How To Budget With A Baby

Congratulations!! You are having a baby!

This is the feeling that first rushes through your head.  But quickly after that, your mind starts racing with lots of questions & concerns that all stem to one common theme, “Am I Ready To Be A Parent?”  It was that way for me.  I am more than happy to impart what parenting wisdom I have thus far, but today I will show you how to budget with a baby.

P.S. It costs more than just the prenatal appointments & the day of delivery.  Just remember, it's worth it & children are priceless.

Prepare Beforehand

How much does it cost to prepare for a baby?

You have about 9 months to prepare for your new arrival, when life will suddenly change like the flip of a switch.  The one thing I knew was that we would have a baby shower where we would receive a lot of gifts that would reduce the number of items we needed to buy for baby.  Thank you friends and family 10 times over.  A fringe benefit of having a shower is reducing the amount of money coming out of your own pocket.

Here is a rundown of things to get ready before the BIG DAY:  (Keep in mind, most of these can be baby shower ideas!!!)

  •  House prep If you are remodeling for a nursery ($50?):
    • This is the cost of paint & decor (not including any furniture)
    • Until our house is built, our baby is sleeping in our room which also makes it easier for midnight feedings.
  • Bedding & Changing Table ($80-$140)
    • Baby needs to sleep in something safe and the options are countless.  We chose the Pack N Playir?t=monebuff 20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00GY8J8H8
      (what we use for baby to sleep in), which for about $80 has a newborn bassinet attachment, then you graduate to the infant sleeper mattress where they sleep mid-level from the ground (securely and easy to reach).  After several more months, they can sleep in the playpen itself.  They are also real handy to take when traveling as well plus ease to assemble/disassemble.
    • If you want to buy a changing table, that may cost an extra $60 but also typically comes with a couple shelves to store diapers and supplies underneath.

If You are like me, you had no clue what a Pack N Play was, other than a playpen, so here's a short video visual example.

  • Car Seat ($100-200)
    • You need one of these to get baby home from the hospital
      • If your car seat is used (i.e. borrowing from friend or relative, buying used from Craigslist), CHECK THE EXPIRATION DATE
      • Car seats are normally only good for 4-6 years after the manufacture date printed on car seat back or bottom.
  • Carrier, Wrap, or Sling ($30-130)
    • Lots of options & you need to pick what is best for your comfort plus what supports the baby.
  • Stoller ($50-160)
    • Your baby might enjoy being outside & can be away to calm her.
    • The heavy-duty “cadillac” stollers & jogger strollers are some to consider.
  • Diapers ($400-2,000)
    • $2,000.  You read that correctly, if you use disposables for the first 2 years of baby's life.
    • If you use cloth, you can spend as little as $400 plus what it costs to wash & dry.
  • Baby Bath ($20)
    • Something small, simple & an easy shower gift
  • Dresser ($100↑) 
    • You need to keep baby's clothing stored.  Can also double for diaper storage if you don't use a changing table.
  • Clothing ($1000)
    • Everything from newborn to 9 months & includes burp cloths and blankets.
    • What you will probably get the most of at the baby shower!
  • High Chair ($60-140)
    • You won't need this immediately.  Recommend trying to get one that can recline so you can put them in it when they can hold their head up.
  • Life Insurance (Varies, $15 per month for 20 years)
    • With a new dependent, you want to consider getting a higher life insurance policy on you, your spouse, and getting a small policy for baby.
      • Under ideal circumstances, you or spouse can get a $250,000 policy for 20 years for approximately $15-20 each month.
  • Update A Draft Or Will ($60-$300)
    • Create or update a will that involves what you want to happen with your new bundle if you or spouse pass away.
      • Can get a legally non-binding will for as little as $60 on the Internet through services like
      • Discuss with your local attorney for more professional advice

After Baby Arrives

Budgeting With A Baby
Koala Bear Taking It Easy!

Ok.  We've gotten everything ready for baby's arrival, but now we have the ongoing costs.  We will look at some of the big expenses that you may or may not encounter.

  • Formula Feeding or Breast Feeding (FREE to $1800)
    • If you are able to breast feed, you can save a bundle here.
    • On average, formula feeding costs $35 per week.
  • Whole Foods (Not the Store, $1100)
    • Once baby starts getting solid foods at 6 months, it can cost you $3-4 per day for them to eat.
    • In addition to cost of formula
  • Daycare ($9,776 per year)
    • This figure varies widely depending on your geographic area and your needs.
    • I based my figure on $188 per week per year.
  • Additional Clothing (Varies)
    • Depends on what you need and buy.
    • Maybe something to ask for baby's first Christmas?!
  • 529 College Savings Plan (Varies)
    • This is optional and depends on your financial situation
    • My advice is take care of your own finances and retirement before you pay for your child's college education.  They will have a lot longer amount of time to repay their student loans than you have years to save for retirement.


Exhausted? Budgeting With A Baby

Me too, sorta.  It takes a lot of preparation & changes for when baby arrives.  Thankfully you don't have to do it all in one day.  Unless you are the ultimate procrastinator.  In this instance, I highly recommend you do a little prep each day.  This can be research on what you think is best for you and baby.  Who doesn't want the best for the baby?

I also recommend spending time researching different options to see if there is a way to reduce the expenses for labor.  I didn't touch on this topic as everybody is seeking a different delivery experience and a lot of this might be dictated by your health insurance plan and budget.


Thank You For Reading This Budgeting Plan.  If you have any advice to share from your own experience please feel free to drop a comment or ask a question of you are currently expecting or a new parent.



Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.