Growing your family is exciting, but can also be expensive. Of course, the newest addition to your family will need all the essentials — food, clothing and plenty of diapers — but there are other costs of having a baby to consider.
As you prepare to welcome your new baby, or if you're thinking about growing your family, there's no doubt you may wonder, "How much does it cost to have a baby?" But before you go into sticker shock, here are some ways to determine these costs so you can prepare your finances.
How much does a baby cost monthly?
By some estimates, the average parent may expect to spend about $1,000 per month on childcare, food and housing for their kids.
To help you get a budget together, you'll want to consider your baby's needs, including:
- Formula and food
- Health insurance
- College savings
- Unexpected needs
While needs vary for every child and family situation, running the numbers can help you get a general idea of how much it costs to raise a kid.
One-time expenses for a baby
When a new baby comes along, there are plenty of items you'll need to buy upfront. Getting a financial checklist together ahead of time can help you answer the question, "Can I afford to have a baby right now?"
Some of these expenses may include the following:
- Car seat and stroller
- Nursery items, such as a bassinet or crib
- Diaper or travel bag and pack n' play
- Baby monitor
- Breastfeeding accessories or bottles and bottle cleaners
- Baby safety items for around your home
If you've already had a child, you can reuse some of these items to save money.
As you run the numbers, you'll also want to consider the medical costs of having a baby. These prices may vary depending on your insurance coverage and where you live.
How much are prenatal appointments?
For many, labor is the big medical cost that first comes to mind. But before your little one arrives, there are other expenses to add to your list, including:
- Medical check-ups, including tests and ultrasounds
- Prenatal vitamins
- Birthing classes
Depending on your insurance coverage, you may need to pay a copay or coinsurance for these appointments. Typically, these fees count toward your annual deductible, but check with your insurer.
How much does it cost to give birth?
Giving birth may be one of the first expenses that come to mind when asking the question, "How much does having a baby cost?" However, your out-of-pocket costs for childbirth vary based on your health insurance and how the cost-sharing of deductibles, copays, and coinsurance work for your plan.
More recent studies have found that the out-of-pocket cost of having a baby, including pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum care, averages just under $3,000 for those with healthcare.
These numbers may vary slightly depending on the type of delivery, with those needing cesarean sections (C-sections) typically paying more.
How much is it to have a baby without insurance?
Those without health insurance may need to pay out-of-pocket for the entirety of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care. Research estimates the average cost for childbirth is nearly $19,000 and higher for those with C-sections.
If you don't have coverage, consider speaking with the hospital before birth. You may be able to negotiate for a discount or set up a payment plan ahead of time.
How much money should I save before having a baby?
There's no one number that you need to have saved before having a baby. But you can start saving for the cost of having a baby, even if it's a small amount each month.
Some financial tips for new parents include:
- Review your budget to see your planned expenses and how they fit into your budget
- Try to grow your emergency fund to prepare for the unexpected
- Consider automating your finances to put away some funds every month for baby expenses based on your budget numbers
- Ask friends and look at online marketplaces where you may find gently used items at more affordable prices
Some of these factors may also depend on your state's general cost of living, so it's important to include that in your numbers as you prepare.
Planning and saving as you start growing your family can help you feel more confident with your finances as you embark on this new amazing journey.
Thinking about growing your family? Learn more about your life insurance options.