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.

Bumpsadaisie Sun 15-Sep-13 13:02:11

They are cheap when tiny.

Its once they get over about 12 mths that the costs hit! You will probably buy them special "baby" snacks like organix that are low sugar. You can take out shares in Danone the amount of yoghurt your toddler will eat. They will need shoes (my son had 5 pairs of shoes each costing £35 ish between the age of 14mths and 21 mths) plus by the time they are toddlers you will take them out to groups/activities to save your sanity - these will probably be around £50 a term.

Myliferocks Sun 15-Sep-13 13:05:04

A first baby will cost a small fortune. By the time you get to subsequent babies you will have learnt that most of what you bought for your first was not needed! grin

hettienne Sun 15-Sep-13 13:06:39

The major cost is your loss in salary and childcare. Babies themselves don't have to be expensive.

Shoes are expensive if you buy good ones, but DS is three now and hasn't got expensive yet. I haven't bought much in the way of special baby snacks or expensive classes though, we just went to normal toddler groups.

valiumredhead Sun 15-Sep-13 13:06:40

Cheap under 8 years old then suddenly they really grow! And at 12 they can outgrow a pair of trainers in 6 weeks.

Jux Sun 15-Sep-13 13:11:23

TBH, I got mine on e-bay for 25p, but the postage was outrageous. And once she arrived there was no off button, nor a volume control. She's been here 14 years now, and though I keep relisting her, there are no takers.


BackforGood Sun 15-Sep-13 13:14:35

As a baby, even though bottle fed, and wearing disposables, I found that the child benefit covered the cost of the nappies and the formula. /if you aren't spending on either of those, then you'll be 'quids in' to begin with.
Most clothes / toys were given as gifts, and we were lucky enough to be given lots of stuff like the pram / cot, so actually, I'd say you are right - apart from loss of earnings (which obviously is a BIG factor), then they cost very little until they get into their teens.

jimijack Sun 15-Sep-13 13:15:54

If you are willing to take handmedowns and stuff from other folk then yes it can keep costs to a minimum.

When weaning, jars are expensive, batch cooking your own stuff works out very cheep.

I pretty much clothe my baby with sale clothing from Supermarkets and use charity shops for baby clothes.
I only have about 5 outfits at a time for him, I don't see the point in having a wardrobe full of 0-3, 3-6 & 6-9 month clothes as most baby clothes are impractical and won't get used.
Mine lived in really cheap baby grows til he was 7 months. £3 from primark for 4 on sale. They wash & dry great & most importantly are very comfortable for baby.

Childcare costs are the killer. A friend of mine calculated that he had paid £25k so far in childcare for his kids, he still has another 18 months to go!
It's up to you I suppose, I'm not fussy or picky!

Madratlady Sun 15-Sep-13 13:21:18

We're buying second hand everything apart from the pram which my parents are kindly buying as a gift. And I'm trying to stick to essentials only.

We can live off dh salary and my maternity allowance fairly comfortably. I work 12 hour shifts so will only have 3 days child care to pay for each week.

tinierclanger Sun 15-Sep-13 13:34:43

Babies are cheap apart from childcare, which is expensive.

But babies turn into children - you're committing to at least 18 years of feeding, clothing, shoeing, entertaining etc.

Never understand why people like to gaily throw around that babies cost nothing - er, only for about a year!

HometownUnicorn Sun 15-Sep-13 13:39:25

mine cost me my pelvic floor, and a promotion.

teacher123 Sun 15-Sep-13 13:47:54

Mine cost me about £30k (pre tax) upfront in lost earnings-I only got statutory maternity leave, so that was a shock! Now i have gone back to work we get childcare vouchers etc it's not actually too bad. Nappies aren't too expensive as they're always on offer, as are wipes. Baby food is expensive, now DS just eats the same as us it's much cheaper. They grow a lot, but clothes don't need to be pricey, most of DS's things have come from supermarkets with the odd present from grandparents from nicer places..

Madratlady Sun 15-Sep-13 13:49:30

tinier I know it'll get much more expensive, the argument that I needed settling with my dh is that the first year isn't too expensive and that it will get more expensive as it gets older, especially when it starts school!

flipchart Sun 15-Sep-13 13:51:22

Babies are cheap compared to teenagers!

