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How much does a baby cost?

(31 Posts)
Rtfairy Sun 28-Jul-13 09:08:34

I'm currently 23 weeks pregnant with my first baby and trying to sort my budget out for when I am on maternity leave. So how much would you say the average spend per month is for a baby for say the first 10 months of their life?

I plan on breastfeeding for the first 6 months but will be using disposable nappies so the cost will be for nappies, wipes, toiletries, clothes etc. Anything I have missed? I am a planner but am new to this so need help grin

PenelopeLane Sun 28-Jul-13 09:18:08

My and DH's outgoings were much the same as before, although the cost of movies, dinners and other fun, childfree things we did before were replaced with the cost of petrol (something I hadn't counted on before as I took much less public transport with a baby) and nappies. And, as a disclaimer, pre children we did go out for dinner at least a couple of times a week if that helps.

I am a big fan of budgets too and am currently poring over my one for baby number 2 (am 30 weeks) and asking myself the same questions about going from one to two children!

Rockchick1984 Sun 28-Jul-13 09:22:04

Nappies - roughly a pack a week so £5-10 depending on what brand you use. More in the first few months, less further down the line.

Wipes - depends what you use them for, I use them for all sorts not just bum changes so probably 2-3 packs a week.

For the first few months you won't need toiletries for baby apart from nappy cream if any nappy rash so maybe £10 every 6 months.

You will probably need breast pads however everyone varies in how much they leak so how often they need to change them. Also you will need lansinoh or another nipple cream but one tube lasts forever!

Clothes etc varies from person to person, very much a case of how long is a piece of string grin I set a monthly budget and stuck to that, but tried to always be buying a size or 2 bigger than needed particularly if I saw a bargain smile

Post 6 months if you want to stop breastfeeding it'll be around £10 per week for formula, obviously breastfeeding doesn't work out for everyone so if you are on a tight budget I'd calculate including formula costs so you are likely to be better off, rather than spending all your budget and needing to find money from somewhere to pay for formula!

lottieandmia Sun 28-Jul-13 09:23:12

When they're little they doesn't seem to cost very much at all, particularly if you're breastfeeding. I find it's when they grow up a bit it gets expensive and you have to shell out for drama club, ballet, Brownies and school trips. That's when it all starts to take a toll imo.

fluffyraggies Sun 28-Jul-13 09:23:22

Personally i think it's like asking how long is a piece of string? smile

There are government websites with ways to help you calculate how much you will spend on nappies, etc.

I just read recently somewhere that breast feeding saves you £700. Where is that fig. coming from though confused Such a sweeping statement!

Babies come in all shapes and sizes and have a million different needs. The baby who's mum breast feeds with no probs, no gagets, the baby is small, has hand me downs from relatives, tiny nappies, and sleeps happily in a basket by the bed at night, is going to cost less than the big baby who doesnt fit into any of its new 'newborn' clothes, has big nappis from the word go, is a hungry baby and the mum supplements with bottles (plus all the paraphenalia with that) and has an expensive cot/pram/mosses basket/travel cot etc. etc.

Don't fret OP. If i'd taken notice of the official figures for what a baby costs i would have been too scared to have any! You find a way when needs must smile

Rtfairy Sun 28-Jul-13 09:40:30

Thanks for the replies, it's reassuring to know that the expenses shouldn't be too high during maternity leave, and I will be able to buy nappies etc from child benefit and just cut back elsewhere for the rest. Things are going to be a bit tight after about 4 months ML as I will be on SMP and DP earns min wage, but think we will just about make do.

forevergreek Sun 28-Jul-13 09:40:55

Have you considered reusable nappies at all?

It cost us £300 to buy reusable nappies and wipes to last birth- potty trained. We used for x2 children ( still use for youngest), so £150 per child for approx 3 years instead of £10 a week (£20 when x2 in nappies as close in age)
We did use disposable also for convience ie when travelling but maybe 4 packs total in 3 years and same with wipes so very economical. We just wash every 3 days, all nappies stored in a net mesh bag in nappy bin so no need to touch nappies. So an extra x2 washes a week approx.

We did spend a fair bit on pram/ car seat ( bugaboo), and organic cotton clothes.

Probably total spend £3000 in the last 3 years on stuff (cot/ pram/ nappies) and clothes. And that's for x2 as everything reused.
Actually we have sold some bits now ie baby clothes/ Moses and have probably got back £500

I think we spent wisely as didn't buy excessive things or too many clothes/ no baby baths/ few toys/ less baby gadgets and gizmos. But like I said the things we did buy were high quality where possible. You could spend a lot less

The main expense for most is loss of earnings whilst on maternity leave. This is usually into many thousands depending on your work maternity policy. And childcare if needed to go to work.
We have been fortunate in that we both adapted work so one of us is at home with the children. But this means early work starts for one , late finishes for another, trying to work from home with children around. We now have a nice balance and children in childcare x2 mornings.

