Babies are expensive, you already know this. You know this before you even think about having children, but you assume that you will be able to manage and meet each cost as it arises. What you don’t seem to realise is that with babies much of the cost comes upfront, in one large lump sum before they even arrive, and then you are asked to continue to pay for them over the next eighteen years or so.
So why are babies expensive? After all it’s not like they eat much, all they need is a bit of milk every four hours, and if they are breastfed then even this is free. Sadly, it takes more than that… much more! If a few ounces of milk several times a day was all that was needed there would be plenty of baby based businesses going bust, but for the baby related industries, business is booming.
Baby Must Haves
Anyone serious about bringing a child into the world should think seriously about the financial implications that it brings. Just as people plan when to have their children, they should also think about making sure that they have the finances in place to be able to afford to provide everything that the child will need in those early years. A savings plan would be a great idea, especially when you consider just how great the financial outlay is, even before he or she is born.
In preparation for their arrival they require somewhere to sleep, generally this is two separate sleeping facilities, something like a basinet/Moses basket that remains downstairs in the living area for daytime naps and a more solid cot for the bedroom. They require feeding equipment too, even if mum plans to breastfeed you may want to think about investing in a breast pump and feeding bottles, remembering that if using bottles you also need sterilising equipment too. Baby formula also needs to be bought if bottle feeding and then there are the ranges and types of bottles and different kinds of teats that you may need to try in order to get baby to feed happily.
You need a suitable car safety seat to bring them home from the hospital, a pram/pushchair combination, perhaps even a baby sling too… it all adds up.
Babies need to be stimulated, they need to learn about the world around them, they also need somewhere safe to sit/lie or play when they are not being held. Bouncing chairs, baby gyms, swings, door bouncers, light shows, rattles and stimulating toys are needed too, and don’t forget the clothes that you are going to need. Even the cleanest of babies can get though a couple of changes of clothes a day, this could be due to baby being sick or a nappy not containing everything it’s supposed to.
Nappies! Now there is another big expense. A newborn baby can go through up to 10-12 nappies in a single day, seriously, until their systems settle down and they get into a pee and poo routine. So if you are thinking about having a baby, think about it realistically, and be prepared both emotionally and financially.