MortifiedAdams Sun 15-Sep-13 13:52:12

The loss on my salary was balanced by the savings in petrol to work and back and the time I had to shop round for food

SantanaLopez Sun 15-Sep-13 13:54:04

I have found it expensive tbh. Bills have gone up- more electricity and all that washing I guess.

I've also struggled being in the house all day every day- I have to go out which inevitably leads to spending money.

If you could ask very nicely for gift vouchers and not presents that would be a great help.

BikeRunSki Sun 15-Sep-13 14:06:08

The cost of feeding and clothing 2 dc is negligible compared to the cost of childcare. Thought thus would get better now ds is at school, but not really with wraparound care. And he has ruined a school jumper 2 weeks into reception. They are £12 each for a poly sweatshirt.

Bumpsadaisie Sun 15-Sep-13 15:14:29

If its just the first year you are talking about then yes, they dont cost much. Esp if you are at home with them, you are more likely to have time to make your own baby food etc.

watch out for your own spending though, you go out with other mums/round the shops as a way of passing the time, giving your baby some fresh air and a change of scene etc and keeping your sanity. The coffees in starbucks soon add up (I speak as no.1 guilty in this regard!)

tinierclanger Sun 15-Sep-13 17:04:35

Oh ok, in that case you're right! smile

silverangel Mon 16-Sep-13 13:34:13

when I was on mat leave last year the heating bill rocketed - t was on pretty much all the time for a very long winter - we hadn't conidered that all...

NaturalBaby Mon 16-Sep-13 13:40:47

Babies don't have to cost much if you are given things and buy 2nd hand. My 3 were all ebf and in cloth nappies, and all the same gender so we've hardly bought anything for them. They are now 2, 4 and 5 and DH still cannot fathom why our weekly food shop is getting more expensive every week! The clue is in the fact that they are 90th centile boys.

Utilities went through the roof for us, although we did have premmies. I guess using resusable nappies that will be a big one for you.

Car seat and decent mattress are things not to be compromised on, so budget a hefty amount for that.

Now they are two I am really noticing the hit in food bills, because I can no longer buy one packet of things and share it between me and DH with a bit left over for the DTs the next day, it's two packets for the four of us or a whole separate meal for them.

curiousgeorgie Mon 16-Sep-13 14:35:30

I didn't want anything 2nd hand for my pfb, and bought into everything I read... I thought I needed loads of stuff. Before she was born she had a fully decorated and furnished room, a crib in my room, a Moses basket downstairs, a moses basket and acot at my mums, 5 bouncy chairs (!!) a bugaboo for everyday, a Quinny for holidays and easy travelling, and carseats in my car, DH's car & my mums car. So many clothes she couldn't possibly wear them all before she grew out of them.

I didn't do any of that with DD2! Much cheaper wink

curryeater Mon 16-Sep-13 14:43:34

Babies don't need much but they turn into children, who do.

However, in the first year, the main thing to bear in mind is that you will need to be propped up by your luxuries of choice to make up for lack of sleep, lack of job and autonomy. Counterintuitively, I spend less money on myself when working and, I fondly imagine, rather elegant and looking like the kind of lady who treats herself. I don't need it: I make my own food and coffee, walk a lot, and don't need much else. (While slim-ish I can buy very nice clothes second hand, too) As a deranged-with-tiredness new mother I wanted bought coffee, lunches out, takeaway, new clothes (I looked a wreck), hair cuts, to go anywhere I wanted and pay for petrol and parking, baby screening at the cinema, a swim whenever we were up for it, etc... none of these things were money spent on the baby, but kind of money spent because of the baby. I didn't buy myself all those things but I bloody well wanted to.

noblegiraffe Mon 16-Sep-13 14:52:03

If you ebf, you need to factor in the cost of cake wink
You might need to buy yourself clothes in the next size up from being too fat from the cake baby weight to fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes. Also tops suitable for bfing.

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


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.

Xmasbaby11 Mon 16-Sep-13 21:27:58

They cost a bomb! We probably spend £1000 a month on DD who is 20mo, although 850 is childcare! We buy most things second hand, but some things (eg books) are hare to get, and as they get older they need more entertaining. I wouldn't say she NEEDS to go to the swimming pool, zoos etc but she really enjoys them.

