So how much does a baby actually cost?

(106 Posts)
Madratlady Sun 15-Sep-13 12:58:21

Assuming that I am on maternity leave, the baby is ebf and I use cloth nappies then am I right in thinking that costs after the initial cost of buying nappies, pram, clothes etc will be fairly small? Obviously when I go back to work there will be child care costs. Am I missing something because dh keeps saying how babies are expensive but I can't think of any major costs unless I was buying formula or disposable nappies, which hopefully I won't be.

Are babies expensive ?
Yes, the most expensive 7lb 10 oz you will ever bring through your door (assuming you go to hospital for the birth)
And then there's the fact that they'll be a serious hindrance to you getting out of said door to earn any dosh to pay for it all too grin

minipie Mon 16-Sep-13 15:24:04

I've spent a fair bit during DD's first 10 months, a few things useless with hindsight but most of them have genuinely made my life easier.

For example nobody needs an electric mobile for the cot but mine meant I could have a shower without dd yelling.

Likewise nobody needs to spend money on NCT classes or baby music classes but I did so that I didn't go insane with loneliness and boredom while on maternity leave.

So I guess it depends on whether you are willing to tough it out without the things that make life easier and make your own entertainment or not...!

Oh and yy to the extra food if you are BFing.

Borrow as much as you can - don't be shy - especially if you have friends or family who are "between babies" they may be grateful to lend you some baby kit so they can get some space back! Failing that, most things can be got second hand, try ebay gumtree charity shops etc.

jasminerose Mon 16-Sep-13 15:30:58

Hardly anything really. I spent 250 max in first year.

Pinkspottyegg Mon 16-Sep-13 15:33:56

Your sanity!

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 16-Sep-13 15:36:09

They can be very expensive or they can be very cheap,it much depends on how you decide to play it.

You could spend £500 on a cot or £35, £1000 on a pram or £45

You could decide you need every baby related item going or not.

prettybird Mon 16-Sep-13 15:57:08

flipchart - I was just coming on to make your point!

OP - beyond nappies and child care costs I didn't find the early years of EBF baby too expensive. Got given a lot of stuff second hand though (and returned the favour as he grew out of stuff) and only bought new clothes when I absolutely had to or in the sales (except Christmas when I used to splash out on a nice new coordinated outfit)

But by the time they reach 12/13, you'll see the difference....

....starting to eat like a horse, wanting smelly shampoo/bodywash but I suppose I should be grateful he spends half an hour in the shower , expensive hobbies (even cheap ones or borrowing kit can involve costs of £5+/hour), pocket money, school lunches......

We didn't buy any clothes for our lad until he was 8 months, we got given so much stuff! I've passed a lot of it on too.

Formula was very expensive we found, even though he was mixed fed till 8 months (3 months EBF). Between 8 and 12 months, where could start cows milk, the cost of 3-4 7oz bottles of formula soon adds up.

cathers Mon 16-Sep-13 16:56:41

I think for our first Dc I probably spent under £1000, ( excluding loss of earnings). Really, it's sounds like you have it all - as pointed out washing, water and electric will increase, but costs for pureeing your own food for weaning, hand me downs, etc is minimal.

I noticed the real cost rise at about age 6-7. They start needing uniform, 'cool clothes', shoes, clubs, parties, want gadgets, eat lots, are charged for seats on transport, pocket money, savings accts, rooms in hotels etc .. And still require care before and after school. Enjoy it while you can!

JenaiMorris Mon 16-Sep-13 17:01:01

Even when you start weaning, they don't eat that much so unless you buy special baby food all the time (and even then it's hardly expensive) then you'll barely notice an increase to your grocery bill. Although I suppose there's extra laundry costs. Nappies and wipes don't seem to have increased in price in the 13 years since I had a baby - I think I was spending about £10 a week on them.

With eBay and the like, the optional gubbins (swing seats, highchairs and so on) are far more affordable than they were back in the day. You youngsters don't know you're born wink

JenaiMorris Mon 16-Sep-13 17:03:10

You will probably need clothes though - I could get through a few tops a day (never terribly adept with the muslins and had rather squirty bosoms).

UriGeller Mon 16-Sep-13 17:12:40

If you're cloth nappying and breastfeeding then chances are you'll not be buying processed 'baby' foods but feeding him or her from your plate.

My dcs didn't wear shoes until they were ready to walk outside which was almost 2 years old in the case of the last one as it was winter!

Charity shops are great for baby clothes, so no they don't cost much but you can spend loads on them if you want!

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 16-Sep-13 17:19:07

babies don't need to cost a lot.

a few of those all in ones, bath them in the sink, resuse stuff, second hand pram off ebay, change them on an old towel on the floor, etc.

weaning - lob them a bit of what you're having (suitable stuff obv.)

toys - well, from years of experience, they tend to prefer wrapping paper, boxes, pots and pans and cheap tat from the pound shop.

They're as cheap or expensive as you want them to be, basically. you can make do and mend, buy second hand, etc or you can get them the whole kit and caboodle.

there's really very little you HAVE to have and of that, even less that HAS to be brand new.

I can only think of car seat and cot mattress, although I am sure there may be a couple of other bits.

