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How Much Money Do You Need for a Newborn?

posted: 04/14/15
by: Sarah Fernandez
How Much Money Do You Need for a Newborn
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Is your bank account ready for a baby?
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Having a baby is expensive, really expensive. A lot of those costs factor into play as the child ages and begins getting involved in activities, school, and travel down the road. When it comes to having a newborn, some people will say that you need to save up your pennies before getting pregnant while other experts claim that there is no need for a baby budget. But the fact is that having a baby does cost money so just how much do you really need to have a newborn?

Medical Costs

Before you even leave the hospital, there's a decent chance that you'll have shelled out a fair amount of money on your new baby. Prenatal care is a crucial part of a healthy pregnancy so expect to be paying co-pays or full appointment costs for nine months of appointments. For those that have good insurance, all of your delivery and hospital stay costs may be covered, but that's not the case for many. The average family with insurance pays about $500 out-of-pocket for a normal delivery in which there are no complications for the mother or baby. That number increases drastically for those without insurance and can be upwards of $10,000. The baby will also have check-ups with a pediatrician at least twice in their first month of life so factor in any out-of-pocket costs for standard appointments as well.

Gear

Newborns don't need a whole lot of stuff, although society sure makes it seem that way, and it's hard to resist a lot of those cute little toys and outfits. But when we're talking about the bare minimum cost of what you'll need for a newborn, the list is pretty short. The baby needs a car seat, bassinet or crib, blankets, and clothing. For the very basic versions of these items, you'll pay approximately $400; however, because most people like to have versions of these items that have added safety measures or other features, it's likely that you'll spend much more than this on them. This number also doesn't include a stroller, changing table, baby bath, bounce seat, or any of the other gear that most people do buy even though it isn't particularly necessary because it sure does make life a lot easier when you've got a newborn so a more realistic figure is closer to $1,000.

Feeding and Diapering

For moms who breastfeed, feeding costs for the newborn will be nothing except for a few bucks on breast pads and creams unless the mother needs to get a breast pump in those first few weeks. Manual breast pumps start at around $40 and the more advanced electric ones are upwards of $200. But expectant parents should be prepared for the fact that even though they have the best intentions to breastfeed, it's not always possible. If formula feeding is required, about $20 in bottles will be needed and the cost of formula will be in the range of $25 each week. Parents can also expect to go through at least one package of diapers each week at approximately $10 per package and about $4 each week in wipes.

The Variables

The cost of having a newborn differs drastically from one family to the next based on health insurance plans, what level of quality they want to invest in for their gear, and the choices they make about feeding and diapering. But in the first month of a newborn's life, parents can expect to spend a bare minimum of $450 if they have 100 percent health insurance coverage and breastfeed. However, chances are that you'll be spending closer to $1,500 to prepare for baby's arrival and take care of them in their first month. There are some ways in which you can save money on the gear you need for your little one by shopping at second hand stores or searching places like Craigslist.

Another crucial factor to consider when preparing for a newborn is how much income will be lost while parents are on maternity/paternity leave. Most states offer temporary disability insurance to women who give birth for at least a few weeks, however, that will not be the same amount as their full pay and can only be collected if she is working to begin with. Maternity leave packages vary greatly, and while companies are required to hold your job for a certain period of time, they are not required to pay you while you are out from work so be certain you know your company's policy so that you can prepare for any adjustment in pay during those weeks.

The first weeks of parenthood are not cheap, but the truth is that it doesn't get any less expensive, particularly once you enter the world of paying for daycare, but having a baby and all the joy it brings you is worth every penny.