The True Costs of Raising a Baby (18 Month Update)

Baby Girl staring at the monkey image while at the zoo
These past six months have been a blur. Suddenly, very suddenly, Baby Girl is 18 months old. Yikes. So I was again curious to know what our spending has been like. To summarize the 12 month old update, here are the numbers:
  • $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

Okay, not too bad. Right? The problem with the last 6 months is that I feel like we went a little crazy with the shopping. Shortly after I posted the 12 month update, Christmas rolled around and it feels like we purchased a crap ton of toys for our daughter. Holy smokes. Lots of toys. We went a little crazy.

I also needed to create a new category for our expenses as the zoo memberships we purchased from the Toronto Zoo didn't fit anywhere on the above list.

Anyway, enough dithering. Let's dig into the expenses to see how much more raising a baby truly costs.

Well, I suppose the first thing is kitchenware as we didn't need to purchase additional diapers, inserts, wipes, or special food for Baby Girl (she still eats what we eat). So these totals remain unchanged.

The cost of diapers (cloth and disposables), inserts, and wipes for the first 18 months is $1,273.25

The cost of the food total remains unchanged at $26.76.

This category pretty much blew up because Baby Girl has been picky with how she drinks her milk and water. Originally, she would try from a bottle with a spout. However, she started to chew on the spout so we had to get a replacement spout. After that, she stopped drinking from this bottle, so Wifey picked up a few bottles. A Munchkin, a Zoli, and a PC (President's Choice) Cup. While she would drink from all of them, the PC Cup should stand for Piece of Crap. It leaks bad. Really bad. The Munchkin and Zoli has the potential to leak. But nothing like the PC Cup. We retired that after two uses. Of course, while Baby Girl drinks from these cups, she also uses the 360° cups we bought previously and some other sippy cup that Wifey bought because Baby Girl showed some interest in when a little friend came over with her own sippy cup. However, we find the best thing to use is a clear mug or glass as Baby Girl wants to drink out of the same cup we do. The only problem is flow control, but she handles it relatively well. Coughing aside. We also purchased something called a Squeasy bottle. It's a great way for Baby Girl to feed herself yogurt, oatmeal, soups, etc. She uses these so well, Wifey bought a second one and so far she still uses it. It's a win for us as Baby Girl prefers to feed herself and isn't very happy when we don't allow her to feed herself with a spoon (she's not good with control so food just flies everywhere).

The total for kitchenware increased by $79.83 to $177.14.

The next category is clothing in Canada. Only four purchases here. The first was a pair of Crocs at Costco. They were a little big for her at the time, but a few months later, they are just a slight bit big but they are very easy to put on. She also loves putting them on because when she does she knows it means she's going outside. She loves the outdoors. Of course, we didn't really need to buy these Crocs as a while after, we dug out some Crocs from a pile of clothing given to us by one of Wifey's friends. Speaking of second hand clothing, we still have bags and bags that we haven't gone through. We also have a bin of clothing that Baby Girl has already out grown. Wow. Fortunately, the majority of these clothes we spent $0 on. However, we did need to purchase some non-slip socks. This was for December as it was cold and Baby Girl was just starting to walk. We didn't want her to slip around in the kitchen (she loves hanging out where the crowd is and people are usually in the kitchen) so we purchased these socks. The major purchase in this category was yarn. As Baby Girl is getting bigger, her previous wool diaper covers are getting smaller and smaller. As a result, we purchased more yarn for the mother-in-law to knit more (or to extend the length of the previous covers). The mother-in-law is more than happy to knit things for Baby Girl and wool diaper covers are exactly what we needed. The last purchase in this category are a pair of shoes from Wal-Mart. Wifey felt Baby Girl was struggling to walk with her Crocs and other shoes that are sized C6 and up. So she wanted to get some sized C4 or C5 shoes. We found a pair of C5 shoes and while a bit on the big size as well, it's smaller than the Crocs and Baby Girl appears to be walking better. These shoes do have a hook and loop closure so it's possible the fit is tighter. Additionally, last time, I talked about purchasing a snow suit from Costco. Well, turns out we received a lot more snow suits from people, so we just returned it. This brought the total spent down a bit.

