Baby budget: how much baby's first year will cost you

November 6, 2014

Anticipating a baby's first-year expenses such as clothing, diapers and strollers can help you develop a budget.

Baby budget: how much baby's first year will cost you


Your baby will be quite the clothes horse during his or her first year of life.

It may be only a few weeks until the clothes you just purchased no longer fit and baby is ready for a new size.

Clothing costs vary depending on your tastes and budget. You can spend thousands of dollars shopping for baby clothes at expensive boutiques or only hundreds if you shop at discount, thrift or consignment stores.

If friends and family members offer secondhand clothing, you can significantly reduce your costs, but you'll still need to budget at least $400 for important items such as snowsuits and boots.


Disposable diapers are the most convenient and most expensive diaper choice.

You can estimate your yearly cost by taking a trip to the local grocery or discount store.

  • Note how many diapers each package holds and the cost. Then determine how many packages of diapers you'll need, keeping in mind that babies typically use 2,000 to 3,000 diapers in the first year. If you choose cloth diapers, plan for your baby to use 10 to 12 diapers every day.

Your washing schedule will help you determine how many cloth diapers you'll need to buy.

If you plan to wash diapers once a week, you'll need to buy 85 to 90 diapers, but you'll only need 25 to 30 if you plan to launder them every other day.

Don't forget associated costs such as covers for cloth diapers, diaper cream, wipes and the cost of a diaper service if you don't plan to wash diapers at home.


Think of all the things, big and small, that your baby will need over the course of the first year when you create your budget.

Although cribs, strollers and car seats are necessities, the cost of these items varies depending on your preferences.

You can buy a basic umbrella stroller for about $25 or a top-of-the-line model for $1,000.

Other expenses you need to consider include formula, baby food, toys, blankets, sheets, towels, bath supplies, bottles, pacifiers, baby gates, childproofing supplies and portable cribs.

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