By planning expenditures and expenses, you can prepare for a baby's arrival.

How to Budget for a Newborn

by Kathryn Hatter

Expecting a new baby probably injects an air of anticipation and excitement into your family. Although the arrival of the newborn can be momentous and moving, you must also consider the many details. Budgeting to plan for the newborn’s arrival will help you ensure that you can afford the expenses associated with the birth of the baby and the addition to your family.

Calculate your income after the baby arrives to help you determine your finances. If your income will change because one parent reduces work hours or takes an extended or permanent leave, figure income based on projected salaries.

List major newborn essentials to budget for them, advises the WebMD website. The baby will need furniture, gear and clothing to begin life. If you have older children, you can probably reuse many items again with the new baby. If you have friends and family willing to loan or give you items, you won’t have to purchase these things. Decide whether you wish to purchase other items new or used. Even new items vary significantly in price, depending on brands, locations and sale prices. Once you complete your list, research average prices for the items you need.

Read your insurance policies to determine what out-of-pocket insurance and medical expenses you will incur, suggests the Investopedia website. If your insurance has copay requirements for prenatal care, labor and delivery, newborn hospital care or newborn health care, figure these payments into your budget.

Consider childcare expenses if you must hire a caregiver or take your baby to a daycare during work hours. Visit or consult with several possible places where you might arrange care to get an estimate of how much childcare will cost.

Add ongoing expenses for your newborn, if applicable, such as formula and diapers. Feeding a newborn formula will cost between $49.50 and $99.00 per month (as of 2013), depending on the brand, according to the Breastfeeding Center of Ann Arbor website. To calculate your disposable diaper expense, choose a diaper brand, calculate the price per diaper by dividing the total price of a package by the number of diapers in the package and multiply the price per diaper by about 10 diapers per day. Multiply this answer by seven to get a weekly cost or by 30 to get a monthly cost.

You might also choose to breastfeed and cloth diaper your newborn, which can offer cost savings. If you use cloth diapers, add the cost of 6 dozen diapers to your budget, suggests the Real Diaper Association. Initial cloth diapering set-up costs range from $300 to $1,000 (as of 2013), depending on the brand and type of diapers and diaper covers.

Add other incidentals into your weekly or monthly budget to cover expenses associated with the new baby. Expenses such as photo developing, additional laundry and utility costs often increase after the birth of a baby, advises the Quicken website. A two-parent family with average income can expect to add about $91 to monthly expenses for miscellaneous costs, according to the University of Minnesota Extension's 2007 data.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

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