There are a lot of differences between areas on certain costs. We are in a hcol area, but nowhere near comparable to southern california. (east coast near philadelphia).
Daycare for 1 infant: 1200/mo (we got lucky, it can easily run 1600-1800 a month here.) Goes down as they get older, at almost 4, she’s now 850 a month.
Healthcare: We don’t take her to the doctor unless she’s really sick. Even the first year she probably went at most 1x a month for a $25 copay. It was not a large jump from couple to family insurance.
Food: We had major feeding issues with our first so she was 100% formula fed. We did the costco kirkland formula which ran us about $80-100/mo. Even as they get older you have “kid snacks” which probably add about 30-40 a month to our budget especially in the summer when we are out and about all the time.
Diapers: Amazon Prime Family subscribe and save: averaged $25-30/mo for a box of diapers. We got lucky and she stayed in size 1s until she was almost 6 months and was in size 2s until almost 2. (This is rare.)
Wipes: Costco sold the huggies ones in bulk on sale for about $20. We needed one bulk box about every 4 months for the first 2 years.
Clothes: tons of hand me downs and would do the mommy consignment sales and occassional new outfits on sale: probably 30ish a month averaged out over a year. It’s worst now than when she was little. Shoes are a killer. She needs a new pair roughly once a month for 25-30 each time. She is a rough and tumble almost 4 year old and destroys them.
Toys: its a weak point, we spend about 200 on her at christmas and 200 at birthdays. Easily another 20-30 a month the rest of the time. That actually didn’t kick in until she was older. Infant years, we spent less than 50 on christmas and birthdays. But there are other things we buy that are expensive. Her swing set for example was about 900.
Misc. Infant stuff: we went through an absurd number of bottle brands before finding one she liked. She rejected doc browns, avent, nuk, all the expensive ones. Loved the gerber $3 for 3 botttles. When we switched to a convertible seat, we had been gifted one, but had 2 cars so had to buy one (that was like 200.)
Activity fees: we did little gym and gymboree at different times and now does dance and soccer. These tend to run 80-150 a month plus expenses (outfits and shoes for dance.)
Not counting the one time cost things (swing set, extra car seat etc.) we were easily spending 1700 a month on her but there also had to be room in the budget for the 1 time cost things. We had this space in our budget, so this is what we spend, there are lots of room to cut back when you need to (you don’t have to spend that much on toys/clothes, they don’t have to have a swing set, you don’t have to sign them up for activities) so there are lots of areas to cut if need be. I have found overall food costs went up when she started eating. We buy higher quality meats, dairy, fruits and veggies. And the extra mouth to feed when we go out to eat does add up as well since kid meals are $5-10 usually depending on days of the week and the specials they have. Travel costs go up as well. We have extra theme park tickets to buy, extra plane tickets, bigger rental cars are needed (can’t fit a car seat in some of the compact cars). Overall, every budget category will go up at least a little bit.