Saturday, April 16, 2016

What is the six month cost of ownership for a baby? We've tracked several expenses that are directly attributable to the baby and aggregated them here.


What Expenses are Included?

  • Medical - cost of delivery/c-section + cost of hospital stay (including NICU) + all associated trips to doctors' offices (all are what we owed after insurance) + cost of his insurance
  • Diapers - cost of diapers + cost of wet wipes used in diaper changes
  • Formula - cost of baby formula
  • Baby Safety - cost of car seats + cost of rug and pad for baby to lie on for tummy time, play time, etc.
  • Daycare - cost of daycare
  • Lost Wages - wages lost from mother's FMLA + cost of mother's benefits during FMLA - disability insurance payout - wages gained by cashing in vacation and sick leave
  • Nursery - cost to set up the nursery
Note that this leaves out many expenses that we either did not track separately and/or could not directly attribute to the baby. Examples of these are baby clothes, bottle expenses, and utilities. This means that the cost estimates that follow are likely underestimates.

If you would like to see these same costs at three months, they can be found here.


The six month totals for each category are listed in the table below:

The expenses listed above are plotted vs. time as they accumulated in the interactive (non-mobile) chart below:

As can be easily seen from either one, the total cost is ~$16,500. If you would like to remove the lost wages section because it is a lost income rather than direct expense, you end up with a total cost of ~$10,300. At the rate we're going, daycare will be the largest cost by the end of this year. was noted in previous posts, insurance does not protect you very well from giant medical expenses, so any medical emergencies will result in medical expenses being the largest.

It's also clear at this point that the costs of things like formula and diapers are nothing compared to the other costs. For perspective...two weeks of daycare is more expensive than the combined cost of six months of diapers, disposable wipes, and formula. Thus, if you're looking for ways to save, things like the following will be much more effective than, say, switching to cloth diapers:
  • Find a job that pays you for parental leave or has really good short-term disability coverage
  • Find an insurance provider that has good coverage for pregnancy expenses
  • Find a cheap daycare (note that you do get what you pay for to some degree so be careful with this)
  • Get second-hand nursery items


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