If you're thinking of having your first child, you'll have a lot of financial planning to do to prepare for costs before, during and after the delivery. Depending on your situation, the total cost for the first year could run between $20,000 and $50,000. Early on, you'll usually see most of your spending go toward prenatal care and delivery costs as well as buying all the essential supplies your baby will need. After your first child arrives, you'll incur plenty of recurring expenses for feeding and taking care of your child and experience new expenses as your baby grows throughout his or her first year.
The good news is, you can shop around online for deals on the items you need and can consider buying some of these items used or ask friends and family if they have anything to donate.
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Examining First Child Medical Expenses
The money you'll spend on prenatal visits and testing and your child's delivery can depend on your location, insurance plan, the complexity of your pregnancy and your delivery method. If you have insurance, you'll be subject to any copayments, cost-sharing and deductibles for doctor and hospital visits as well as any care your child needs after delivery. Without insurance, you might end up incurring all the cost out of your pocket.
For example, the birth alone with insurance might set you back $10,000 on average but is often higher when you need a C-section or give birth in major cities such as New York City. However, the actual amount will depend on your plan's out-of-pocket limit. If you're uninsured, you can get a bill for several tens of thousands of dollars for the delivery unless you qualify for financial assistance through the hospital.
If you're uninsured and earn a lower income, you might seek free or low-cost prenatal care through community clinics. You can also look into income-based programs like Medicaid to get help with prenatal care, delivery costs and postnatal care for you and your child.
Consider also: How Much Money Can You Make & Keep Medicaid?
Getting Ready for Your Baby
While medical costs can easily take up a large portion of your early baby expenses, you'll also need to buy a lot of supplies your baby will need shortly after birth and into their first year. Some of these items can include a carrier, car seat, stroller, crib, blankets, bibs, high chair and clothing. These essentials vary by cost and can easily put you back at least $1,000, but you might spend several thousand if you opt for high-end strollers and baby furniture. The good news is, you can shop around online for deals, consider buying some of these items used or ask friends and family if they have anything to donate.
Along with bottles, you'll need a breast pump if you plan to breastfeed or baby formula if you plan to bottle feed. You can sometimes get breast pumps free if your insurance covers them, but the cost can range from $50 or less when you buy a manual pump to a few hundred if you get a high-end electric or battery-operated pump. While you can find inexpensive bottle options at the store, formula typically comes at a higher cost of around $50 to $100 a month. You'll also need to get diapers and baby wipes that can cost around $75 a month.
To celebrate your future arrival, you could have a baby shower that could have a very low budget at your home or cost $1,000 or more at a fancy venue. To plan for parenting, you might also read books or opt for parent education classes that you might find free through community organizations and medical facilities. There are also babyproofing costs to consider, such as locking cabinets and putting covers over outlets. This might cost $100 when you do it yourself but can cost several hundred if you seek professional help.
Consider also: How Much Does It Cost: Adoption
Considering Other First Year Costs
After you've covered those early medical bills and obtained the basics for your baby, you'll start to see several recurring costs that will vary by month but can exceed $1,000 monthly. Often, a large chunk of this comes from childcare costs if you need to put your child in a daycare facility or hire a babysitter rather than take care of them without needing help. For example, the average monthly cost for childcare can range from $1,141 at a family childcare facility to $1,324 at an infant care center. Seeking sliding scale facilities, private babysitters and subsidized government programs can help make these costs more manageable.
Further, food takes up around 18 percent of the cost of raising a child each year and can exceed $100 a month when your child uses a premium formula and is considerably lower when you breastfeed. Another cost you'll often see comes from adding your child to your health insurance policy 30 days after birth where they usually have coverage through you. This can cost nothing if you qualify for Medicaid or another fully subsidized plan. Otherwise, the premium increase will depend on your specific plan, and you'll incur any relevant copayments for well-child visits.
As your first child grows, you can expect to incur additional expenses. For example, you'll likely buy your child some toys and baby books for entertainment. You'll need to buy new clothes as they outgrow them, and your baby will eventually need baby food and more diapers. Some of the many other items you might purchase include additional babyproofing equipment, blankets and baby monitors. Buying used or getting donations can help you reduce many of these expenses too.
Consider also: Costs for a Nanny Vs. Daycare
- New York Life: Here’s a Monthly Breakdown of Some of Your Child’s Biggest Expenses.
- USDA: The Cost of Raising a Child
- AJMC: How Much Does it Cost to Give Birth in the United States?
- Central Carolina OB/GYN: How Much Do Breastfeeding Pumps Cost and What Kind Will I Need?
- The Breastfeeding Center of Ann Arbor: Cost of Formula Feeding
- Weissbluth Pediatrics: Weissbluth Pediatrics Offers Free Prenatal Classes!
- Safewise: How Much Will It Cost to Baby Proof My Home?
- Health for California: Newborn Insurance Coverage in California
- Center for American Progress: The True Cost of High-Quality Child Care Across the United States
- Web Baby Shower: Planning a Baby Shower on a Budget: 7 Places to Cut Costs and Still Have a Blast!