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10 Essential Items to Include in Your Baby’s First Year Budget

Updated on November 6, 2008

Expecting a baby or planning to have one? What are the essential items you would need for your baby's first twelve months? To help you plan your budget, here are 10 key items you need to purchase for your baby before they turn one.

1) Childcare

The biggest item on your budget could possibly be childcare needs. If you are going back to work after 6 months, childcare expenditure may be in the range of $12,000 and above. If you are staying at home, your budget for your baby's first year would be much lower.

2) Diaper

Disposable diapers could set you back by about $90 per month. That includes baby wipes for baby's bottom.

3) Food

If you intend to breastfeed your baby, you will save some cash on formula milk. Some of you may decide to breastfeed for only six months and continue with formula milk and solid food for the rest of the year. That would work out to be approximately $420 for the entire year.

The accessories that accompany feeding your baby may include bottles, nipples, utensils, bibs, bottle brush and so on. If you are breastfeeding, you would need a breast pump, storage bags, breast pads, ice packs, nursing bras, etc. These additional items may come up to another $420.

4) Clothing

Buying clothes for your baby can get addictive. If you feel that you can't resist buying that cute little dress with frills for your baby girl or that striped polo t-shirt for your boy every time you go to the departmental store, set a budget for baby's clothing in order not to overspend. In general, clothing for babies can cost you $720 per year.

5) Toiletries

Toiletries could amount to $20 per month for bathing and grooming essentials. Additional one-time buys include baby towels, infant bathtub and baby nail clippers. These additional items may cost another $40.

6) Gears

You would probably need baby gears such as infant car seat, stroller, front carrier, sling carrier, diaper bag and childproofing gadgets in the first year. All these baby gears could amount to $425 to your budget.

7) Nursery

If you are setting up a nursery for your baby, you would most likely need a crib, changing table, bedding and blankets, and baby monitor. A mobile to occupy your baby during his waking hours can also be included in your budget. All these items can amount to about $495.

8) Toys/Books

Books and toys are important for baby's mental development. These may cost about $35 per month. In addition, if you intend to get a bouncer and play gym, that would be an additional $90.

9) Savings for college

You would probably want to set aside a budget for college tuition right from the beginning. A modest amount of $100 per month would amount to $1,200 per year.

10) Medical expenses

Don't forget medical expenses! Those post-natal check-ups and vaccination must be accounted for in your budget. In top of that, unexpected visits to the clinic for fever or flu must not be forgotten. Medical expenses can amount to $300 for the baby's first year.

Now for the grand total, a whooping $17,850 for all your baby's first year needs, with the bulk of the expenses to be childcare expenditure of $12,000. The above budget is geared towards the low and middle-income budget. If you have a larger budget for your baby, there are probably a thousand other items you can get!


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