That's not counting things like needing a bigger house, and a car or second car.

melliebobs Mon 16-Sep-13 22:13:55

Dd is 18month. I worked out by the time she starts school ill have paid £30k in childcare :-/

IdaClair Mon 16-Sep-13 22:21:36

My baby hasn't really cost us much. My 7 yo costs us loads.

The baby is 1 yo and has cloth nappies and wipes, was bf for 10 mo, so there were formula costs for a bit but I think only about 3-4 tins of it. The clothes get handed down and it's just all babygros really anyway, they are 50p each in the local charity shop, clothing a baby is very easy to do. We haven't needed childcare as I can take the baby to work with me. We have a hand me down cot and don't use a pram / stroller. There was the car seat, that was £60 in the sale but it's a first class convertible so lots of time left with it. Books are buy one get one free at the charity shops in town all the time and pennies to begin with - even if I want something specific I can usually find it for postage online. The baby can't walk yet (13 mo) so no coats or shoes or outdoor stuff needed yet. We spent £8 for the baby's first Christmas and £10 for the baby's first birthday. I don't use puree or special baby foods, I am happy for the baby to eat what we eat from day one so no special foods costs or spoons, blenders etc. I did buy a couple of the cheapy tommee tippee beakers when I started giving some formula. I was given a breastpump. I don't have a changing bag or changing mat or a baby bath, but I was given a baby bath seat which was good, the baby uses normal towels. I can't think of much else really.

The 7yo, though - swimming lessons, sport, music - wraparound care - holiday clubs - school clubs - school dinners - uniform - shoes!!! Food, snacks (always, always hungry) days out, special events, birthday parties, pocket money, bus and train fares, entry into places - and it's only going to get worse I'm sure.

Yes, babies are cheap - I'd say ours start getting spendy when they start school.

Inclusionist Mon 16-Sep-13 22:22:45

Surely every baby represents a different 'cost' to their family depending on sacrificed income?

DS has cost us 3/4 of my salary for 3 years (worked .5 and paid half of this in childcare) plus his living costs- let's say £100p/m plus clothing and equipment over time.

My calculations make it about £90k from 0-3... and then we started paying school fees.

exoticfruits Mon 16-Sep-13 22:29:47

I think they are cheapest as babies because it is one time that you can get almost anything second hand- they are not bothered.

roweeena Mon 16-Sep-13 22:51:28

Childcare is the major cost. £50 per day, five days a week - not pregnant with second and despite me being in what people would consider a well paid job it isn't worth it to go back to work full time.

If you have family close by then it would be much cheaper

Noggie Mon 16-Sep-13 23:08:49

Agree with what others have said- babies themselves are not expensive it is loss if income (most people don't get much in the way of maternity pay) and then cost of childcare when/if you go back to work. We have no disposable income due to me working part time and having nursery to pay for ( no family nearby to help) x

hazchem Tue 17-Sep-13 07:35:04

One thing that I hadn't thought about was how much time I spent on the internet looking at stuff I could buy. S&B I'm looking at you. smile

craftycottontail Tue 17-Sep-13 09:10:11

For coffee shop entertainment during maternity leave get a My Waitrose card - that's been my saviour for a free trip out as you get a free tea/coffee every day!

I think the main cost so far for me is loss of income while on maternity leave and the prospect of nursery.

For actual baby expenses - nappies, formula, pram, clothes etc - you really don't need that much and I found all our friends and family have been unbelievably generous. I bought a top for my son in a supermarket the other day because it's got to 4 months and I was a bit sad that I haven't bought anything for him yet!

Of course there's the knock on costs too, eg becaue of childcare costs we won't be able to save so much which will mean a delay in getting a more family friendly house. So think about the long term too, not just the first year.

PenelopeLane Tue 17-Sep-13 09:41:41

I didn't find buying the baby stuff itself too expensive, but the peripheral costs took me by surprise - higher electricity bills from being at home more, having to buy much more petrol etc. Even little things like running the dishwasher more often as I am home all the time, not to mention the washing machine!

Lioninthesun Tue 17-Sep-13 09:59:24

It depends on your situation. I didn't get any hand me downs - toys or clothes, so everything was new or ebay for me. DD was huge when she was born so new born clothes and nappies didn't fit and she raced up to a 12mo clothes size by 6mo, which means constantly finding new enough clothes to be sick on repeatedly wink It really is the childcare costs that do it for me though, it's by far the biggest household expense and she only does 3 half days!

