How much does a baby cost per month?

posted 3 years ago in Babies
  • poll: What is the monthly cost of raising a baby?
    0-300 : (31 votes)
    44 %
    300-600 : (11 votes)
    16 %
    600-900 : (2 votes)
    3 %
    900-1200 : (12 votes)
    17 %
    1200-1500 : (4 votes)
    6 %
    1500-1800 : (2 votes)
    3 %
    1800+ : (8 votes)
    11 %
  • Post # 3
    4413 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    Our DD is 3 1/2 months old, and her costs are:

    $1k per month daycare

    $100ish per month formula

    We cloth diaper, so diaper costs are negligible, but at her current rate of diaper use, I’d say dipes WOULD cost … maybe $80 per month?

    Medical costs are nonexistent, since DH is army so healthcare is free. And clothing is pretty much just whatever I WANT to buy, as we inherited an entire wardrobe of baby clothes from my sister.

    We are fortunate enough to have room in our budget to accommodate the increase in costs, but that comes at a price of severely lowering our monthly savings. We had been shoveling money into a savings account for a house down payment and retirement, but now we are hardly saving at all. Which sucks, but little bebe is worth it!

    Post # 4
    1472 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    @Kate0558:  I chose 0-300, although of course, early on it was more expensive.

    We use cloth diapers most of the time, and when we don’t, we buy Costco diapers that cost $30 a box and last for most of a month. There was an upfront cost to cloth, but I mostly use prefolds with covers, so it wasn’t too high. Maybe $200 total.

    I work part time from home and my mom watches my son when I’m working (I lucked out in this arena). This also helps for things like date nights, although occasionally we pay a sitter (maybe twice in the year he’s been alive). 

    I buy most of his clothes on goood sales or consignment, although of course sometimes the Gymboree outfits scream out at me, haha. 

    He now eats mostly what we eat, and I’d say food we buy just for him is no more than $50 a month. And he was breastfed before table food, so that was free. Nursing necessities (pump supplies not covered by insurance, nursing clothes, etc) were no more than $100 total.

    He’s the first grandchild, so we don’t spend a lot of money on toys, haha. Maybe $50 a month, max. 

    Since he isn’t in daycare, we do a couple classes–swimming and music, and that’s about $50-$75 a month. 

    We have double insurance coverage, so almost never pay out of pocket. 

    I don’t think I’m forgetting anything major. It is expensive, but you can make choices that bring the cost down. You re-prioritize and budget. 

    Post # 5
    1902 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2012

    Childcare alone is going to be about $2,000/mo for me and my husband.  I don’t even know how much the rest of the expenses will cost.

    Post # 6
    3394 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    @Kate0558:  My costs were pretty low because I breastfed and worked in the evenings so their father could watch them, I never sent my kids to daycare. We weren’t rich, but we all survived and we were never homeless…then when I got divorced I got a job where I could take my kids to work with me.

    ETA: As far as I know cheap daycare in my area is $170/week.

    Post # 7
    863 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    Since I am currently on mat leave and breast feed, this baby is dirt cheap. About 100 bones a month on shit I don’t need like clothes I like on her and toys maybe 60 on diapers and wipes and other baby care items. Our health-care is totally free. When I do work, daycare for 4 days a week is 1450 per month but I will be working so the income from that goes partly to daycare! 

    Post # 8
    577 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2012

    Less than $100 a month. I’m a SAHM so childcare is free. My daughter is breastfed and eats the same food we eat, so we pay nothing for baby food. We use cloth diapers which had a one-time cost of $80, and we spend less than $10 a month on wipes. I usually spend about $50 on clothes, books and toys, which I buy all secondhand. (Most of that is spent on books because I don’t want her to chew up books from the library.) I try to buy as few clothes and toys as possible because the fewer toys and the simpler they are, the more creative she is when playing. Clothes get outgrown so fast that I try to only buy as many as she absolutely needs. We choose to live simply and live way below our means.

    We haven’t had to pay anything for healthcare since she was born, because routine preventative care is covered by our insurance. Other things we buy are things like lotion, baby wash, baby toothbrushes, vitamins, etc. but those things average out to $10 or less every month.

    Oh, I forgot, we also elected to do cord blood banking which we pay $125 a year (so $10 a month) for annual storage. There was a higher up-front cost with that when she was born.

    ETA: I worked for the first few months after she was born, and I think daycare was about $500 a month (not quite full-time). Since I quit working to become a SAHM, I also worked on slashing all of our household budgets. I cut our grocery bill in half by cooking from scratch and buying less meat and store-brand everything, and we never eat out anymore. We are actually saving more per month now on just my husband’s salary than we were when I was also working.

