How Much Does A Baby Cost? (2024)

Ever wonder how much it costs to raise a child? Expenses such as food and clothing start to add up the moment a baby is born. Learn how much you can expect to spend during the first year of your child’s life.

List of monthly child expenses.

Admit it. Babies are cute, but they come with a big price tag. According to a US Department of Agriculture report, the average middle-income family spends between $12,000 and $14,000 on child-related expenses each year.1For newborns, the cost is higher. Some studies show numbers ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 for the child's first year of life, depending on location and household income.2

Beyond the general items, like a stroller, crib, or car seat, here are some estimates of what you can expect to shell out in your baby’s first year.

Baby expenses for month 0.

Some significant purchases are required in advance of your baby's birth. There's no established list of necessary items, but you'll probably invest in a bassinet, bottles, clothes, and a carrier for when your child arrives. Costs can span a wide range, but budget for $1,000 minimum to cover what you'll need at the start.

Month 1 – The biggest baby expenses.

The first month of your baby's life may be the priciest, because it includes maternity care, the cost of delivery, postnatal care, and a hospital stay.

The numbers can vary depending on where you live, what kind of birth you have, and your insurance policy. While birthing costs in some states can exceed $27,000 the average cost is usually around $10,000.

Months 2 and 3 – Feeding and daily care expenses.

Figuring out a sleep routine is the biggest challenge here. The good news is that babies usually don't require much beyond breastmilk or formula and diapers at this point. If you're breastfeeding, your costs will be lower (aside from the one-time expense of a pump, which costs anywhere from $40 to $185), while powdered formula will run you between $70 and $150 per month.

Add about $60 for bottles and $75 for the monthly diapers and wipes you'll go through. There are vaccinations your baby should get and a couple of visits to the doctor during these months, which should be budgeted for as well. It's also time to start assessing your future financial goals. Estimated monthly amount: $300.

Month 4 – Monthly childcare expenses.

If you return to work after the baby is born, childcare could take up the lion's share of your budget starting this month. According to data, weekly childcare costs have risen significantly over the past six years.

The average weekly childcare cost for one infant is $565 for a nanny, $215 for a daycare or childcare center.3These costs vary among states, and each family's arrangement with their provider, but a budget should be in place if you need care for your child while you work. Estimated monthly amount: $2,260.

Months 5 and 6 – List of baby expenses as they grow.

Sometime around the five-month mark, the baby reaches a milestone in development and begins eating solid foods. Parents often start with purees, which you can easily make yourself. Compared with food for older kids, babies still get the bulk of their calories from milk or formula. But plan on spending roughly $50 a month on their applesauce, oatmeal, and avocados.

Your growing baby is fitting into new clothes on a regular basis now. Baby clothes are the most common gift that new parents receive, but the average cost of clothes is around $50 a month for the first year. Using hand-me-downs or shopping at second-hand clothing stores can help you save in this area. Estimated monthly amount: $1,100.

Months 7,8, and 9 – Baby safety expenses per month.

Babies typically begin crawling around this age, so now's the time to put up safety gates, install door locks and knob covers, and outlet plugs. Babyproofing can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000, depending on the size and layout of your home. Estimated monthly amount: $1,200.

Months 10 and 11 – Babysitting expenses for your baby.

By this time, you may be thinking about a babysitter, maybe for a few hours here and there or for an occasional night out. If you don't have a friend or family member to watch your child, you may have to consider adding babysitting into your childcare budget.

According to, parents paid after-school babysitters an average of $16.20 per hour to care for one child for about three hours a day, or a total of 15 hours per week. But the average doesn’t necessarily tell you what you’ll pay a babysitter in your specific area, nor does it factor in considerations like the regularity of babysitting work that you are offering and the duties required.4Estimated monthly amount for a babysitter: $975.

Month 12 – First year of monthly child expenses complete.

Congratulations, you made it through your first year of parenting! By this point, you should have an idea of what's needed in your monthly baby budget, so hopefully there won't be any surprise expenses. As you prepare for the second year, start looking at ways you can save on childcare and new items you'll need. And plan for an additional $50 this month to treat yourself to a celebration. Estimated monthly amount: $1,300.

The benefits of life insurance for children.

Now that you’re a new parent, you should considerchild life insurance. Life insurance can give your child an invaluable head start. If offers many of the same benefits as regular whole life insurance, but with lower premiums. The benefits include:

  • Lifetime protection
    A life insurance policy purchased for your child can provide death benefit protection into adulthood.
  • Cash value that grows
    A child’s life insurance policy can accumulate cash every year that your child can access it for future purchases and expenses, such as college tuition, a down payment on a home, or retirement. Accessing cash value will reduce the death benefit and available cash surrender value.
  • Tax advantages
    Cash value accumulates tax-deferred and can be accessed generally income tax free, if structured properly.
  • Low premiums
    With this type of permanent life insurance, it’s possible to lock in the premium at the child’s current age for life.
  • Guaranteed future insurability
    Once the policy has been issued, coverage cannot be canceled if all required premiums are paid.

Having a baby can be an amazing journey filled with excitement and wonder. While variables around geography, childcare needs, and insurance coverage may impact how much you spend on your child, there are clear advantages to working with a New York Life agent early on to develop a financial strategy for your child.