SleepPleaseSleep Tue 17-Sep-13 10:07:06

I agree that babies are not very expensive, except for childcare. I breasted, used cloth nappies, didn't need to buy many clothes 'cos got given a load except what I wanted. I did spend £150 on a couple of decent slings, but that was it for transportation - no car or pram. You can get by with very little- you really don't need all the junk advertisers say you need.

What we really spend money on now as they're toddlers is TOYS! This is mostly my fault as I really can't walk past a toy shop without looking and I want to get them everything! I am now really trying to rein it in and buy just for birthdays and festive season.

Books are also an expense for us. Normally you could just make good use of your local library, which we did at first, but now we're abroad so we buy in English books.

Preciousbane Tue 17-Sep-13 10:24:46

My mate has been a SAHM for 10 years so has given up 500k in gross earnings, a company car, Mobile and laptop and her broadband paid!

I think it is the actual wage and childcare that are the biggest cost and also projected salary. I turned down promotion so I could go part time in my old job.

Babies don't actually cost much. It is from school age they start really costing and then once they hit teens they can bleed you dry. It depends on how much they and you succumb to peer pressure. DS mates mainly have I phone 5's and one thinks nothing of pulling on a fifty quid t.shirt. DS had not been in to fashion , though a girl smiling at him in the street did cause a slight kerffufle and a request for " better t.shirts"

gourd Tue 17-Sep-13 10:57:56

No young babies are not really that expensive at all, until you go back to work and have to pay half your salary to keep them looked after in childcare. If you have two you may as well stay at home... We used real nappies too. Just stuck them in the washer with all the other milk and poo stained clothes.. Dont buy any of those pointles and large "baby" items which will just clutter your home - you dont need any of them. Baby seats and bouncers etc pointless really. Yes they enjoy them but equally they enjoy bouncing on your knee which does not cost anything or take up space. Bottle steriliser thing a waste of time (we were given it though didn't buy it) as LO would not take a bottle anyway (threw 40 bags of expressed milk away after 3 months). We were given almost all clothes so only bought some vests and some winter wool socks plus as she got into waking, some leather slipper things for keeping feet warm/dry-ish (even in puddles). Pushchair was a major expense and prob not really worth it - we broke it by 18 MO so she had to walk everywhere after that. That said I did walk 4-5 miles every day of maternity leave pushing it, so it got a bit of a hammering, which perhaps it would not have put up with, had it been a cheaper one.. Back carrier was a good buy (though expensie at £80) but also only useable to 16-17 MO - after that she was way too heavy..

Bike seat was a total waste of £120 as she hated it from the word go. In a decent (built up at the sides seat with 5 point harness and safety bar) they cant see anything at all past your @rse, and just get bashed around senseless on the potholes/bumps in the road. Keeping a tired baby awake by constantly bashing it agaisnt the sides of the plastic bike seat for a 20 minute bike ride (ten minutes of constant screaming before we turned round and cycled back for another ten minutes) isnt my idea of fun, or hers, so we gave up after about 4 or 5 attempts. Obviously once baby is larger and more mobile they need to be exercising themselves and are even less likely to put up with being sat still in a bike seat anyway, so I dont know how on earth others manage that one. There's no way ours would put up with it and the idea of trying to get her to/from the CMs down/up a narrow (one car wide due to parking) steep and bumpy hill in rush hour traffic on the only road to the A+E hospital (busy) was not at all tempting, so we've always dropped her off at CMs in car then cycled to work from there.

At 3YO LO now eats adult portions of most things regularly (so no more steak for us). Food bills have gone thorugh the roof! Craft supplies also rather expensive if your LO is prolific in use of glue, card, foam shapes and stickers.. Poundland/world and Wilkinsons are good for this type of thing but the amounts we get through are staggering. I did go through a short lived stage of pulling glued itmes off cards/paper and reusing them but it takes so bloody long to do I just haven't the time to do it now and just have to accept the extra expense. Just have to hope she doesnt turn out to be musical and want paino lessons (and piano)!!! :- )

josiejay Tue 17-Sep-13 11:07:35

If you've had an active social life, eating out a lot and long haul holidays pre-baby you will probably find that you can save quite a lot of money when you're, shall we say, more restricted.