As a result the total for clothing in Canada increased by $52.89 to $156.74.

We didn't purchase additional mattresses or bedding so the total cost of this category remains at $751.27.

The next category is clothes and bedding from China. As Wifey didn't buy anything under this categroy, we can leave the total at $283.72.

Going for a sleigh ride in December
The next category is gear. While we only made two purchases, both of these purchases were big money purchases. The first was a sleigh from Canadian Tire. Wifey wanted to pull Baby Girl around in the snow and I recalled how much I enjoyed playing with my sleigh when I was younger. Wifey was surprised I agreed to purchase the sleigh when she asked without trying to persuade me. We kept an eye on the prices and one weekend saw the sleigh go on sale so we picked it up.

Baby Girl testing her new bike trailer.
The second purchase was a bike trailer. This was the priciest item on the list. I could have gone cheap and purchased a cheap trailer. I also could have purchased second hand from Kijiji. However, after looking at all the reviews and the listings on Kijiji, I felt it was better to buy brand new as we would be able to get the bike trailer we wanted. The problem? The bike trailer I wanted was $500! Yikes. I actually did my research in the Summer of 2017, so I watched the price of the Burley Honey Bee Bike Trailer for 8 months. Not once did it drop. Actually, the price dropped to $487 after we purchased it, but we didn't buy it from Amazon. Instead we purchased the bike trailer from Bed, Bath and Beyond. Since it was the same price everywhere, I waited until I received a 20% off coupon in my e-mail. However, as the coupon states the purchase is for in-store only, I had to go to a store and place my order there to use the coupon. Just like that, I saved $100 off regular price. Great! Originally, I was worried Baby Girl wouldn't like to ride in the bike trailer or wouldn't want to wear her bike helmet as she isn't fond of hats or hair clips. However, when she saw the bike trailer in the basement, she wanted to climb inside. I told her straight up, "You cannot ride it unless you're wearing a bike helmet." She was eager to wear her helmet and is now constantly practicing putting the helmet on and off. Doubly great! Now that the weather has warmed up, we've used the bike trailer on many occasions. She absolutely loves riding in it and it frees up our backs as we don't need to lug around backpacks or whatever when we go to the library or go for groceries. The in-laws have also pushed it to the library.

These two purchases increase the total of the gear category by $572.91 to $1,277.25.

The next category here is health and safety. When winter rolled around, we noticed some dry skin patches on Baby Girl. As a result, we picked up her own tub of Vaseline. I only use it for her legs, body, arms and hands. We also purchased additional teethers as she wasn't interested in her old one any more. With her molars coming out she needed some with more reach, so we picked up a couple Zoli teethers. So far so good, she'll gnaw on them until her shirt gets drenched in saliva. Now that Baby Girl is able to walk and communicate (with hand signals) when she feels like peeing (or when she peed after the fact), we purchased her a potty. This one, I wanted to buy on Kijiji. However, the one I saw a while back for $5 was no longer listed and the ones that were listed looked to be too complicated to set up or clean. I went on Amazon and found one PLUS if I created a registry and purchased $35 worth of goods, I'd get $10 off. As the potty was listed at $31.96, I needed a filler item so I purchased a relatively cheap toy and got the $10 off. It's been over 4 months now, but Baby Girl routinely uses the potty in the morning after she wakes up (if she didn't wet her diaper and in some cases even after she wet her diaper). She would see the potty in our washroom, point to it, and give me the sign that she wants to pee. Of course, after this she'd expect Wifey or myself to give her use of a mobile. However, almost always she pees once she starts scrolling through the phone messages. It's actually quite funny. The last thing we spent money on in this category was hospital parking. Baby Girl was feverish in March so we took her to the doctor's office. They didn't know what was wrong aside from the fever so they told us to keep monitoring her fever and sent us home. After we returned home, she started to exhibit symptoms of a cold possibly even the flu. After a week, she was okay, so we were relieved.

In total we spent $49.38 to bring the total of the health and safety category to $327.09.

