The cost of having a baby

Posted 08-30-2011 at 07:37 AM by Krista

With the economy the way it is, a lot of people are waiting to start a family. You know how the old saying goes: if you wait until you can afford a baby, you’ll never have one. With that in mind, I decided to put a list of costs together, with also a list of the benefits of parenthood. Hope this makes you smile.


  1. Diapers
  2. Formula/baby food
  3. Clothes
  4. Toys
  5. Crib/Highchair, etc.
  6. Medical Care
  7. Replacing things they’ve broken
  8. College Fund


  1. Some diapers are super cute, and if not, there are adorable covers!
  2. Your baby gets to wear adorable bibs that he can spit up all over
  3. You’ll have so many cute outfits that changing your baby three times a day is almost fun! I said almost.
  4. This part is likely to excite Daddy and give him an excuse to be the dork that he is. Love it!
  5. Hey, at least you can get a few bucks for these at the next yard sale?
  6. The way your children can cure what ails you
  7. At least you get new stuff? I mean, technically you did need a new one, so why not get the updated one?
  8. Knowing that you’ve raised a wonderful, intelligent, responsible child who is your pride and joy


Filed Under: General


19 Responses to “The cost of having a baby”

  1. Havah on August 30th, 2011 8:46 am

    :) Pretty entertaining. I have to pause, though, at the mentality of our generation that a “college fund” is a necessary expense when you have a baby. Most prior generations expected to have to work to put themselves through school (our generation was about 50/50). Trust me, this isn’t a criticism of your post, just kind of something I’ve been watching in a general sense …

  2. Krista on August 30th, 2011 9:51 am

    You know, I totally agree with you. My DH and I are not going to foot the entire bill. He was raised that parents do that, but then, he is an only child. We’re going to sit them down and say, you have X amount. Period. You need to get a scholarship or work for the rest! I think that’s fair. And thanks for reading!

  3. rahhlady on August 30th, 2011 5:10 pm

    I will try and pay for my childs education. I had NO help and a mom who took every cent I ever made. Literally. She didnt want me to go. I will definitely pay for my childs education. I am barely starting to go full time at 23 with a toddler and a baby on the way.

  4. ang79 on August 30th, 2011 7:57 pm

    Nice list, the second part made me smile :)
    I think a lot of people look at buying everything new for their baby and if you look at retail prices, then yes, having a baby is expensive! I bought the majority of my baby gear and clothing for the first year at yardsales (and then checked that none were recalled – some needed additional safety pieces that I got for free from the companies that made them). I love shopping consignment stores and yardsales. And I’ve become a great bargain hunter, buying clothes and toys on clearance at end of season sales, ordering diapers in bulk through Amazon Mom, and buying from forums like this or Craigslist, etc. I have a friend that is due with her first soon and she is freaking out about money. I told her she already has everything baby needs right now – breastmilk to feed baby and thanks to her baby shower, enough clothes, furniture/gear, carseat and diapers to get through the first few months. Yes, you want all those nice big gear things (jumperoo, fancy stroller, cute Gymboree clothes, etc.) but baby doesn’t NEED them – he only needs a loving family, food, diapers and simple clothes. I know I was raised without all the gadgets we now think are necessary and I think I turned out ok :)

  5. SomethingAnonymous on August 31st, 2011 12:10 am

    Have you guys ever actually tried to work enough to pay for rent, food, books, and tuition AND go to school and have time to study and get good grades? It’s very very hard and I feel sorry for your kids that you are not going to plan to provide for their education past high school.

  6. Krista on August 31st, 2011 9:58 am

    ang79–I agree. I was blessed to get most of my babygear free, and even to find some things I just wanted baby to have at yard sales and consignment. Those are great ideas, and I always encourage moms to take advantage of it!

  7. Krista on August 31st, 2011 10:01 am

    SomethingAnonymous–I do intend on helping my kids with college, as I posted, but I am only going to be able to do so much. I do know hard it is–I am married, working, raising two children AND going to school, so while I certainly appreciate your concern, I am sure my kids will do just fine. My parents haven’t paid for a dime of my college, BTW, which is why I intend to do what I can. Thanks for reading and posting!

  8. blessed1018 on August 31st, 2011 11:04 pm

    My parents did not pay for a cent of my schooling. I did just fine. I hope to help pay for living expences for them (somewhat) but they will work hard to make grades to get scholarships. I did.

  9. Angel894 on September 1st, 2011 1:30 am

    Our children will have to use grants, scholarships, work or even get loans. We will help pay the loans back until they get to a point where they can easily do it themselves – if that ever comes. But we think that if loans are paid off and on time, it can be beneficial. Like for their credit score.

  10. amgranad on September 1st, 2011 9:32 pm

    Lol. Grandparents and friends bought most of Baby’s stuff. As for college fund, I went through and actually came out with more money. There’s Aldo talk nowadays about college being a waste of time. I know from my experience I came out with no job skills at a traditional 4 year university.