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 17-Sep-13 12:07:03

It's very expensive in the first year because of loss of income and increase in spending because I'll go insane staying home. I had classes or went out every day. The classes are nearly £7-10 per session, and coffee isn't cheap. And when I was in town, I bought things. On top of that I'm not earning. I work locally and cycle to work. Town is further from home than my work, so commuting cost is higher when I'm on maternity. Heating cost a lot compared to an empty house during work hours.

Lets not even talk about how a break affects long term promotion prospects.

78bunion Tue 17-Sep-13 12:15:13

Either you lose a wage which for some women is £100,000 a year loss or you pay for 3 nursery places or a nanny if you have 3 children (which is about £30,000 a year) x 5 years. So yes they are very expensive.

WetGrass Tue 17-Sep-13 12:15:49

Expenses caused by my baby:

* A cleaner (because the baby is scared of the fucking hoover.)
* Dinner in pizza express (because I am getting cabin fever).
* The most expensive baby swing in Babies R Us bought in high drama when I couldn't hold him the whole fucking day any more.
* Gin (see above. Lots of).
* A new car
* Another new bigger car that fits three car seats along the back (plus obviously several car seats).
* A new house
*Another new bigger house
* Clooothes. Single wear fucking clothes. Which I can buy at NCT sales...
.... * where I also buy a fistful of push along toys to save my sanity
* Entire new maternity wardrobe (small - for reasons of economy)
* Entire new-fat body wardrobe (fuck it - this just is my wardrobe now)
* Posh haircut and new shoes to dilute the pain of the above.
* A Buggy.
* Another buggy when the wheels came off
* Another buggy when the brother came off.


And I reckon up about £300K lost earnings & counting.

(& I love em all!)

gourd Tue 17-Sep-13 12:54:44

I didn't lose too much salary/pension on mat leave, as my work has really good policy on mat leave, but I only took 9 month maternity leave as the last three months is unpaid and we couldnt afford to do that. However, should you then return to work part time you not only lose some salary but also the corresponding pension, unless you top it up out of your own pocket (I do, but that is even more money going out) on top of your new childcare costs. This is the true expense involved in having a child, salary cut, and pension cut, on top of huge childcare costs. Buying clothes, extra food, shoes, or even prams and car seats are all minor expense in comparison. Depending on where you live you may find you need to pay for the education of your offspring, if you dont want it to be dire. We cant afford that despite wanting to as local schools do not appeal, but fees would be on top of the after/before school childcare needed and school uniform and trips etc so there is no way we can pay for schooling, but many parents will need to factor that into the total cost. The true cost in salary, pension and childcare is a very large part of the reasons why we only have one child. We can manage the item/clothes/shoes buying but the burden of childcare is really colossal when it eats exactly half of your salary every single month, and carries on taking a significant chunk of your income even after they have started school. We havent been on holiday not even in the Uk since our child (now 3 YO) started in childcare. Significantly, we managed to afford nearly 3 weeks abroad when I was still on mat leave before the childcare cost kicked in.

moogy1a Tue 17-Sep-13 12:56:38

Gourd why is your 3 year old eating adult portions??!!
Toddlers should be eating just over half an adult amount ( at the most)

MaddAddam Tue 17-Sep-13 12:57:48

Childcare and lost salary/promotion are the big costs. Most of the rest is peanuts in comparison.

I went to a seminar about 15 years ago where they'd calculated that the average lost income to a woman with 2 children "Mrs Typical" was about £250,000 over a lifetime. It would be a lot more now.

BikeRunSki Tue 17-Sep-13 13:12:05

New phone. "Lifeproof" motorolla clearly not tested in toddler/ tantrum/concrete floor conditions - £200

New jumpers and other non maternity clothes when they all got eaten by moths in storage wholst wearing maternity clothes -£500

New carpet after 1 yo spread Sudocreme all over it Who knew it leaves grey stains ?£ tbc once she is toilet trained

New glasses + assorted repairs over the years - £200 ish

Repairs to several necklaces - also tbc

New bras after dd shoved a hand full of blackberries down my top - well, still wearing it covered in stains.

