How Much Does a Baby Really Cost?

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Having a baby is the most important, beautiful and exciting experience in life! At this time there are so many things to think about and consider, and finances are a huge part of that. Even when you budget and search for sales, the cost of a baby can be overwhelming and hard to predict. Most people know that having a baby is pricey, yet they don’t realize the real cost of raising a child. Many factors play a part in this number, some of which include;

•    Nursery Costs – Nursery furniture, including a crib, gliding chair, and changing table can easily cost anywhere from $800 to $3,000.

•    Car Seat – A car seat is definitely a necessity, and you will need it as soon as you leave the hospital! The cost of a car seat can vary, but at the least they usually cost about $100.

•    Diapers – You will need diapers no matter what, with the choice of disposable and cloth. While cloth diapers can be reusable, it is important to consider your water and electric bill may increase from all the washing. Disposable diapers usually cost at least $600 for the baby’s first year.

•    Stroller – While your child is an infant, they will need a more supportive stroller, which can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000. When your child is a little older an umbrella-style stroller can work, which is much cheaper.

•    Child care – In the case that you (and your partner) work full time, it will be crucial to either put your child in daycare or hire a nanny. An average of $6,750 per year is typically spent on child care.

•    Food and formula – Even when you decide to breastfeed, there are still some costs to consider, such as nursing bras ($20 to $50 each or more) and pumps ($20 to $250). Buying formula can add up to about $2,000 per year.

•    Clothing and other accessories – Whether its toys, bouncy swings, outfits, or other miscellaneous items, these little things can really add up fast. It’s always smart to look around for garage sales and good deals!

So when it comes down to it, it is important to keep track of finances before and after having a baby. Try to tie down the financial loose ends of your life. Using coupons, leaning on family and friends, and focusing only on the necessities can really help make things easier financially throughout the first few years of your child’s life. Most middle income families will end up spending roughly $12,000 to $12,500 per year for the first two years. Saving up long before the baby arrives is the best way to feel financially stable!

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By Amanda Hennessy of Expecting Parents Alliance of America

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