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Medical Bills • 4 minute read

Biggest Expenses New Parents Face In Their Baby’s First Year

Biggest Expenses New Parents Face In Their Baby’s First Year
By Mason Frenzel
Published by Ruby

Ruby's online tools and app helps you organize your medical bills and save money.

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Having your first child is often a period of excitement and joy. Although, in addition to the responsibility of caring for a child, first-time parents also assume new financial obligations. It is easy to be intimidated by the sheer cost of a baby’s needs during their first year, but having a strategy ahead of time can help. Keep reading for a list of common baby-related expenses and how you can be ready for them.


Common Costs

Your child’s birth

  • With a natural birth devoid of complications costing around $10,600, and a complicated caesarian section costing approximately $23,900, it is no surprise that the first moments of your child’s life are usually the largest expense during their first year.


  • It is crucial that you have health insurance that covers childbirth expenses. Financing a standard natural birth ($10,600) out-of-pocket would be challenging for most, but with the added expense of potential complications, paying these medical bills is almost impossible without insurance.



Doctor’s office visits

  • According to WealthKeel, babies should normally visit their doctor for a wellness check when they are one week, one month, four months, six months and nine months old.


  • With the help of co-pay, some pay as little as $30 out-of-pocket for wellness checks.


  • It’s a good idea to have a conversation with your insurance provider about how these visits are covered.


  • Just like any child, babies can come down with the common cold or other ailments, so it helps to anticipate additional charges for these types of visits.


  • The average charge for a trip to the pediatrician is $169 before your deductible kicks in.


The family home

  • Anyone who has been around a newborn knows that they come with a lot of gear, such as cribs, toys, and changing tables, and new parents often find that their current home lacks the space they need to store it all. Plus, caring for a wailing infant is made more challenging in a cramped space.


  • This is why new parents sometimes opt for a larger apartment or house. But with more space, comes more of an expense. You can anticipate a higher price on a house with more square footage, or an increased rent in a larger apartment.


Feeding your child

  • There are a few things to consider when choosing how to feed your baby: will you breastfeed or use formula, or possibly a mixture of both? When he or she gets a little older, will you buy them baby food or make them food at home? Regardless of what you decide, it helps to plan ahead financially, as formula can cost as much as $100 per month and parents spend about $50 a month on baby food, according to HowStuffWorks.


  • You might also factor in the cost of breastfeeding equipment and bottles. While normally sold in packs of three or more, bottles cost $5 on average, and breast pumps range in price from about $9 to $300. Although before you run to the store, check with your insurance provider first as some plans actually cover the cost of breast pumps.


Child care

  • Although many new parents go on maternal or paternal leave during their child’s first months, working parents are eventually tasked with finding childcare. And unfortunately, child care can be extremely expensive, even costing more per year than college tuition in some states.


  • In a recent survey, 55% of parents reported spending $10,000 or more a year on child care.


  • If you know that you will need child care, it may help to begin saving and budgeting for this expense in advance.


Clothing, toys, diapers…

  • In addition to the larger expenses, babies also require a lot of miscellaneous items. These include one-time purchases such as a baby bouncer and single-use products like disposable diapers. As you might imagine, it adds up pretty quickly.


  • Popsugar cited that in one year parents normally spend about $900 on diapers.


  • Parents pay an average of $20 per month for wipes.


  • According to TheBump, parents who use cloth diapers spend between $400 and $500 during the first year.


  • One way to save money on your baby’s needs is by getting some things secondhand. If your friends or family have children slightly older than your own, you might be able to borrow some clothes or toys that are too small for their kids. And if they don’t want the items returned, you can do the same for another family.


  • Don’t have anyone to borrow baby clothes from? Check out sites like ThredUp, where you can find gently used clothing for your baby.


  • You can also save by buying items that you need consistently in bulk.
Ruby can help.

Becoming a new parent can turn your life upside down for the first few months, making it hard to stay organized. Unfortunately, this happens at a time when it’s important to keep track of costly medical bills.

If this situation sounds familiar, our soon to be released Medical Bill Manager app might be for you. When using the app, you can verify your bills’ accuracy, ensuring that you don’t overpay. You can also get help on negotiating to lower your costs, and create a customized payment plan. Our goal is to help you save as much money as possible so that you can put it towards some of the other expenses that the first year of parenthood brings.

Contact Ruby today to learn more!

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