    Post # 9
    7281 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

    We are considering TTC and have worked up our budget for it. We’re allowing $2000 a month for childcare, but there is wiggle room to go up another $400-500 if we end up with twins (a good possibility with IVF). I want to cloth diaper and use cloth wipes, so we’ve allowed $600 for the initial investment, which translates into $50 per month for the first year. I also want to bf, which I did with my son, but we’ve allowed $100 in the calculations for if we need formula. And we’ve factored in $75 a month for clothes/toys/random stuff. I plan to buy most things on consignment because I would rather re-use perfectly good items than buy new. It feels more “eco friendly” to me. I’m a lil’ crunchy like that. So, all in all, we’ve budget $2225-2725 per month. If it’s on the upper end of the price range because of twins, that will only leave us about $600 a month for non-retirement savings, fun spending, and discretionary house projects. But we would still be able to save well for retirement and comfortably pay all of our bills, which are my goals.  

    Post # 10
    434 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2013 - Tybee Island, GA

    Not sure if you are eligable.

    I used to work at a daycare and alot of parents got child care assistance (CCA). You pick a daycare and ask if they have CCA there and if they do, they’ll give you a form to fill out.

    some parents got free child care, and others came out paying $2 a week or so…

    I would def look into that. (I think it goes off of what you make a year)

    Post # 11
    8483 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2013

    @Kate0558:  I haven’t delivered yet, but childcare is usually the biggest expense.  I would plan on somewhere around 300-350 diapers a month from what I’ve heard if you’re using disposables.  You can get roughly 200 diapers for $40.

    I would see food as a pretty small amount in the beginning, unless you’re using formula. 

    You can get clothes pretty cheap (garage sales, craigslist) or on clearance so it all depends on what you prefer.

    I am not planning on huge medical bills outside of delivery and what it will cost to add baby to my insurance.  I have pretty good insurance.

    The nice daycare around here for infants runs about $1k a month, though I think there are cheaper options.  If you have family willing to help out some people can eliminate childcare all together and still have a double income.  Though my parents aren’t in my town, they’re close enough that if I need a sitter for a night out or a weekend, they can do that.

    I don’t have $1500 a month in “fun” money.  I think of “fun” money as something I can spend on clothes, shoes, bar tabs, etc.  Basically some of what was going into savings will be diverted to daycare until they go to school.  I’m talking general savings here- for vacations, house, whatever.  What I put into retirement (pre-tax) will stay the same.  We live pretty cheapily right now, as I put most of our extra $$ into savings and don’t save very much of it for “fun” stuff.

    I don’t see myself spending more than roughly $1300 a month on an infant with daycare (plan on breastfeeding).

    You do need supplies before they’re born but that really can vary.  I’d plan on at least $1k though.

    Post # 12
    509 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    For a child under the age of 5ish, I would say for the basics

    $0-300 w/o daycare

    $12-1500 w/ daycare

    We spend more some months cause we want to. Again, above numbers are for basics.

    Post # 13
    4041 posts
    Honey bee




    Question for parents, would you consider “opportunity costs” or “potential income lost” as part of your expenses? So, even if you stay at home with your child and don’t pay for childcare, you aren’t making money…and that is techincally a cost. Though it doesn’t have to come out of your pocket, it is technically money that isn’t going into your budget either. Just curious.

    Post # 14
    11668 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Baby isn’t here yet, but we’re budgeting for $2k additional costs. This includes, health insurance, diapers/wipes, and daycare.  Daycare is the biggest cost.  I want to BF  but planning for the need for formula just in case.

    Post # 15
    5460 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    The only really, REALLY big expenses are childcare and healthcare.  Lukcily, I work for a health system so my really good health insurance is pretty cheap.

    MIL comes to watch DD 2x a week, so we only pay part time and it’s a family friend so it runs us about $100/week.

    I breastfed for the first 7 1/2 to 8 months so that was free (pump was free through insurance too) so I only had to purchase breast milk storage bags (Up & Up brand from Target were my faves) and pump part steam bags for quick sterilization for while I was at work, oh and nursing pads so I didn’t leak all over everything.  

    I also really like the Target brand of disposable diapers.  If you cloth diaper it’s even cheaper, you’ll only need wipes and dye-free detergent.

    We don’t buy clothes & toys- grandparents beat us to it which is FIIIINE with me haha!

    I voted $300-$600/mo because our childcare is about $400 and the rest is used on baby food (for the sitter, we feed her regular food at home) and miscellaneous stuff.

    Post # 16
    3344 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island

    I researched this a while back and it said the first year of a baby’s life would cost about $13,000.  So, that’s about $1084/month.

    I think it entirely depends on where you live, whether you breastfeed or buy formula, if you search for deals, if you only buy the essentials or if you buy everything baby-related in sight!  Lots of people make it work.  You can always look into government aid too if you’re really in dire straits.

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