The (Final) True Costs of Raising a Baby

Back in June, I posted an running tally of what it cost to raise Baby Girl for the first 8 months of her life. Well, 4 months later we passed her 1 year old birthday and I decided to update the final tally to reveal the complete costs for the first year of her life.

If you recall from the previous post, this is the breakdown of expenses to that point.
  • $729.52 for diapers (cloth and disposables), inserts, and wipes
  • $26.76 for vitamin d drops
  • $86.14 for kitchen stuff
  • $72.36 for clothing (Canada)
  • $321.89 for bedding (Canada)
  • $283.72 for clothing and bedding (from China)
  • $704.34 for gear (strollers, car seats, playpen, etc.)
  • $116.61 for health and safety
  • $82.53 for toys and books
For a grand total of $2,423.87.

Shortly after that post, Baby Girl transitioned into a water goddess. At least, in her diaper at 4:00 in the morning. The diapering system we used to that point was no longer effective and Wifey was at wits end with all changing that early in the morning. She wanted to give up on cloth diapering and go to disposables (even though disposables would result in diaper rashes).

I didn't want to give up so easily, so I did further research online regarding night time cloth diapering. The main solution that kept popping out at me was that using a fitted diaper with a wool diaper cover would be the way to go.

Seeing how it was summer and our nights were routinely in the high 20s, it didn't make sense to me to consider wool diaper covers. However, as I continued researching, I discovered that wool is actually quite cool in the summer because it is considered a natural temperature regulator. Who would have thought?

Of course, Wifey wasn't convinced. She was absolutely certain Baby Girl would overheat. However, I wanted to give it a shot. If this didn't work, we'd go to disposables for her overnight protection.

Suffice it to say, Baby Girl had the best sleep in a while. We went from 2 to 3 diaper changes (and leaky diapers) in the middle of the night to 0. We changed her once (or twice) before bed and once more in the morning when she was up. It was a big difference. Wifey even got more sleep as now all she needed to do in the middle of the night was feed Baby Girl. Some nights, she didn't even remember doing it.

Due to this success, we decided we needed a backup wool cover. As a result, in total we purchased 3 fitted diapers and 2 wool covers from Amazon.

However, as Baby Girl got older, it was apparent she was also getting too big for her diapers during the daytime. As she was beginning to get more mobile, her diapers would leak and cause her onesies to get wet. As such, we decided to get additional fitted diapers. Rather than purchase more wool covers, we purchased yarn and asked the mother-in-law to help us knit them. As the mother-in-law was itching to knit Baby Girl something, this was something she was excited to do.

We purchased some yarn online and mother-in-law knit some wool diaper covers. The best part, they just look like pants and they were knitted just for Baby Girl so they fit her just fine.

Looks so warm.
We also purchased a pair of swim diapers. We used them twice this summer. Hopefully, it'll get more use next year when Baby Girl is able to walk around on her own (and when she doesn't put everything, like sand, in her mouth).

In total, the cost of diapers (cloth and disposables), inserts, and wipes for the year is $1,273.25.

The next category is food. As I mentioned before, Baby Girl was exclusively breastfed. Then we gave her a portion of what we were eating. That didn't change the last four months of her first year. The bottle of vitamin D drops we purchased from Costco is still more full than empty (not to mention the package contained two bottle) and Baby Girl loves cheese (just thought I'd throw that in).

As a result, this total remains unchanged at $26.76.

The next category, I suppose we'll name it kitchenware instead of kitchen stuff. The only thing we added was a sippy cup with a silicone spout as Baby Girl didn't figure out how to use the 360 sippy cups. She has since figured it out and loves drinking water out of her 360 sippy cups. However, we still needed to go from A (breastfeeding) to B (360 sippy cups) and in order to get there, we needed to spend an addition $11.17. In total, this category's final cost is $97.31.

