Yesterday’s post covered our costs before Baby Girl arrived in our home. Today I’ll cover the costs we’ve incurred since that little munchkin first wrapped her hand around Daddy’s finger (which literally happened seconds after she was born). We did a post on how we got a free baby, so luckily Johnny and I didn’t have any hospital bills. But she’s forced our hand in other expense categories… you think you’re totally prepared, but NOPE. No matter how many preparations we made, there’s nothin’ like the real thing. And that doesn’t just go for expenses… we thought we knew how to change a diaper, but Baby Girl showed us our diapering weaknesses real quick in ways that are now engraved into our brains forever.
In our first week home with Baby Girl, we had to take three trips to the doctor. She was a very yellow little baby, and her bilirubin levels had to be monitored. Because these weren’t routine visits, we had a $15 copay each time. Luckily, her levels evened out, and we hope our next appointment isn’t until her 2-month check up, which will be covered by insurance.
Diapers and Wipes
We were gifted a good number of diapers and wipes, AND the hospital sent us home with another 100 diapers or so. And even though we did a post on this, we still weren’t prepared for how many diapers our little girl could go through. WHOA. After a few weeks, we had to go purchase our own, and we’ve spent about $60 up until now. I think we’ll probably average about $50/month on diapers and wipes from here on out. For the moms who do cloth, you are superwomen. I need each and every convenience I can get my hands on right now, including disposable diapers. Let’s just say I did laundry almost a week ago, and it’s still not folded. Don’t judge.
Yup, this category continues even after birth, despite all the gear we bought BEFORE. Some items we’ve purchased? A baby bath seat, a swaddle blanket, vitamin D drops, and a few other miscellaneous items. The total comes to about $50. And we’ve held off on getting a high chair, activity mat, and toys for when Baby Girl is older. But thanks to some Babies R Us and Target gift cards, hopefully some of those costs will be covered.
So we haven’t yet purchased any clothing. Our family and friends have been really generous in buying and gifting us clothes. Plus, Johnny’s older sister has three girls, and she has loaned us all of her baby clothes. WHAT! So incredible. That said, I’m listing this expense because I know it’s inevitable that we’re gonna have to buy Baby Girl some clothes in the near future. And, let’s be honest… I’m kind of (read: really) looking forward to it! 🙂
Yowza. I saved the best, or rather most pricey, expense for last. Now that we have Baby Girl, we pay an extra $150 each month for insurance. So since we’re already into month two, we’ll round up and say $300 for this expense. Boy, it’s a good thing she started smiling at us a couple weeks ago to help lessen the blow.
In Baby Girl’s first 6 weeks of life, we’ve spent about $450 extra. And I’ve taken a pay cut during my maternity leave, which has cost us a few thousand dollars. No big deal. (NOT!) Thankfully, these expenses weren’t too much of a surprise. And we’re figuring out ways to offset Baby Girl’s extra expenses. Johnny just started getting reimbursed by his work for his cell phone, which covers our monthly diaper costs. I got a pay raise at the end of the year, which covers our extra insurance costs. And we’re hoping to get a nice payout from Aflac soon, which will hopefully make up for some of the income we lost during my maternity leave. And the fact that we never leave the house anymore does wonders for all those unnecessary shopping expenses. No more impulse buys at the mall for these two.
So, Parents-To-Be, if you can anticipate and prepare for all these expenses, you’ll be a-okay when it comes time to bring Baby home from the hospital. No pressure. 😉 And as other parents can attest, you’ll be so in love with the little one that you’ll be willing to spend whatever it takes to take care of him or her.
For any parents out there, were you surprised by how much parenthood cost? Was it more or less than you expected? For any of you who don’t have parenthood anywhere on your radar, thanks for letting me bore you to tears the past two days. You’re troopers—and hopefully still open to having children. 😉
When our son and his wife had their first child, they checked out an online site called Freecycle, where they’ve been able to get a lot of free stuff. This organization has affiliate sites in many ciities worldwide and I STRONGLY suggest that you guys check out your local site before spending too much more than you have to. Here’s the link to get you started –
I forgot to further comment about your mention of insurance for Baby Girl. I assume that the $300 that you are spending refers only to health care coverage on her behalf – since it probably is required in the U.S.
Here in Canada our government health care coverage covers this expense. Thus, when our kids were young I never had to pay anything on insurance for them, nor on my wife for that matter. The only insurance costs that I paid was for house insurance, car insurance, and cheap term life insurance on only myself. It was the potential loss of my income (since back then only I was the one working) that was the reason for my life insurance. That is really all that one needs insurance for – to cover the family’s needs in the event that a related loss should ever occur.
