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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.

TwelveLeggedWalk Mon 16-Sep-13 13:44:56

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.

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