BadlyWrittenPoem Mon 16-Sep-13 17:30:05

It's a complete myth that breastfeeding is free. I am quite frugal and track my food spending fairly closely and the extra I spent in the first year was not significantly less than what my friend spent on formula. Officially you need about 500 calories/day for breastfeeding so that's around a 25% increase in your food intake (and therefore on expenditure for your food) but that figure is actually based on the assumption that you need to lose weight and should be eating less calories than you use each day so the actual amount you use is more than that.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 16-Sep-13 17:45:27

Badly.

Most people already eat more than they need and 500kcals is not much at all its something silly like 5/6 digestive biscuits so there is no need at all for extra food to cost a fortune.

sarahtigh Mon 16-Sep-13 17:49:03

extra costs heating will be on practically all the time in the winter rather than 2-3 hours morning and night, you save on lunches but toddler groups cos £1-2 a time as does the coffee mornings but probably no more than lunches/ coffee at work, you will probably do more laundry esp with cloth nappies so that cost will probably double

you will get given clothes and they can be bought cheaply anyway as can toys and first books

apart from childcare I would say pre-school children need not cost that much it is the chauffeuring, extra curricular activities etc that add up later and baby/ toddler toys are cheaper than x-boxes computer games and phones

cleoowen Mon 16-Sep-13 17:49:54

We spent about £1,500 before he was born on nursery furniture,clothes,blankets,bf stuff,toys.etc. Then got but carried away first few months on cute clothes,weaning toys,toys etc but now try not to but too much. He's coming up to one and Christmas is coming so I am waiting to are what he gets present wise before buying anything. I do find there is always something to buy for example we're baby proofing ths house, these are small amounts but do add up.

I try and buy next lot of clothes, sleepsacks etc in the sale
I have kept everything and so when the next one comes around I only intend on buying furniture and a Moses and cot. Hope the baby likes blue.

NaturalBaby Mon 16-Sep-13 17:54:25

I don't think our weekly food bill increased at all while I was ebf. I know I ate a lot of junk food and ended up with my first major filling so that was a pretty big baby related expense sad. I had 3 under 3's and ended up with another major filling as a result of all the sugary snacks I ate to get through it.

noisytoys Mon 16-Sep-13 17:59:44

My DCs cost me £60,000 in the difference between buying a one bed flat and a 2 bed. They will cost us about that again when we move to a 3 bed. Pre DC me and DH happily lived in a studio apartment.

BackforGood Mon 16-Sep-13 18:01:50

Before dc, we were out every evening - not clubbing 'out' but often a meeting would adjourn to the pub, or there'd be 'subs' to pay at whatever activity it was.
After dc - by the time we'd fitted in going to work and looking after that baby, we had no time or energy to go anywhere that would involve spending money, so there's another saving if we're now looking for small bits here and there.

rallytog1 Mon 16-Sep-13 18:06:21

The biggest shock cost-wise was formula. I'd planned and prepared to bf but was unable to because of injuries (long story). I suddenly found we needed to spend about £50 a month on formula, on top of all the crap you need like bottles, steriliser, teats (which they seem to upgrade through the flow sizes constantly) and so on. So if you want to save money I would advise you to try really hard to bf!

Other stuff has been cheap. We've been given a lot of hand-me-downs and gifts of clothing, and if we need anything particular I can usually find it on ebay very cheaply.

I'd also say your energy costs go up because you're in the house more. So maybe budget for that.

BoffinMum Mon 16-Sep-13 20:05:30

It doesn't have to cost a lot but even if you get given a lot of stuff for free, you end up spending money on wierd stuff like takeaways you don't normally have and hairdressing to keep morale up and so on, just because you are so bloody knackered.

Phineyj Mon 16-Sep-13 20:11:49

They don't have to cost a lot but there is so much nice stuff and while you are on mat leave it is easy to spend a lot of time (and hence money) in cafes and wandering round the shops. We were given a lot of stuff but having waited 6 years to get pregnant I found I wanted to choose some things for DD myself.

Another thing that puts the costs up once back at work is having to duplicate things like carseats. We are lucky enough to have some help from DM but I have had to help equip her house. We also had to change our car so we had enough room to lug baby stuff to PILS.

So if you are a frugal person and don't have to provide baby kit for extended family as well as yourself, you'll be fine.

prettybird Mon 16-Sep-13 20:29:15

Never noticed me eating much more when I was bf ds (did so till he was 13 months and so went straight on to cow's milk). But there again, he was a dainty thing who went from the 91st centile down to shadowing the growth curve just underneath before eventually moving up to 25th. Plus I got back to roughly ok half a stone more my pre-pregnancy weight within about 6 months.

....And one Mars Bar or a creme egg a day extra doesn't cost that much any excuse wink

itsonlysubterfuge Mon 16-Sep-13 20:56:00

I find it expensive simply because I want her to have everything and so I buy her too many things she doesn't really need. It's not too bad though. You can save rather than spend and it isn't too bad.

DownyEmerald Mon 16-Sep-13 21:07:05

For me it was the loss of income. A years maternity leave on a quarter of my previous income. Then 3.5 years on half salary, but paying half of it to childminder (and yes I know dp's childcare costs too, but it's just how the maths works out and how my brain works).

DD going to school eased everything. After a couple of years Brownies, tap, music lessons etc start to add up, but it doesn't compare with paying childcare.

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