Saving Smart for a Baby

Your little bundle of joy comes with a whole lot of hefty expenses.

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Welcoming a new addition into your family is one of life’s most exciting moments. Avoid the stress of financial strife by planning ahead. Set funds aside in a savings account to prepare for some big changes and large expenses about to come into the world. Keep in mind that the figures are a guide and can vary significantly according to where you're located, with prices in coastal cities such as New York and San Francisco charging significantly more.

The list below only includes the physical "stuff" necessary for an infant. Additional costs accrued as the result of maternity/paternity leave, insurance and child care are not included and should be calculated separately.

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Supplies: $540- $3,200

Milk

Breastfeeding is the most affordable option for those who can, with breast pumps costing $150-$300 as a one-time purchase for working mothers who need to express milk during the day. Formula costs around $35 a week, meaning you could end up spending around $1,000 in the first six months. Once your baby has moved onto solid foods, you can save by pureeing your own baby food with hundreds of helpful baby food recipe blogs online.

Nursery

You'll spend $160-$750 on a crib with a mattress.

Bedding sets, blankets, sheets and a mattress cover will cost $50-$300.

A dresser for your baby will cost $90-$650, and if you want that rocking chair it will set you back $90-$500. It's important to think carefully about your priorities when it comes to nursery furniture. A rocking chair could last generations, while a crib or dresser might be more easily replaced.

Baby Gear: $390-$2,460

A good stroller is crucial to keep you and your baby on the move. A high-quality stroller will cost $50-$800. Car seats, playpen/portable crib and a portable carrier or sling will cost $140-$640 in total. Playtime extras like a play center, swing, and a bouncer seat will add up to $125-$445. More essentials include a baby monitor and a high chair $75-$540, and a diaper bag $35. Seek out form and function when shopping for baby gear. Some strollers convert to high chairs and the right diaper bag can take you through the toddler years.

Diapers etc.: $1,290

 Newborn babies go through up to 320 diapers per month, and at $.25 per diaper that comes to $1,050 for the first year. Buy in bulk in order to save between 5 to 10 percent on diapers. A year's supply of wipes, baby soap, lotion, powder, oil and diaper rash ointment come to an additional $240.

Clothing: $1,000

An important thing to remember when shopping for infant clothing is that you'll need to have a full range of items for your baby from 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months and on. Key items include: sleepers, hats, booties, socks, gowns, coats, shirts and pants. Save on infant clothing by buying off-season in multiple sizes and get your hands on hand-me-downs from your parent pals.

The total: $3,220-$7,950

Good luck, congratulations and happy spending!