When you’re expecting your first baby, you might not know about expenses associated with your baby’s first few years of life. Get ready, because the cost of welcoming your new arrival can be substantial. Some estimates place the initial outlay at up to $32,000 for the first two years alone. Many of these are one-time costs, but there are continuing costs as well that you will have to add to your family budget. (You do have a family budget, don’t you? If not, now is the time to make one, before the disposable diapers hit the fan). But don’t despair – with a little advance preparation and knowledge, you can lessen the growing pains when it comes to your growing family.
For example, you will need to buy a lot of new furniture for baby’s first year. A crib, rocker, dresser, bedding and accessories, stroller, car seat, and baby carrier are all necessary purchases. You’ll probably also spend a lot on miscellaneous nursery furniture, toys and accessories, such as an intercom baby monitor. These items can get quite expensive if you are purchasing them new yourself. You will, of course, want to ask for what you want for your baby shower, but another option is to take a hand-me down from family or friends, or look around local yard sales. The good news about these items is that, since they are outgrown quickly, it’s not hard to find a barely-used second-hand version that will do the job for as long as you need it (which won’t be very long anyways).
For other recurring costs, such as diapers and formula, the rule of thumb is to budget about $2000 a month for these alone. Formula can cost up to $40 a week, which in and of itself is an argument for breastfeeding, which can cut costs dramatically. Disposable diapers are nominally more expensive than cloth; however, if you use a cloth diaper service, the cost differential goes away.