Skip To Content

    If You Want To Have Kids One Day, Just Remember, They Ain't Cheap


    Last year, the average cost to raise a new baby up to the age of 17 – according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture – was about $233,610.


    This cost was calculated for middle-income married couples.

    So, let's break down some everyday costs of a sweet little babe...


    1. The average cost for daycare in the United States is $11,666 per year, or $972 a month.

    Twitter: @mercer__mama

    BUT it can cost up to $18,773 a year – which is a whopping $1,564 per month, according to the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies.

    2. A pack of 88 diapers costs roughly $25 and that will only last you about 8 to 9 days.

    Twitter: @diaperscheaper

    A value box of baby wipes is about $15 – and let's be real – you'll go through those in no time.

    3. A car seat can be around $300. And if you have more than one person hauling the kid around, you'll probably need two.

    4. Don't forget about those doctor visit co-pays and prescription fill ups, either. According to BMO Harris Bank’s survey of new and expectant parents, those with insurance pay an average of $1,297 out of pocket during a child’s first year.

    _tablerockskinnybabe_ / Via

    Parents without insurance can expect to pay over $95 just for one doctor's visit alone.

    5. Babies also need BABY STUFF, which is far from cheap. Some necessities – not including toys – that you'll spend money on are high chairs, activity centers, baby swings, baby bouncers, baby monitors, and strollers.

    urbanchic87 / Via

    High chair: $160 + Activity Center: $120 + Baby Swing: $233 + Baby Bouncer: $220 + Baby Monitor: $300 + Baby Stroller: $550 = $1,583.

    6. And when school rolls around, there's a whole list of stuff kids need – at the beginning of the year and during the year. In fact, you can expect to spend $669.28 per kid per year.

    greent1986 / Via

    7. Babies fly free up until the age of 2 (on the condition they sit on your lap for the entire flight), but after that you'll have to pay the same price as an adult ticket.

    8. Expect to spend lots of money on groceries – kids are garbage disposals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says a family of four spends up to $289 per week on groceries.

    mamabeachbum / Via

    And if you're buying formula, some brands can cost you up to $400 per month.

    9. If your kid needs braces, most of the time insurance will not cover the cost. So go ahead and save around $7,000 for those as well.

    maximoscent / Via

    10. Extra curricular activities also put a dent in your wallet. The average cost for extracurricular activities is $739 per year, according to Time.

    tg_indy / Via

    11. In addition to daycare, you'll also need to pay babysitters for when you want a night out. The suggested hourly pay rate in Los Angeles is $17 an hour, according to

    Tack on $85 to whatever you spend on a five hour "night out." Now you see why most parents stay in!

    12. Kids grow like weeds, but unfortunately their clothes and shoes stay the same size. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says families spend roughly $1,800 a year on clothing alone.

    decor_for_kids / Via

    Let's also not forget about how easily their pants (that still fit them) get holes and how fast they wear through their shoes.

    13. You also have to account for your kid accidentally breaking stuff – which is guaranteed to happen.

    twinmammafitz / Via

    I mean, you could get lucky and your kid could just break a few picture frames and trinkets, but your kid could also throw something across the room and break the TV or drop your phone and shatter the screen. You never know.

    14. Birthday parties are a big deal, especially the first birthday, so you'll need to budget for decorations, food, and cake – every year.

    helloocakess / Via

    According to, 26% of parents spend over $500 on their child's first birthday party.

    15. And we can’t forget about the Tooth Fairy — or the holidays. Forbes says parents spend $495 per child on holiday gifts!

    16. This is all without the cost of things like their first car, their proms, their college tuition, etc.

    According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2017–2018 school year was $34,740 at private colleges, $9,970 for state residents at public colleges, and $25,620 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.

    OK, but I have to tell you a little secret... it's SO worth it.


    Want awesome parenting tips in your inbox twice a week? Sign up for the BuzzFeed Parents newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form