So after an essay, based on our experiences I would say I you can save £1000 for just stuff per year would be a good aim. As others said as they grow money is spent differently.
A baby will need clothes more often than a 5 year old for example, and nappies etc. but a 5 year old will need school supplies and maybe a swimming class

ValiumQueen Sun 28-Jul-13 09:57:22

Have you looked into Tax Credits and other benefits and grants?

I bf my first two with no problems, but number 3 has reflux and intolerances so he is on the bottle now. Bf does not work for everyone, but if it does, feed them to a year will save money. If going back to work before then, you may need bottles etc.

Have you budgeted for clothes, cot, buggy, car seat etc? Buy second hand or borrow is my advice. High chair? Toys? Weaning stuff? Ask for money or specific gifts rather than 20 outfits or teddies. Monitor? Obviously not all these things are essential.

Sadly all this will pale to insignificance once you are paying for full time childcare.

And congratulations grin

Rtfairy Sun 28-Jul-13 10:04:30

Valiumqueen I'm not entitled to any grants or tax credits as I earn over the threshold when not on ML (still not a high salary at all) We have already got the travel system and have some money set aside for everything else aswell as getting some help from family for large purchases.

I know breastfeeding isn't always possible so will budget for formula too just in case.

Luckily child care costs won't be too bad when I return full time to work as DP works odd hours where he regularly gets 2 or 3 weekdays off per week and we will have lots of help from family. I know we are very lucky in that sense and things will only be difficult for about 5 months when I'm in receipt of SMP and child benefit only x

Rtfairy Sun 28-Jul-13 10:05:34

Amd thank you for your help and advice smile

Dackyduddles Sun 28-Jul-13 10:08:07

Shit loads. Take budget and either burn or quadruple it.

MaryPoppinsBag Sun 28-Jul-13 10:10:12

With regards to Tax credits, the first £100 of maternity statutory pay doesn't count. So you might be entitled to something.

Try Entitled To website.

ValiumQueen Sun 28-Jul-13 10:12:35

You are very lucky then smile if bf make sure you budget for cake wink

I used washable nappies for my first two but not my third as I have been so busy. If you do go for them then make sure you go on the nappy threads as they can be an expensive mistake if they do not suit.

I use the value nappies for my two now and they are ok I find. I get the tesco ones.

Try your local FB pages and Gumtree for anything else you need. Often folk give stuff away.

Can you ask for your mat pay to be given in equal amounts over the time you are off? And you can ask early for a tax rebate I think.

ValiumQueen Sun 28-Jul-13 10:14:30

And the credit crunch threads are good too for making fewer pennies go further.

ValiumQueen Sun 28-Jul-13 10:17:02

And make sure everyone knows you will be having a frugal Christmas and request nappies or specific clothes for the baby as gifts.

ValiumQueen Sun 28-Jul-13 10:21:34

And register with minor ailments at the chemist when baby arrives. You can get lots of things for free like calpol, nose drops, teething and nappy stuff. These things can cost quite a bit.

Babies can cost a fortune. They can also be done very reasonably.

forevergreek Sun 28-Jul-13 10:30:55

Oh and if u are Interested in reusable nappy route most councils offer approx £50 reusable nappy voucher. Enough to buy some just for night time maybe if you wanted or jut to trial as no cost to you

princesscupcakemummyb Sun 28-Jul-13 10:40:21

agree with what others have said babies dont really cost much while younger its only really nappies/wipes then when they are older enough to wean then do home cooked food works out cheaper thats what i did the real expensive is clothes when they get older im expecting my 3rd so what im doing this time is buying enough clothes for the 1st 6 months of babys life my advice is dont stock up on nappies for a newborn because you might not use them and they might get wasted other then that the costs are really bare minimal good luck and congratulations

rosyryan Sun 28-Jul-13 10:41:33

I disagree with Dacky entirely. I was really pleasantly surprised by how little DD cost me as a baby. The child benefit covered everything I need for her nearly every month. Mind you, then she became a big rampaging toddler who eats me out of house and home. grin

Rtfairy Sun 28-Jul-13 10:42:36

Thank you forevergreek. I hadn't really thought about using reusable nappies before but will definitely look into it. The environmentally friendly aspect appeals to me as much as the possible cost cutting.

