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  1. #1
    Member JonSimonzi's Avatar
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    For people who have had children... Cost of babies?

    So me and my fiancee have been together for almost 5 years now, and the talk of having a baby keeps coming up. I'm not against the emotional aspect of it, I wouldn't mind starting a family with her at all. I'm just more worried about the financial side of it. We're both in our mid twenty's and both have decent paying jobs, and very good insurance. We only have a small savings due to us liking to go out multiple times a week, but of course that would change...

    Anyway, if we decide to have a baby, what should be expected for expenses? With diapers, supplies, formula, etc... What's an average amount to expect to spend on weekly expenses for a baby? Before going forward with anything, I just want to make sure we wouldn't get over burdened and in over our heads. So any input from people who have had children would be greatly appreciated.
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  2. #2
    Member SteveLord's Avatar
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    Next time you're in the grocery store, look at the prices of formula and diapers. And expect to be buying them every 1-2 weeks. On top of many doctor visits the first year, that's where the core of your expenses will come from.


    Unfortunately, I can't come up with an exact number as that's something my wife would know.


    Also if you end up using childcare (in-home or a facility), expect to pay anywhere from $30-$50 a day. This is also another major expense for your child. As they get older, they will benefit more from it as they will get to socialize and do activities with multiple kids. You'll be counting down the days until they can go to a form of public schooling that will relieve your wallet.
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  3. #3
    Member Route44's Avatar
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    If you've got to ask these questions I would seriously reconsider with your fiance' if you are ready for a baby. I am not being judgmental in the least but as one who has children you can't weigh having chid to cost ratio because the issue isn't about money, its about bringing a tiny one into the world. The bottom line is the child and not money. if it were based on cost the human race would cease to exist.

    Going out multiple times a week? That will definitly change.

    Average cost? Forget that! What if they get sick? What then concerning the cost in both money and time? You can't plan for that. I'll never forget having my 13th month old daughter very sick and we couldn't get her temperature to break. She cried and cried. We tried everything and at 2 a.m. in the morning I am taking her to the emergency where she commenced to throw up on me and here I was in a T-shirt, wet, and in air conditioning. I had to watch them draw blood out of her twice. She cried then as well. Finally the temperature broke and we went home as the sun rose. I stopped at a red light and looked down at her and she gave me the widest grin. That was worth it all. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You can't put a cost on it.

    Want sleep? Forget that! Babies want to eat. They want to let you know throughout the night that they are hungry. You take turns. Then you get up for work.

    Average weekly expenses? Okay...

    Being a dad is extremely satisfying and interestingly the expense really doesn't come into play. Oh its there, but as I said, it isn't the bottom line. if i had to do it all over again I would in a heart beat. And when my wife and I married we were both very poor when she became pregnant after only 6 months of marriage. Everything worked out fine.

    One last thing:No one is ready for children no matter how much one plans. They'll change and rock your world.
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  4. #4
    Member JonSimonzi's Avatar
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    Seriously reconsider if we're ready to have a baby because of asking questions? Neither one of us has ever had a child, so how else are we supposed to find answers? Jump blindly into it? Asking questions first sounds like a much better plan. I'm sitting at home at 11pm, I'm not going to call my parents, things have changed much since they've had a child anyway. So I decided to ask fellow OCer's since I know quite a few people have been here before.

    I know something like this can't be mapped down to a science. As I said, we both have very good insurance that would cover medical expenses. Hell, our jobs even reimburse us for child care. I'm not talking about the stuff you can't plan for, since, you can't plan for that. I just mean, I don't know how much babies eat. I don't know how many diapers they use. You can't (or at least shouldn't) start a family if you can't support it. And that's what I'm trying to find out, a rough idea of what the "routine" stuff will cost, before bringing a child into the world, that can't be supported.
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  5. #5
    Member SeanBest's Avatar
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    I agree with Route44 here. I do however understand wondering about money. One can decide to have kids, but want to know mroe about the financial aspect of it before makign the decision, the reason I say that is, I agree that it's about bringing life into the world, but knowing what it could potentially cost, might help one decide if now is a good time of they should wait.

    When it comes to expenses, there is no way I can even give you an estimate, not because of surprises, sickness, or anything else like that. My reason is that every parent is different. Some believe in off brands others only like the name brands. Some feel they need everything, others are more minimalistic (word?). I myself think I don't need all the extra crap they make these days, I'm not from the 1800s or anything, but I guess I believe in the simple things. Babies don't need a reading set and mozart on tape and learn 4 languages by the time your 18 days old stuff.

    he most important thing you can ever give your child is time, and if you have a lot of that available, you can't go wrong.


    Hopefully that all made sense ...


    If you really want some VERY ROUGH numbers, I would go to the store and look at diapers, decide what brand you'd use (we buy Target brand). We had to use formula (we went with Enfamil Lipil, which we found a Walmart off brand for 1/3 the price). We also bought a lot of clearance clothing when we found it. I'm a very very broke college student living with my girlfriend and daughter. We're supported by my grandparents until I finish school. We buy the basics and what we can't buy in toys and other "junk" we give our daughter all our spare time.