1,2Mark Lino, “The Cost of Raising a Child,” U.S. Department of Agriculture, February 18, 2020.

3“Childcare Costs More in 2020, and the Pandemic Has Parents Scrambling for Solutions,”, June 15, 2020.

4Ashley Austrew, “How Much Does a Babysitter Cost?”, July 10, 2020.

How Much Does A Baby Cost? (2024)


How Much Does A Baby Cost? ›

Some studies show numbers ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 for the child's first year of life, depending on location and household income. Beyond the general items, like a stroller, crib, or car seat, here are some estimates of what you can expect to shell out in your baby's first year.

How much does it realistically cost to have a baby? ›

Average Cost of Childbirth in the US

Giving birth costs $18,865 on average, including pregnancy, delivery and postpartum care, according to the Peterson-Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) Health System Tracker. Health insurance can cover most of that cost.

How much is the average baby born? ›

Calculating the Cost of Childbirth
Average Costs of Childbirth in the U.S.
Type of BirthAverage Cost
vagin*l birth without complications$5,591
vagin*l birth with complications$10,720
Cesarean without complications$8,491
1 more row
Apr 24, 2023

How to afford to have a baby? ›

5 Tips on Affording the Cost of Children
  1. Build up your emergency fund. It's always important to have a rainy-day fund. ...
  2. Practice living on a budget. ...
  3. Read the fine print on your health insurance. ...
  4. Research the cost of childcare. ...
  5. Get a head start on college savings.

How much money should I save before having a baby? ›

Start (or build upon) an emergency fund for your family.

A solid emergency fund holds three to six months' worth of your take-home pay. If that sounds overwhelming, start with $1,000, then shoot for one month of expenses, and before you know it, you'll be at your goal.

What is the cheapest way to have a baby? ›

Birth center births and home births are typically less expensive than hospital births,4 because there are no high-risk procedures done; only low-risk parents are eligible. So you save money by not having to pay for those procedures outright, or for any fees involved in the event you'd need them.

How much money do I need for a baby? ›

For newborns, the cost is higher. Some studies show numbers ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 for the child's first year of life, depending on location and household income. Beyond the general items, like a stroller, crib, or car seat, here are some estimates of what you can expect to shell out in your baby's first year.

Why is giving birth so expensive? ›

Some of the most common things that drive up the price of childbirth are mistakes on the bill, nursery fees, and anesthesiology. A baby might be taken to the nursery for observation or to allow both parents and baby to rest. You may have a choice in this, and it's worth asking.

How much does it cost to have a baby in the US without insurance? ›

Costs will vary widely depending on your health insurance and even what state you're in, as well as how your delivery goes: (No insurance) Total average hospital bill for a regular birth: $30,000. (No insurance) Total average hospital bill with a c-section: $50,000.

How much are diapers a month? ›

The average cost of a diaper varies depending on the brand and type of diaper you choose. Disposable diapers: On average, disposable diapers cost between $0.20 and $0.30 per diaper. This means that if you use 10 diapers per day, you can expect to spend between $60 and $90 per month on diapers.

What should my salary be to have a baby? ›

A: The U.S. Department of Agriculture's handy but terrifying Cost of Raising a Child Calculator told me the average two-parent household in the U.S. earning less than $61,530 a year spends $11,850 to raise a child in his or her first year. Such a big number might make you think having a baby is impossible financially.

Who pays when you have a baby? ›

Health Insurance and Childbirth

Since the Affordable Care Act was passed, most health plans are required to cover maternal and newborn care. But remember, you will still be responsible for deductibles, co-pays, and any charges not covered by your plan.

What if I can't afford a baby? ›

Parenting with Financial Assistance

Thankfully, there are many government organizations that offer financial help for pregnant women. These organizations offer things like medical bill assistance, healthcare, food, housing, clothing, education, and guidance in finding a stable job.

What age is best to have a baby? ›

In that sense, we can generally place the female reproductive years between 12 and 51 on average. Of course, as women age, the odds of conceiving also gradually lower. The ideal childbearing age is often considered to be in the late 20s and early 30s. Pregnancies later in life could come with some health risks.

What do I get free when pregnant? ›

Free prescriptions and NHS dental care. You are entitled to free NHS prescriptions and NHS dental care (check-ups and treatment) during pregnancy and for 12 months after giving birth. Your child can also have free prescriptions and NHS dental care until they are at least 16 years old.

How much money do you save by not having a kid? ›

In 2022, the median net worth of couples with no children was around $150,000 more than that of couples with children.

What is the true cost of having a child? ›

Prepare yourself for the sticker shock: According to a 2023 study by LendingTree, the nationwide average for the cost of raising a child is $21,681 per year. The study took into account rent, food, child care, clothing, transportation, health insurance premiums and state tax exemptions or credits.

How much does a baby cost in its first year? ›

Key takeaways. The cost of having a baby could fall anywhere between $20,000 and $50,000 or more in the first year. You should also consider cost factors such as family leave, changes to health insurance, child tax breaks and college savings plans.

How much does it cost to try and get pregnant? ›

The bottom line

An in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle includes ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, fertilization, and embryo transfer. Not including medications and testing, the average IVF cycle costs $12,400. With fertility medications and genetic testing, you could pay $15,000 to $30,000 or more per cycle.

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