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November 6, 2017

How Much Kids Cost - The First Year

I've been meaning to write this post for a while, but it just keeps falling through the cracks. I know it's been a while because this post is about Frugal Babe's first year, and she's almost two now. Anyway, we all know babies are expensive, but it's hard to say exactly how expensive. We tracked our baby-related expenses for the first year (we stopped after a year because expenses dropped off quite a bit and it was getting annoying) to see exactly what having a baby did to our finances.
I won't belabor this post, but I will make a couple points before we get to the juicy data. First of all, we received lots and lots of gifts from friends and family that probably saved us a couple thousand dollars, but I think that's pretty normal. We (and by we, I mean Chrissy) exclusively breast fed our baby, so that saved us a lot on formula. Lastly, we weren't ashamed to buy used baby gear, because the new stuff is outrageous and most of the preowned stuff is barely used.

The most extreme (potentially) money saving thing we did was cloth diaper. I'm honestly not even sure if this saved us money given the upfront investment (although, Amazon saved us a ton on that) along with the water and detergent required to wash them. Compare that to how shockingly cheap disposables are (how can Walmart even make diapers for $0.14 each?), and some rough calculations show the cost for the first year is probably pretty similar. However, the longer we use the cloth diapers, the better they are financially, and if we reuse them with a second baby or even sell them (stop laughing, that's a thing), cloth diapers are almost certainly cheaper overall. Finances aside, I couldn't stand the though of sending thousands of diapers to the landfill, but I will admit we do use one disposable every night because the cloth ones didn't have the capacity to hold 12+ hours of pee once Frugal Babe got a little bigger.

So what's the damage? We came in far below the average of $12,000, but you had to expect that. Our total spending was about $5,500. Of that, $3,000 went to the hospital for the birth, so we spent about $2,500 on discretionary items. So, kids are expensive (especially the first one), but not that expensive.

Here's the data table with every expense. Enjoy!



Maternity Clothes


Maternity Clothes


Maternity Clothes




Changing Table/Dresser


Wall Art


Maternity Clothes


Maternity Clothes




Reusable diapers, diaper accessories, misc.


Bins for Dresser


Video Baby Monitor


Diaper Bag


Breast Milk Storage, Boppy Covers, Swaddle, Drying Rack, Changing Pad Liners


Carrier, Sound Machines, Spoons


Bike Carrier




Nursing Bra


Birth - Down Payment


Nasal Aspirator


Breast Feeding Pillow


Reusable Baby Wipes


Reusable diapers (newborn)


Birth Announcements




Nipple Cream


Nipple Cups


Birth - Remaining Balance


Nursing Bra


Backpack Carrier




Sunscreen & Bug Spray


Car Seat Cool Pad


Used Clothes and Shoes


Nursing Bras 3x




Pj's and Hat




Clothes (long sleeve items)


Clothes (pants)


Petroleum Jelly for Exzema


Keepsake Ornament Kit




Diapers, Lube


Sheets, Socks, Bath Toy


Birth Certificate


Doctor, Epi Pen


1st Birthday Party Supplies


Used Clothes, Car Seat


Cloth Diapers


1st Birthday Food


1st Birthday Food



$ 5,510

Total (Minus Birth)

$ 2,545


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