Updated March 26, 2020

What Is the Average Cost of Having a Baby: A Guide for New Parents

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While having a new baby is a time of joy, there are significant expenses that come with adding a child to your household. As a new parent, you may be unsure of what exactly you will need and how much exactly it will cost you.

The average cost of having a baby is not cheap as there are big costs in preparing for the arrival of your baby.  This guide will help you figure out what you need for the birth of your new bundle of joy and what your monthly cost of a baby will be. Read on to see what you can expect as an expectant mother.

Prenatal Care For Your Baby

Upon finding out that you are pregnant with a little boy or girl, you need to consider your health first as a parent. Making sure your baby is healthy and happy is your top priority, which requires prenatal care.

Good to Know: If you have health insurance, you can rest easy knowing that the majority or all of your prenatal costs will be covered under your health plan. If you don’t have health insurance, you can expect costs of prenatal care to average around $2,000.

  • You will need to have regular doctor visits to check on your health as well as the health of your baby. You will also need to take prenatal vitamins with folic acid to supplement your diet and to prevent birth defects from developing with your baby.
  • Prenatal vitamins cost around $10 to $20 depending on the brand, but your health insurance may cover these costs if your doctor prescribes them for you.
  • If your health insurance doesn’t fully cover your prescriptions, you may have to pay a co-pay to cover the costs.

Keep in Mind: These costs vary by healthcare plan and should be figured into your total prenatal care costs.

Maternity Clothes for You

As your baby grows, you’ll need maternity clothes to wear as well. This can be a costly investment for clothes that you will only wear for a short period of time.

Did You Know? The cost of maternity clothes can differ greatly, depending on your style and maternity needs.

Pro Tips

  • A good way to offset the cost of maternity clothes is to ask your friends and family for secondhand items that they wore when they were pregnant.
  • This can save you a bundle as you use the maternity clothes you need without digging into your pocket to shell out cash for a new temporary wardrobe.
  • Even with some gently used maternity wear in your closet, there will be a few maternity garments that you won’t be able to live without.
  • You’ll need to decide on a budget for your maternity wardrobe and be sure to stick to it.

Keep in Mind: Remember, that you will only wear these clothes for a short duration, so you do not need to go overboard with new outfits.

Birthing Class For You And Your Baby

You and your significant other may want to take part in birthing classes to prepare for the birth of your baby. These classes typically come with an added expense, and you’ll need to figure this into your average cost of having a baby

Good to Know: Depending on where you live and the birthing services offered to you, the cost of child birthing classes can vary. You can expect to spend from $50 to $200 per birthing class.

Only you can decide if these classes are necessary and how many you need to attend. They may be a good idea for first-time parents to better prepare them for the delivery of their baby.

Pro Tip: Did you know that you can make money from home as a new parent? Here are a few solutions.

Preparing For Your Baby’s Arrival

There are a number of ways that you will need to prepare for the arrival of a baby.  You may want to read up on what to expect during and after your pregnancy, and the Everyday Family website can provide you significant insight into caring for a new baby.

Good to Know: The Everyday Family website is dedicated to soon-to-be mothers, featuring a range of informative content on pregnancy, giving birth, and raising a baby. Beyond educating yourself on becoming a new mom, you’ll also need to prepare for your baby to enter your home.

Pro Tip: While you may feel like your house is adequately supplied with everything you need, you’ll be surprised at all the items that are required to have a baby come home with you. Think about these baby items as you look at your monthly cost of a baby.

· Cribs

Cribs are a necessity when it comes to having a baby. You will need a safe and secure place for them to sleep and nap each and every day.

Pro Tip: While you can certainly find a gently-used crib on a range of websites, apps, secondhand stores, and thrift shops, you may want to opt for something new. However, buying a used item at a fraction of the price can save you a bundle as you furnish your home with baby items.

Good to Know: New cribs can vary in price, depending on the style and design. Look for a functional crib that can transition with your child as they get older.

· Baby Furniture

You may also need other furniture to hold and store your baby supplies. Dressers, changing tables, and a rocker can all come in handy as a new parent.  Again, you may want to look for these items secondhand website or shop that sells items that parents, like yourself, no longer need. This will save you money on baby items that you will only need temporarily.

Pro Tip: Once your baby is grown, you can also sell your unneeded baby furniture on the internet or at a rummage sale, making it possible to recoup some of the money you spent to begin with.

· Car Seats

Car seats are an essential baby item that you literally need to have in order to take your baby home from the hospital. Without it, your baby will not be able to come home with you, so be sure to plan ahead and have one ready for their birth.

Good to Know: Car seats are important because they provide safety when in your vehicle. This is one item that you probably don’t want to get secondhand. Car seats expire, and you don’t want to take a chance with such special cargo as you drive.

