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Cost of baby during first year of life

mayerling

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Now that we've decided to TTC, I'm trying to budget how much money we'll need for the first year of the baby's life. Assuming we don't have to pay for child-care, but we do have to buy all new nursery furniture, car seat, etc., how much would you say we'd need for things like food, diapers, bottles, clothes, etc?

Please chime in with anything and everything you can think is essential during the first year of life.
 

megumic

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I'd like to know the answer to this as well. I'd also like to know what you can get 2nd hand and what should be purchased new. My gut says new car seat, but second hand everything else might be okay.

Also, mayerling, I think some costs will depend on whether you're breastfeeding and whether you're using disposable diapers or reusable diapes, etc.
 

Skippy123

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I would buy a new mattress and new carseat. I thought I would be the budget momma but anything to soothe the babies the budget goes out the window!!! Baby showers help! I have twins though! Happy TTC!!! Motherhood is great :bigsmile:

eta: the diapers and formula are the items that will cost you in the long run? If you bf it is much cheaper, poopy, pump, storage supplies.
 

mayerling

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megumic|1311717847|2977362 said:
I'd like to know the answer to this as well. I'd also like to know what you can get 2nd hand and what should be purchased new. My gut says new car seat, but second hand everything else might be okay.

Also, mayerling, I think some costs will depend on whether you're breastfeeding and whether you're using disposable diapers or reusable diapes, etc.
Megumic, good point on the 2nd-hand stuff. Also, assume mostly breastfeeding, but at least one bottle-feeding per day - I really want FH to do at least one feeding, and disposable diapers.

I guess I'm just looking for somebody to say:
Crib: $
Car seat: $
Changing table: $
Bassinet: $
Bottles: $
Food: $
Diapers: $
etc, etc, etc...

I should mention that baby showers don't exist in my culture, so we won't be getting any items that way.
 

SB621

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mayerling|1311718655|2977377 said:
megumic|1311717847|2977362 said:
I'd like to know the answer to this as well. I'd also like to know what you can get 2nd hand and what should be purchased new. My gut says new car seat, but second hand everything else might be okay.

Also, mayerling, I think some costs will depend on whether you're breastfeeding and whether you're using disposable diapers or reusable diapes, etc.
.
OK well I think the average person spends between 7-10k the first year of life for a child. As pointed out you can significantly drop that price down by doing several things. I have friends that keep spreadsheets of how much they spend on dispoable diapers which is over 3k for their 11 month old. Where I have only spent $300 on cloth diaper for my 1 year old. However, i have spent at least 1k on formula since DS started at 5 months old...etc etc. I think realistically if you are thrifty you can get it down to 3-5k.

I guess I'm just looking for somebody to say:
Crib: $250
Mattress: $100
Baby monitor: $175
Car seat: $200
Changing table: $100 (get a dresser off of craig's list and just put a changing pad on it.
Bassinet: $I wouldn't bother with a bassinet if you have a crib
Swing: $150
Bottles: $50 depending on the brand
Food: $30 a wk I personally don't see cost savings in making your own food so we bought.
Diapers: $3-5k per year pending on what brand you use
Formula: $30 every two weeks if you go full time---once again this also depends on what brand
Bouncer: you get get these used for $30
play gym: get used for $50
burp clothes:$30
Swaddles: $20 each get at least 2
newborn bath tub: get it used for $10

You will need loads of other things, shampoo, diaper rash cream, clothes, blankets, sheets, shoes, the list goes on and on....
 

Tacori E-ring

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It's a lot. First the insurance co-pays (babies go to the doctor a lot the first year). Diapers depending on size are about 22-26 cents a diaper. Baby goes through A LOT of diapers. Wipes are about 2 cents a piece. I don't think I ever just used one per change.You could do cloth which would save you some money. Not sure how much a diaper service is. Formula I think is $30 a can. Can't assume you will be able to BF. Pumps can be as low as $25+. Not sure if you need one if you will be a SAHM. Cribs can be a cheap as $100 to over $1000. Same with rockers. Look on BRU.com or another site to see exact prices. Baby needs clothes (can be used), bottles, toys (can be used), car seat ($100+), stroller ($100+), bedding, books...lots of little stuff that adds up. I am guessing my kid was at least $8,000 the first year (everything included). I didn't really keep track. Plus there is loss of income if you are currently working.
 

phoenixgirl

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I recommend the book Baby Bargains. I read it in 2009, but as I recall they said the average cost was $7k for the first year, but by following their advice (of course! ;)) ) you could get it down to less than $3k.

That said, I followed Baby Bargain's advice and got a lower-end Graco crib for less than $150. We just weren't happy with the quality (it just felt very flimsy and DD went through a squirrel phase and chewed the finish off), so we turned around and bought a PBK crib (a $600 crib on sale for $400, so not too bad and MUCH nicer quality). So I wouldn't just blindly follow all of their advice, but it's a great place to start.

