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Financial Planning for a Baby
Planning for a new baby can be fun and also overwhelming. Snapping up cute little baby clothes and furniture for the nursery is something many first-time parents dream about. But, many new parents are shocked by the number of unexpected expenses that can accrue before the baby even arrives.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that it costs about $250,000 to raise a child, not including the cost of college.
It is advisable to make a budget and also to save in advance of having a child, but that is not always possible.
Your Blossoming Figure
Maternity clothes need to be purchased so you will be comfortable and attractive during your pregnancy. Oftentimes, friends will share their maternity outfits with others since they are only needed for such a short time. You can also find some very cute maternity pants, tops, dresses, etc. designed for your comfort that are very attractive.
Good Medical Insurance
Before a child is conceived, having a good health insurance plan will help put your mind at ease. Medical expenses can be very costly for having a baby. First there are the pre-natal medical visits for the expectant mother. Blood tests, sonograms, urine tests, and other tests help monitor the mother and baby. Not all medical insurance covers all tests completely. It is good to check what your insurance covers before, during and after the birth of your new baby.
Complications may arise unexpectedly like early delivery, extended hospital stay, or other medical emergencies. Also, the option to circumcise your baby boy will come up and also is added to your bill.
Our daughter had planned on an easy delivery, but ended up having a c-section after hours of unproductive labor pains. She had toxemia. Although the baby was fine, my daughter ended up staying in the hospital for a week while they monitored her health. Glad it ended well for everyone concerned as it was pretty scary and ended up more expensive than they had thought it would.
After the baby arrives, there are baby checkups and immunization costs. If the baby gets sick, you will definitely want to take them to the pediatrician since your quality of life deteriorates without adequate rest. My fourth child ended up in the hospital about every two months for his first year. He would get ear infections and have a very high temperature and stopped eating. It was always a worry and ran up the medical bills. He ended up getting tubes in his ears after about the fifth hospital stay.
Often the mother has to take a month or so off from work to have her new baby. Some even take longer, depending upon how their pregnancy progresses. If you work for an organization that allows you the time off with pay, you are very fortunate. If not, it is good to have some money on reserve to cover the lost income.
Probably the biggest expense if both parents work after the baby arrives is the cost of child care. Of course it is good to have Grandma take care of the baby, but that is not always possible. I was fortunate when my first daughter was born, because my mother would take her each day and lovingly care for her. She always had her dressed so beautifully when I picked her up after work. I knew she was cared for and didn't realize how blessed I was until I moved away and Grandma was not there to call on any more.
Child care can range from $5,000 to $10,000 per year depending upon where you live.
Daily Baby Needs
Back in the day, we used cloth diapers for our babies, since we had no other choice. I remember washing out the poop in the toilet and then soaking and scrubbing the little diapers so they wouldn't stain. Parents are pretty spoiled with disposable diapers, although the cost for them can be quite exorbitant, especially the good brands. Then there are the countless changes of clothes including onesies, sleepers, sweaters, pants, shoes, hats, etc. Some parents don't want to dress their new babies in anything other than the best brand names (as if the child really cares), and that can run up the bills really fast.
Then you have laundry costs, formula costs (if you do not breast feed), furniture, bedding, toys, books, and many others.
To be prepared for your new arrival, it is important that you have a realistic view of the costs that will be incurred during this new adventure.
You will need to have a new car seat for your new baby to take them home from the hospital. You will be happy but also shocked at how fast your baby outgrows their clothes, car seats, crib, high chair and all of these will need to be replaced eventually.
Take a reality check regarding your finances. The best way to prepare is to start a budget and plan well in advance for your beautiful new baby's arrival.