  • You can expect to pay from $50 to $300 for a car seat. Remember that each car seat is different and offers different features.
  • You may want a car seat that converts to a carrier, or you may just want a car seat that is a standalone product.
  • Beyond your car seat, you will need a stroller to tote your little one around. Strollers are as simple or complex as you can make them.

Pro Tip: Strollers have a series of features that are designed to make a parent’s life easier. Think about how you will use your stroller and where you expect to go each day. This can help you narrow down your selection and help you choose the right one for you and your baby’s needs.

  • Strollers can range in price from $75 to over $1,000, depending on all the bells and whistles you get. Be judicial in your choice, and you can save on the average cost of having a baby.

· Diapers And Wipes

Diapers are another expense that you will have to stock up on before your baby arrives.  You’ll be surprised at the plethora of diapers that you go through and how much this costs you month-to-month.

Good to Know: With the average diaper cost ranging around $15 to $25, depending on the brand, you’ll spend a great deal on this baby product, probably more than you anticipated at first. In addition, to your diaper cost, you’ll also need to buy wipes and other baby changing products. This can add up fast, and there is really no way to get around this necessity. Be prepared to spend monthly on these baby items.

· Baby Monitor

As a new parent looking for peace of mind, you’ll certainly want to invest in a baby monitor. These devices can be a lifesaver as you are able to keep an eye on your baby while you try to get some other housework or relaxing time done. Plus, you can use your baby monitor during the night to wake when your baby needs you, making it easier to get some sleep without worrying about how your newborn is doing.

  • Baby monitors run the gamut for prices and really depend on the features you are looking for.
  • You may just need sound, or if you are looking for added security, you may opt for a video feature too.
  • Baby monitors cost anywhere from $20 to $200, depending on the brand and model.

Pro Tip: You’ll need to invest a little money into this baby product, but it will be well worth the money.

· Baby Clothes

Your baby will also need clothes to wear each and every day. It can be easy to get wrapped up into making your baby look fashionable and cute by buying a whole new wardrobe. But keep in mind, your little one will grow rapidly, and your need for tons of baby clothes won’t be as great as you think.

Good to Know: While you’ll certainly want to invest in some new outfits, this is also a good time to enlist the help of your friends and family. Getting secondhand baby clothes can really help you save on the average cost of having a baby.

Pro Tip: These gently-used items will help you get your baby started with a wardrobe that you can always add to later. Be sure to pay-it-forward and recycle your baby clothes to another mother-to-be. They will be just as appreciative of the offer as you were too.

· Feeding Equipment

You’ll also need bottles, breast pumps, dishes, utensils, and other baby items to feed your baby daily. These items can add up fast, but they are needed to make sure your baby is not hurt during the feeding process and to make sure that they get the nourishment they need.

Good to Know: These products can range in price and if you are lucky, you can find a set that has everything that you need all-in-one. Also, don’t forget a highchair as you stock up on feeding items.

Pro Tip: While you won’t need it for your newborn, you’ll definitely need it down the road, so you’ll want to add it to your monthly cost of a baby.

· Toys

Don’t forget the toys! Your baby needs entertainment, and visually stimulating toys can do the trick. These toys don’t have to be lavish or expensive. Think about buying a few staples that will keep your little one entertained. Plus, your baby is sure to get some gifts over time that will most likely include some toys.
Good to Know: There is no need to go overboard in the toy department; just be sure to get what you need so your baby has a few favorites to keep them busy.

· Other Baby Products

The list of other baby products that you will need may seem endless. There are blankets, burping cloths, pacifiers, teething rings, lotions, soaps, and so much more. Don’t worry if you feel like your head is spinning. It can be overwhelming as a parent to get prepared for your new arrival.

Pro Tip: Using an app like Shopkick can help. This app rewards you for all the shopping you will do by giving free gift cards to your favorite places just by looking up products online, scanning your receipt, or just by walking into a store.

Since you will already be shopping for a ton of baby items, using Shopkick can reward you for all the purchases you are going to have to make for your new baby aanyway If you prefer to do your shopping online, try Ebates. This site lets you shop for a variety of retailers at a reduced cost, giving you money back as you buy those much-needed baby items.

Bonus Tip: Looking to supplement your income? Click here to find out how to make money right in the comfort of your home.

Hospital Expenses

Now that you have everything that you think you need for your baby’s arrival, you need to consider the actual birth of your baby. Hospital costs can run deep, and you need to set money aside to pay for these costs.

Good to Know: Depending on your insurance coverage, you may be responsible for some of the cost of your delivery and hospital stay. Plus, the type of birth that you have will dictate how much your bill will be for the birth of your child.

