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.
*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.
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.
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
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
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.
Big ticket items are strollers, crib/dresser/changing table (though please don’t waste $1000+ on a collection), and the car sear.
Car seat: $200-400
crib/dresser/changing table: $300-$1500
Toys and books: Count on this to be a black hole of everything adorable.
So what’s the total damage for that first year of life?
or ~$30000 because you require full-time daycare.**
Ready for them to go to college? :O