    Number of diapers, amount of food, and most things you'd liek to know vary from child to child which makes an estimate even harder.
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  6. #6
    Member MechaWyvern's Avatar
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    In terms of numbers, the hospital, doctor, anesthesiologist and associated "birth" costs were around $2500 after insurance kicked in its part. We qualify for WIC (free food for women, infants and children) and my daughter is on K-Chip (state ran insurance-$20 a month but doctor is free and most medication is $5) which greatly cuts our costs down on a month to month basis.
    Diapers and formula are huge costs, and expect to spend a lot of money on those. A large bottle of dry formula is about $25 here, and a large box of diapers (name brand like Huggies as my daughter is alergic to almost all the cheaper brands we tried) is about $18About 2-3 boxes of diapers a month and about one of the conatiners of formula a week is what we went through.
    Anyway, theres a few real numbers to kick around.


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  7. #7
    Member SteveLord's Avatar
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    Advice for future. Shop in bulk at CostCo or Sams Club. Ask/use gift cards for diapers as you'll be buying them more often than you think.

    Also, craigslist is a great place for stuff like cribs, strollers and stuff.
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  8. #8
    Member stang8118's Avatar
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    From what I remember...

    Both of my boys were on formula until about 10-11 months. On average we went through about 11 cans of the powder formula a month.

    Factor in the cost for insurance (or look into a local more cost effective childs insurance)

    And expect to go through a TON of diapers and wipies.

    If you both plan on working after the baby is born you will need to factor in child care which can range greatly! You can also look into state programs here if money is an issue.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Route44 View Post
    If you've got to ask these questions I would seriously reconsider with your fiance' if you are ready for a baby. I am not being judgmental in the least but as one who has children you can't weigh having chid to cost ratio because the issue isn't about money, its about bringing a tiny one into the world. The bottom line is the child and not money. if it were based on cost the human race would cease to exist.
    This coming from someone who has never had a baby, but what you're advising sounds ridiculous.

    It's childish to think that 'all you need is love'. Everybody here is saying that children costs an exorbitant amount of money to support. It would be downright foolish and wholly irresponsible for a couple not to go through their finances and assure themselves that they are in a sufficiently stable and lofty financial position to afford such a responsibility. I realise that love has its own power, but as far as I know, love isn't an acceptable form of payment when the local university is demanding $30 grand for your child's next year of schooling...

    Yes, the bottom line is the child, but money is an important factor, especially in this economic climate. To be irresponsible about your money is to be irresponsible about the child.

    Since when is being impulsive a necessary prerequisite for having children?

    if it were based on cost the human race would cease to exist.
    And by the way, it is based on cost. Why do you think socioeconomic and sociobiological theories tells us women are naturally attracted to richer, older, and self-assured men instead of impulsive and poor teenagers?
    Last edited by Mother Goose; 09-29-09 at 07:03 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member KillrBuckeye's Avatar
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    Based on your original post, it sounds like you're in a good financial position. You're certainly a heck of a lot better off than a significant percentage of people who start families (whether it's by choice or not). If you're emotionally ready and this is something you both want, then go for it! I can pretty much guarantee that having a child is something you will not regret. My son was born almost 7 months ago, and it's the best thing that has ever happened in my life. My wife and I both feel this way. We did wait until we had eradicated our credit card debt and saved up a decent emergency fund, but I think we would have been perfectly fine had we started our family several years ago when that wasn't true.

    I can only speak about the first 7 months at this point, but the costs have not been exorbitant for us. If your wife chooses to breast feed, you won't need to worry about formula during that period. It's common that women will breast feed for 6-12 months, but that's a personal choice. Formula is expensive, but you'll only need it for a couple of years. Infant day care is running us about $250/week. My wife recently went to part time work, and now we're paying about $180 for 3 days a week in day care. We received a lot of the expensive baby stuff as gifts for my wife's baby shower. We received boxes upon boxes of hand-me-down clothing as well. In the end, we only had to make a few significant purchases for the baby. A lot of the stuff that people (and retail stores) will tell you that you *need* is not really necessary. Do you really need a dresser that doubles as a changing table? How about an expensive glider/rocking chair? Sure, these things are nice to have, but lots of people get by without them.

    So again, my opinion is that if you both feel ready to start a family, then go for it. Unless you have serious doubts about being able to make ends meet, I don't think financial considerations should weigh heavily on your decision. Otherwise, how are you going to decide when you are ready? Is it reaching some minimum household income figure, or a certain amount in savings? If that's the way you want to approach it and you see yourself meeting those goals within a few years, then it's understandable.
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  11. #11
    Member hkgonra's Avatar
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    As a parent of 4 teenagers I will tell you that they are much cheaper as babies than they are as teens.
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  12. #12
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    Step one: Skip the cost of formula, breastmilk is healthier in a wide variety of ways, formula should only be used as an emergency backup or for if there is a reason that breastfeeding is impossible.
    The WHO recommends breastfeeding for two years, with one year being the absolute minimum for proper development. Formula is very hard for babies to digest, and tends to cause allergies to all the different proteins in it (cow milk, soy, corn, and a few others). It also doesn't support the babies immune system like breastmilk does, nor does it have all the nutrition babies need for proper brain development.