DanglingChillis Tue 17-Sep-13 13:13:12

We have three children and spend £1k on childcare a month (more durig school holidays). Plus DH and I now work part time so both have taken a 20% cut in salary. Plus I've had 18 months without pay while on maternity leave (SMP being about £100 a week doesn't really count, our savings have disappeared), and had my career at a standstill during the baby years. And I'm lucky, I have a good employer that pays full salary for 4 months and a track record of promoting mothers into senior management positions so once I go back I know if I work hard it will be rewarded. But no, babies don't cost much at all as long as you buy second hand clothes hmm.

DanglingChillis Tue 17-Sep-13 13:15:20

during not durig

Oh, and my meat addicted children will eat an adult portion of chicken but about 2 grains of rice and lick a vegetable. Does that count as a half portion?

agree with others say the costs go up and up every year
but babies are fairly cheap

SleepPleaseSleep Tue 17-Sep-13 13:32:17

On subject of maternity clothes, I got round that pretty cheaply too. I had some smart-ish loose trousers for work with a drawstring waist ...but I had those already. two of my pre-existing pairs fitted me all the way through pregnancy. I did get one other pair of (normal, not maternity) trousers cheap in the next size up to give me a change, not very smart but enough (I'd tell a very strict employer in the last month at work to sod off and buy more for me, frankly). I had to get a couple of bigger shirts too, again just cheap, again just smart enough. An old loose white blouse still fitted. Three pairs cheap jogging pants for outside work, now passed onto dh. Only other thing was a new swimming costume, again just a cheap normal one two sizes up. Most of those were each just a fiver. Total maternity wardrobe cost: £45. I haven't the money or the will to waste on fancy dedicated maternity clothes that I'm only wearing for 4 months. And anyone who criticised got told that.
I admit I've had to get new stuff post 2 pregnancies, gone up a size, but would have had to replace some things by now anyway.

BadlyWrittenPoem Tue 17-Sep-13 13:44:28

Since gourd has mentioned throwing away expressed breastmilk, I feel obliged to mention that should anyone else have spare breastmilk they cannot use, you should be able to find a very grateful recipient on human milk for human babies (there;s a FB page for the UK) so please please don't throw it away when someone else desperately wants it for their baby.

sixwoollydogs Tue 17-Sep-13 13:51:59

If it is your first - pram/buggy/car seat/clothes/various bits of equipment - monitor/baby carrier/cloth nappies/maternity clothes

MaddAddam Tue 17-Sep-13 13:52:08

dd3 cost nothing as a baby, really. Reusable nappies from her sisters, by then I was good at the breastfeeding (finally), we had all their old clothes and equipment. She just cost my career in the longer term....

ringaringarosy Tue 17-Sep-13 14:17:22

babies dont have to be expensive if you dont want them to,my dh would laughif he heard me say that because of the amount i spend on baby/kids clothes and things like toys and scooters and bikes,but i dont have to buy them,i want to and we can afford it.

as they get older and if you have more than 2,buying somewhere with extra space,a bigger car,and food are the biggest costs.we spend 200 a week plus on our weekly shop,i cant seem to get it lower than that without sacrificing the quality.

Zara1984 Tue 17-Sep-13 14:21:30

Babies are relatively cheap compared to children BUT you can't guarantee that breastfeeding or using cloth nappies will work out for you, nor do you know whether you'll get any hand me downs etc.

Formula was an unexpected expense for me, but conversely I lucked out with clothes because most are hand me downs.

Before you have a baby you have an idea in your head (like I did) that your child won't need more than one or two toys, it's all just plastic twaddle that your PFB doesn't need.... then the whingeing will start. And the destroying of your house. And no matter how much you try to entertain them yourself, take them to playgorups (€3 a pop, thank you), show them the wonders of nature around them.... bright colourful noisy shite by V Tech or Fisher Price is the ONLY thing that gives you enough time to have a wee or put the washing machine on.

Also you don't really have time (well I don't anyway) to find second hand toys unless they're given to me - DS gets bored and whingey going shopping (fair enough) and I don't have time to search online for toys and then pick them up.

My apartment looks like a creche. I have 2 prams (both second hand) and a sling. We now have a second car (a giant estate).

Expect it to be VERY expensive but aim to be frugal - and then you will hopefully be pleasantly surprised at the savings you can make here and there :D

Zara1984 Tue 17-Sep-13 14:22:10

Also you may need to buy new clothes for yourself for that time between when you're sick of wearing maternity clothes post partum and when you're thin enough to fit into your old clothes...

delilah89 Tue 17-Sep-13 14:30:51

lol hometown unicorn!!!

