One of our friends is always, always complaining about how expensive having a kid is. For my entire pregnancy, every time we’d see her, she’d mention how expensive having a kid is, and to enjoy our money while it lasted, and so on. It was (is) kind of annoying, but it did prompt us to pay a little attention to how much we actually spent. And the answer? Not that much, in fact! I mean, she’s only six months old, and I know we have years of stuff ahead of us? But it’s not been that bad.
- $200 for 10 week birth and babies class
- $40 for parking at hospital for week I was there
- $0 for my private room (I don’t know why we never got billed – I think maybe they felt bad about the fact that bad nursing caused the baby problems. I’m not worried – the bill was only going to be $120 anyways.)
- $700 for doula. I’m not comfortable talking about it over the internet, but I will say that if/when we have another kid, we will not be getting a doula. It was okay, just. Well. Yeah. Not a story for the internet.
- $400 for stroller and car seat system
- $70 for new crib mattress for our house. Hand me down mattresses with the grandparents was fine with me, but I wanted a new one for her usual bed.
- $170 for swing (so so worth it for the first 4 months. Still nice, but not as much of a need.)
- $25 for high chair
- $50 bouncy seat
- $60 storage unit for nusery
- $800. Yes, this has totally been my big splurge. But these diapers, spread over two years, over two kids? Totally cost effective in the long run. And I haven’t noticed any difference in our water bill. This also counts cloth wipes, a wet bag and a travel bag.
- $100, give or take. A few onsies, a cute tutu, some Flames shirts, a mexican-esque skirt, a little stripey dress. Some socks.
- $100, let’s say. Some Lamaze toys (Captain Calamari is the best), a few things from Ikea, a cheap mirror, a bin and toy box for storage.
That brings us to $2715. Take away the doula and it’s 2k. I’m absolutely sure that I’m missing things – like, say, the fun knobs I bought for the dresser I refinished for the nursery, or the little hair elastics I bought to attempt tiny silly ponytails. But still, 3k spread out over more than 9 months? Honestly, the extra $350/month hasn’t been that noticed, in our budget.
Now. To make this work, we have obviously been the recipients of incredible generosity. We’re about dead middle of the pack in our family and friends. Half have had their kids and are done and have hand me downs to give, and the other half can’t resist the allure of tiny onesies and hooded bath towels. We’ve been given an exersaucer, a bumbo, two playmats, three cribs (two live with different grandparents), a glide rocker, all the clothing we could need until she’s at least 18 months old (new and hand me downs), a bassinet, old school baby monitor (no video monitor for us), bed sheets, a bath tub, toys, baby scale (we laughed, but it’s been kind of handy), books (so many books), toiletries, Halloween costumes (this year and next), blankets (so many blankets!), and more I’m probably forgetting. (I guess another expense would be thank you cards and postage, something I’ve been surprisingly diligent about sending out.)
Also, it means that we don’t really care about the esthetics of it all. The nursery was done on the cheap (oops, more expenses to add). 3 cans of paint, and my sister provided the labour as her Christmas present to us. $40 of wall stickers (clouds). A couple of ikea lights. The knobs for the dresser that I refinished, which belonged to my dad, and before him my grandparents (and before them, Mount Royal College dorm room in the 60s, by the inscriptions on the side of one of the drawers). The bookshelf was made by my father in law years ago, for David’s first apartment. The change table is from a different set than the crib, which is a different wood that the bookshelf, dresser or glide rocker. I simply don’t care.
It’s the same with the clothing. Some of it absolutely not in my taste, not things I would buy. But will I use them? Of course I will! Does it matter what the baby’s pjs look like, if they are warm? No. Do I dress her in the outfits I like when we’re going out, and leave the ones I’m meh about for wear around the home? Yes. But at the end of the day, a onesie is a onesie, and she’s totally going to drool on it either way.
Look, it’s totally true that kids cost money. But not ALL the money. I don’t feel that we’re going broke over here, on our 1 and 1/3 income. (My EI is less than half my take home pay.) In fact, we’ve UPPED our monthly savings in a few different places. (Not having to renovate helps the budget.) I just want to say that kids don’t have to cost a fortune, if you don’t want them do. There are totally things from even this short list we could easily have cut out (doula, baby classes, impulse clothing purchase). We’re also planning on eventually having a second kid, and that means a lot of this stuff will get used again, before it is passed along to some friend or family member who can use it. Pay it forwards, and all that.
But the cost is probably worth it. I mean, she’s kind of cute, and I think we’ll have to keep her, even if it costs us money.