Baby Budget: Year One

How can someone so small cost so much?

The USDA recently estimated the current cost to raise a child from birth to age 18 to be (gulp!) $245,350. An expectant parent’s best bet to avoid prenatal sticker shock is to break down that number year by year.

That’s what we’ve done for you here, itemizing how much you can expect to pay to welcome a newborn, from the moment of conception through baby’s 1st birthday. All costs are an average — depending on your budget-shopping skills or personal needs, the listed figures can dip or skyrocket. It all adds up to a pretty penny, but it’s an investment that pays major dividends in future happiness.

Grand Total of Baby’s First Year:


For a bottle-fed baby who wears disposable diapers and attends a private child care center

Click to the next page to see how that figure breaks down!


Prenatal Costs

Pregnancy test: $10

Prenatal vitamins: $85

Maternity clothing: $250

OB/GYN visits: $240 (12 visits at $20 per co-pay)

Ultrasound: $315 (before insurance kicks in)

Hospital stay: $6,500 (before insurance kicks in)

Support services: $1,000 (birth coach, lactation consultant, doula or night nurse)

Will & estate planning: $2,500

Nursery Basics

Crib: $600

Crib mattress: $75

Crib sheets: $55

Changing table: $200

Glider chair: $300

Baby dresser: $275

Baby monitor: $65

Diaper pail: $35

Baby Necessities

Infant car seat + base: $195

Convertible car seat: $190

Stroller: $200

Portable crib/playpen: $110

Baby carrier/sling: $110

Diaper bag: $50

Swing: $120

Bouncer seat: $75

Clothing & Playthings

Clothing: $720 ($60 per month, includes sleepers, onesies, rompers, booties)

Bibs/burpers: $30

Blankets: $55          

Soft animals: $45

Baby books: $35

Play mat: $40

Child Care

Private child care center: $14,400 ($1,200 per month)

In-home child care center: $9,360 ($780 per month)

Private nanny: $28,600 ($550 per week)

Care & Feeding

Disposable diapers: $720 ($60 per month)

Cloth diaper service: $912 ($76 per month)

Wipes: $180 ($15 per month)

Bathtub: $25

Baby shampoo & lotion: $20

Bath towels and washcloths: $40

Humidifier: $45

Pacifiers: $15

Breast pump and breast milk storage bags: $225

Formula: $1,200 ($100 per month)

Bottles: $32

Bottle brush: $5

Baby food: $180 ($30 per month, starting at 6 months)

Baby spoons and bowls: $20

Safety gates: $60

Pediatrician visits: $80 (4 visits each at a $20 co-pay)

Cheryl Lynn Potter is a freelance writer from South Jersey.

Categories: Babies, Money, New Moms