For clothing purchased in Canada, we purchased a snow suit set at Costco. It was only $31.49 in total and he haven't yet washed it or tried it out in case Wifey decides we don't need it for baby girl. In which case, we'll take advantage of Costco's generous return policy and return it. This brings the total to $103.85. We also continue to receive free clothing. Now that word got around to the Chinese neighbours in the area that we have a daughter, people are literally lining up (even begging us) to give us their previously worn clothing. In some cases, we've received additional clothing with the tags still affixed. It's gotten to the point where Wifey has refused the offer of additional clothing (hence, the begging).

The next category is bedding purchased in Canada. However, now, we'll need to include a mattress to the name. In August, Wifey mentioned that her back was sore from sleeping on the old queen bed. We discussed it further and she didn't want Baby Girl to sleep on such an uncomfortable mattress. As a result, we purchased a new double mattress for $429.38. As we still had my double sheets from my life as a bachelor, we didn't need to purchase new sheets for the bed. The new bed actually gave us more room in the master bedroom to walk around. We actually discussed throwing the mattress away, but Wifey convinced me to keep it. It was fortunate we did as Baby Girl starting standing on her own in September (Wifey caught Baby Girl standing up in the playpen when she was supposed to be napping). She was previously napping in her playpen in her room, but after than we took down the playpen and moved the queen mattress into her room. So now, we have two floor beds. The total cost for the mattress and bedding is $751.27.

The next category is clothes and bedding from China. As we didn't buy anything here, we can safely leave the total of $283.72 in tact.

Ditto for the gear category. We didn't need any additional strollers or jumperoos or whatever. The total of $704.34 is the same here as well.

The next category is health and safety. Baby Girl picked up an ear infection in July. As a result, we needed to pay for parking at the medical centre (we needed to get there before the doctor's office closed and it was raining), pay a little out of pocket for the prescription (Shoppers Drug Mart charges too much), and pay for the over the counter pain medication for the fever. Not that much considering, but it wasn't an easy 10 days as Baby Girl didn't want to take the medication. In July, we also wanted get give baby girl a place to play on her own as she was (kind of) starting to crawl. As a result, we purchased a (massive) baby gate. Originally, we made it into a playpen. However, as Baby Girl started to cruise more, we secured the gates against the wall to enclose a (huge) section of the room solely for her use. Of course, she's not happy to be locked up as she is, and is always grunting her displeasure of the situation. Either that, or she's trying to get us to open the gate so she can roam outside the enclosed space. Anyway, this category more than doubled to $277.71.

Baby Girl planning her escape.
Lastly is the toys and books category. We purchased one book from Indigo and purchased some toys for Baby Girl (she picked it out herself and wouldn't let it go) at a toy warehouse sale (we went to purchase Christmas gifts). She just picked out a set of infant balls and wouldn't let them go. I didn't even know where she picked them up from as she was with Wifey at the time so we didn't know the price when we went to pay. Fortunately, it wasn't too much. In the end, this category only went up $21.99 to $104.52.

I'll summarize everything again.
  • $1,273.25 for diapers (cloth and disposables), inserts, and wipes
  • $26.76 for vitamin d drops
  • $97.31 for kitchenware
  • $103.85 for clothing (Canada)
  • $751.27 for bed and bedding (Canada)
  • $283.72 for clothing and bedding (from China)
  • $704.34 for gear (strollers, car seats, playpen, etc.)
  • $277.71 for health and safety
  • $104.52 for toys and books
Grand total: $3,622.73

As before, these costs don't include the cost of doing laundry (hydro, water, and natural gas) or the RESP contributions.

In short, I'm surprised it hasn't cost more. I assumed after the 8 month post, the final total would be super inflated after the mattress and diaper purchases. I guess it was only bigger in my head.

EDIT: April 3, 2018. We ended up returning the snowsuit to Costco. Wifey's friends and mother-in-law's friends gave us a ton of snow suits and pants. I think we're good for the next two winters.


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