Costs of preparing for a newborn and new addition to your family can really add up, even if you are sticking to the basics and not buying a ton of fancy things for your baby. Baby hasn’t arrived yet but the thought of preparing for his or her arrival was overwhelming to say the least. Going into baby stores in my second trimester (I wasn’t really showing yet), I felt like an imposter and seeing all the selection and all the high prices of things was enough to make me nauseated.
Cost of Preparing for Baby’s First Year
BabyCenter.com has a great calculator so you can estimate how much the First Year Baby Costs will add up to. The average is about $8000 for the first year, including one time costs, such as a $500 stroller! And a $150 car seat.
Thankfully my wonderful sister in law saved up pretty much everything (even down to a box of nursing pads) for us so we really didn’t need to buy very much at all. Her children are now 3 and 5, so you can imagine how long she saved everything for! Although it would be nice for baby to be in some new clothes, since they outgrow them so quickly (and some things you wear once or twice and they outgrow it), we thought it would be a waste of money to buy new. A lot of things were free too thanks to the free baby swag you can get in Canada.
Stick to the Basics
I used this TD Bank Baby Basics Shopping List because other shopping lists seemed a bit too overwhelming. Here’s how much we spent in each category.
- Everything is second hand, and we have some new clothes that were gifted to us from friends and relatives.
Maternity clothes: $0
- My friend gave me a belly band (the best invention ever) and I pretty much used that the whole pregnancy, wore my pants unbuttoned and then used a belly band overtop
- I also used a black maternity knee length skirt for work I borrowed from my sister in law
- Stroller- We have two strollers, one that you can snap the car seat (a Snap and Go) into and another that will probably last the baby until 2-3 years old. One is an Umbrella Uppababy stroller which I think costs $250-400. Seriously my sister in law is an angel!
- Car Seat– My sister in law bought us a new car seat that was on sale at Baby’s R Us
- Diaper Bag– I always wanted a Marc Jacobs purse, but never thought it would be in the form of a diaper bag. Thanks to a generous friend, we have a glam Marc Jacobs diaper bag
- Crib– we bought a Babyletto Origami Mini Crib in lagoon (oh gosh, I just love that colour, can you tell since it’s splashed all over the website?) on Amazon for $189 USD. We went to pick it up in the United States because buying the same crib in a Canadian store is close to $500.
- Baby mattress: Again, purchased on Amazon for $50CAD
- Fitted sheets: Difficult to find fitted sheets for a mini crib, but these were purchased on Amazon.ca for $30 CAD. Hopefully two sets is enough!
- Pillow– I’m just going to use my Snoogle which I bought on Amazon.ca, I think it’s an imitation Snoogle but it was around $50 CAD
- Nursing Bra– I bought a Nursing Bra on Amazon for $16 and another one at Walmart for $17
- Breast Pump and Bottles– Again my lovely sister in law has given me her Medela Breast Pump and bottles
- I plan to breast feed but we have some free Nestle Good Start formula on hand in case it doesn’t go well
Changing Diapers: $50
- Diaper Rash Ointment- We have some nice diaper rash ointment gifted from a friend
- Toys– Again lots of hand-me-downs but I did but a cute little stuffed animal for $3.99
- Pee Pee Teepee– This was a must buy for me and the “splurge”, I have always wanted to get one and try it out. A package of five was $9.99.
- Diapers– My sister in law has some diapers and we decided to go the disposable diaper route since living in an apartment would be difficult to schedule diaper pick up. It was definitely a difficult decision to make but I will try and make up for the additional garbage in the landfill! I used coupons and bought some Pampers Swaddlers Size 1 and got some free packages of Huggies Newborn size from the No Baby Unhugged program. So far spent $33 on diapers using our free PC Points and using Pampers coupons to buy the large 180 pack size.
- Wipes and diaper container: My sister in law had lots of leftovers of these.
Bath Time: $60
- Infant bathtub– I found a Boon Naked bathtub on Craigslist for $30 which folds relatively flat and is useful for our small space
- Hooded towels, washcloths, baby toys– gifts from friends and also supplied from sister in law
- Baby oil and shampoo- gift from friends, free samples from the free baby swag, and additional supplies were around $18.
- Baby Healthcare Kit- This was around $12 because of a 50% coupon from signing up for the Babys R Us registry
How Much We Spent So Far on Baby:
So in total so far, we spent: $510
This certainly beats the $8000! It’s so wonderful to have friends and family who are so amazing! I do want to try finding a TENS machine for labor so that will probably add another $100 to the costs so far.
Readers, how did you keep your first year baby costs low?