Instead of letting the expenses of first-time parenting sneak up on you, create a budget checklist for your newborn to alleviate some of the surprise. Budget your beginning expenses for the first few months after your child makes her big debut so that you can concentrate more on your family and less on your wallet.
Diapers and Grooming Products
Whether you choose the cloth variety or stick to the disposable kind, diapers are a necessity that every newborn needs. According to the pediatric experts at the Kids Health website, a baby will need roughly 10 diapers each day. Factor 10 as the minimum number of diapers each day for your newborn's budget. If you are using a cloth-diaper service, add on any extra charges for delivery, pick up and cleaning. In either case, whether you are using cloth diapers or disposable ones, don't forget to also factor in the cost of other diapering supplies such as wipes, and diaper-rash cream or powders. Aside from diapering, you will also need grooming products for your newborn such as such as a hypoallergenic infant shampoo and body wash, fragrance-free baby lotion, infant-sized nail clippers and a portable bath tub or bath sling that fits in the sink.
Although the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months, some mothers can't -- or choose not to -- nurse their newborns. If this is the case for you, factor in newborn feeding essentials such as bottles, nipples and formula into your budget. According to the APP's Healthy Children website, newborns consume roughly two to three ounces of formula every three to four hours for the first month, and four ounces every four hours for the following few months. Factor this amount into your formula budget calculations. If you are breastfeeding, consider the costs associated, as well; breast pumps typically cost a couple of hundred dollars, depending on the brand.
Your quickly growing newborn will go through clothes at a lightening-fast pace. Instead of feeling complacent with all of the newborn clothes that you received during your baby shower, add a section into your budget for your little one's new wardrobe. You may need to buy extra items or clothing in a larger size if your baby is on the bigger side. Include the types of clothing that your child will need on your checklist. This may include hats, onesies, sleepers, shirts, pants, socks and weather-dependant items such as a winter coat or a snowsuit-type garment. Also include swaddling blankets and bibs.
Between regular check ups, immunizations and the possibility of sick visits, your newborn's heath-care expenses can begin to add up. Budget for both the expected and unexpected costs. While it's impossible to know if your newborn will need to see his pediatrician for illness or other issues, add a medical expense cushion into your budget just in case. The exact amount will depend on your insurance costs, deductibles and co-pays. Consult your policy for information on the different payments that you are responsible for, which may include tests, medications and non-well visit expenses.
Furniture and Larger Items
Unlike consumables like formula or diapers that need to be constantly restocked, some items fall into the one-time budget factor. These include the larger items that your newborn will need, such as a crib, bassinet, changing table and other nursery furniture. The specific amount that you budget depends on your tastes, finances and needs. Additionally, you should budget for non-furniture, one-time purchase items such as an infant carrier and carseat and a stroller. These often fit together into one travel system.