Expenses to Expect when You’re Expecting: The Cost of Having a Baby

Expenses to Expect when You’re Expecting: The Cost of Having a Baby

Among the many things expecting fathers need to consider before the arrival of their new baby, the cost of having a baby should certainly be among them. There are several new expenses to consider when it comes to having a baby that can seem overwhelming. You may never feel completely ready, and that’s ok. It just means you’re trying your best, and that’s good enough. When I became a new father, this was something I had to remind myself of frequently in the beginning. I will mention just a few things to consider when it comes to the finances of a baby and leave some additional resources for this as well.

See the Big Picture by Creating a Budget

A great place to start planning for your new addition would be creating a budget. Getting a clear picture of what your current finances look like by calculating rough monthly income and monthly expenses can help you understand the cash flow in your situation so you can better incorporate the new costs of a baby. There are many relatively cheap budgeting apps you can get to help with this. I use an app called Simplifi by Quicken. There are many other options though such as YNAB (You Need a Budget), Mint and more. Once you have a working budget, incorporating the next items will be much easier. If you take away nothing from this article except one thing, make it this. Having a working budget is the foundation for everything else in this post.

Be Ready for the Baby Bill

Having a baby can often be an expensive event. How much does labor and delivery cost without insurance? According to a CBS report from January 2020, in Missouri, the average price of having a baby is $15,544. This is certainly not an expense that can be ignored. Fortunately, if you have health insurance, what you pay will be considerably less. Be sure to see if you are eligible for government health care such as Medicaid as well. For more detailed information about approximate out of pocket expenses, check out this Forbes article.

Accessories and Add-Ons

Baby gear and supplies, including the ongoing diaper cost, are significant considerations for new parents. Essentials like a car seat, stroller, bassinet, formula (if not breastfeeding), breast pump (if breastfeeding), baby monitor, and diapers can quickly accumulate expenses. This article by whattoexpect.com has a good list of typical items needed in the beginning as well as rough prices. It is important to note that What To Expect’s article was written in 2022 and prices have risen for most of these items. Still, this is a good starting point.

LEARN MORE: E202 | Teaching Financial Wisdom to Your Children

Childcare and Babysitting

It is never too early to start looking for childcare. There can often be long waiting lists, especially for the more popular day care providers in the area. As soon as you are expecting a baby, start looking into daycare providers that might be a good fit for you and your partner. Daycare costs can be quite high. According to MO Child Care Aware, a nonprofit focused on improving life for babies and young children,  daycare may cost up to $5,600 per year. Some people may have families who can help look after their newborn for some time, too, which may help with this initial expense.


‍Securing infant health insurance for your newborn is crucial. Whether it’s through your employer-provided plan or enrolling in Medicaid, addressing healthcare coverage should be a top priority post-birth. Adding your baby to your existing health insurance can impact premiums and coverage, so discussing options with your insurance provider early on is essential.

Another Mouth to Feed

Feeding the baby is an obvious expense that many people pay the most attention to intuitively. Whether your baby will be formula feeding, or breastfeeding, there are costs associated with both. According to Trusted Care, a daycare, preschool and childcare database, formula costs can range from $40–300 per month. This number may be higher if the baby requires a specialty formula such as a high calorie formula or hypoallergenic formula. Breastfeeding is not without expenses either. Getting a breast pump, nursing bras, storage containers for pumped breastmilk, a manual pump, and other items can add up very quickly. Many insurance companies can assist with breastfeeding equipment so if you and your partner are wanting to breastfeed talk with your insurance company during the pregnancy.

The supplemental program WIC (Women, Infants and Children) may also be helpful when it comes to feeding your newborn. If you live in Missouri, and meet income guidelines WIC services can help For more information about the WIC program visit https://health.mo.gov/living/families/wic/

Diapers Galore!

One last expense to consider are diapers. A baby can go through 5–12 diapers in a day, according to Healthline. You may plan for approximately $18 a week for the cost of diapers. That extra money can add up quickly. Baby showers come to mind as a way to get some of the diapers in the beginning. Guys can have a baby shower as well! Invite your friends over, have them bring some diapers and drinks, and it can be an easy way to not only have a good time but cut back on the diaper cost! I had a dad-friendly baby shower, and it was awesome! Everyone had a good time, and we still talk about it to this day.

A community partner may be able to help with diapers. One is the Diaper bank of the Ozarks. You can pick a location close to you through the following website: https://ccozarks.org/programs/diaper-bank/ . They may be able to help with both disposable and cloth diapers.

The items above are just a few expenses to consider when you get the wonderful news that you’re going to be a father. There are many other costs to consider such as transportation, parenting classes, gifts and toys and more, but this should hopefully be a good start to get your financial life in order as you enter this chapter in your life as a new father.  Being prepared isn’t going to make it easy, and you probably won’t feel ready, even if you diligently take all my recommendations to heart. You will feel a bit more prepared, though, so you can focus on the baby and not be as nervous about the finances.

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