Baby Hints & Tips

Cost of babies first year

baby costWhat is the cost of looking after a baby for their first year? I am wanting to stay home as long as possible, I am just not sure I can afford it.

  • Can cost as much as you let it in a sense. When bubs was born, hubby was unemployed and I was stressing big time. However I had stocked up on nappies and wipes prior to babe being born (so then only bought more nappies when on good specials as I already had a bunch stock piled, so haven’t ever had to pay full price!), I had been given loads of hand-me-down clothes, kept an eye out at the salvos every now and then for extra bits of clothes (mostly $0.50 per piece they do them for at some!), and was just really sensible with what we spent our money on.
    Aldi currently have their nappy boxes & wipes on special (only come out twice a year I think) so grab some of them.
    And once it comes time for babe to start solids, again can be as cheap or expensive as you choose to make it. Making your own food for bubs is generally a whole lot cheaper than any store bought stuff.
    So, sorry I can’t give you a $$ figure as such, but would say initially, if you’ve got all your nursery stuff and big items, day to day it shouldn’t cost a huge amount, just need to factor in nappies, formula if using, and any ongoing essentials like nappy cream (but you may hardly use that even, so again, not a huge cost as it lasts ages!). If you breastfeed cuts down the cost of formula too of course.
    And just look on eBay or gumtree for items that you don’t need new (most things!). We got a bunch of toys from eBay. Most kids don’t use them for long enough to ‘wear them out’.
    Good luck, and hope you manage to enjoy the time with babe without having to stress too much over money. So hard, but even if you only get 5-6 months off with babe, it’s better than less than that  treasure each day you have.. It flies by super quick! Susanna
  • Buy swap sell sites are fantastic too! I picked up bubs wooden bassinet, high chair and play mat for $60 and a wooden cot for $90. And there’s always big boxes or bundles of clothes. kids don’t need brand new everything because to them everything is new. Stayc
  • I couldn’t be more grateful for friends’ hand me down and family gifts plus of course stock up of on sale nappies & wipes! Jen
  • Totally agree. I’ve seen a Mum take time off but had to return full time because of money. During the time with her child she bought soooo much stuff. A crazy amount of toys. Too much for any child to play with. Babies really don’t need to cost that much.
    Budget budget budget. As above. Stock up on cheap nappies. I’ve been told Coles brands are good. I now buy Aldi’s ones and the boxes work out 19c per nappy. I buy wipes from Aussie Wipes. I get them in bulk. Much cheaper and I wait for the special deals. Best deal was buy 3x boxes and redeem a Plum sleeping bag.
    I didn’t like the idea of 2nd hand items. By the time baby was 6 months I really didn’t care!
    Whenever someone asks if you need anything. Say yes! If someone wants to buy a gift. Say for Christmas coming up. Hold off buying anything for your child and ask for something you need. I wanted to buy DD books and clothes for her first birthday. I held off and just got her a couple of small gifts. She got heaps of clothes and books. Saves me heaps!
    Sell everything on gumtree or FB local buy swap sell pages as soon as your child has outgrown an item. Then buy 2nd hand. My friend buys 2nd hand toys then sells them for more than what she bought them! Alyce
  • It doesn’t have to cost much at all. Bubs don’t need anything fancy. As long as they are fed they don’t need too many other expensive things. As they get a bit older and you need to find things to do there are plenty if free things – beach, park, free activites put on by council etc. Make your own food instead if buying baby food saves a fortune.
    Baby’s don’t need to cost heaps. Jenna
  • It’s really hard to tell, if u haven’t had bub yet, and ur having a baby shower ask people to get u nappies, wipes etc.. my MIL bought us a years worth of nappies which was an awesome help! The more useful thing people buy you the cheaper it is,i also layby 90% of my bday and Xmas presents at the yearly toy sale, that way u don’t have to fork out hundreds at a time .. hope this helps. Jessica
  • If you can breastfeed and use cloth nappies through the day that will save alot of money! Also if its your first you are probably going to want to splurge so just try to avoid that. Being your first it will take sometime getting used of the baby so you will be probably spend alot of time at home anyway. Teresa
  • I think you’re asking more how to make money stretch rather than how much does baby stuff cost. My paid mat leave is just about to run out now and we will be on one wage until I start work again in February. Draw up a strict budget for household expenses (rent / mortgage down to what brand nappies to buy) and start living on that budget now and save the excess. Lou