QueenCadbury Tue 17-Sep-13 14:33:13

After the initial costa of cot/car seat etc then babies are relatively cheap. But as others have said do not underestimate the cost of heating/lighting if in all day over the winter months and the extra washing/drying.

If you intend to walk everywhere with baby you may need a decent warm and rainproof coat as well as comfortable shoes to buy. Also if your wardrobe consists of smart work clothes you my suddenly find you have nothing to wear and need a new casual wardrobe. I found I needed loads of clothes as I'd be lucky if an outfit lasted a day with all the puke/milk/not etc you get on you. Again, factor in extra washing/drying for you as we'll as baby!

If for any reason bf doesn't work (and it doesn't always despite best attempts) then you'll need to factor in price of bottles/steriliser etc).

Babies don't need a lot really and most of what you need you get given or can get in charity shops or cheaply in the supermarkets. Once they are walking then shoes are a major expense as that's the one thing I won't compromise on. You will slowly notice your food bills increase and now that mine are 8,6 and 2 I spend a fortune on food. Even buying fresh and trying to cook as much as you can is not cheap.

Saracen Tue 17-Sep-13 14:47:55

Babies can be as expensive as you want them to be. They actually need very little money spent on them.

The huge cost is your lost wages if you have a career break (plus the longterm effect that can have on your career), or alternatively childcare. Everything else is absolutely trivial by comparison.

Whereisegg Tue 17-Sep-13 15:03:55

The best thing I ever found for keeping costs down was car boot sales in 'posh' areas.
I once bought my ds brand new, in the box, with all stickers/tags still on, the next 3 sizes of Clarks shoes he needed. £2 each.
His entire wardrobe for the next 2 years for between 50p and £5 and item.
The vair posh lady informed me that they had bought him so much to put away, then 'forgot' they had it and bought new as they went along too.

delilah89 Tue 17-Sep-13 15:32:46

baby does not really cost anything -- it's childcare! (and losing one room of your house to them when they're 6 months or so, might have to move)

Hogwash Tue 17-Sep-13 16:02:39

Babies are cheap - as others say it is the loss of income or childcare, the loss of potential earnings, the after school activities & clubs, parties, presents, shoes etc. Well worth it though!

Want2bSupermum Tue 17-Sep-13 16:05:19

We are in the US so need to plan on DC's college education. I got them their Canadian citizenship because it gives them an option to go north for their degree. A bachelor degree from McGill works out to be about $50k all in. This is a tiny amount considering a bachelor degree from a college here in the US of similiar standing would cost $200k.

You can go as cheap or as expensive as you want. I don't do play based classes for my DC and freecycle whenever I can. Swim classes cost $25 each. They each go to 20 classes a year so that adds up to $1000 a year. The park is a great place to go to and doesn't cost anything. I get 'treats' that don't cost anything. DD loves stickers and at 2 a sticker from the price gun at the supermarket is just as much fun as a sticker from a pack I paid for. Another good treat is letting DD decide which playground she wants to go to. We have 6 or 7 playgrounds within walking distance.

For us, our monthly overhead doubled with DD and increased by 20% with DS. We both work. One off costs with the addition of DS was a 2nd washing machine as he had/has colic and a crib as DD is still in hers.

Emily1974 Tue 17-Sep-13 16:16:06

I think when people say "babies are expensive" really mean children are expensive. You don't just pay for the baby stage, it's all the way when they are grown up! Thats 16-18 years at least!

Just thinking here in UK we really should think about college/Uni costs these days Want2b - but it's hard for us to get our head around as it used to be free here. In my day there was even a government grant for everyone on top of a free place!

Want2bSupermum Tue 17-Sep-13 17:49:18

Juggling I totally agree that it is a huge change for our generation. We are lucky that here in the US they have great college savings plans available that allow you to save up. All monetary gifts go to their funds. DH is Danish and his family were shock when I asked for college funds for DS's christening after they asked me if I wanted anything for DS. With DH's family none of them have gone on to university and although DH is doing his MBA they are the first to tell him it doesn't make him better.... Such odd people I know.