Food you'll start between 4 and 6 months (if you're EBF they recommend 6), so that will only be a cost for half the year. You can save a lot if you make your own food or buy in bulk. We bought organic so it was over $1 per jar if I recall correctly, and she ate 3 jars a day for about 6 months. But you could do it more cheaply, obviously.

Diapers you can get for 20 cents if you shop around, so assume 8+ diapers a day, $1.60 to $2 a day. We started using cloth around 8 months when I quit work to stay at home, so you can pay more up front but save in the long run if you do cloth. (You'd probably want around 20 CDs, so if you go for the fancier ones, you're looking at $20/diaper or $400 up front). But by one year you've probably broken even, and if you have more babies, you're way ahead. Or you can do cheaper prefolds but this is beyond my capabilities. I am not a domestic goddess. Many people who are considering cloth wait a couple of months to get past the newborn pooping all the time phase.

You'll want a stroller, probably a Snap N Go kind at first (probably $65) where you stick the carseat you already have onto a frame. By 6 months you'll want a regular stroller, which can run from $20 to hundreds or thousands if you go all fancy-schmancy. You might want a jogging stroller if you run. You may also want some kind of wrap or baby carrier so you don't have always to bring the carseat early on ($100).

I wanted a glider for the baby's room, but you could get by with an arm chair or rocking chair you already have. I think our glider set was on sale for $200.

You'll probably want a Pack N Play or portacrib for nights away from home and to have a place for the baby to nap in a different part of the house. I had a c/s, so we set the PNP up downstairs so I wouldn't have to climb the stairs too many times a day. ($100 to $150)

You'll also want some kind of seat, basinnet, basket, or swing. $100

A lot of this stuff you can find second hand for less. Baby Bargains tells you which items are not safe to get off of CL, like the crib mattress or a carseat.

Clothes - don't buy too many ahead of time. They grow so fast, and sometimes you wind up with things that are the wrong season or too small right off the bat. Plus people will buy you tons. I'd wait until you know what you need and then buy on sale or at consignment shops. Luckily baby clothes are small so they're cheap relative to adult clothes.
 

somethingshiny

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Crib: $150
Mattress: $50
Baby monitor: $25
Car seat w/Stroller $120
Changing table: $80 dresser with changing pad on top
Bassinet: I wouldn't buy a bassinet. Ours was a hand-me-down
Swing: hand-me-down, but the one I chose was $75
Bottles: $30
Food: $1/2jars $30/month Obviously depends how much baby eats. Lily preferred table food to baby food.
Diapers: $80-$100/month
Formula: $100-150/month depending on brand. I have no problem with store brand Enfamil.
Bouncer: $25 target
play gym: $25 walmart
burp clothes: 6 pack for $10 at Walmart.
Swaddles: $10/each x 3-4 on sale at Kohls
newborn bath tub: $25 for a good one that you can keep using.


Obviously insurance, medical necessities, etc would vary. But, the above is accurate for our 1 yr old daughter.
 

Lanie

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Only Tacori mentioned insurance, and I'm surprised since that's the biggest expense by far. Look at your plan vs your DH's. Our baby is on DH's plan, which was cheaper and same coverage, and it's about 400 a month for the baby alone. Then like Tacori said, you are in the doctor's office about 2-3 times the first month, once the second, and then once every 2-3 months after that ASSUMING you're not in there for anything other than the routine stuff. You said no daycare, but daycare in my area is 800-1300+ a month. And if you aren't working you'll have to get insurance for yourself unless you have an awesome package with your previous employer, and that would add up as well.

I BF'd for 5 months, and had a pump. We use the cheaper formula from Target, and it's 20 bucks a can and lasts us I guess 2 weeks. So formula can be cheaper and still not that bad cost-wise.

Always always always get diapers on Amazon. Do the Amazon mom thing, and you get free shipping. Do subscribe and save and you get an even bigger discount. You can even subscribe and save, and then unsubscribe, and then subscribe again (all under the same username/email) which is what I do bc I don't know how often we need diapers in new sizes yet. I've heard conflicting views on the cost effectiveness of cloth diapers. I think they save you some money, but it's a big expense up front having to buy the different stuff. My daycare doesn't allow them, so I didn't even consider them.
 

Lanie

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Another thing...I wouldn't get used bottles. They can be kind of pricey but I think getting used ones is not worth saving money. And then at some point you have to change out the nipples on all of them when your baby gets older. This isn't a huge expense, but it adds up.

A tip: get the bigger bottles (more than 6 ounces). The little ones are a gimmick for little babies, but you can't use them for too long.

Pumps are expensive if you get a good one, and all of the parts can add up. But not everyone needs one/wants one.

And the birth alone is expensive plus all of the doctors visits. I think we spent about 4k on the 9 months plus birth.
 

Puppmom

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I agree that looking at your insurance plan is of utmost importance. The year DS was born, we spent the maximum out of pocket ($2k).

