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Cost of Having a Baby Calculator

Created by Dominika Śmiałek, MD, PhD candidate
Reviewed by Dominik Czernia, PhD and Jack Bowater
Last updated: Sep 22, 2023

Are you planning on having a baby? Then this cost of having a baby calculator is just for you! It estimates the average cost to raise a child, meaning all the necessary expenses you need to cover to support your newborn just after they come home. Check the date with the due date calculator.

The results include all of the most essential one-time purchases. In the article below, you'll find money-saving tips and baby must-haves.

The baby's expenses from birth 'til adulthood

The average cost to raise a child is quite a scary topic for those who don't have a kid yet - and one too well understood by those already with a baby. Why so? A child is an ongoing expense for the next 18 years at least. They cost even more when they go to school (take a look at our back to school calculator), when they are teenagers (and eat a lot!), and when they finally get their car, or maybe just get put on your insurance. Finally, after all of that, there's college, flat rental, and helping them start their own lives. You may also want to save up some money every month to secure their future. If so, check out the savings calculator.

The average cost to raise a child mostly depends on whether the family is single or dual-parent. The second factor that influences the cost is the family's income; the average spending on a child from a low-income family is more than half that of a high-income family. While they still spend roughly the same on essential items, this disparity is brought about by money spent on leisure, hobbies, electronics, etc.

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Are you interested in similar calculators to help you get through those early days as a new parent? Our diaper calculator is just what you need.

How much does it cost to have a baby - the essentials?

Let's be clear - you don't need to buy everything in advance. In this tool, we focus on the items that are crucial from the very first days. Why? First of all, small babies grow so fast that they'll outgrow most of their clothes in the first weeks. Second of all, it's better to try out different brands at the beginning, so you can find out exactly what you need in, say, a baby monitor. Finally, only buy the things you'll need in the first few months, not years. There's no need to get the coolest bicycle or cute high-chairs at that moment - the right time will come soon.

So, what are the basics? Below are all of the items included in this cost of having a baby calculator:

  1. First, nursery-related things, such as a crib or a bassinet. A co-sleeper for the parents who want the child close, without the fear of rolling on top of it at night or having to leave the bed when the baby wakes up every other hour. Then, some essential bedding and blankets. A changing table could also be helpful, especially if it comes with a cupboard, where you could keep all of the baby's clothes. The last thing, which is life, and sleep, the saver is baby monitors. The most modern ones come with a camera, so you can not only hear the baby crying in the other room but also see what's happening in real time.

  2. If you decide to breastfeed, which is the best option for feeding the baby unless there's any contraindication, all you need are comfortable nursing bras and a pillow. Maybe add a bib if you don't want to change after each feeding. On the other hand, if direct breastfeeding is not possible, e.g., you go to work, you'll need a pump (either manual or electric), a storage bag, and a couple of bottles and brushes. There's no need to buy these things immediately, but only if you decide to express milk.

  3. Bathtime! There are a couple of things you'll need for their first baths, such as a baby bath, a couple of comfy towels with a hood, and fluffy washcloths.

  4. Not every family will need a car seat, but they'll sure use a stroller. It should be stable and safe, possibly with a place for a cute diaper bag; you'll never know when you'll need it! For those who prefer closer, skin-to-skin contact, a sling or carrier can be used.

  5. The last, but certainly not least, is a pacifier.

Did we forget about something? If so, you can add your other expenses at the end.

So, how much does it cost to have a baby? Quite a lot. But there are some tricks that will surely help lessen the strain. Take a look at the paragraph below. 👇

Keeping the expenses low

As mentioned at the beginning, the budget estimated with our cost of having a baby calculator includes only the first and one-time costs. There are also diapers, clothes, food, toys, etc. Supposing you don't make your money on YouTube and therefore don't get any free gadgets to promote, how can you reduce the expenses?

Try buying those items second-hand. Search for some Facebook groups where parents exchange or give away baby stuff. Kids grow fast, and in a blink of an eye, your crib will be too small. The only thing which should be new is car seats; used ones may not guarantee safety due to their overuse in the past or deterioration of the materials over time.

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How does the cost of having a baby calculator work?

It's effortless. First, choose whether you'll be calculating for one baby or twins. In the case of twins, some of the items cost double. Next to those, there's a (2x) sign.

If you're from the US or Poland, the default average price is already provided in the calculator. Otherwise, it's set to zero. However, if you know the exact costs of the things you buy, feel free to change it. By choosing show me the price range option, an estimated price range shows up at the end of the section for each item above. Note that some of the items have a wide range of costs, e.g., you may find cribs for both 120 or 800 USD. It depends on the materials used, additional features, and the brand.

At the end of the expense calculator, you'll get the total cost and also the sums of each section. On the pie chart, there's a graphical explanation of how the expenses are distributed between the parts.

Dominika Śmiałek, MD, PhD candidate
You are expecting
one child 👶
See the items' price range?
🚼 Nursery
Basic bedding & blankets
Changing table
Baby monitor
🍼 Feeding
Nursing bras
Nursing pillow
Are you planning to express?
🛁 Bath
Infant bathtub
Baby towel with hood
Brush & comb
Baby nail clippers
🚗 Transportation
Infant car seats
Sling/wrap carrier
Diaper bag
Anything else?
In total
The sum of all one-time costs
The one-time costs related to a baby's needs may be incredibly high 💸💸 but can be surprisingly low.
You can significantly reduce your expenses by buying second-hand items, or re-using the items you bought for your older children. At the same time, you help the Earth 🌎 stay clean!
Detailed costs of each category:
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