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Finding out you are expecting a little one is one of the most joyous yet terrifying experiences for any new parent. While it is true that the most important thing for a baby is the love of his parents, the reality is a baby needs more than just hugs and kisses. When you are expecting a little one it is critical that you sit down with your partner and go over the various financial costs involved with having a baby before any roommate home decorating. You may need to tighten your belt and do some saving in order to make room for the new addition.

Buying for Baby

Babies need three main things – food, clothes and shelter. Things like formula, bottles, a breast pump (if breastfeeding) and a sterilizer will take care of the food part for the first six months until baby can start eating solid foods. Newborns grow extremely fast so be sure to buy clothes that are a little too big or only a few items in the little sizes. You will need some sleepers, one piece outfits, jackets, booties, mitts and toque if living in a colder climate. You will also need to stock up on diapers.

Newborn babies will sleep anywhere they can but it is a good idea to invest in a bassinet for the first three months or else a crib from day one. If you choose to co-sleep then you might want to look for a sleeper that allows baby to lay with you but without the fear of rolling over on him. Eventually you will probably want to move him into his own nursery which should include a crib, changing mat, clothes hamper, rocking chair and anything else to make his room comfortable and relaxing for the both of you.

Most parents will also need to buy a stroller for walks as well as a car seat for outings as well as play mats, swings, toys, books and other gadgets to help stimulate baby. How much these items cost you depend on a number of things. It is very easy to spend $5000 or more on just the necessities for baby but you can also spend much less by shopping second hand, borrowing items from friends and family members, renting equipment for a short period of time, looking at garage sales and eBay and making certain choices when it comes to raising baby. Breastfeeding is going to be much cheaper than formula feeding your baby while using cloth diapers is often cheaper than disposable diapers.

Financial Planning for a Baby

You will also need to consider baby financial costs such as daycare or loss of income if you are staying home to raise the baby. Most companies will offer maternity or paternity leave to expecting parents but this is not more a long period of time. You may only get a few weeks off or you may have months off to raise baby. In most instances, you will need to make a decision about returning back to work part time or full time within the first year.

When your baby is still fidgeting in your belly it can be hard to think about the additional financial costs down the road but it is a good idea to get a head start on planning for the future. If you can, set aside some money in a term deposit or savings account to help with the additional costs as they come, from school fees to soccer outfits, from bicycles to ballet recitals; it all adds up.

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