The "start up" cost will vary greatly depending on the items you choose. You can get a stroller for $60 or $600. You can get a crib for as little as $100 or upwards of $500 (or more!).

The "maintenance" cost will vary too. I breastfeed and insurance covered my pump 100% so I fed DS for free for the first six months of his life. My SIL formula fed and they spent about $30 per week on formula. I also don't use outside childcare yet but, if you do, you can count on spending thousands there.

I know you mentioned that showers aren't given in your culture but are there other babies in your circle of friends? SIL, me and two of my close friends had babies within 15 months. We shared clothing, infant carseats, swings, bouncy seats, jumpers, carriers etc. Not everyone is up for this type of sharing but it has worked great for us. The gal who really made out is the one who had her baby last!

Last, you should consider any loss of income you may incur while on leave. I took a 13 week leave and was paid for 10 weeks so I lost 3 weeks pay.

...to answer your question more specifically, a rough estimate of what we spent DS's first year would be $7-9k.
 

Dancing Fire

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very cheap compared to their teenage yrs... ;))
 

diamondseeker2006

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mayerling, you said no showers, but would your parents or your husband's parents not give you some things if you had a baby? Our daughter is having her first baby in Nov. and both her husband's parents and we are getting them some of the major things for the nursery. I got her a second hand Bellini crib and mattress for $300 and the retail was about $1000! She found a perfect condition white dresser on Craigslist for $150 and will use a changing pad on top. A friend who has a year old baby gave her an almost new stroller and infant car seat and another gave her a highchair. She will also have a couple of showers and will likely end up with most of the clothes and diapers she will need for the first year.

I've read some great money-saving ideas on these threads including using the Target brand (up & up)diapers particularly after the newborn stage. You can always shop yard sales and consignment shops. I really don't think a baby has to cost close to $10k the first year if you are a smart shopper, and particularly if you are able to breastfeed.
 

fieryred33143

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When I found out I was pregnant, my first concern was being able to pay household bills for mat leave. I would start there and make sure you have the 3m+ saved up so housing have to dip into your own regular savings.

As for baby related spending, it is so hard for me to quantify. First, I had very generous family, friends and coworkers. My mom bought her the nursery furniture which I'm guessing was close to $500 in total. My coworkers bought the car seat ($300) and I had diapers from the shower for months. The bassinet was a hand me down (that had never been used or opened) from a coworker. Etc. Secondly, I shop haphazardly for my daughter. When I went to stores, I didn't think "I'm going to buy these bottles because they are the best and I'll use them for 4 months before switching". It was more like "aww this one has a pink butterfly! I'm getting this one". As for food, I nursed until 5 months and introduced solids at 6 months so the first six months were "free" basically but I DID need a pump. For some reason I gave her one of the more expensive formulas which was dumb. Next time I'll get a less expensive IF I cant pull off 12 months of nursing.


I would estimate my monthly expenses to have been:

Insurance: $250ish for her
Diapers: $40 a case, times 2 since she stayed with MIL, 2 cases a month.=$160+
Formula: $30 a canister, times 2 houses, about 4 a month=$240
Food: $50 (guessing, MIL pureed fresh veggies and we restocked every 2 weeks or so, plus yogurts, cereal, whatever)


Um I think that's it. So $700 a month? $10k in a year with all the other random things? Give or take of course and that's for normal stuff.

As for the other stuff, depends on your taste and how much you want to spend and whether you're a smart shopper or not (I got one of my $200 convertible car seats for $20 after using in store gift card, instant coupon, 20% off coupon, and reward points. That's another thing to keep in mind. You could very well need an infant seat an convertible in the same year. Convertibles should be stationary so you may need more than one (we have 3).

They do get cheaper because thankfully cows milk isn't $30 :p
 

fieryred33143

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And I just realized it's even less since the food expense started at 6m and the formula started at 5m but you get the idea! So hard to quantify!
 

centralsquare

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Wow - didn't realize that babies can cost up to 10k. Any tips for saving money? I saw some suggestions re: Target diapers and buying used. Any tips would be helpful!
 

fieryred33143

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Central-I think a lot of us are being conservative. There are so many ways to save!! Diapers.com helped me with buying diapers in bulk. There are less expensive but equal quality brands out there. Sign up for every baby site possible to get coupons. Babies r us sends 20% off coupons every month! And reward points BRU dollars to use on anything! There are also mommy blogs that have things for cheap Today babycheapskate os offering a $20 Moby wrap that normally cost $40. So do your research. Research x a million. Never buy something without price shopping first! Plus you can stagger things. If you're ok with a noisy baby in your room, then put off the crib for later. Or who knows, mane you'll decide to be a bed sharing family and won't need a lot of nursery furniture! Some people can stretch out the infant seat for the whole first year (we couldnt, I have a tall kid). That sort of thing.
 

