How Much Does a Newborn Cost?

There are a lot of calculators and articles telling us that babies are expensive. Really expensive. And they are partly correct, babies are expensive; but babies can also be reasonably priced.

I went through and calculated the cost of the first year of having baby. The largest cost will come from medical care, with most of it resting on labor and delivery. After that, formula/food, diapers, one time purchases (stroller, crib), come next.

Here is what I spent (I rounded up to make the numbers digestible) on our first year of having a baby in the Bay Area.

**Medical:**
*Labor and delivery* – if you count this (I do!) – will eat your deductible right up. Mine was $3500.

*Wellness checks* – Baby visits the doctor a LOT the first year but luckily most of these visits are fully covered through employer corporate insurance or Obamacare (or maybe not in the future…).

*Not-wellness checks* – Baby will inevitably get sick. And when sick, visit urgent care if they are open, BEFORE going to the hospital (unless of course the baby has stopped breathing, is bleeding profusely, has something broken, etc…then 911 it is). Urgent care visits are a fraction of the cost of a basic ER visit.
Case in point:
Urgent care: $30
X-ray at urgent care: $90

ER visit: $400
Doctor’s overview at ER: $100

Pediatrician co-pay: $10-30

Let’s assume your baby does at least one of these things throughout the year. That adds up to: $650 PLUS labor/delivery

*Medicine* – Gripe water, tylenol, benadryl, meds add up fast. Let’s call a solid $100 on medicine. And this doesn’t include prescription drugs.

**Housing:**

I don’t know why blogs bother to include the cost of housing in the cost of a child. Duh they take up space. But decreasing their space does not change your housing costs. And it doesn’t change your mortgage. No matter what, your little bloodsucker is taking space. For the sake of simplicity, I’m skipping this.

**Diapers:**

Months 1-2 – 10-12 diapers/day = 12*2*30 = 720 * $.18 diaper = $129.60
Months 3-5 – 6-10 diapers/day = 10*3*30 = 900 * $.18 diaper = $162
Months 6+ – 5-6 diapers/day = 6*7*30 = 1260 * $.18 diaper = $226.8
Wipes: $100
Butt cream: $100 (they’re not expensive, but you’ll end up trying 10 different brands before one works for you. Hahaha)
Total cost for diapers and wipes: ~$2300

Nanny/Daycare:
This is where the numbers diverge. General rule is that if you hire a nanny, they will negate one of your incomes (they cost anywhere from $15-$30/hour), and daycare costs are anything between $500-$2000/month depending on where you live.

I will only say that if you stay at home, please get some help a couple times a week. You need the peace and the quiet and sanity and the ability to regroup.
Total nanny/daycare costs: $1000-$20000/year

**Clothes, toys, and cute things:**

There is SO MUCH you can buy for your adorable alien. Buy everything new, and you’ll run up the registry fast. Mix between new and used (have those friends dump clothing/toy lots), and your costs are faring much better.
Cost: $500-1000
Big ticket items are strollers, crib/dresser/changing table (though please don’t waste $1000+ on a collection), and the car sear.
Strollers: $300-$1200
Car seat: $200-400
crib/dresser/changing table: $300-$1500

Toys and books: Count on this to be a black hole of everything adorable.
Cost: $1000

So what’s the total damage for that first year of life?
**$9000-$12000
or ~$30000 because you require full-time daycare.**

Ready for them to go to college? :O

When You’re So Tired

when you’re so tired, you don’t remember how you got here or where you came from.
when you’re so tired, your wrists are sprained and elbows popped from the bouncing and nursing.
when you’re so tired, you don’t know where your glasses are, but you’re wearing them.
when you’re so tired, you want to close your eyes, but you know you’ll be awaken a few minutes later.
when you’re so tired, you giggle with your little one over anything.
when you’re so tired, you wish someone would wrap you up in a warm, cotton blanket.
when you’re so tired, you play trains one more time.
when you’re so tired, you don’t know what sleep is like anymore.

when you’re so tired, your little one gives you a hug, saying “it’s okay”

My Indian Maternity Milk Bath Photo Shoot

Like most of my friends, my friend Liza is a wedding photographer. But she is also a lifestyle photographer who does milk baths. Every time I would see one of these milk bath photos in my Facebook feed, I told myself, “one day I am doing them!”


It’s called milk bath because you fill a tub or pool with water and then milk. I know, the Indian in me is saying, “don’t waste food,” but you only need a gallon to provide the wispy effect.

When I was pregnant I realized this was the perfect opportunity to have a maternity milk bath photo shoot. And being a bit crazy (I’ll blame the hormones), I wanted to do something out of the box. Way outside the box.

Why not wear a sari? How pretty would that be?!

I messaged Liza, who lives on the other side of the Bay Area, San Jose, and told her of my crazy idea. Her instant response: YASSSSSSS.

I pulled out a pink crystal chiffon saree because it has a translucent glimmer in the water. If you recognize the saree, I used for my first maternity photo shoot three years ago.

After making the trek across the Bay to Liza’s place, we had a busy day. The photo shoot took six hours from start to finish from makeup and washing down.

Being 36 weeks pregnant, I was a giant whale floating in the water. Seriously. Between the sciatica pain and hip pain, I couldn’t even turn over by myself! Liza’s assistant would help move me. Honestly, I never felt so old and incapacitated in life.

Note to self, get a message the next day because your body will be dead.

One of the highlights of the shoot was being beautified by the makeup artist. Having someone else do your makeup really makes you feel like a princess. Kim, our MUA, does not specialize in Indian style makeup, which I loved.

I wanted something light and eternal, but glittery. You know you’re Indian when you keep saying, “more glitter, more glitter, MORE glitter! There’s never too much!”

I am sure she thought Liza and I were insane, but you don’t often get to do an Indian maternity shoot. It’s an opportunity to push the boundaries – you can only have photos you dream of if you make it happen in reality.


Overall I couldn’t be happier to celebrate a part of me, being Indian, and a special moment in my life of being pregnant. Even though I was exhausted after, these are the kind of photos you print and place on the walls. No pain, no gain, right?

Thanks to Liza Head of Juniper Springs Photography, Kimberly Brown for the makeup, and Liza’s assistant for rolling me around in the water.