What do babies cost?

What do babies cost?

Answer one. Nothing. You just need a member of the opposite sex, and for most of you, a diagram. Har har.

Answer two. Your sanity. The best years of your life. Ho ho.

Answer three. Good question, let’s figure it out.

I’m sure you could raise a baby on biscuit crumbs and dishwater, but I doubt very much that any of you would do that. You want the best stuff, or if not the best stuff, the *right* stuff.

So let’s imagine you’re expecting a baby. I know lots of you are at the moment. I can only imagine the rest of you are stuck on the diagram, but read on anyway, you might learn something.

Before you bring the baby home, you will need:
Car seat: $130
Car seat frame $100
Changing table $200 (one of our best buys)
Diapers, wipes, tissues $50
Poo bin $50
Whole bunch of wipes (cloth diapers are good) $30
Baby swing $50
Glider $300
Cot $150
Mattress $20
Nest $40
Stroller with bassinet (pram) $300
Sheets, covers, towels etc $100
Plastic bath tub $20
Mobile $60
Clothes $200
TOTAL $1600

Ongoing costs PER MONTH for the first 3 months
Takeaway food (not kidding) 50×30 = $1500
Formula 15×15 = $225
Breast pump $70
Diapers, wipes $60
Poo bin refills $15
Clothes $300 (a complete change every month)
Trip to doc $60 cab $10 cover
Toys, books $50
Washing 3×30 $90
TOTAL $2390

I’ve linked to the ones we liked.

On top of these monthly costs, remember that one of you isn’t working, or you’re paying for daycare. Also there’s hundreds of little things to buy that aren’t on this list, and there’s things that don’t really work to waste your money on.

Remember that you spent lots of money paying for taxis to the doctors while pregnant, and myriad creature comforts to get you through that time.

If you haven’t just moved across the world, spending all your savings in the process, grumble grumble, then you can probably acquire some of the initial items through a baby shower.

If you’re comparing this to your annual salary and thinking, “oh this is ok”, try comparing the monthly against the amount you’re currently saving each month. Then remember that you need to actually start saving more, for college, for school, for emergencies.

And if you live in SF, don’t forget to upgrade your earthquake kit.

3 month extras
Mat $50
Jumperoo $80
Bibs (as many as possible) $150

6 month extras
High chair $20
Solid food $5 a day = $150 per month
Child proofing the house $TBC

Optional extras:
New camera $600 (I bet you buy one)
Better stroller $500 (because you shouldn’t have tried to save earlier)
Another cot (because he/she won’t sleep)
Flights and hotels for visitors (some of them)


about twenty thousand dollars