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Budget for pregnancy/infancy?

Last post Fri, Apr 10 2009 7:27 PM by PinkLemonade. 12 replies.
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  • Mon, Nov 10 2008 6:50 PM

    Budget for pregnancy/infancy?

    So, I am thinking in about 6 months or so, my husband and I may start trying to reproduce. (Yes, scarey!)  My question is...  HOW MUCH DOES IT COST!?  Hahaha, yes, i know it is different for everyone.  But i would love to hear all sorts of answers.  What can i expect for average monthly diaper costs if we go disposable?  What about formula if i cannot breastfeed for some reason.  What about... dun dun dun.... child care!?   My health insurance is paid for by my work, but i will have to pay a bit to add a child on.  What other health care expenses can i expect?


    I am trying to be as prepared financially as i can.   My family and his family keeps saying, "If you wait until you have enough money you will never have a baby!!"  I just really do not want to struggle.  But i know it will be a drastic lifechange for us. 


    Even if you have some good resources for me to check out please share!  I will be forever grateful.




    ~Credit Union Lending Specialist Extraordinaire!~
  • Mon, Nov 10 2008 7:02 PM In reply to

    Re: Budget for pregnancy/infancy?

     I would suggest signing up at every online baby products place, from dypers to food to clothing. They will send you coupons and items. All most every grocery store has a baby club that you can sign up for while your are preggers.  The baby clubs will send you coupons for free products. Also go to your local health dep. and sign up for W.I.C. They give coupon vouchers for milk, beans, peanut butter and veggies for you and after the baby is born milk for him. The only advice I can give you is that there will be times when you feel like there is not enough money to go around but going in with your eyes open and planning is a good start. For baby items you want to do with out might be a baby tub, I never used one. A changeing table, a folding chaning mat is often a better purchase and most of them come with a dyper bag. When/if your family give you a baby shower ask for a dyper shower instead. That will give you a very good start on stocking up on dypers. When I had my youngest I didn't have to buy dypers for a year. I hope some of these ideas will help you.


  • Mon, Nov 10 2008 9:13 PM In reply to

    Re: Budget for pregnancy/infancy?

    Congrads and welcome to the list! I have a daughter who is almost 2 years old and a son on the way, due Jan. 23. So, a lot of this is still fresh in my memory.

    As I'm sure you've already figured out, having a baby can be a really expensive deal if you MAKE it expensive. But, though its hard, try not to get all caught up in the hype. You don't need all that stuff! People raised kids perfectly fine without a house full of baby gear or a gazillion outfits! I agree: if you wait until you can "afford" kids (and by that, I mean by today's standards) then you'll never have kids. But if you are of the mindset that children are a blessing, God will provide and that kids will be perfectly happy and healthy with the basics.... then whether or not you have a hefty savings prior to having kids really shouldn't be an issue. Sure, it's ideal to have your debt paid off, some money saved, yadda yadda. But you don't have to wait until you get to that point.

    Ok... rant over...

    As far as what you HAVE TO HAVE, that will depend on you, your husband, your lifestyle, etc. My best advice is to just really think about a purchase before you make it. And, if you are having a baby shower, register for things that you really think you'll use. What was a "lifesaver" for a girlfriend of yours may go unused at your house. I had girlfriends who said that they NEVER used the pack in plays. But I used the heck out of mine. DD slept in it until about 7 months and then after we continued using it as a changing table (attachment for top) and for nap times. And we will be using it for the baby that's on the way. I know people who swear by a baby swing, I never had one but borrowed one that DD never used. Someone gave us one of those baby tubs at our baby shower. I considered exchanging it but decided to keep it. Well, we only used it twice. It was a waste and took up space that we really didn't have to spare. So, it all depends on you. We don't have lots of room so a ton of baby equipment wouldn't have worked even if we'd wanted to spend the money.

    If you plan on having more than one child and really feel that you will stick to using them, then I highly suggest looking into cloth diapering. As far as the financial aspects go, it CAN be a money saver but if you only use them for one child then I don't personally believe it's a significant savings. You can use coupons, use generic, etc. and get disposables for about the same price and have the convenience. But, if you plan to have more than one child and feel that you wouldn't mind doing cloth, then do a little research and give it some consideration.