BTW - the first rule of saving for college here in the US is to only do it if you are financially ok. If you have credit card debt or lack savings for your retirement they say you should focus on that first. It makes sense as I would think it is far worse to be a burden on your children in your later years.

DrCoconut Tue 17-Sep-13 18:48:22

Teenagers are expensive. They eat loads and wear big shoes! But seriously for little ones, childcare is the big cost either in fees or lost income.

olgaga Tue 17-Sep-13 19:34:16

What your husband is actually saying is you won't have as mmuch money to spend on US.

Which is absolutely true.

I'd be worried if he was saying things like that. Perhaps he wants to wait a while and get a bit more money behind you? Or perhaps he's not as keen as you?

Oceansurf Tue 17-Sep-13 19:41:46

Childcare. £400 a month for 2 days a week.

Just ouch.

The rest of it is all cheap - hand me down clothes and toys keeps them happy enough! Nappies and formula can be paid for out of child benefit.

Dreading though the 6.7.8 yrs old stage when they start to know what they want to wear etc!

FreeWee Tue 17-Sep-13 20:25:18

Cost of heating the house as baby's rooms should be around 18 degrees. They'll puke, wee and shit on all the clothes, bedding etc so you need one on, one in the wash and one extra spare for all washable things. Baby wipes - god you get through loads of those. And then if you're going with cloth nappies the water and electricity washing bill and electricity for tumble drier or gas for the radiators to dry them. Our water direct debit went from £22 a month to £33.50 and we don't use cloth nappies! Then there's all the 'stuff' you need for weaning. Pots, spoons, bibs before the actual food. Then there's the toys which you can get second hand of course but teething toys you might want to get first hand due to the chewing. So yeah they're cheaper now than later but they're certainly not as cheap as I thought! Second the cake necessity for BF'ing grin

girliefriend Tue 17-Sep-13 20:34:46

I don't think babies are expensive esp if bfing.

For your first baby I found that people generally are v v generous and you get given loads of baby clothes/ vests etc, my work did me a surprise baby shower and basically kitted me out for the first 3 months grin

I also was given a moses basket to 'borrow' which bearing in my mind they are only in for 5 mins worked out brilliantly, a kind colleague gave me a cot (it was about 10 yrs old but nothing wrong with it!)

I wasted a fortune panic buying a pram in hindsight wish I hadn't bothered and just used a sling until big enough to go in a maclaren buggy.

I didn't buy any loads of toys, ime babies don't really need a lot to entertain them and a few safe household items are fine. She only started collecting toys after her first bday.

I wish the fb buying and selling kids pages had been about when she was a baby as basically could have got everything from there and then sold it on after a month or two!!

Dd now 7yo and still not that expensive, I use charity shops/ car boots for clothes, she only gets toys at bday and xmas, childcare not too bad now she is at school, clubs etc through the school are either free or £1 a session! Feeding her I suppose is about £20 a week!

minipie Tue 17-Sep-13 20:39:01

Oh yes - cost of heat and light as I am at home all day with baby rather than both out to work all day. Last winter's fuel bills were £££.

jasminerose Tue 17-Sep-13 20:43:05

Some people on this thread have an awful lot of stuff for their babies. I bought a stroller, car seat, couplr of ebay clothes bundles, a bath seat for a fiver, about 3 toys and a couple of books. I havent needed anything else other than nappies.

MortifiedAdams Tue 17-Sep-13 20:47:41

Dont need a bath seat imo. Other people have other things they deem necessary.

Cot? Co sleep
Pushchair? Sling the baby

jasminerose Tue 17-Sep-13 20:50:18

I didnt have a cot and I did borrow a sling and only used that until 6 months. I didnt feel like I needed anything else really. I hate clutter though so I dont want it messing up the house.

jasminerose Tue 17-Sep-13 20:59:34

Its the bath seats the older ones go in. I think its difficult bathing all your kids together without them as they get so splashy when together. I agree you dont need those lie down ones for little babies.

BikeRunSki Tue 17-Sep-13 22:48:55
noisytoys Wed 18-Sep-13 09:29:38

That's just a link to amazons Kindle website.

BikeRunSki Fri 20-Sep-13 06:59:57

[[ Callie's Tally ]]

BikeRunSki Fri 20-Sep-13 07:02:16

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now