How much does it cost to have a baby? When my husband and I were first floating the idea of expanding our family, it wasn’t easy to find answers to this question. Every Google search led me down a rabbit trail of delivery costs by state and the cost to raise a child from birth to 18 years (sometimes it’s just better not to know that one).
We just wanted to know the full, real picture: how much does a baby cost (including delivery, the baby gear, the lost income, the whole nine yards). Put another way, how much money did we need to set aside in our Baby Fund category in YNAB before bringing a new person into this world?
For anyone not familiar, YNAB stands for You Need a Budget, and it’s the budgeting app that I use (and also where I work part time!). It’s the reason I have all this information in such detailed form.
After planning for and having a baby, I am happy to share the results with you to make your Google hunt a little easier! Listed below is every baby-related dollar we spent over a period of 13 months (from conception through our baby’s first four months of life).
My hope in sharing these numbers is to provide one reference point. You may look at these expenditures and think “Wow, that’s a lot!”, or “Wow, that’s not very much!” Each family’s experience and preferences will be different, but I wanted to give you my experience as I know this information was hard to come by when I was in your shoes.
Names: James and Laura
Ages: 30 & 31
Location: Houston, TX
Job: Small business manager, part-time support specialist
How Much It Cost to Have Our Baby: $7,162
Here’s the high-level summary of what it cost to have our baby from conception through our baby’s first four months in the world.
- Medical Costs: $2,874
- Maternity Leave Income Replacement: $2,079 (how much we saved to cover my lost income during maternity leave)
- Nursery: $564
- Maternity Clothing: $463
- Diapers & Wipes: $293
- Education & Apps: $192
- Baby Gear: $157
- Medicine & Vitamins: $122
- Baby Clothing: $102
- Feeding: $67
- Toys & Books: $41
- Baby Bath time & Toiletries: $14
- Miscellaneous: $194
Below you’ll find the detailed breakdown of every expense we incurred. Your list of must-haves might look a little different than mine, but this was what worked for our family.
To paint the most accurate picture, I’ve also included the items we received as gifts from family and friends. We had so much generous support to offset our costs!
|First deductible||$624||Part of a Christian health-sharing organization (Liberty Healthshare). Pregnancy spanned two insurance years|
|Maternity Leave Income Replacement|
|Saved Up Lost Income||$2,079||As a part-time employee I did not qualify for paid leave, so we needed to save up to cover my lost income for 16 weeks.|
|Bassinet||$21||Graco Pack n' Play|
|Glider and ottoman||$141||Amazon|
|Crib, mattress, bedding||$0||Gifted (from IKEA)|
|Changing table||$0||Gifted (from IKEA)|
|Child-size chair||$0||Gifted (from IKEA)|
|So many blankets!||$0||Gifted|
|Baby monitor||$0||Gifted (Arlo Baby)|
|Maternity pants||$121||I was surprised how much I spent in this category! I chose to buy new clothing rather than shop for less expensive alternatives.|
|Nursing bras and breast pads||$208|
|Diapers & Wipes|
|Diapers||$265||Bought some, tons of diapers were gifted|
|Education & Apps|
|Childbirth class at the hospital||$85|
|Newborn sleep course||$97||Taking Cara Babies – this wins for my favorite purchase to date. Helping our newborn sleep saved our sanity big time.|
|Contraction timer app||$1|
|Baby tracker app||$5|
|Car seat & stroller travel system||$135||(Evenflo)|
|Baby wrap||$0||Gifted (K'Tan)|
|Baby carrier||$0||Gifted (Infantino)|
|Medicine & Vitamins|
|Vitamin D drops||$17|
|Prescriptions for eczema||$25|
|Zipadee-Zip sleep sack||$43|
|Halo SleepSack swaddle||$0||Gifted|
|All other baby clothes and accessories||$0||Gifted. We received SO MUCH baby clothing from friends and family, we hardly needed to buy a thing!|
|Spectra S2 breast pump||$0||Gifted|
|Shipping for pump||$23|
|Replacement pump accessories||$34||A friend gave me her gently-used pump for free, I just paid shipping and for replacement accessories.|
|Sample box of bottles||$10|
|Toys & Books|
|Otteroo neck floatie||$25|
|Tummy time water mat||$16|
|Baby Bath Time & Toiletries|
|Baby wash and shampoo||$0||Gifted|
|Thermometer, nail clippers, and hygiene items||$0||Gifted|
|Pregnancy wedge pillow||$17|
|Parking for prenatal appointments and hospital stay||$128||Who knew parking would add up so fast?|
|Gender reveal poppers||$11|
|Baby shower thank-you cards and stamps||$38|
|YNAB baby swag||$0||Gifted|
|Total Expenses $7,162|
More than anything, I hope this can help inform and inspire those who are considering becoming parents to take the plunge. The upfront costs are not a small amount, but nothing compares to the joy of meeting and loving your child!
Want to start planning for your own baby budget? Get started with a free 34-day trial of You Need a Budget today.