If your insurance on Baby Girl does refer to only health insurance, is it part of the family insurance coverage that either you and/or Johnny has with either of your employers? That’s the best (and cheapest) way to set up insurance on your child, in my opinion.
Yep, Baby Girl is covered under my insurance policy that I get through my employer (who subsidizes and covers a portion of the cost). But the $300/month covers all three of us. It’s a lot of money every month, but it’s clearly a necessity. And luckily, it’s a fantastic plan.
I’ve heard a ton about Freecycle, but have yet to use it. We’re huge thrift store shoppers and our Craigslist obsession is well-documented. So it sounds like it’s time for these cheapsters to get on Freecycle!
I was surprised at how little we spent on most things. We borrowed or were given most of the essentials. We did without the stuff we thought was nonsense (a wipe warmer, really?). No matter how you prepare diapers and formula if/when you use it are both big ticket items, but I found that because I was on mat leave for a year (Canada) I was available to do a lot more cooking, couponing etc which saved money, so those extra baby items were pretty much covered by our reduced grocery costs.
I was prepared for the reduction in my income while on mat leave, but the cost of day care when I returned to work was staggering. We do get to claim that on our income taxes which leads to a nice refund, but we still had to find over $1000/mth and that was over a decade ago for our youngest. If your daycare provider is a single individual (rather than a daycare center) you may want to start planning now for one additional Christmas gift on your list… In addition to setting aside savings to cover specific baby costs for equipment and medical expenses, it’s wise to create a new budget for your life while on mat leave, and another one for after you return to work and have daycare costs. Those will likely go on for several years so you’d better have a plan for a balanced budget that includes a new bill that can be as high as a mortgage payment.
Similar to you, we’ve actually seen a lot of other expenses go down. Like Joanna said, we just don’t have enough time in the day to spend money. 🙂
We likely won’t be going the daycare route. But we’re going to have to play that by ear. We might consider having a babysitter come a couple times a week for Joanna’s busier days, but for now, we’re not anticipating daycare expenses. But having heard from others, those costs are nuts!
Check out amazon.com for amazon mom with subscribe and save. This was the best option for us on diapers and wipes. It rivaled the wholesale clubs (and if yo also are a prime member free 2 day shipping is nice). I know the program has changed a bit, but I hear is still a good option!
My baby girl was a bit jaundice when she was born too (just the older January baby…I wonder if its bc moms are out of the sun more during pregnancy due to weather). It was minor though and we didn’t need drops or monitoring. Doctor actually suggested just giving her some belly time in nothing but her diaper in front of the windows/doors where the sun was shining through! It cleared up before her first checkup.
What I wish we had done was really considered our insurance amount. We only did the 10 times our salary at the time with the idea that half the money would pay off the house and the other would fund college. We weren’t even going to consider a n second child until the first was 5(which was Justin January!). WELL, her baby sister decided that she was ready to join us and I was pregnant within 9 months (while on birth control to boot). So we don’t have enough coverage and my husbands health has changed so its a lot more expensive now.
Up until now we had a friend that was giving us clothing from her twins that are almost exactly a year older than my oldest. But she has moved far away, so I have started having to buy the clothes myself. I stick to Walmart and target and everything has held up to be passed on to the second (except that the little one is a girly girl that wants only dresses and her big sister hates dresses….so now I have to actually buy different clothing!). The biggest investment will come when she actually has to start wearing shoes…that is the one area that I find they grow out of the fastest. I stick to cheap brands because they grow out of them fast and they wear them out fast! I went to measure my oldest about a month after she got some new shoes and she had already grown a size and a half. Thankfully grandma was with us and got her some shoes!
We’ve always sorta panicked our way into buying diapers as we haven’t been too on top of our “planning ahead” game as usual. But Amazon still seems like the best bet. Thanks for the reminder.
AHHHH! You were pregnant within 9 months of your first!!! That’s insane! Joanna and I continue to add years to when we’ll do this again. I think we’re at 15 years now (probably more like 3-5). But I’m sure it’s nice to have two girls so close in age as far as reusing clothes. As much as I want a boy next, my wallet wouldn’t mind a girl. And I really want to buy our Baby Girl Vans shoes (http://shop.vans.com/catalog/Vans/en_US/style/iebneo.html?categoryId=40118). There’s no way I could justify spending $35 on those dumb little things, but it’d be awesome to have matching shoe styles (not color) as my girl. 🙂
Insane is an understatement! Wardrobe sharing has worked until now. Next season I will have to shop separately. Somehow the 3yo has become a diva and thinks sneakers is a four letter word!