Kunzite

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Okay, so I'm one of those people that have been keeping a spreadsheet (I'm an accountant by nature :bigsmile: ) so I can tell you almost exactly what we've spent in the last 8 months. So far we're up to about $10.5k including every single dollar we've spent related to this kid except daycare. Almost half of that, $4.5k is for medical expenses. So without DC and medical we're at about $6k spent. To give you a little background on us, we're very minimalist by nature, so this is by no means on the high side of what most people spend. I think that most people don't take into account all of the little things you buy along the way. For instance I just had a pretty big Amazon order that included laundry detergent, baby wash, Nose Frida, vitamins, reusable baby food containers, and about 5 board books.

This is a super quick break down (if you add all of this up you'll see what I mean about all of the little things contributing to the total....)

Crib: $90 (New, Ikea)
Crib mattress: $250 (New, organic)
Linens: $100
Car seat: $120 (New)
Changing table: $40 (Used)
Dressers: $0 (Repurposed)
Rocking Chair: $100
Bassinet: $0
Bottles: $40
Food: Hard to say, EBF until 7 months, so $250 pump, $100 extras (freezer bags, extra pump parts, extra pump bottles, hands free bra, etc), we make our own food so it really varies depending on what we make for the week some fruits/veg are cheap and some aren't (organic avocado!!), $50 reusable containers, spoons, etc.
Diapers: $600 (cloth, full stash is listed in the CD thread) and about $20/month for CD detergent
Swing: $50 (Used)
Bouncer: $25
Jumperoo: $40 (Used)
Play mat: $40
Bath: $25
Stroller: $400 (one of our splurges!)
Monitor: $150 (video)
Carrier: $100

So all of the stuff I can actually think to list out only comes to around $2.5k, the rest is the random stuff along the way!

I'm a big fan of buying used as much as possible. Things I would never buy used: crib, crib mattress (SIDS risk), car seat, pump, bottles.

Lanie - Funny you mention the 6oz bottles. They're all we need! We're lucky to get O to take 5oz at a time :cheeky:
 

mayerling

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diamondseeker2006|1311735940|2977654 said:
mayerling, you said no showers, but would your parents or your husband's parents not give you some things if you had a baby? Our daughter is having her first baby in Nov. and both her husband's parents and we are getting them some of the major things for the nursery. I got her a second hand Bellini crib and mattress for $300 and the retail was about $1000! She found a perfect condition white dresser on Craigslist for $150 and will use a changing pad on top. A friend who has a year old baby gave her an almost new stroller and infant car seat and another gave her a highchair. She will also have a couple of showers and will likely end up with most of the clothes and diapers she will need for the first year.

I've read some great money-saving ideas on these threads including using the Target brand (up & up)diapers particularly after the newborn stage. You can always shop yard sales and consignment shops. I really don't think a baby has to cost close to $10k the first year if you are a smart shopper, and particularly if you are able to breastfeed.
I know my parents would get us what they could afford - which isn't much - but I don't know how FH's parents would act (they don't have any grandchildren yet).
 

mayerling

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Lanie|1311729656|2977579 said:
Only Tacori mentioned insurance, and I'm surprised since that's the biggest expense by far. Look at your plan vs your DH's. Our baby is on DH's plan, which was cheaper and same coverage, and it's about 400 a month for the baby alone. Then like Tacori said, you are in the doctor's office about 2-3 times the first month, once the second, and then once every 2-3 months after that ASSUMING you're not in there for anything other than the routine stuff. You said no daycare, but daycare in my area is 800-1300+ a month. And if you aren't working you'll have to get insurance for yourself unless you have an awesome package with your previous employer, and that would add up as well.

I BF'd for 5 months, and had a pump. We use the cheaper formula from Target, and it's 20 bucks a can and lasts us I guess 2 weeks. So formula can be cheaper and still not that bad cost-wise.

Always always always get diapers on Amazon. Do the Amazon mom thing, and you get free shipping. Do subscribe and save and you get an even bigger discount. You can even subscribe and save, and then unsubscribe, and then subscribe again (all under the same username/email) which is what I do bc I don't know how often we need diapers in new sizes yet. I've heard conflicting views on the cost effectiveness of cloth diapers. I think they save you some money, but it's a big expense up front having to buy the different stuff. My daycare doesn't allow them, so I didn't even consider them.
Thankfully this is one less thing for us to worry about. Medical care is free in the UK :D
 

mayerling

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Thank you for the replies, ladies. They're very helpful. And thanks for all the suggestions on how to save :wavey:
 

MonkeyPie

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Ok!
Crib: $50 (We got ours at Walmart. Perfectly good, changes to a toddler bed and then a full size bed later.)
Car seat: $75 (Scenera is even cheaper.)
Changing table: $0 - We didn't get one, and I can almost guarantee you won't need one either. Change where the baby is!
Bassinet: $0 (Ours was a gift, but they can be as low as $25 for a very basic one - no frills needed since they outgrow it FAST.)
Bottles: $50 - We bought three at each "stage" our son was in. No need for a bunch, just get ready to wash.
Food: $25 a week once he got to purees, after that he eats what we eat so no greater cost.
Diapers: $20 for the big box of Huggies lasted us two weeks until he got to about 9 months.Now he goes through one a week.

