Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How much does a baby cost?

Just out of curiosity, I tried to keep a bit of a total of how much it costs to bring a newborn home. We didn't go "bare minimum" on baby supplies by any means, but we also didn't go crazy over the top expensive with our selections and we didn't ask for every gadget known to man. And we got a lot of items either purchased or given to us that were second hand. But here's roughly what was spent.

Stuff that was given to us that I know the cost of:
Crib $80, comforter, sheets and bumpers $50, glider $80, maternity clothes $523, desk lamp $26, wall art $38, piggy bank $10, monitor $108, sound machine $25, bottle warmer $20, diaper station $17, play gym $25, Baby Bullet $100, breastfeeding supplies $45, nursing cover $10, sunshade $8, diaper bag $50, cart covers (2) $40, crib sheet cover $8, mattress cover $10, Bumbo tray $10, Jenny Jump Up $20, play pen (2) $160, convertible carseat $80, pump bra $33, Boppy cover $10, bouncer $40.

Gift cards and cash $500

So all the items with known cost: $2,926

Then all the things we were given, either new or used, that I didn't estimate or know the cost.

780+ diapers, 3000+ wipes, floor lamp, 4 photo frames, 18 blankets, bath sponge, bath toys, 4 bath towels, lots of bath supplies (lotion, shampoo, wash), 6 pacifiers, 4 teething rings, 6 books, carseat toys, a walker, 80+ disposable nursing pads, 5 tubes diaper rash ointment, hangers, thermometer, outlet covers, Gripe Water, Mylicon, Saline Spray. And of course a LOT of clothing items.

Things we bought (mostly second hand):

Stroller w/carseat and base $45, Bassinet $20, Big swing $50, Portable swing $20, additional carseat $10
Boppy $3, Bouncer/Vibrating seat $5, Pregnancy pillow $10, Moby wrap $5, Sling $12, Dr. Brown's bottles, drying rack and car warmer $8, Diapers, swaddle blanket and bottle caps $46
Layette (clothes, blankets, towels, bibs etc) at yard sales and thrift stores $50
2 gallons paint $50, Diaper Champ $8, Wooden letters and paint, hanging materials $20
Maternity clothes $185, Co-sleeper nest $2, Crib skirt $30, Umbrella stroller $5, Breast pump $100, SNS system $37.

Total $721

Doctor, hospital, childbirth education and medication costs: $585

So around $1306 for us without insurance costs. And of the cash and gift cards we received about $250 of it went to actual baby needs, rather than just wants.

I won't include my monthly insurance premiums, although they were elevated since I had to pay for COBRA premiums throughout the pregnancy. So I paid about $2500 more than I would have if I was paying just my portion of the insurance and had an employer contribution. And our insurance for December since I had to have family coverage for that month, astronomical. But now she's on daddy's policy.

So total cost for a mid-range selection of baby/maternity items and needs: $4482. And that's without all the clothes, diapers and wipes. And the myriad of things I forgot! And now add in some formula!

When I started keeping this total I thought I'd end up with a pretty low number at the end and prove how thrifty we are. But to be honest, kids are expensive! I can't imagine if we hadn't gotten a lot of stuff second hand. I can't imagine how much you spend if you buy everything new top of the line. And I'd be curious to see how little you could spend if you bought everything possible second hand, including gifts that are given to you being purchased second hand.


  1. Guess everybody isn't lying when they say "babies cost a lot." Even though I do hear at the end of that statement that they are SO WORTH IT! :)

  2. They are worth every penny. I bought lots of stuff at consignment stores and rummage sales, too. Still do. I always find nice, name brand clothes at a fraction of the cost. They grow out of them so fast. Sometimes I even find brand new items that have tags still on! I suppose the only thing I haven't bought second hand would be like chew toys, bottles, pacifiers, etc. that go in the mouth. Those I always buy new for each child. I think years from now it will be neat for Sophie to look back and see how much things cost the year she was born.


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