You will get better at planning ahead, but the beauty of subscribe and save is that yo can set up to have the stuff delivered automatically! So if you can gauge how long it takes yo to get through what you have, you can set it up to deliver! VERY convenient!
As far as those vans (which are stinkin’ adorable) you can find airwalks and allstars at Payless and target. Very reasonable price, low and high tops in various colors and patterns! My girls spent summer in airwalks (oldest in pink youngest in purple)! I have always wanted to splurge on doc martens (I grew up in the 90’s grunge days), but they are way too expensive!
We do cloth diapers. It saves us a ton of money. It is really easy. I think people have negative perception about cloth diapers. I highly recommend you go the cloth diaper route. Let me know if you need further advice on how we cloth diaper.
Gary, what brand of cloth diapers do you use? We don’t have kids yet, but it’s never too early to starting doing research! Do you wash them separately from your other clothes?
How we do it..
We wash them separate from our clothes. We now have two in them. Wash gets done for the diapers 3 times a week since we now have a newborn. Once she is older it might go down to 2-3 times depending on how quickly we use them. Once the baby starts solids you need to clean off the poop but at least with breast feed babies you don’t need to do anything but throw it in the wash. And we use cloth wipes which is a huge savings as well. We wash on a sanitize cycle.
We have about 3 dozen infant size prefolds with 6-8 covers and then about 2 dozen toddler or larger infant ones with about 6-8 one size covers. The cheapest way to cloth diaper is with prefolds and covers. There are all in ones (aio) that are just like disposable but you would need 2-3 dozen of them at bout $17-$20 a pop.
The true investment and savings of these diapers is if you have more than one child. We are on number three so we have definitely seen the savings.
If you have more questions about it I’m sure my wife can answer them as she is the one who washes them and changes the most.
We cloth diapered our 3 year old as well. LOVE the savings. I think from when we was born to 2 1/2 years old we averaged 1 disposable diaper a day – we used it at night starting around 9 months as he was a super heavy wetter. We only spent maybe $150 on all the cloth diapers needed for those 2 1/2 years. Now we have them for any future kiddos as well! We used Kawaii, gDiapers and a few random others. Good luck!
One a day!!! We’re lucky if we make it through one an hour. Maybe it’s not that bad, but there’s some days it seems like that. Kudos to you for making it work. Hopefully we’ll get around to trying it soon.
We’re definitely interested and I looked into it pretty seriously. We wanted to try it out after she was born, but we felt like we were having a hard enough time keeping up with our own laundry, let alone the extra loads we’d have to make for the diapers.
Our bank account says, “DO IT!!!” but our fatigued brains say, “Just grab that disposable thing and lets get this thing over with.” I think we’ll reevaluate and try cloth in a month or so once we feel like we’ve got our bearings straight.
This all definitely sounds expensive! This just means that me and W need to save as much as we can 🙂
Worry about your wedding first. 🙂 You two will be just fine.
One of the biggest expenses I am anticipating once my little guy gets here in July is day care costs at about $300 per month for part time. I won’t have to worry about clothing because my sisters will most likely continue passing on clothing. And one of my sisters works with a woman who had a baby a few months ago who is selling us 6 boxes of clothes for $10! Hopefully this woman will continue to want to sell her stuff to us.
That’s an awesome deal. It’s great to find someone who’s child is a year or two ahead that you can borrow or buy from. We lucked out with our sisters having had a few baby girls within the last few years. Day care costs scared us away for now. We’re going to see how it goes with Joanna working at home for the first couple months and then we’ll decide if it’s a necessary expense.
It is not cheap. We are actually spending less now since we are not going out and purchasing crap we don’t need. I have an excellent insurance plan that only cost me $16 a month extra for our little man. We stocked up on diapers before he was born. We are planning on trying cloth diapers soon. It will be the daycare costs that kill us.
Finding out how much daycare costs had me thinking we should get in on the money and just run our own daycare. When I brought it up to Joanna, she just gave me a death stare. So I guess that idea might not pan out after all. 🙂
We’ve been pretty lucky so far with our two girls. They’ve only cost us about $2,000 total since they were born (19 months and 5 months ago). We purchase diapers and wipes in bulk, and we pre-bought a year’s worth of formula. We have a lot of friends with babies so it’s easy to score clothing and old toys!