ValiumQueen Sun 28-Jul-13 10:58:24

And washable wipes. No need to buy fancy ones with fancy lotions. Just little flannels will do. And just water is best for baby bum.

craftycottontail Sun 28-Jul-13 11:03:24

Consider the amount you have to use the washing machine with reusables - environmental impact maybe not as good as first seems? I decided as we didn't have loads of room for drying stuff it wasn't worth it. But that's a whole other debate!!

If you choose to go for disposables you can get a big box for £20 from Kiddicare, should last nearly a month.

My DS goes through about a box a week of formula - so that's around £32 a month. I wanted to breastfeed but couldn't - cost was one of the things that made me hesitate to stop so do budget for it as you don't want to add that to the stress of making that decision! He's 9 weeks and on 5oz of formula a day at the moment, so expecting this cost to increase as he gets bigger and peaking just before we start weaning.

Other things I've used so far - wipes, calpol, infacol - all negligable costs.

Clothes/toys - if it's your first baby really don't bother buying anything other than basics for the first couple of months. My DS's nursery is crammed full of beautiful clothes and toys from all the gifts we've been given, more than we'll ever use!

So child benefit covers all our grocery expenses for the baby. We also budgeted to save up - just opened up a savings account and will try to save an amount every month to contribute towards DS's first house. That's really the only extra monthly expense so far.

Rtfairy Sun 28-Jul-13 11:18:54

crafycottontail that is a good point re washing reusable nappies, I do think we will go for disposables as don't have lots of room for drying either.

I know breastfeeding might not be possible and will be aware that I may have to factor in cost of formula in budget.

its reassuring to know that most of the added costs are covered by child benefit.

How much do babies cost? I wasn't aware that you could buy them! wink Though come to think of it, I've seen a fair few in supermarket trollies - just never seen the shelf they got them from!

invicta Sun 28-Jul-13 11:40:39

Baby shops sell alot of tempting products, but alot aren't really necessary. Also, it's easy to buy lots,of clothes that aren't used. Babies grow quickly - they're only in each size clothes ( 0-3 months, 3-6m etc), for three months at a time, so don't go overboard.

invicta Sun 28-Jul-13 11:41:13

Educart - love your post!

Rtfairy Sun 28-Jul-13 11:43:27

grin

ringaringarosy Sun 28-Jul-13 11:44:49

as much or as little as you want really,i spent lots but thats because i like shopping!Its hard to give figures really.

bigkidsdidit Sun 28-Jul-13 11:47:03

I breastfed DS1 no probs, DS2 I tried and tried but failed (tongue tie, mastitis, terrible latch) and je is on formula which is expensive.

Things like a play mat, bouncy chair, etc are not essentials but nice, entertain baby and give you 5 minutes. Get them on eBay if you can.

A good stretchy sling is worth it's weight in gold so splash out.

After 6 months they cost a bit in food, also need more entertaining so playgroup money, toys etc

I reckon my 2yo costs about 100 a month in nappies, clothes, food, soft play etc apart from childcare. My one month old about 100 too including formula and the odd new bit of clothing. We didn't need to buy anything new for this one but remember we spent about 700 on DS1 with cot, pram, sling, clothes, bath seat, play mat, chair, all that jazz!

forevergreek Sun 28-Jul-13 14:24:01

Also we tried to get things that lasted . Ie instead o a playmat that would have lasted a few months we brought a baby sheepskin rug for them to lay on and it can be used for years to come. We currently use ours for them to sit on in their ' reading corner' ( sheepskin rug, some cushions and bookshelf). Also brought a stokke highchair to save buying a highchair, then booster chair later ( as suitable from small - adult). Expensive but often on eBay. Save space too as pushes up to table instead of standing in middle of room

Re reusables: we live in a flat so no outdoor drying space but just got one of those drying racks for over radiators ( with 2/3 hanging rails). We did use a tumbled dryer for a few months but mainly as we had 2 under 18 months so dried quicker to save buying more. We only use bamboo ones as most absorbent and take a day to dry here. As small babies we used more but now older roughly 5 a day. 20 nappies are enough for us, to wash, have some drying, and some clean. Most machines have a 1/2 full setting now also where u can wash less often if needed. We just keep wipes in a Tupperware box with water and camomile in, so ready to use.

TarkaTheOtter Sun 28-Jul-13 16:42:13

We use lidl nappies and spend less than £5 per week. Have used lots of brands and lidl ones are just as good.
Ebay/nearly new sales for clothes and equipment.
Ikea antilop highchair is about £15 from memory and brilliant.

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