Formula was another $20 a week for the big cans of Enfamil Sensitive. Now that he is on whole milk it's far less.

If you're worried about cost, don't buy a bunch of junk you don't need.
 

mayerling

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MonkeyPie|1311784378|2978046 said:
Ok!
Crib: $50 (We got ours at Walmart. Perfectly good, changes to a toddler bed and then a full size bed later.)
Car seat: $75 (Scenera is even cheaper.)
Changing table: $0 - We didn't get one, and I can almost guarantee you won't need one either. Change where the baby is!
Bassinet: $0 (Ours was a gift, but they can be as low as $25 for a very basic one - no frills needed since they outgrow it FAST.)
Bottles: $50 - We bought three at each "stage" our son was in. No need for a bunch, just get ready to wash.
Food: $25 a week once he got to purees, after that he eats what we eat so no greater cost.
Diapers: $20 for the big box of Huggies lasted us two weeks until he got to about 9 months.Now he goes through one a week.

Formula was another $20 a week for the big cans of Enfamil Sensitive. Now that he is on whole milk it's far less.

If you're worried about cost, don't buy a bunch of junk you don't need.
Good point! What would you ladies say is totally unnecessary?
 

MonkeyPie

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mayerling|1311787300|2978092 said:
MonkeyPie|1311784378|2978046 said:
If you're worried about cost, don't buy a bunch of junk you don't need.
Good point! What would you ladies say is totally unnecessary?
To me, a lot of stuff wasn't needed, but it really depends on your baby. The changing table was a big waste of money for me, so we didn't bother with it. I also didn't get a fancy bedding set - they will just end up covered in drool and stuffed in a closet anyway :tongue: Baby tubs are also kind of a waste if you have a decent bathroom tub already. Just get one of those sticky pads for the bottom for when baby gets too big for the kitchen sink, hah. Seriously, Micah only used his about three times.
 

Pandora II

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I'm going to give you a list for the UK as things cost a different amount here. IIRC you live in London and so public transport is likely to feature high?

Baby showers are not usual here and parental contributions tend to be a few clothes, toys etc rather than larger items - or that is how it seems to be in my circles.

Crib: You have the option of going for a moses basket (£15), a co-sleeper type mini-crib that will take them till around 4-5 months and attaches to your bed (John Lewis - £100 ) or a bigger cot that will last 1-2 years (depends on brand - anything from £20 to £2,000)
I bought a mini Arms Reach Co-sleeper on eBay for £100, and a Stokke Cot - again on eBay - for £100. Both secondhand but excellent condition and MUCH cheaper than the new price.

Crib mattress: I had one made for the Co-Sleeper via a company I found on eBay, it cost £40 and was coir and sheeps-wool with a bamboo cover. For the Stokke, I got a new mattress for £50 on eBay.

Linens: £100 - sheets, protective undersheets (hippychick do lovely ones that aren't all plasticy). In the UK they are pro-bumpers, in the USA they are anti. Ditto regarding using blankets. I bought the Nature's Purest Bamboo blankets which are gorgeous, feel like silk and can just be slung in the washing machine again and again. I got them all on eBay. Ditto towels - I have the bamboo hooded towels from eBay (£6 each)

Car seat: The most popular here is the Maxi Cosi which will cost you around £200 for both the carseat and the ISOFIX base. I also bought a mirror that attaches to the backseat so you can see what they are up to and that was £2 on eBay.

Changing table: I bought the IKEA Leksvik one which has the drawers underneath for £180 but there are loads on eBay.

Changing Mat: £15 (John Lewis)

Bottles: I recommend the Tommee Tippee 'Closer to Nature' ones. Wait till there is a 50% off offer at Tesco and you can pick up a set complete with microwave steriliser for around £20

Other feeding: we did Baby Led Weaning so Daisy just had what we were having, I do have the Tommee Tippee bowls with the suction pad and their sippy cups (only ones that don't leak).

Breastpump: I had the Tommee Tippee manual pump (£25 in Tesco) and as I never needed to pump that often I didn't need to buy an expensive one.

Highchair: I have the Bloom Fresco as DH liked it and we got a mega-bargain on eBay (£50) but if I was buying again I would get the Stokke Tripp Trapp. The IKEA one is very good but doesn't fold and sticks out a lot. I also have the Minui Handy Sitt for travelling - great but expensive.

Nappies: I always used Pampers - we didn't have a tumble drier till recently so cloth was not an option. I suppose we spend £10 a week - I wait for the special offers and bulk buy. Ditto with wipes. I have heard that Lidels have really good disposable nappies that are very cheap.

Spit-up Cloths: Muslins are a nightmare as it all just slides off - old style terry nappies are the best and you can get them on eBay for about £8 for 6.