  • I think it depends on how much your living costs are really. Baby doesn’t add much especially if breastfed (it’s free!) and clothes can be hand me downs, same with toys too. I’ve bought many toys second hand on gumtree saves heaps!
    Also we use cloth nappies about $1000 outlay will last through to toilet training. Disposables would cost $3000ish for the same time period. Ange
  • I thought the same, my plan was to go back to work full time when my Paid Parental Leave finished but if your husband/partners wage can cover the costs for you two (rent/mortgage, food, utilities) then it’s not too hard to live on a budget as babies really don’t need to cost a lot. I exclusively breast fed up until 6 months and then introduced Baby Led Weaning so I have never had to buy formula or baby food. There are lots of affordable ways to buy clothes and toys (OP shops, markets, Gumtree, Kmart etc) and if you have any friends or family with children, you might even get hand-me downs  If you have enough money now to buy MCN’s then you won’t need to keep buying nappies either (I didn’t think of this at the time I was still at work but sometimes wish I had for environmental reasons) but honestly the cost of nappies really isn’t that much, we don’t even notice it. I use Huggies (which are ALWAYS on special somewhere!) when we’re out for the day/overnight and Coles Comfy Bots around the house or if I’m just popping out in the daytime
    It’s doable my husband doesn’t earn a huge amount and we’re not even strict with money and we get by alright, we’re just not managing to put much (or any!) into savings but it’s a small sacrifice to pay to stay at home with our son for a few more months. Kayleigh
  • I feel the same, I’m due to go back middle of January when my son will be 6 months. From beginning of December till then I’ll be on unpaid leave and I’m really dreading going back but I know financially I don’t have a choice  but I use cloth nappies which saves a lot of money or buy aldi nappies which are great and cheap and try to buy his clothes on clearance. Allyce
  • Bub will cost what you want bub to – it depends on how much you will want to buy in the way of toys and clothes etc. We got caught out with the maternity payments taking 3 weeks to come through, so we ended up behind on bills when bub came early! I ended up going back to work after 3 months and DH took a month off to stay home because I earn more. Taya
  • Try to have all the big items for baby bought before you finish working. Ask for gift vouchers for your baby shower gifts. Then you can buy nappies and clothes as you need them. If your breastfeeding, no cost there. Don’t go overboard with little outfits as they grow out of them so fast and onesies are so much more practical. Mostly it comes down to your household expenses. Make sure you live within your means, and have a good budget that you can stick to easily. Put away a couple of dollars each week so you can get some clothes for yourself or have a pedicure without feeling guilty. Serena
  • Depending on partners income but u maybe able to get parenting payment from centre link. Sarah
  • Babies don’t need to cost a fortune. My bubs just moved from 000 to 00 clothes and I got some nice summer tops and one pieces for between $5-$8 ea they had lil shorts for $3 and some basic summer body suits for $3ea. I get nappies from Aldi, compfy bots at coles are great too and at $11 they are large packets and usually last me just over a week. If you can fully breastfeed do it’ll save you buying formula. When bubs start to eat I usually start of with Farex but after around a month I just bled up what we are having for dinner, or I just cook and blend some potato, pumpkin, and other vegblend and fridge for lunch the next day. The less store brought food the better because baby food is quite expensive. Haylee
  • As said above it all depends on your situation. Are you renting or paying a mortgage and how much will you have left over after paying that first and foremost. As for raising kids, it all depends on the individual child. Clothes and toys you can get second hand from salvos, vinnies, savers and buy swap sell sites, and always take hand me downs. It’s more formula and nappies cost that can be the biggest issue. (Which I believe actually needs to be regulated price wise by the government as it is a necessity) If bubs is sensitive to certain formulas or has to have goats milk formula it can be so much more expensive (I’ve been lucky my boys both took karicare and Aptimal without any issues) or if they have sensitive skin you may need certain washing powders and bath products. And then there is also illness’. If bubs is one where they catch everything under the sun then that costs more money (and don’t forget tony Abbott and liberal are trying to bring a gp tax which is not just $7 if you need speciality you will need to pay more for that eg X-rays, ultrasounds). Stayc

 How much did you spend on your baby in their first year?

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