Budgeting for Baby: How Much Do You Need To Save?

budgeting for baby

They say that having a baby is expensive, but what is the true cost of a new bundle of joy? The answer might send you into sticker shock. We have evaluated as many areas as possible for budgeting for a new baby; from the moment of conception until the baby’s first birthday.

Estimated Averages Vary Significantly

Unfortunately, there is no broadly accepted method for estimating the cost of birthing and raising children. This is evident in the wildly varying figures from various sources. For instance, the Fraser Institute asserted that child-rearing should cost no more than $5,150, while MoneySense put the figure at just over $14,000. A contributing writer for CPA Canada gathered information from actual parents and concluded that new parents should expect to pay no less than $10,000 in the baby’s first year.

Even then, those figures don’t take into consideration factors such as lost wages during maternity leave, prenatal care costs and childcare. So, how can you prepare financially for a baby? Budget for those expenses you can predict and save as much as possible for those you can’t.

Prenatal Care

A new baby begins to incur expenses the moment it’s conceived. A prenatal visit in Canada is free for those with insurance or Medicare. The average cost of a visit without insurance, however, is between $100 and $150. A woman who carries a baby to term should expect to make 15 prenatal visits total — seven during weeks four through 28, four during weeks 28 and 36 and another four during weeks 36 to 40.

Prenatal ultrasounds are significantly more expensive than prenatal visits, averaging between $300 to $500 for those without insurance and up to $300 for those with coverage. Though most healthy pregnancies do not necessitate this procedure, many health care providers prefer to perform an ultrasound at least once a trimester.

Total for Prenatal Care With Coverage: $0 to $900

Total for Prenatal Care Without Coverage: $1,500 to $3,750

Birth and Delivery

The cost of birth and delivery varies considerably and is dependent upon the type of delivery a mother chooses. An in-hospital natural birth for women with health insurance ranges from $0 to $1,000, while the same type of delivery for the uninsured costs between $5,000 and $8,000. An in-hospital cesarean section for the uninsured is considerably more, at between $10,000 and $12,000. The insured can get a C-section for between $0 and $1,000. The average cost of an insured home birth is between $860 and $2,500, while the uninsured can expect to pay $2,500 for the same care.

Total for Birth and Delivery With Coverage: $0 to $2,500

Total for Birth and Delivery Without Coverage: $2,500 to $12,000

Lost Income

Canada offers both maternity and paternity leave to parents who have worked at least 600 hours in the past year. The country offers two leave options: 18 and 12 months. If you opt for the 18-month option, you can earn up to 33% of your regular weekly wages. The 12-month option, however, allows you to receive up to 53% of your typical weekly earnings.

Other Costs You Can Budget for in Advance

Babies’ needs vary considerably, making it difficult for parents to budget in advance accurately. However, some needs are more universal than others, ranging from nursery furniture to feeding equipment to infant care. Below is a cost breakdown of some of the absolute essentials:

  • Crib: $50 to $2,500
  • Formula: $25 for a 900-ml container, which lasts for one week
  • Car Seat: $150 to $450
  • Diapers: Between $500 (non-disposable) an $550 (disposable) per year
  • Wipes: $25 per week
  • Baby Bathtub: $20 to $40
  • Baby Soap: $6 to $10
  • Clothing: $76 per month

The above items are the bare essentials and do not include things that may make caring for a newborn more convenient. Those include a rocking chair, highchair, baby food, breast pump, nursing pillow, nursing cover, baby carrier, stroller and a changing table, to name a few.

Average Minimum for Bare Essentials: $3,049 per year (wholly breastfed) to $7,277 (strictly formula-fed)


For many parents, childcare is the most overwhelming cost of raising a child, as the prices of daycare in more than half of Canadian cities have risen faster than inflation. On average, childcare for infants costs $1,000 per month. However, in some cities, daycare fees are exponentially lower, at about $200 per month, while in others, such as Toronto, they’re over $1,600 a month.

No matter which way you look at it, having a baby is a costly endeavor. However, you shouldn’t put off growing your family because of money. If now is the time to add a new addition to your family, get the financial assistance you need to do so. A personal loan offers you the ability to enjoy your new bundle of joy without stressing about finances, and the ability to repay when you and your partner can both afford to do so. Learn more today. 


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