*This is a collaborative post*
Are you expecting the pitter-patter of tiny feet sometime soon? Or have you just started talking about the possibility?Wherever you are on the journey, you’ll know that having a baby is a life-changing event. There is so much to consider – baby names, setting up a nursery, buying their first babygrows– but have you thought about the financial implications of having a baby?
We all know that raising a child isn’t cheap, but do you know how much it can cost? A study by MyVoucherCodes revealedthat the average cost of a baby’s first month was £503.27! With that in mind, it makes sense to do some research before the baby’s born to make sure you’re as financially prepared as possible. Here we look at the costs you will need to consider in the first year of a child’s life.
It’s no surprise that your body changes when you’re pregnant and if this is your first pregnancy, you’ll probably need to buy some maternity clothes to fit your changing shape. There are lots of great pregnancy clothes out there and it can be tempting to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe, but just bear in mind that you’ll only be wearing these clothes for a few months. If you’re on a budget, just buy a few essentials –a pair of maternity jeans, leggings and a couple of stretchy dresses and tops. You’ll probably find you can adapt some of your regular clothes or borrow your partner’s larger clothes to fit over your growing bump.
Car seat and buggy
These two items are probably the most considerable expense you’ll be looking at for your baby. If you’re having your baby at hospital, you will need to have a suitable car seat ready before the birth, so you can bring your baby home in the car.A car seat is likely to cost you between £100-£200 and is one of the few baby items that you should always buy new as you need to ensure that it hasn’t been damaged in an accident.
When it comes to prams, you can spend anything from £100 to £1,000+. A travel system including a car seat, carrycot and pushchair could work out cheaper, but do your research online and have a look for any deals and or online discount vouchers you can use. Whatever you decide to buy, make sure that you’re comfortable with the amount you’re spending and if you put it on a credit card, for example, pay off the amount in full the next month to avoid charges.
If you’re planning on returning to work before your child reaches one, you’ll need to factor in childcare costs, which can be substantial. The average cost of sending a child under two to nursery part time is £127 per week. This could be a big chunk of your salary, so you will need to do the sums to see whether it’s worthwhile. Check the government’s website to see what help you could get with childcare costs, and consider at what age you’ll want your child to start nursery.
How much you spend on your nursery furniture and what you buy will depend on your budget, but items to consider are a moses basket, cot, changing table and a chest of drawers or wardrobe to store your baby’s clothes, sleepwear and blankets. If you’re not bothered about buying new, you can find second-hand bargains online or at local ‘nearly new’ sales.
The average family is likely to spend around £276 on nappies in the first year. Don’t always head straight for the brands –Aldi, Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s nappies are all well-reviewedand are considerably cheaper than the premium brands. Or why not consider reusable nappies which could save you money and are kinder to the environment too.
If you’re breastfeeding, your costs will be considerably lower in the first six months of your baby’s life than for women who are bottle-feeding, although you will still need to factor in buying nursing bras and clothing and also a breast-pump, some bottles and a steriliser if you are planning on expressing and letting friends or family feed your baby. If you’replanning on bottle-feeding, you will need to buy a steriliser, bottles, teats and formula milk.
Once your baby reaches six months, they’ll be ready to start weaning, so you’ll need to buy a highchair and perhaps some baby-safe plastic cutlery, plates, bowls and cups for your little one.
Clothes and toys
How much you want to spend on clothes and toys very much depends on your budget. Bear in mind that you’ll likely get a lot given to you as presents when the baby arrives, so don’t buy too much at first. You may have friends and family with slightly older children who will pass clothes and toys on to you if their children have grown out of them. Check out Facebook groups for bargains and keep an eye out at your local charity shops too.
Your baby’s first year is such a special time, but as we’vediscussed, it can be expensive. To get a better idea of how your budget might look, why not use an online baby costs calculator to help you be more financially prepared?