths will eventually become a time of play and fun for a baby, but in the first couple of months, it serves as a relaxing bonding experience for the parents to enjoy with their new baby. But, as with most cases with a newborn, he or she will require more than the average loofah and body wash.
Instead, the baby will need specially formulated shampoos, an infant bathtub to place in the actual tub, baby nail clippers, a soft towel, and baby washcloths.
As to be expected, all of these bathing supplies adds up to cost around $50 for the entire first year. And as a whole, that’s really not too bad. Especially considering the fact that the baby bath and washcloths are tools the baby will be utilizing even after the first year.
4 Activity Play Sets Cost a Bundle
While some parents can expect to have things like playmats and play sets gifted to them for their baby, it’s not always best to reply on that. So, in the event that the parents need to purchase these toys and learning aids themselves, it would probably be best to do it as they go along, as opposed to all at the same time.
Playmats are great for a baby’s development as he or she is still unable to roll over and uses the floor as his or her playground, and those will cost around $50. A bouncy seat, that usually contains plenty of other sensory play toys, will end up being just $40, and will be able to entertain the little one as they start to learn how to play and engage.
3 Car Seats And Strollers Are Important Purchases
Again, parents may very well receive car seats as gifts prior to their baby’s arrival, but if not, they are a necessary cost of having a baby. And since most family’s require more than one, the cost of two car seats for the first year of a baby’s life will average out to about $240, which includes an infant car seat and a convertible car seat that will be able to grow with the baby, as opposed to being useless after that first year or shortly after, due to weight and height requirements for safety.
Strollers are also necessary for that first year and beyond, and most families will probably want a large, durable one, which will cost roughly $130, and then a smaller, umbrella stroller, which should be no more than $30.
2 Extras For The Nursery
Aside from the crib, which will cost around $250, a baby’s nursery will require bedding ($64), a mattress for the crib ($99), and a good quality baby monitor ($50). These costs obviously add up to $463, provided that the parents aren’t looking for more top-of-the-line, higher technology items. In that case, the prices of these nursery items could even double.
The good news, though, is that like a lot of these costs for the first year of a baby’s life, they are for items that will be used for a while and will not need to be replaced in the near future. Some parents even opt for a convertible bed, that can eventually be turned into a toddler bed and then a full-size bed for their child, so there are even savings in that in the long run.
1 Clothing And Bling
Children, but especially babies, grow at an alarming rate. In the first year alone, babies will grow from infants who require tiny scraps of pajama-style clothing to little toddlers who likely go through several pairs of pants or shirts per day due to accidents or messes. Therefore, parents can expect to spend around $59 per month for clothes, given that babies are constantly growing and the seasons are always changing. That quickly adds up to $708 for the year.
It also doesn’t help that baby clothes are basically adorable, though, making it hard for moms and dads to turn away from a new garment here and there. The first year of a baby’s life is expensive, in this case adding up to almost $13,000, and the cost of even the necessities tends to add up quickly, but all of it is easily more than worth it to give a comfortable and loving home to a new baby.