  11. Billie on September 2nd, 2011 12:39 pm

    I think it’s sad that the list needs to include formula and baby food. My son eats free and when he starts to eat table food he will eat from my plate. There’s no way that food for a baby costs more than $100 in the first year if your breastfeed and do baby-led weaning.

  12. Krista on September 2nd, 2011 1:11 pm

    Billie, that is very true, and I nursed both my girls. However, with DD2 I actually stopped being able to produce milk, so we did have to buy some formula, and we have to acknowledge that the majority of families go this route. I appreciate your input!

  13. admin on September 2nd, 2011 4:41 pm

    for us, kids weren’t expensive until they hit school age. Then they needed clothes theat didn’t have stains on them or patched up (meaning new or newish, and they come home with marker/paint/food stains on them everyday and it’s hard or impossible to get alot of them out. When I gave up and stopped buying newish stuff and sent them in the stained ones, the school and teachers asked if I needed help providing clothes GRRRR), shoes (sneakers, dress shoes, inside shoes for wet weather and boots for snow, normally they’d have boots and sneakers and handed down), backpacks and school supplies list a mile long, dress clothes and concert clothes, show chior outfits and feild trips..

    not to mention the massive amount of food they eat, OMG they’re 4 little girls who can very litterally outeat teenage boys! and they’re toothpicks!

    Babies for me were cheap, a few sleepers and onsies, diapers and wipes, a stroller and a carrier, carseat and crib (all that got handed down) I breastfed and made my own baby food. It’s the 5+ crowd that puts a giant dent in the ol’ wallet.

  14. rahhlady on September 2nd, 2011 6:04 pm

    I skipped a grade when I was young, so I was smart, no doubt. However, I got mono my senior year of high school and had a 0.0 GPA figured in for a semester… so every little bit of hope I had for a scholarship went out the window. So does that mean I didn’t work hard enough and I don’t deserve to go?

  15. rahhlady on September 2nd, 2011 6:06 pm

    Oh, and Billie… not everyone CAN nurse. My first baby was in the NICU for the first week and I wasn’t allowed to nurse him and the pumping alone didnt get my milk in. I am pregnant with my second and I will be on medicine that I can’t take while breastfeeding… then what?

  16. ssserica on September 3rd, 2011 10:15 am

    this is a cute short list, the costs really much more if u include housing and childcare.
    I have found so far clothing is pretty much a non expense since everyone wants to dress up my baby girl for me. I totally agree with admin that she is only going to start being expensive when she reaches that school age… which is all the more reason to make sure money is right by that time

  17. ggill on September 3rd, 2011 11:38 am

    I have a friend and her argument for no more children is so she can afford to send her son to college and travel… I think kids would rather have siblings opposed to a trip to Europe. I feel like that mentality puts a dollar amount on children and I could never do that. I want one more at least :) And we will pay as much as we can for college for each, but whatever we have will just be available divided by our kids. My parents footed 100% of my tuition, and helped with my rent. I paid utilities, car, gas, groceries, and worked 30 hours a week while maintaining honors status, and graduating on time. I think work and school is very doable and except the same from my boys. I still had time for plenty of a social life too :) On formula I am very sad to say I HAVE to use it, but I pump every drop I can.

  18. Havah on September 3rd, 2011 2:06 pm

    Oh wow, didn’t mean to open a can of worms on the education thing. Like Krista, DH and I plan to help our kids as much as possible. But we also have a “cross each bridge as we come to it” attitude in terms of big things like this. Right now, our kids have what they need. I plan to homeschool my children (or actually “school-at-home”, which can carry a hefty price tag on it’s own). Then, if and when they choose to go to college, we will help them to a point, like Krista I’ll expect them to work for it on some level (scholarships, etc).
    Yes, my parents put me through college, but my dad was unemployed when my sister went to college (she put herself through it and is proud of that fact – I was in Kindergarten at the time). My in-laws helped DH through his B.A. (but we’re still paying for his M.A.)

    To be honest, I keep looking at our current economy and the instability of the education system and I wonder what is going to even be available for my kids. Sure, we could start the GET program or a savings account … but during the great depression, banks closed and took everything from their clients. And will high school and college as we know it today be the “norm” in 20 years? Or will we transition to the European model with selective secondary schools and trade schools?
    All I’m saying is that I don’t think that a college fund is a “necessary expense” the year you have a baby – particularly if your baby was an “oops” and you’re struggling to put food on the table without asking for gov’t aid.

  19. Krista on September 3rd, 2011 9:24 pm

    Havah, thanks for your input. Honestly, when I made my list I composed it based on the expenses my friends and I discuss, and knowing that most of them consider college when planning on having children. That is why it is included, but absolutely, I do not find it to be a must-have. If you want an education, you can obtain one, no matter what your situation. And thank you for sharing our similarities! I am glad to know I am not alone on my thought process! Happy reading!

Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

Leave Your Comment Join Diaper Swappers or login to comment!