How much does a baby cost? From feeding to furniture to fun…

Most people will find it no surprise that how much a baby costs can add up fast. The final number on the calculator might well provide a certain amount of sticker shock, but a first baby, in particular, requires a lot of equipment. New furniture tends to be purchased when a baby is on the way, which also feeds into the expense of how much a baby costs. The following categories give an idea of what will be necessary to buy so that anyone can consider roughly how much cost to expect.

Basic Essentials

You have got to have certain essentials on hand when you have a baby and a significant part of how much a baby costs is because of this category over the length of the infancy. Diapers, baby food, and formula are simple facts of life with a baby in the house. And parents can rely on spending roughly fifty dollars a week on these items. Prices do vary, of course, if you are breastfeeding the baby, or are going the reusable cloth diaper route. But then there are breast pumps to consider, and the larger initial cost of cloth diapers that will withstand repeated soilings and washings. Then there are the ointments, the diaper powder, and other little daily use items that add up over time.

Other basic essentials are not consumed as they are used; items for feeding serve as one example. A high chair, bottles and nipples, plates and bowls, utensils, sippy cups and regular cups, burp cloths, a bottle brush, and of course bibs are all part of feeding the baby and cleaning up afterward. Breastfeeding involves either an electric or manual breast pump, breast pads, shields, ice packs, and bags for milk storage, nursing bras, and for the comfort of all, a nursing pillow. How much a baby costs involves all of these items as well.

Clothing the Baby

Babies grow, and they grow fast. How much a baby costs also includes a steady stream of clothing in different sizes, for different seasons and various occasions. Multiple outfits are helpful to have on hand in case of spit-ups or other spills or accidents. Accessories such as sunhats and shoes are important for the complete protection of the baby in a variety of circumstances.

Furnishing the Nursery

A wide assortment of furniture awaits in the baby departments of stores, or in specialty shops. Everything from bassinets to cradles to cribs to rocking chairs is positioned for your selection. Changing tables with a whole host of storage features are available, with adorable designs to melt your heart and make your credit card hand itch. Dressers and hampers, gliders or more standard rocking chairs, crib mattresses and bedding sets, lamps and decorations, all are ready to be selected to kit out your nursery and drain your bank account. While furniture is a one-time purchase when it comes to how much a baby costs, a significant amount can fall into this category.

Playtime Accessories

Playtime is important for babies. It is how they begin to explore their world, learning how to interact with objects, learning how their own bodies work as they learn how mobiles and toys work. Play mats and playpens, boards and books with different textures and closures, all are available to help your baby get a grip on the world and how it works. Toys in bright colors and varied textures that make sounds ranging from rattles to squeaks to speaking will amaze your baby and fill playtime hours with fun and giggles.

Keeping Active from an Early Age

Babies quickly gain ability and mobility in movement as they grow, and to encourage a healthy amount of movement, certain equipment is in order. A play mat can be paired with a gym that allows the baby to swat and swing at objects, grasping and releasing tantalizing shapes and colors while kicking in delight. Bouncers and bouncy seats are popular with babies who love the motion. Swings are also high in favor with infants of varying ages and stages of development. A doorway jumper can help burn off a lot of infant energy and help build healthy bodies.

Supplies on the Go

Safety while traveling out and about is a vital category when considering how much a baby will cost. A convertible car seat is more expensive than a basic seat but has greater versatility. Strollers of various types run the gamut from forty to nine hundred dollars, including basic strollers, snap-on frames, jogging strollers, and double strollers. A baby backpack or front carrier are great ways to let infants see the world while you are walking about. A sling or wrap carrier is another valid option that can be less expensive. And then, of course, a diaper bag needs to be selected, one that is fully stocked for an infant on the go.

Maintaining Good Health and Hygiene

This is quite an expensive category when considering how much a baby costs, as it does not only encompass bath time but doctor visits and health insurance. Adding an infant to health insurance can be costly depending on particular insurance plans. Babies require regular checkups to ensure healthy growth and development as well as vaccinations and any additional visits for sickness or accidents.

As far as hygiene goes, the supplies for a baby are fairly simple. An infant bathtub and, later, a tub for an older baby, only cost fifteen or twenty dollars apiece. A baby towel with a hood will help keep the infant warm while drying off from the bath. Extra soft, gentle baby washcloths and baby soap and shampoo cap off bath time supplies. A brush and comb and baby nail clippers round out the grooming collection. These items do not make a large dent in how much a baby costs.

Childcare Costs

Child care is another significant portion of how much a baby costs. If you plan to go back to work, and do not have a convenient relative to watch the baby, daycare or a babysitter are required. Child care costs vary by the area where you live, how old your child is, how much care the child requires and the type of care you use. In-center child care costs can be estimated at just under ten thousand dollars annually. This ranges from people paying four hundred monthly to those paying nearly fifteen hundred a month, however, so results vary widely. The average cost of a nanny is not far shy of thirty thousand a year.

A Substantial Surprise

With so many factors lumped into how much a baby costs, nobody should be surprised that having a baby is expensive. However, people who are pregnant or planning to have a baby within the next three years have, according to studies, estimated far less expense in their future than is likely to be the case. Thirty-six percent of this category think that raising a baby during its first year costs between one and five thousand dollars. Half that number think how much a baby costs that first year is one thousand dollars or even less. The truth is that a household earning $40,000 dollars annually can expect to spend over half of that annual income on baby’s first year. This includes child care, transportation, housing, food, miscellaneous equipment expenses, and health insurance and out of pocket care costs, but no college savings.

Ways to Save Money with How Much a Baby Costs

  • Seek out thrift or consignment stores for items that are gently used or even brand new.
  • Borrow items from friends and family.
  • Register for baby shower gifts and make good use of them.
  • Call on family and friends for backup daycare when your baby is sick.

Babies are far from inexpensive. Their needs range from furniture to items that provide them with fun. Baby monitors, baby thermometers, and other technological items run the gamut from expensive to friendly on the wallet; all are necessary for the wellbeing of both baby and parents. Do not let the cost catch you by surprise, but enter the adventure with eyes wide open and some sound financial planning behind you.