Having a baby is one of the most exciting things in this life, and most people tend to be ecstatic when they discover that they are expecting. They start planning the nursery, the books they will buy, the perfect tiny clothes for their little ones, and the most fun thing of all is picking out potential names.
Thinking about money is never really the first thought, especially if the child is planned, or a happy surprised. However, having a child is one of the most expensive events in a person’s life. Costs associated with having a newborn can easily get out of hand.
Many people never stop to think about how much it will cost to have a baby because they do not want to spoil the moment. But this is an extremely important consideration that all potential parents must think about. It is important for them to start planning for what is about to become the most expensive venture of their lives.
What Is The Cost Of Having A Baby?
According to a 2011 report done by the National Partnership for Women and Families, it is estimated that the average cost of birthing a child without any complications, i.e. C-sections or any other issues is approximately $10,657. This is a charge that is racked up before you even leave the hospital. While this stat is not meant to scare anyone, it is important that we talk about what to expect in terms of finances.
Before getting pregnant, you probably enjoyed a great life of night outs with your friends, going to bed after midnight, having some extra money in your bank account and even going for trips at the drop of a hat. This is all about to change.
Babies mean that you have to be home for most of the time, and the first few months will revolve around the infant who will demand your undivided attention. Sleep will be a thing of the past, and even the occasional night outs shall be unheard of during this period. Again, we reiterate that we are not trying to scare you, we are just being realistic, so you know what you are about to get yourself into.
Cost Of Having A Healthy Baby
It is very easy to get over-excited about buying your baby supplies, and forget the most important thing during pregnancy – the health of both the mother and the baby.
Prenatal care should start early, and continue throughout your pregnancy in order to ensure that you have a safe delivery and a healthy baby at the end of the nine months. Finding a good obstetrician-gynecologist, otherwise known as an OBG-YN, should come before buying anything for the unborn baby.
If you have good health insurance coverage, then having a baby should be a breeze, because it will cover any prenatal visits and also all of the diagnostic tests. Tests such as ultrasounds must be done during the course of the pregnancy. If you do not have insurance, then the cost of a baby goes way up. The average cost of prenatal care is approximately $2,000.
The most important prenatal care is taking prenatal vitamins. You must take these every day. Prenatal vitamins contain 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid, which is extremely important for preventing birth defects such as a neural tube. This is one of the costs you must be prepared for before you even plan on getting pregnant. Half of all pregnancies are usually a surprise. So, once you discover you are expecting, start taking vitamins immediately.
In fact, according to obstetricians, all women of childbearing age should start taking multivitamins that contain folic acid even before they are pregnant. If you are going to buy these over-the-counter, you should budget for around $10-$20. However, if you are insured, they may be covered under your insurance policy.
But, in case there are any complications that arise during pregnancy the costs we have outlined above are likely to triple. Most insurance plans will require you to meet their annual deductible before they pay for your childbirth expenses, and as such, your costs may go up to over $2,000.
Other Costs To Consider
Now, other than medical costs, there are plenty of other costs you must consider, such as; a bigger house, a bigger car, relocating to a safer neighborhood, etc.
Despite the magazines and TV commercials, you really do not have to spend a fortune on your child, and it is important to stick to your budget and financial abilities. In most cases, people end up overspending so much when awaiting the arrival of a child that they deplete their savings. These individuals often forget that once the baby comes, there are plenty of other expenses that must be met. However, there are some essentials that you cannot skip out on, such as the ones listed below.
A Car Seat
You must buy a car seat. Most babies do end up using more than one car seat within the first year, and this depends on how fast they grow. A good infant car seat can cost you around $100. You could, however, end up spending up to $300 depending on the features and brand you are looking for.
It is extremely important that you plan for diapers because you will end up needing a lot of them. Disposable diapers are totally convenient, although some people have been known to prefer the less expensive cloth diapers.
However, the majority of daycare centers do not accept cloth diapers, so, it is only right that you plan to buy the disposable ones, which can cost you around $70-80 per month.
Food And Formula
While you are typically advised to not feed your child formula for the first 6 months of their lives, you need to plan for when you do start feeding them with it. A can of formula costs around $25 per can. The cost will go up, as your baby relies more and more on formula. You may also need to invest in a breast pump that can cost around $50-250. Further, you will have to buy bottles and a sterilizer to use when feeding the baby; all of which can be quite costly.
You will need to buy your unborn baby some amazing new outfits because nobody wants to cloth their kids in old clothes. Do not overspend money on this, however, especially if you have some hand-me-downs from your friends and relatives. New babies usually go through clothes very fast, and if you rely entirely on new clothes, this can seriously mess with your budget.
You may feel obligated to keep them in new outfits when they are fresh from the hospital, but a month or so down the line, you can use old clothes. It’s really okay to do this, so long as you have cleaned them nicely. Remember that clothing is an every year investment as kids outgrow their clothes pretty fast. So, do not spend your entire budget before they even start walking.
The answer to how much it costs to have a baby differs from person to person. However, as you can see from this article, it is safe to say that it is quite expensive. In addition to the expenses listed above, you may also have to pay for a crib, boys, vaccinations, childcare, and other necessities. Therefore, it is important to financially plan for starting a family.