Bouncer: £50 Fisherprice from John Lewis (she hated it and I wish I had bought a neglectomatic swing thing instead)

Jumperoo: £80 from ToysRUs

Play mat: £25 - John Lewis

Bath: You honestly don't need one. Use the sink or the bath instead, baby baths just kill your back. I did have the Tummy Tub (£20 - Mothercare) which is a great laundry bucket, but I found it much easier just to have a bath together.

Stroller: £530 (Bambino Direct) - my big spend - I have the Stokke Xplory which is a dream in London as it's so narrow and goes easily on buses, the tube and in and out of shops (I got lots of extras and the Maxi Cosi carseat free with it so that also saved £120 as I just had to buy the base)

However, stroller accessories are expensive! The winter cocoon thing was £70 and the nappy bag was £50, but both have been brilliant so worth the money - plus DH was prepared to carry the nappy bag as it didn't look like one.

Since I don't have a car, I saw the stroller as my real essential and did huge amounts of research and accosted parents all over London to grill them on pros and cons of theirs. The Xplory was a no brainer in the end given that it is so high up and I'm tall and have had back surgery. It takes them till they are 4 and is incredibly light to push - plus turns to 2 wheeler without taking the child out for stairs etc. It's no good off-road though. Many of my friends have gone through 5+ strollers (especially those who bought the Bugaboo Bee) so I can give you any amount of advice on London suitability of various brands!

Monitor: Didn't need as our house is so small, but we were given the BT 150 digital which costs £60 or so

Carrier: I have the Ellaroo Mei Tai which is wonderful. It costs £56 new but I got one on eBay for £11 that was an ex-display model. For when they are tiny I recommend the Moby (eBay has them for around £10). Don't buy the Baby Bjorn - it's very uncomfortable and hurts your back very quickly plus they're not great for the baby's spine).

Add at least £1,000 for miscellaneous rubbish that all adds up: bath stuff like shampoo etc (I have Burts Bees), nappy cream (I have Sudafed, Metanium - for rashes, and Burts Bees), nappy sacs etc etc

You don't need a nappy bin - just stick a plastic bag in a small bin and chuck them in that. I also didn't need a bath or room thermometer (most good monitors have them in-built). I also found the Bumbo a complete waste of time - it was actually dangerous for us as D would throw herself backwards out of it straight onto hardwood floors.

If you budget £3k to set yourself up and then another £3k during the year then you should be fine IMHO. Obviously you can do it much cheaper and you can do it much more expensively. £6k would cover a certain amount new and a certain amount second-hand. If you can get stuff donated then even better. I gave loads of my baby things away to friends - sadly I was one of the first to have one in our group and the ones with older kids were planning to have more so I got exactly ZERO in hand-me-downs...
 

mayerling

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 4, 2010
Messages
2,357
Pandora|1311789754|2978132 said:
I'm going to give you a list for the UK as things cost a different amount here. IIRC you live in London and so public transport is likely to feature high?

Baby showers are not usual here and parental contributions tend to be a few clothes, toys etc rather than larger items - or that is how it seems to be in my circles.

Crib: You have the option of going for a moses basket (£15), a co-sleeper type mini-crib that will take them till around 4-5 months and attaches to your bed (John Lewis - £100 ) or a bigger cot that will last 1-2 years (depends on brand - anything from £20 to £2,000)
I bought a mini Arms Reach Co-sleeper on eBay for £100, and a Stokke Cot - again on eBay - for £100. Both secondhand but excellent condition and MUCH cheaper than the new price.

Crib mattress: I had one made for the Co-Sleeper via a company I found on eBay, it cost £40 and was coir and sheeps-wool with a bamboo cover. For the Stokke, I got a new mattress for £50 on eBay.

Linens: £100 - sheets, protective undersheets (hippychick do lovely ones that aren't all plasticy). In the UK they are pro-bumpers, in the USA they are anti. Ditto regarding using blankets. I bought the Nature's Purest Bamboo blankets which are gorgeous, feel like silk and can just be slung in the washing machine again and again. I got them all on eBay. Ditto towels - I have the bamboo hooded towels from eBay (£6 each)

Car seat: The most popular here is the Maxi Cosi which will cost you around £200 for both the carseat and the ISOFIX base. I also bought a mirror that attaches to the backseat so you can see what they are up to and that was £2 on eBay.

Changing table: I bought the IKEA Leksvik one which has the drawers underneath for £180 but there are loads on eBay.

Changing Mat: £15 (John Lewis)

Bottles: I recommend the Tommee Tippee 'Closer to Nature' ones. Wait till there is a 50% off offer at Tesco and you can pick up a set complete with microwave steriliser for around £20

Other feeding: we did Baby Led Weaning so Daisy just had what we were having, I do have the Tommee Tippee bowls with the suction pad and their sippy cups (only ones that don't leak).

