New Parents: Year One Newborn Expenses

Before I became a parent, I researched a lot on how to financially support my family.  However, I had difficulty finding information with actual use cases on what my first year newborn expenses would be. This is why I planned over 12 months ago to write this post and create this blog. My hope is to answer questions you may have with actual use cases based on my real experiences.

Our Situation:

Google searches and parenting sites share first year newborn expenses to be anywhere from $7,000 to $12,000. What I had trouble finding though was WHERE exactly my money would go.  Because of that, over the last 12 months I took (the best I could) detailed notes on exactly what I purchased and how much I spent to share with all new parents with similar questions.

1. The breakdown is unique to my son and our situation. Every child will have their own unique circumstance that may cause budgeting to vary.

2. We paid out of pocket for almost everything. We recently moved to NYC less than 2 years ago so don’t have many close friends or immediate family around to give us gifts or hand-me downs.

3. We selected the best medical plan my company offered, Cigna Open Access Plus with a co-pay of $30 and $40 to see a specialist.

4. We are fairly frugal but some of the items we purchased were higher end. Examples: towels at Pottery Barn Kids, clothes at Bloomingdale, professional photos at a studio.

5. My son was not able to breastfeed and he had a milk allergy so we spent on average $500 monthly on special formula in the beginning.

6. Most of what we purchased we actually did not end up using and knowing what we know now a few things we could have gotten for free.

Newborn Expenses  

Baby Gear $1,359
Furniture & Décor $1,010
Development Toys $961
Gerber Purees $820
Diapers Related $700
Feeding Related $340
Medical $230
Miscellaneous $250
Bed, Bath & Skincare $230
Sub-Total $5,900
Professional Photos $1,355
Special Formula (milk allergy) $4,250
Personal Total $11,505

For formula he was on Neocate and Nutramigen for the first 6 months then we moved to Similac Alimentum. We also spent a lot on professional photos at the studio. I was quite surprised how close we were to the range they were estimating on other sites but obviously every newborn expense will be unique to the circumstances of the child and will make the above categories vary.

Tips to Save Money

I have no affiliation with any of the retail stores listed in this article and do not benefit financially if you buy from them.

1.  Create a registry everywhere and make all your purchases through that list (even if you decide not to have a baby shower). You’ll receive a bunch of free gifts from the store (bottles, pacifiers, oness, shutterfly gift cards, etc.) and there may be promotions that allow for cash back rewards.

2.  For bottles, Babies R Us has promotions around every major holiday where they give a free Dr. Brown bottle with a purchase of $25 or more (as an example). We took advantage of that too late but if you plan your purchases while pregnant around holidays you might not have to spend a penny on bottles in the beginning. You also may be eligible for a free breast pump from your insurance provider so definitely reach out to them and ask.

3.  Save all your receipts and packaging the best you can. Like most new parents there were a ton of things we purchased but never used. We were able to return some items but there will be items you’ll likely have to eat the cost on. For us, our son never used his crib and he hated when we used the glider. Even the clothes we purchased in advance by the time he had the chance to wear them outside he already out grew them (more than half the outfits we purchased he never wore).

4. Amazon subscribe and save allows you to automate diapers, wet tissues, and formula at a discount. You can even unlock additional savings by adding more to your list. This saved us a lot of time and made our shopping bags each trip A LOT less heavy.

Newborn Expenses Itemized list

year one itemized newborn expenses

Note: this does not include everything from the above newborn expenses summary (for instance clothes, formula, or smaller random items like toothbrushes) and prices will differ based on location and year of purchase (these were prices from 2015-2016)

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