Budgeting for Baby

storkExpecting a bundle of joy? Anticipating the birth of a child is exciting- but can also be overwhelming, especially when it comes to more pragmatic items, like the household budget and the costs associated with caring for a new baby. In addition to spending time pouring through baby names, it is advisable to invest time planning ahead on how to mitigate some of these costs.

Income Interruption?

Likely, your current budget is set up around your income and expenses as they are right now. However, with the arrival of your newborn, there will possibly be a scale back of your income and the introduction of new expenses into your spending.

Do you or your partner plan to take leave? How will that impact your monthly income? Does your company offer any additional benefits (pay, medical coverage and otherwise) to employees during maternity/paternity leave?

Spending time now (when you are not sleep-deprived!) to re-configure your budget to reflect your situation in a few months’ time will go far to help your household budget weather the changes. It will also give you a chance to get paperwork in order so that you can file what you need to expeditiously when the time comes.

Don’t Buy Everything at Once

It takes nine months for a baby to grow; the same slow and steady approach should be applied when it comes to purchasing baby equipment.

There is much baby equipment (and some of it can be pricey) to acquire to help care for baby in the early months of his or her life, but is not all required at once. Spreading purchases out over time is a great way to keep your spending under control.

Items like car seats, strollers, cribs and bassinettes are likely needed sooner rather than later. Other things like high chairs, exer-saucers, change tables and some clothes etc. can likely be bought or acquired along the way.

Beg or Borrow

One of the best ways to shave down your baby costs is to find a friend who would be willing to let you borrow equipment. People often plan to sell their equipment when they are done with it, but if you can find someone who would be willing to part with it in the short term (i.e. if they are not done having children), you are not only helping them free up space in their home, you are reducing your costs.

Used sites and consignment shops are good too, but be sure to check the safety and age of items you buy second hand (particularly cribs, crib mattresses and car seats).

Feeding Baby

Health debates aside, breastfeeding is not only more convenient, it is by far the most budget-friendly option. Breastfeeding does not work for everyone, so if you are using formula, make a point to shop around. Prices differences from store to store can be significant.

When baby moves up to solid food, consider making your own. Many contend that this is a healthier option, and it gives you more control over what baby is eating.


Other than several hours in a row of uninterrupted sleep, coupons are a new parent’s best friend. Plan your coupon strategy before baby arrives (i.e. subscribe to companies directly, sign up for lists, etc.) and pay particular attention to savings for diapers and formula, as these will become part of your daily use, and your daily expenses.

Use the Power of Your Shower

While getting scads of adorable tiny clothing is memorable and fun, when friends and family are throwing baby showers, use the opportunity to inject a little pragmatism.

Group gifts are tremendously useful for new parents trying to shave costs and tick big-ticket items off their shopping lists. Another popular, useful idea is to have a stock-your-freezer shower, where guests come with a meal to be frozen and cooked during those early days when convenience is your food guide. Having a full freezer will mean less take-out, which can end up being very costly.