Breastpump: I had the Tommee Tippee manual pump (£25 in Tesco) and as I never needed to pump that often I didn't need to buy an expensive one.

Highchair: I have the Bloom Fresco as DH liked it and we got a mega-bargain on eBay (£50) but if I was buying again I would get the Stokke Tripp Trapp. The IKEA one is very good but doesn't fold and sticks out a lot. I also have the Minui Handy Sitt for travelling - great but expensive.

Nappies: I always used Pampers - we didn't have a tumble drier till recently so cloth was not an option. I suppose we spend £10 a week - I wait for the special offers and bulk buy. Ditto with wipes. I have heard that Lidels have really good disposable nappies that are very cheap.

Spit-up Cloths: Muslins are a nightmare as it all just slides off - old style terry nappies are the best and you can get them on eBay for about £8 for 6.

Bouncer: £50 Fisherprice from John Lewis (she hated it and I wish I had bought a neglectomatic swing thing instead)

Jumperoo: £80 from ToysRUs

Play mat: £25 - John Lewis

Bath: You honestly don't need one. Use the sink or the bath instead, baby baths just kill your back. I did have the Tummy Tub (£20 - Mothercare) which is a great laundry bucket, but I found it much easier just to have a bath together.

Stroller: £530 (Bambino Direct) - my big spend - I have the Stokke Xplory which is a dream in London as it's so narrow and goes easily on buses, the tube and in and out of shops (I got lots of extras and the Maxi Cosi carseat free with it so that also saved £120 as I just had to buy the base)

However, stroller accessories are expensive! The winter cocoon thing was £70 and the nappy bag was £50, but both have been brilliant so worth the money - plus DH was prepared to carry the nappy bag as it didn't look like one.

Since I don't have a car, I saw the stroller as my real essential and did huge amounts of research and accosted parents all over London to grill them on pros and cons of theirs. The Xplory was a no brainer in the end given that it is so high up and I'm tall and have had back surgery. It takes them till they are 4 and is incredibly light to push - plus turns to 2 wheeler without taking the child out for stairs etc. It's no good off-road though. Many of my friends have gone through 5+ strollers (especially those who bought the Bugaboo Bee) so I can give you any amount of advice on London suitability of various brands!

Monitor: Didn't need as our house is so small, but we were given the BT 150 digital which costs £60 or so

Carrier: I have the Ellaroo Mei Tai which is wonderful. It costs £56 new but I got one on eBay for £11 that was an ex-display model. For when they are tiny I recommend the Moby (eBay has them for around £10). Don't buy the Baby Bjorn - it's very uncomfortable and hurts your back very quickly plus they're not great for the baby's spine).

Add at least £1,000 for miscellaneous rubbish that all adds up: bath stuff like shampoo etc (I have Burts Bees), nappy cream (I have Sudafed, Metanium - for rashes, and Burts Bees), nappy sacs etc etc

You don't need a nappy bin - just stick a plastic bag in a small bin and chuck them in that. I also didn't need a bath or room thermometer (most good monitors have them in-built). I also found the Bumbo a complete waste of time - it was actually dangerous for us as D would throw herself backwards out of it straight onto hardwood floors.

If you budget £3k to set yourself up and then another £3k during the year then you should be fine IMHO. Obviously you can do it much cheaper and you can do it much more expensively. £6k would cover a certain amount new and a certain amount second-hand. If you can get stuff donated then even better. I gave loads of my baby things away to friends - sadly I was one of the first to have one in our group and the ones with older kids were planning to have more so I got exactly ZERO in hand-me-downs...
Pandora, thanks for this breakdown! It's so useful.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
Honestly, most of the costs in the first year are peanuts and can be minimized with second hand shopping and careful choices, except for the biggies you cannot avoid: lost wages, daycare, and insurance.

For me, we did not have the second two items on the list living in Canada and having paid mat leave and gov't health insurance. But I still took a pay cut to stay home. I will be taking 9 months off this time around, and my total decrease in wages in that time will be about $7000 all alone -- and I am fortunate to get a top up to gov't met leave from my employer. If I was not, and relied solely on governemtn benefits, our shortfall for nine months would be closer to $22k. So that is a shortfall we will have to account for in our budgeting. If I was not on leave, we would not have that shortfall but would be spending $1000 per month on child care, so that is also a huge burden. So figure out your lost wages with time off and add daycare costs for the remaining months, add insurance, and that is the real cost of the first year of your kiddos life!

Anyways, I suggest that you make a very detailed budget that reflects your present lifestyle and include every little category you possibly can. Then try to trim about $10k+ from your annual expenses, and that will show you have you will have to live once your kid comes!
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
While PG I found some article that detailed out first year costs at $15k. I remember thinking wow that is expensive. I don't think it costs that much. Not much is absolutely NECESSARY...babies are pretty small and don't require a whole lot to start. Even toys and things... chances are you will not need to buy much of anything. Most of the toys we have gotten have been gifts or hand me downs. We try to keep it a little more simple as our house is small.

