Cost of Preparing for Baby’s First Year


Cost of Preparing for Baby's First Year

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 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.

Clothes:  $0

  • 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

Travel: $0

  • 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

Bedding: $320

  • 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 for $30 CAD.  Hopefully two sets is enough!

Feeding: $83

  • Pillow– I’m just going to use my Snoogle which I bought on, 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?

Cost of Preparing for Baby's First Year

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About genymoney

GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle.

4 comments on “Cost of Preparing for Baby’s First Year

  1. Dear Gen Y,

    You’ve done amazing! There are so, so, so many things that people tell us that baby needs and they really don’t.

    As for the fitted crib sheets, I just took a queen flat flannel sheet and made it into a fitted single sheet for my kids bed. It’s not pretty but it works. Check out youtube for instructions. In a pinch, you can just tie knots in each of the corners (of a bigger sheet) and it will stay on. I had a ton of crib sheets and while it was convenient to have extra sets, I could have made my own for free.

    As for diapers, for the first year, I went with Costco’s Kirkland brand (not sure why). Then, my membership expired and it couldn’t be justified by diapers (even though I was buying for two babies) so I started by buy the PC generic brand (“Teddy” I think). In over 2.5 years of using them, I did not have ONE “splosion” or even a leak (and I had a boy and girl, sometimes different sexes can have different results with the exact same diaper). They went on sale every month so I’d just stock up and having PC points made them even cheaper. I don’t have anything against the name brands, the increased price just didn’t justify the quality for me.

    For me, I always had lanolin and diaper rash cream on hand. Those things are like duct tape for babies, they work on everything!

    All the best.

    • @Sarah De Diego- Wow, thanks so much for the tips! I wouldn’t have thought of using a queen flannel sheet to make it into a fitted sheet. I have seen the Teddy PC Generic brand- good to hear that it’s protective against explosions lol. It would be interesting if someone did a comparison against all the disposable diaper brands out there. I heard that a lot of the time the unfortunate stuff leaks up the baby’s back.

  2. Hey Gen Y. You definitely did a good job when it came to not overspending for your first baby. It’s so easy to get sucked in to all of the cute baby stuff! Although I don’t see how people spend $8000 the first year of their child’s life, especially if it doesn’t include the delivery expenses and daycare. Great post!

    • @Kim- Strollers are like $2000 and a crib is like $300-700 already lol. Clothes are expensive if they’re not hand-me downs, a onesie at Gap is already $34.50 full price haha. I am loving all the hand-me down clothes we have, although we are having to do a bit more laundry (less long sleeve onesies than I had anticipated) it’s not bad at all.

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