    If you don't do cloth, you will need diapers and wipes. I get the cheapest wipes that I can find at walmart at about $1.25 a pack of 80. They aren't by the baby section but are by the toiletries. Wipe warmers seemed silly to me, though some swear by them. I see them as an unnecessary expense. For diapers, I joined every mailing list I could and get coupons. Sometimes I can use the coupons on the big name brands and get them the same price as the cheap ones. Sometimes the cheaper ones (some cheap brands I'll use and some are junk) are better. The key is to stock up when you find a good deal. During the first few weeks or so, we went through about 10 diapers a day (breastfeeding). Now, daugher (almost 2) goes through about 6 a day.

    For feeding, I breastfed full time for the first couple of months, then part time until about 8 months then formula full time after that. I think that breastfeeding does save some funds but not sure about the exact amount. For me, it was for health and bonding reasons, but that's a whole other subject. From a financial perspective alone, especially if you don't work, then I would suggest considering breastfeeding. Despite what people and books will make you think, you don't NEED an expensive pump. Sure, there are exceptions where some women have problems breastfeeding in general and/or will have problems and need a good pump. But I personally believe that most can breastfeed perfectly fine without an expensive pump. I eventually "invested" in a $40 manual Avent pump which was more than worth the cash but would never go out and spend what some do on those expensive ones.

    If you decide to formula feed, then you will need bottles. I ended up having more bottles than I needed. And I did a lot of research (both asking people I knew and reading) to decide how many to buy and ended up not using as many as was suggested. But it all depends on how often you wash them. Babies will eat every couple of hours in the beginning so use that figure to decide how many bottles you think you'll need depending on how often you want to sterilize/wash them. And, for heaven's sake, you don't need an expensive bottle warmer!

    When baby gets to solid food, consider making your own. This is something that I wish I would've started earlier. All you need is a decent blender! But if you plan to just buy it, again use all the coupons you can get.

    For childcare, that will all depend on your area. I'm a firm believer that it's best for the child to have one parent stay home. Right now I work outside of the home but we have a plan that within 2 years or less I'll be home. But if you need childcare, then explore the option of having someone watch your child in their home. In my area, it's definintely cheaper but it's also more reassuring to me that my child has more one-on-one attention from someone who is like a grandmother to her. From a financial standpoint, it's about half the cost of daycare in our area!

    For clothing, it's easy to get caught up and buy too much. Stock up on onesies (all in one that snap at crotch)... they are cheap and easy. Babies, especially during the first few months, don't need a bunch of fancy outfits. And there's an endless supply at thrift stores and from family/friends. Also, when my daughter's bday or christmas comes around, I ask family and friends to get her clothes instead of just toys. This has helped tremedously with decreasing the amount we have to spend on clothing. Clothing is an area that you can really save some money with little effort.

    And a quick note about washing baby clothes: even in the cases where some babies can't have scented detergent b/c it may irritate their skin (we didn't have this problem but some do).... I've been told that the expensive Dreft detergent wasn't any different than any other non-scented, free and clear detergent. The Dreft is expensive, so don't think that you have to use it!

    For the nursery, this is just like any decorating: if you are creative you can decorate the room on a very small budget! Just get creative! Our DD has a beautiful nursery and we didn't spend a whole lot of money on it. The furniture set was purchased dirt cheap from a friend. It isn't outdated, no recalls and so it was safe. The nursery set was purchased from Target but it was a cheap one that had colors that were easy to match. This is also something that you can often find in great shape at a thrift store or from someone you may know.

    Check out thrift stores and garage sales for baby stuff. You'll be amazed at what you find!

    If you have baby showers and plan to have more than one child, then get as much gender-neutral stuff as possible. With DD we got all our equipment (car seat, pack in play, stroller) in neutral color so that now with the boy on the way we weren't stuck with all pink! Same goes with the nursery.

    Once pregnant, start signing up for mailing lists from different diaper, food, etc. companies. You can do this online. You might get some junk mail, sure, but the coupons are worth it!

    Having children can be expensive if you make it but it does'nt have to be, by any means. We were very frugal-minded when registering for gifts with DD and when making purchases on our own. This second time around, I have my own first-handed experience to learn from and can see many more ways to cut the expenses.

    Have a blessed day,



  • Mon, Nov 10 2008 9:46 PM In reply to

    • leigh10
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Aug 11 2007
    • Mississippi
    • Posts 81

    Re: Budget for pregnancy/infancy?

    I would suggest that you buy a few packs or a box of diapers monthly when you get pregnant.  That helps out so much.  Also, when people ask what you need and it's closer to time for the baby, tell them you need diapers and wipes. I prefered Pampers Swaddlers when DD was an infant, but now I prefer Huggies.  They fit her little body a lot better than Pampers now, but she's petite.

    Bibs!  My DD spit up sooooo much that I had to wash bibs often.