I am sure the other ladies pretty much covered the basics. What I found absolutely useful in the first few months were:
side snap mitted onesies or tshirts (this is all J wore in the first 2 months almost--he was a flailer and scratched himself all the time)
cloth diapers as burp cloths, wipe ups, handy in a pinch, we had a ton of these
diapers, wipes
swaddle or wrap or blankets..the A&A blankets for us did double duty as swaddle and regular blanket, car seat cover etc as they are thin muslin and the fabric breathes. now at 1.5 years we use it as a summer blanket or stroller cover to protect from sun etc.
bouncer
swing
bassinet (slept in it til month 2 exclusively, it wheeled around the house)
video monitor (not necessary but we liked it)
stroller (splurged on this, i use it ALL the time even now we go on long walks)

As others have said you can get a crib/changing table/dresser quite cheaply ala IKEA or similar. We got the organic crib mattress though for $250 and LOVE it.

Since we did a combo of bottle and BF...we needed bottles, nipples, microwave sterilizer (loved this thing).

Medical costs were only $100 as my insurance is excellent and entirely covers him too. I also had more than half of my medical leave paid at 100%, the rest at maybe 30-40% but I found I spend hardly any money staying home, WAYYY less than when I work (even now!).

Daycare... I stayed home til 5mo and then had family care til almost 8mo, so we only had 4mo of paid care the first year. In UK though I think you get 1 year off? But unpaid?

Things we didn't use or get... bottle warmer, diaper bin (we just used a basket trash can from a bathroom and emptied it daily).

If you're looking to keep costs down, see what you can get as hand me downs or on Craigs List as gently used. So many things babies only use for a few months and not well at all--aka car seat, we stopped at 8mo and it was in pristine condition.
 

mayerling

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 4, 2010
Messages
2,357
Mara|1311820307|2978547 said:
While PG I found some article that detailed out first year costs at $15k. I remember thinking wow that is expensive. I don't think it costs that much. Not much is absolutely NECESSARY...babies are pretty small and don't require a whole lot to start. Even toys and things... chances are you will not need to buy much of anything. Most of the toys we have gotten have been gifts or hand me downs. We try to keep it a little more simple as our house is small.

I am sure the other ladies pretty much covered the basics. What I found absolutely useful in the first few months were:
side snap mitted onesies or tshirts (this is all J wore in the first 2 months almost--he was a flailer and scratched himself all the time)
cloth diapers as burp cloths, wipe ups, handy in a pinch, we had a ton of these
diapers, wipes
swaddle or wrap or blankets..the A&A blankets for us did double duty as swaddle and regular blanket, car seat cover etc as they are thin muslin and the fabric breathes. now at 1.5 years we use it as a summer blanket or stroller cover to protect from sun etc.
bouncer
swing
bassinet (slept in it til month 2 exclusively, it wheeled around the house)
video monitor (not necessary but we liked it)
stroller (splurged on this, i use it ALL the time even now we go on long walks)

As others have said you can get a crib/changing table/dresser quite cheaply ala IKEA or similar. We got the organic crib mattress though for $250 and LOVE it.

Since we did a combo of bottle and BF...we needed bottles, nipples, microwave sterilizer (loved this thing).

Medical costs were only $100 as my insurance is excellent and entirely covers him too. I also had more than half of my medical leave paid at 100%, the rest at maybe 30-40% but I found I spend hardly any money staying home, WAYYY less than when I work (even now!).

Daycare... I stayed home til 5mo and then had family care til almost 8mo, so we only had 4mo of paid care the first year. In UK though I think you get 1 year off? But unpaid?

Things we didn't use or get... bottle warmer, diaper bin (we just used a basket trash can from a bathroom and emptied it daily).

If you're looking to keep costs down, see what you can get as hand me downs or on Craigs List as gently used. So many things babies only use for a few months and not well at all--aka car seat, we stopped at 8mo and it was in pristine condition.
In the UK, the statutory minimum 39 weeks of maternity leave. The first 6 weeks are at 90% of full pay; the remainder is at a fixed rate of £123 per week. Most employers are more generous than this, though. I'm in academia, and most universities offer a full year; you usually get 13 weeks at full pay, and the remainder of the year at £123 per week.
 

swimmer

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 9, 2007
Messages
2,516
Ikea crib, mattress, pad, and sheets were just over $100 usd.
changing table/storage wall of shelves from land o nod on craigslist $120
clothes all hand-me-down $0
breastmilk $0
Insurance for baby $75 a month
food $10 a week at the mkt for fruit/veggies beyond what we would have gotten ourselves
wages lost by me $0 (had months of banked sick leave) childcare provided by my work.
toys all hand me down (but he prefers paper bags, the mail, an odd shoelace) $0
Stroller $240
Buying a house to get in a good neighborhood with good schools: many hundred thousand usd

Soooooo, you can save almost anywhere, but something is going to really empty your pockets.
 
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