Impressive track record you’ve got there! And like another commenter with girls close in age, I don’t know how you’re doing it. But kudos to you guys. Joanna and I need to stop complaining about just one little baby to worry about.
We’re actually trying for a third this summer! We’ll have 3 kids under the age of 3. Crazy I know, but we want to be out of diapers as fast as possible.
No kids, but I’m surprised that you haven’t spent more. Maybe I’m overestimating the cost of children. I guess it pays to have friends/family who like to give you their stuff.
Start buttering up your family and friends now, Chris. It will pay dividends down the road if you can get them to fork up their baby stuff. 🙂
you can use aflac for maternity leave? really? I’ll have to look into that for the future!
The payout is for hospitalization and delivery. So they pay you a certain amount for every day you’re hospitalized and then for the “surgery” aka delivery. So if you’re planning on having a child in a few years, it’s worth looking into and figuring out if it nets out.
I would definitely scour garage sales and thrift stores for high chairs and any other “big” purchases. You can use gift cards for diaper purchases and formula/baby food any time, but you can literally save hundreds by buying the bigger stuff through craigslist or other avenues. My kiddo was a spitter, so rather than an activity mat, we just kept a bunch of blankets/quilts handy to throw on the floor at all times before we laid her down!
Why didn’t tell me babies were so gross with their bodily functions? 🙂 Our local dry cleaner is seeing a lot more of my business these days.
That’s good advice. We’ve only started planning ahead for other purchases, but Craigslist will definitely be the first place we look. Thanks for the heads up.
We were lucky to be really spoiled at our showers (family…and my coworkers chipped in on the high chair) and got all our big stuff from that and it was passed on from one to the other. While Craigslist and garage sales are great for saving money, just be sure to go online to see if there are any recalls. Some are for minor issues, others can be serious!
Our most used items were the bouncy seat, the activity center, the boppy, and the high chair lasted through 4 years total. If I had to redo the high chair I would check out the cheaper ones that strap on your normal chairs. This is similar to what we got when our second was born and it was much better than the giant high chair! http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12704381
Awesome! Thanks for the heads up on the strapping kind. We were looking into those.
Because we were not planning for our daughter the enrollment window for my job had just closed and the insurance we had was not the best for pregnancy. Long story short we got slapped with a $1000 delivery bill for our daughter, talk about ruining the mood for a new dad!
Sucks that money has to even be involved with a process that’s so mindblowingly incredible, right? I think the hospital billing representative was in our room within two or three hours after Baby Girl was born to get our insurance information. Not a fan.
Not a fan at all! That’s about the same time frame it took for them to come to our room.
I know babies are really expensive, sounds like you guys are doing a good job keeping costs low. Hopefully by the time bf and I are ready to have kids our friends haven’t given away all their baby clothes.
There’s not a lot of things that are worth the “expensive” label, but mini humans are one of them. But you might want to start shooting your friends emails now about holding on to their clothes. Don’t know where that ranks on the tacky meter, but whatever.
Hi! I’m a frugal environmentalist so I’m down with the cloth diapering concept, however I’ve never had a kid – just an Aunt :).
I did this for my sister though and if you are genuinely interested in cloth diapering, but aren’t completely sold, here is a good way to try it our pretty risk free:
I’m not affiliated with them – I swear, just love this program and did it as a gift for my sister in Michigan even though I live in Ithaca, NY by the actual store.
Good luck either way!
Sweet! Thanks for the info, Lauren! Once we’ve got a better handle on life as we know it with our newest addition, this looks like the perfect way to give this a shot.
You guys are doing great with costs. Those little bundle of joys are expensive, but it’s so nice when family and friends are generous with support. I couldn’t how many diapers a cute baby girl could through too!! It’s true that some of your other expenses go down since you’re just too bone-tired to do anything else. The good news/bad news is you eventually find the energy to do them again, with an additional person! 🙂
Haha. We’ve kinda just resigned ourselves to the fact that we’ll never ever go out and eat/shop/catch a movie ever again. 🙂 And even if we don’t, I’m sure before we know it, our Baby Girl will be our Teenage Girl and wanting to do all of those things on our dime. So the spending will resume sooner or later.
Just found your blog. This will definitely help. I am wondering however though how did you only budget $1000 for the stroller, crib, etc. Where did you get that stuff. We just found out we are having a baby and I am trying to prepare now. Loved reading everything so far.