Budgeting for a Baby? How Much Should You Budget and Save for a Baby (Planning for a Baby)

A new baby is sure to change your life forever.  And with the news of your new addition comes a seemingly endless list of things to prepare for – lack of sleep, newborn blowouts, sore nipples – the list goes on and on.

Amidst your preparations, the same question will come up again and again – how much will this cost me? How much do I need to save for a baby?

Planning and budgeting for a baby starts well before the birth.  

In fact, the year leading up to your new bundle of joy will hold a lot of costs that you may not have accounted for. This is why planning for a baby is a step that should be performed far in advance.

Below are the items you need to consider while putting together your new baby budget.


The Pregnancy and Birth Budget: $1,000 – $15,000+

Your pregnancy can be very costly and is mostly dependent on two main factors – the health of you and your baby and what (if any) insurance will cover.  

According to the International Federation of Health Plans, the average healthy American birth costs $9,775 and the average American cesarean section costs $15,041.

If you have health insurance, make sure to check ahead of time what costs they will cover so you are prepared to pay.  You will usually need to pay your deductible which can range anywhere from $1,000 – $10,000, and then may be asked to pay for “non-essential” healthcare.

This can sometimes include certain ultrasounds or tests, so make sure to check with your doctor before proceeding down a path you don’t want to pay extra for.  

Another factor to account for in your budgeting for a baby is whether your pregnancy spans multiple years.  If this is the case, you may need to pay both deductibles, which would double your out of pocket costs.


Baby Cost – Their “Stuff”: $500 – $1,000+

If this is your first baby, then you will be astounded by all the things they will presumably need.

The good news is that they really don’t actually need most of it – it is more a matter of what you want them to have and what will make your life easier.

The baby will need a place to sleep, so you will want to invest in a crib, which can range from $100 for a basic one or into the thousands for a really nice nursery.

When planning for a baby, you will also need clothes, gentle soap for bathing, a car seat, stroller, high chair, and any toys or carriers that will make your life easier.

Items like pacifiers and burp clothes should also find their way onto your list. If you shop and plan carefully, you should be able to get all of your basics for around $500.


Saving for a Baby | Year One Supplies: $1,500 – $4,500+

If you’ve already prepared for the seats, clothes, and bedroom equipment then your one year supplies are pretty straightforward – diapers, wipes, and formula.  

However, when saving for a baby, you need to note that will be additional cost that you did not plan for. You’ll end up buying other things here and there, that you did not budget for.

As such, it is important to save a little extra, as there is no question that you will need to prepare yourself for the regular cost of the essentials.  

When it comes to regular cost of baby essentials, you need to plan on using ten diapers a day, especially at first, which will end up costing you around $1,000 for the year.

Wipes are not far behind and will cost you about $500 throughout the year.  

If you are breastfeeding, then you are in luck and you will save yourself the cost of formula. Otherwise, be prepared to spend about $3,000 – $4,000 a year, depending on the formula you choose.


Budget for Baby | Year One Healthcare $100 – $3,000+

After going through the pregnancy, the first year of healthcare will likely be a breeze, but could still cost you a pretty penny.  

Again, it will really depend on your insurance, which could cover everything.

But if not, be prepared to pay for at least 7 – 10 health checks in the first year, which does not include any illnesses.  An average appointment not covered by insurance costs about $300, so find out ahead of time what portion you will be responsible for.


Year One Daycare $4,000 – $16,000

For some, daycare is the biggest price tag of all.

According to a recent report, the average daycare costs range from $4,000 – $16,000 a year.

This can be a big shock to the budget, especially if you have more than one child, so definitely plan ahead for this cost.

A lot of big decisions need to be made when it comes time to welcome a new baby into the world. How much to budget for a baby is one of the biggest questions new parents have and it’s not an easy one to answer.

When all is said and done, you could be paying anywhere from $3,000 – $40,000 depending on your wants and needs.

Make sure to discuss your decisions ahead of time and have a plan going forward. Your life is about to change in more ways than you can imagine, so make sure money isn’t keeping you from enjoying every minute.