Keep in Mind: You do have choices when it comes to birthing your baby. Some parents opt for home births or the use of a midwife. These costs need to be factored into your delivery and investigated as each birthing contractor charges independently. Plus, if you do have a home birth, it does not mean that a hospital visit will not follow.

Warning: There could be complications during the birth that would require the medical assistance of a doctor.

Bearing all this in mind, your delivery could be made up of one of the following occurrences.

Vaginal Birth

Natural childbirth is preferred by most parents and having a vaginal delivery will reduce your recovery time. Vaginal births can range in cost from $5,000 to $11,000 depending on the hospital where you have your delivery.

Good to Know: These births require the least amount of medical care, especially if your baby is born healthy and can go home in a day or two.

C-Section

If you need to have a C-section delivery for your baby, you can expect a higher average cost of having a baby.

Good to Know: The cost to have a C-section can run $7,500 to $14,500 and will all depend on the medical situation at the time of delivery. C-sections will require more recovery time on your part, but they can produce a healthy baby that can go home quickly as well.

Complications

Now, you never want to think the worst when preparing for the delivery of your little one. But there is the potential that complications can happen in the delivery room.

  • Not only could your baby’s health be compromised, but you could also face life-threatening issues as the mother.

Keep in Mind: These costs vary greatly by the medical situation and could end up costing you over $20,000 if you have a cesarean complication.

  • Vaginal birth complications could run you as much as $13,000 or more, depending on the medical issue that needs to be attended to.
  • Beyond, your health, your baby could need additional medical attention for a variety of conditions.
  • These costs may or may not be covered by your health insurance, or you may owe a portion of the hospital expense.
  • Be prepared for all medical situations and be sure to see your doctor on a regular basis for prenatal care prior to delivery of your baby.
  • This could address a medical condition prior to the birth of your baby, helping you to foresee any additional costs that you may be responsible for.

Bonus Tip: Click here to find out how you can add more money to your household income.

Child Care Costs For Your Baby

Depending on your personal situation, you may need to return to work after your maternity leave. While this can be heartbreaking for a parent, finding the right childcare and paying for it can be just as devastating.

Keep in Mind: The average cost of childcare is anywhere from $3,500 to $18,000 a year, depending on the program and facility you select for your child.

  • If you are unable to stay home to care for your baby full-time, you may need to add this expense to your average cost of having a baby.
  • While it may seem like an exurbanite amount to cover each year, it is necessary if you return to work or have outside needs that prevent you from being home 100 percent.
  • If you are fortunate enough to have a friend or family member that can take care of your child while you are away at work, you may be able to reduce these costs significantly.

Keep these childcare costs in mind as you prepare to have your baby, you’ll need to add it to your monthly budget for your baby.

Monthly Food Costs

Feeding your baby may seem like it is a small expense. It can be if you plan ahead and look for sales. One way you can save on baby food and formula is if you use the Ibotta app. This app requires you to scan your shopping receipt, and it gives you money back for the items that you buy. It also links to your loyalty cards and provides you with coupons that you can use at check out for baby food and other baby essentials.

Pro Tip: Taking advantage of apps such as Ibotta can save you on your monthly costs for your baby and help you put some money aside for things your child will need down the road.

Keep in Mind: The average cost of baby formula a month will be around $50 to $60. This can add up fast, so be sure to look for savings on these items everywhere that you can.

Doctor Visits

After you have brought your baby home from the doctor, you will also need to continue their medical care. This means that you will need to see the doctor on a regular basis for checkups, shots, and other medical treatments that will ensure your baby is progressing as they should.

Good to Know: If you have health insurance, you can expect these visits to be covered partially or in whole. You may be required to pay a copay until your deductible is met or as your health plan requires. If you do not have health insurance, you will need to pay for these expenses out of pocket. You will not want to skip these appointments as they can provide valuable information on the health of your little one. Plus, they can detect any learning disability or impairments that could affect the health of your baby going forward.

Other Expenses

As a parent, there will be an array of other expenses that crop up along the way to having a baby. There may be a need for special care, special equipment, or even specialized learning devices. You may also want to set up a college fund at an early age or start saving for your child’s adult years. The investment in your child is a never-ending process. But it will be well worth your efforts and reward you tenfold over the years.

Wrapping Up

As you grow your family, keep this guide in mind as an easy way to know what to expect with your newborn.

It can help you understand the average cost of having a baby and help you better prepare you for the birth of your child.

What did you think of our guide? Did it help you? Let us know. We want to hear from you, especially if you have any other tips for a mother-to-be.

Logan Allec, CPA

Logan is a practicing CPA, Certified Student Loan Professional, and founder of Money Done Right, which he launched in July 2017. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.

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