    Onesies.  I used a lot of these with DD being born in April.  They're so handy for wearing around the house and then you can just slip pants on over them if you go somewhere. 

    Gas drops.  It would be a good idea to have a bottle on hand as well as infant's Tylenol and suppositories.  These aren't things you want to need at 2 a.m. and not have. 

    I wouldn't buy any formula ahead.  My DD had to try several kinds before we found one for her.  Luckily, Wal-Mart had their Parent's Choice brand that I could buy.  It was $14.88 a can and I bought 4 cans a month for almost a year.  Always ask at the doctor's office for free samples of the formula you use.  I always got 2-3 small cans that way. 

    Car Seat.  Get a sturdy, brand new car seat.  You can't put a price on safety.  Check for recalls too. 

    Swing.  DD loved hers and it was worth every penny.

    Crib.  Some babies sleep with their parents, but we didn't start that.  DD loved her crib until she recently outgrew it.  She's a wild sleeper and kept hitting the sides of it. 

    Bumbo seat.  This isn't a must, but DD loved hers.  When they can hold their head up they can use this seat.  I even took it to restaurants with us and sat her in the seat.  She liked that much better than being stuck in her carrier. 

    Hope this helps! 

  • Tue, Nov 11 2008 7:21 AM In reply to

    Re: Budget for pregnancy/infancy?

    Thank you for all the information so quickly!  I look forward to reading even more.


    Julie...  YOU need to write a book!  You are so full of great info.


    Luckily, it seems that a lot won't have to change too much, except for the child care aspect of expense...  we both work full time, and need to work full time to support our expenses. (which is really only home & vehicle & utilities... we are debt free otherwise).  My SIL just started child care in her home but she lives completely in the other direction of both of our jobs by about 15 miles!  Maybe i can move her & my brother closer!  :)




    ~Credit Union Lending Specialist Extraordinaire!~
  • Tue, Nov 11 2008 8:18 AM In reply to

    • Toni B.
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Apr 5 2008
    • Seneca Falls NY
    • Posts 3,826

    Re: Budget for pregnancy/infancy?

    I would suggest that you buy a few packs or a box of diapers monthly when you get pregnant.  That helps out so much.  Also, when people ask what you need and it's closer to time for the baby, tell them you need diapers and wipes.
    I started buying diapers way in advance and when my son was born, he quickly grew out of the newborn size. Invest in the next larger size as well.
    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Stages of Life
  • Tue, Nov 11 2008 11:23 AM In reply to

    • babs
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Apr 2 2007
    • Vermont
    • Posts 10,988

    Re: Budget for pregnancy/infancy?

     I would buy diapers, one on each size, then start over again .At least up to size 4. Babs

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Prayer Circle
  • Tue, Nov 11 2008 3:45 PM In reply to

    Re: Budget for pregnancy/infancy?

    My SIL just started child care in her home but she lives completely in the other direction of both of our jobs by about 15 miles!

    Depending on what daycare costs are in your area, it might be worth it to drive the 15 miles!  DB and I were looking a few months ago at daycare, and for care in someone's home it will be over $1,200 per month - that's more than our rent, and the cheapest we could find!

  • Tue, Nov 11 2008 5:47 PM In reply to

    Re: Budget for pregnancy/infancy?

     I have raised a lot of kids, on a shoestring!  The first had a crib, the rest went from pack and play to toddler bed.  The crib my first had was I think my old crib, she went from the crib to the crib mattress on the floor to a twin bed.  

    I buy diapers when I am about 5 months pregnant.  My youngest is still in a 2 or 3, that's all the farther she will every get. I think all went from the 3 into underwear. I would just buy some newborns, 3-4 packs, and then some twos.  

    Clothes- put the word out and the clothes will appear.  It is fun to buy a few special ones.  Also fun to buy a few fresh onsies, socks, recieving blankets, and I always have pacifiers, bought in the same area of the store.  Some have liked them, some have not.   

    Buy a great carseat.   Keep your baby facing back as long as possible, we have a back facing one that goes to thirty five pounds.  You willprobably buy two, although one we have now goes from 5-80 pounds.

    We bought a $16 high chair at IKEA,  it has worked great for 4 girls.  Easy to clean, one piece.  I have had one or two booster seats.  I like the blue one that can go in the dishwasher.  

