There are a lot of costs involved with having a baby, but the costs can be reduced by careful planning. Let’s unpack what the costs really are..
Introduction – What is the cost involved in having a baby?
Pregnancy and childbirth can be very expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. By planning carefully, making a budget, and finding ways to decrease the costs, you will not be overwhelmed by unexpected expenses that you can’t afford. In addition to the medical costs which can vary greatly, there are a lot of other things that you may need to buy. To save on costs, consider whether you need them or try to find ways to get them in a more cost effective way, or even free. Renting and borrowing items is one way, but you can also try buying secondhand or not buying something at all if you think you can do without.
We’re having a baby! Is it expensive?
Now you know that you’re having a baby, there are a lot of things you need to consider. You’ll need to buy a number of things for the baby, but there are things that you will need for yourself too. You may have medical costs, before the birth as well as the costs of the birth itself. Once you’ve had your baby, there are even more expenses. According to Choice, the average amount of money that families spend on a baby for the first four years is around $8000.
What are the costs involved in having a baby?
Medical care expenses and the baby’s doctor probably account for most of the costs. The cost of giving birth is going to depend on whether you choose to use the public or the private health system. The public health system is the most affordable option for both you and the baby as you don’t have to pay anything for your medical treatment if you are a public patient at a public hospital. Some private treatment is fully covered by either Medicare or your private health insurer. However, you might find that there are out-of-pocket costs if you are a private patient, even if you are in a public hospital. For more details about the health care system and What you may need to pay for, see Australian Government Department of Health: Out of pocket costs..
Like the cost of the birth, the cost of prenatal care will differ depending on whether you are in a public hospital or whether you are a private patient. If you choose the public health system you can expect it to be free, but you won’t be able to choose your baby’s doctor. Despite this drawback the care in Australian hospitals is very good. One must consider any higher risk to their pregnancy. The cost of antenatal classes and advice on parenting like skin-to-skin contact and postpartum period can vary in Australia. They may be offered free by the hospital while private classes can cost hundreds of dollars.
There will also be certain things to consider during your pregnancy like any medical conditions, certain medications, services like your doctor or nurse as well as resources and education. Other costs involved include maternity clothes that will need to be considered as well as investing in a pair of comfortable shoes. Many pregnant women consider taking additional vitamin supplements to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Maintaining a healthy diet can significantly increase your food costs especially if you choose to eat organic.
Mothers who breastfeed may need a breast pump and bottles so that they can leave the baby with family members if necessary. They may even engage the use of a lactation consultant to help with this process. Mothers who plan to bottle feed by use of formula will also need to buy bottles as well as formula. Bottles must be sterilised, so you may choose to buy a baby bottle steriliser which can cost up to $300.
Babies use a lot of nappies. It is estimated that in their first year, a baby can go through 3000 nappies. Some parents choose to buy cloth nappies as they are reusable. Although the upfront costs are higher, you can save money in the long run. Disposables are more convenient, but the cost can add up or try to buy them when you can get a discount. Teaching Brave gives a complete breakdown of the costs of both cloth and disposable nappies.
You will need a cot or a bassinet before you bring the baby home from the hospital. In addition to this, you will need a bath and a change table. Some mothers invest in a comfortable chair for breastfeeding. The Australian Parenting Website gives a full list of equipment you may need.
A car seat is essential if you have a car. Because your baby’s safety is of the utmost importance, it’s probably not a good idea to buy the cheapest one. Do your research before you buy one. Car seats range in price from around $150 to over $1000. When you are looking for a car seat, check the safety ratings and reviews, especially for ease of use.
Loss of income can seriously impact your quality of life. Making a plan for managing your finances once the new baby arrives is important. While you are still working, try to live on one income and save any extra income you can. This could be extremely difficult if you are a single parent. Think about cutting out things that are not essential. Those savings may come in handy for all of the other expenses. The government provides support for families. Services Australia gives an overview of payments that are available to families.
How can we make having a baby cheaper?
Having a baby doesn’t have to be too expensive. There are a number of things that you can do to save money. To ensure that you don’t overspend, make a budget and then stick to it. You might find that you don’t need to buy everything all at once. In fact, you might find that most of the things you thought were necessities are not. Wait to see whether you need something before you go out and buy it.
Instead of buying equipment that will only be used for a short time, you could think about renting it. That way you only keep them for the time they are necessary. For example, you may choose to rent a baby car seat for newborns for a few months instead of buying one.
Don’t buy expensive things that the baby will grow out of very quickly. On the other hand, if you decide to buy new items you may be able to resell them when you no longer need them. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of reselling, why not consider buying secondhand clothes and toys? You could go to a local op shop, but you might prefer to shop for secondhand clothes online. You can also think about selling your unwanted maternity clothes.
It may be possible to borrow some equipment if you are lucky enough to have a friend who no longer needs it, but remember that it is important to ensure that equipment, such as a baby car seat or a bottle steriliser, is in good condition. Don’t take any risks with the safety and well-being of your baby.
You don’t have to get stressed out about money when you have a new baby. Although it is impossible to avoid some extra costs, you can make the costs manageable with some planning. Start saving as soon as you can, so you can make up for any loss of income after the baby is born. Make a budget and stick to it. Consider whether every purchase is necessary and decide whether everything you buy needs to be the most expensive or even whether it needs to be new. Keeping the baby healthy and warm are crucial in the planning process. Don’t leave all the planning to the last minute since it’s hard to make the best decision if you don’t have time to think about it. Ask family members and friends to help you visit stores and ask further questions. Having a baby should be a time for celebrating, not for worrying about money. So make plans and prepare; that way you can enjoy the experience.