    Beyond that, cloth diapers and a diaper service costs about the same (or a bit less) then disposables, either way you can expect to pay between $25 and $100 for diapers, depending on how often you're changing the character and what size they are (all packs cost the same, but size1 you get 30 diapers, size2 you get 25, and so on).

    Don't forget the cost of either missed work or daycare, often times it is actually cheaper to stay home with the kid then it is to put them in daycare.
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  13. #13
    Member IKIKUINTHENUTZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkgonra View Post
    As a parent of 4 teenagers I will tell you that they are much cheaper as babies than they are as teens.
    Daddy can I have $20?
    Can I have a car?
    Can I buy the expensive brand name jeans?

    Knowing that everyone is a teen or at least been through teen years, we were very expensive at one point in life.

  14. #14
    Member dropadrop's Avatar
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    I think the expenses vary from one family to another. Of course you will have to feed the child, but as with everything you decide what kind of food. If you want to buy all the needed equipment and clothes new, it could be expensive. I have found that most things (that you want) can also be found second hand. From what I have heard this changes quite a bit when the kids become older (as in they suddenly need quite a bit more expensive things, and the needs are far more specific).

    I come from Europe so I don't know how to think about the possible expenses related to medical bills, here people get insurances just to be able to go to private doctors (less queues).

    The big chances come from lack of sleep and the fact that growing up a child is a full day (as in 24 hours a day) "job". I think most parents will agree that they had no understanding of what sleep deprivation meant before getting a child. I have friends with parents and relatives living almost next door, personally I don't so if I want to go out I'll first drive about 70 miles to take the children to one of our parents. I think when the kids are older it will be easier to use a hired nanny.

    But growing children is very rewarding. They keep amazing you year after year.

  15. #15
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    Starting now, only go out once a week and save the rest. Do this for several months to see how much you can save up and if your sanity is still intact. Report back with your progress.
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  16. #16
    Member dropadrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IKIKUINTHENUTZ View Post
    Daddy can I have $20?
    Can I have a car?
    Can I buy the expensive brand name jeans?

    Knowing that everyone is a teen or at least been through teen years, we were very expensive at one point in life.
    Sounds like you've been a cheap kid. We slid down a neighbors new car ruining the paint with my brother at 4 years old. I crashed somebody's are through 3 trees at 14 years old (just to get started).

    I always dream I would have the patience my father had when my kids grow up, because looking at my son now I think he won't be much "better" then I was as a kid.

  17. #17
    Member JCLW's Avatar
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    Couldn't really say yet - my wife and I are expecting in Feb.

    Found this, 'tho: United States Department of Agriculture - Expenditures on Children by Families, 2006 - http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/CRC/crc2006.pdf
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  18. #18
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    I didn't see anyone mention the impact of gender on the cost. Girls are more expensive. They require more clothing, and their clothes are more expensive. As they get older there are additional expenses like getting their hair done. The disparity only grows as they get older. Girls spend several times what their dates do at prom time, for example. But even as young as age 2 or 3, girls are more costly. So if you want to save some cash, have a boy!

    Getting down to my personal experience, it's difficult for me to say approximately how much my daughter costs on a monthly or annual basis. The reason is that when my wife entered her third trimester she was laid off, and she did not find another job until our daughter was almost 10 months old. So she went basically a year collecting unemployment. Then even when she did go back to work, we had the cost of daycare to deal with. I can tell you that we went from having next to no credit card debt to nearly 40k in credit card debt by the time my daughter was four years old.

    But if I could go back in time with the knowledge that having a child would put me in the hole a bit, I'd still choose to do it. My parents have always told me that the person who waits to have a child until they think they can afford to do it will end up waiting forever. The reason is that we always seem to find a way to spend our disposable income, and when you have a child your lifestyle and priorities adjust to compensate for the new expenses. No more bar nights, fewer trips to the movies / sports / concerts, etc. If you truly want to have children and you & your significant other have stable jobs, then you can probably make it work.
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  19. #19
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    Only go out once a week?
    Ha!
    Only recently have my gf and i been able to go out once a month. Other then that, we get between 9pm and 10pm to ourselves, the rest is work, school, and kids.
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  20. #20
    Member nealric's Avatar
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    So me and my fiancee have been together for almost 5 years now
    Surprised nobody has mentioned this...

    Why on earth are you talking about the financial aspects of having a baby before you have the wedding? Weddings can be a hefty expense themselves. I have a cousin who did the baby thing with her fiance about 3 years ago. She's still not married because she can't afford a wedding but can't stomach just going down to the courthouse.
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