    Other things to buy- a few bottles, a few bottles of infant water so your breastfeeding baby can try a bottle once in a while, then when you go back to work it is cheapest to use a good breast pump, they can be rented.  Cheaper to rent if you don't know how long you will nurse.  I nursed the first three working fulltime, until age 2.  Working at home and part time, the other four nursed until 2 also.  Dad makes dinner, you nurse the baby after work.  In the early months, then the baby will probably take a wee nap so you can eat dinner with your husband. Enjoy it while you can, you will then spend months eating one-handed.  Other items, a little pacifier leash to clip on clothes so your baby doesn't share a pacifier much at school, Desitin, a swing if you can't borrow one, a bassinet so they can cuddle and nest when they are really little, I put then to sleep with their back again the side, some little bowls, I like to use ramkins, for the cereal and applesauce when you get there.  A night light. You will check on your sweet baby a million times.  Dreft.

    Daycare is expensive, I would say if you would like your SIL to watch the baby, 15 miles would be a good investment in good care.  Daycare will be your most expensive item.  The rest will seem very low after looking at that.  Get on a list at a good daycare when you are pregnant.  The order I used to tell peole I was pregnant- dh, doctor or midwife, daycare, then siblings and friends

    I am currently getting rid of some baby clothes and toys, if you are only having one or two, keep in mind you only need the baby equipment for a little while.   It's equipment, not a lifestyle, I think some people spend a lot of money picking their parent identity, the baby and you will define that, you don't need to be sporty, or classical, or hip with your purchased items. If you are one of these styles, it will show in your parenting, you don't need an Eddie Bauer stroller, or Pottery Barn bedding to express yourself.

    Things you will buy lots of- Cheerios, wipes, little socks, board books, crayons, tiny toothbrushes, I love the new diposable sippy cups, they last for months.  

    Things you might want- a boopy, I made one, then youngest dd got one handed down, it was nice.   A bouncer. An exersaucer is nice if you have the space and don't use it much, which kind of defeats having it.  It is very valuable when your baby doesn't sleep, you can drag it in the bathroom and take a quick shower, the baby will be fascinated if you play peek a boo.  A shower when you haven't got much sleep-priceless. You will want to have a digital camera, to email pictures.

    Things you don't need- baby bedding, babies are not supposed to use quilts of heavy blankets, I don't know why they still sell them.  A moniter, most houses are small enough you don't need one.  A wipe warmer-hold the wipe in your hand for a few seconds.  An expensive baby bag-get one you and dad will both carry, so you both carry it, it should be $30 tops, not $200. You will probably get another one at the hospital, pack it with everyhing and keep it in the car.   A jogging stroller- I say if you are jogging, don't you want a break, and really, are you going to jog with your baby?  For the hours you would when the baby is little, I would think that is an expensive item for the time.  Maybe you are that interested in staying fit.  I buy a folding stroller, my favorite is my current, a Jeep one, light and easy to take anywhere.  I walk more when my stroller is easy to take.  You might or might not want a little baby carrier, to carry the baby on your chest.  They are hard to get on and off, I think. Again, I think too much for a limited time, try one that someone has before you buy.  A mobile- do you want to dodge that in the middle of the night?  

    Splurges we have done- home birth, a johny jump up, advent bottles that get clean in the dishwasher, private schools, classes, top line daycares-one you could watch livecam on the computer, gymnastics for an 18 month old (not worth it, somersault at home),  piano lessons, lavender and cucumber baby wipes, a doube stroller-worth it, and life insurance for us, which we fortunatly haven't needed yet.  A will that was quickly outdated, but the right price, free, at a law school.  

    Best buys- pack and play, desitin, ride on toys from garage sales.  

    Beginning Debt Slayer

  • Thu, Nov 20 2008 5:27 PM In reply to

    Re: Budget for pregnancy/infancy?

    I'm at the other end of the spectrum, just to give you some perspective.  I was on hosptitalized bedrest from 4 four months on.  I gave birth nine weeks early, with an emergency C section.  I was discharged and he stayed in the hospital for an additional five weeks.

    I had family medical leave, maternity leave, vacation, and sick days.  I still was out of work, unpaid, for four weeks.  Would I do it again, absolutely!  It was all worth it.

    I would recommend making up batch meals when you hit about 5 months.  A hot meal for you and your significant other is priceless. 

    I agree with making your own baby food, when the baby gets a little bit older.  I only bought infant baby cereal.  You can make regular apple juice and dilute it down for baby.  That helps with constipation as well.

    We have just adopted our second child, she was 18 pounds at three months.  Instead of buying diapers I would try and allot so much money per month instead of using the diapers.  She's now 16 months and in the same size diaper she was in at three months.

    You will need an car seat for your infant.  You do want to buy this new or get it from a reputable friend.  If it's been in an accident it's null and void.


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