Finally, we've reached the toys and books category. The category I've been dreading. As I mentioned earlier, we went a little toy crazy here. We purchased a lot of toys shortly before Christmas. We bought something for next Christmas as well, but ended up giving it to Baby Girl early. We also purchased Lego for when Baby Girl turns 4 (or sooner). We picked up some Duplo because she's usually playing with the Duplo at the library. Might as well get her new Duplo that she could lick and gnaw on. Normally, Lego and Duplo is expensive. However, Wal-Mart had this crazy deal for Black Friday. We stocked up, more or less. The main things we purchased were Little People toys and buildings. We also purchased Little People DC Superheroes.
I probably get a bigger kick out of this than Baby Girl.
In addition to these, we also purchased a huge stuffed dog, a rocking horse, a toy phone (see above), and a sorting toy. She was also teething very hard at this point, so she was chewing on her books more and more. As a result, we purchased four indestructible books. As the name implies, these books cannot be damaged. Well, aside from being folded or twisted like crazy. So far, so good. The books are still in tact and no permanent damage as far as I can see. I received some gift cards for Indigo, so I used some of the money to purchase board books when they are reduced to $4 each. It's still kind of pricey, but since the gift cards represent free money, it's okay. It's not like there are many options at Indigo. It doesn't offer the same selection as Amazon. Lastly, we also bought a ball for Baby Girl. We went into Wal-Mart to see if she'd be able to use a tricycle and ended up with the ball when Baby Girl saw the ball, latched on, and carried it throughout the store. It didn't cost that much (under $4), but we cannot be doing this (giving in) all the time. 

Included with all these purchases are a lot of returns too. I'd purchase something from Wal-Mart and then it would be cheaper on Amazon, so I'd purchase the item on Amazon and return it to Wal-Mart. Or, I'd purchase something, realize we had no use for it, and return it. It was a busy month or so. When January rolled around, we stopped looking for toy "deals". Of course, this also doesn't include all the toys that we received as gifts or the toys we gave out as gifts. In theory, it should wash out, so we should include the cost of the toys. However, even without Baby Girl, we'd have to purchase toys for these kids anyway, so I've chosen not to include these.

Totaling all these purchases up gives me a balance of $360.20 which makes the total of the toys and books category $464.72. For shame...

Lastly, we also have to include a category I've named experiences. Back in December, I found a coupon code for the Toronto Zoo for 15% off memberships. Wifey and I had discussed purchasing a zoo membership as Baby Girl has shown an interest in animals. With the membership, we could visit the zoo anytime. In order to make the membership worth the price we paid, we'd have to visit the zoo a minimum of 4 times. So far, we've already visited the zoo 6 times. Each time, Baby Girl has enjoyed the experience. With the parking pass for the year, the year long membership at the zoo cost $194.49. We also applied for and received Baby Girl's passport. This is more for in case we need to take Baby Girl out of the country more than anything. Back in September, Wifey's grandmother passed away in China. At the time, we didn't have a passport for Baby Girl, so Wifey couldn't take Baby Girl with her to China for the funeral. We also needed to pay for the passport photos and to pay for registered mail. When we went in to take the passport photo, the girl taking the photo explained that it might take a while to get the photo. I replied that we understood and that we expected to be there for quite some time. However, to our surprise, as soon as we positioned Baby Girl on the stool, the girl snapped the photo and it was done. Hilarious. 

Anyway, the passport and the zoo memberships totaled $293.62.

I'll summarize everything again.
  • $1,273.25 for diapers (cloth and disposables), inserts, and wipes
  • $26.76 for vitamin d drops
  • $177.14 for kitchenware
  • $156.74 for clothing (Canada)
  • $751.27 for bed and bedding (Canada)
  • $283.72 for clothing and bedding (from China)
  • $1,277.25 for gear (strollers, car seats, playpen, etc.)
  • $327.09 for health and safety
  • $464.72 for toys and books
  • $293.62 for experiences
Grand total: $5,031.56

Wow. Honestly, I assumed we spent much, much more than this based on the number of toys we have alone. Also factoring in the bike trailer, and other big ticket items, and it just feels like we probably doubled the original $3,600 total. Instead, we're just a bit over $5,000 for the 18 months of Baby Girl's existence.

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

Wifey and I have been discussing purchasing a wagon to drag baby girl around in the summer. We've also discussed purchasing bigger non-slip socks for the fall.

I'm looking forward to seeing how much we'll have spent when October rolls around and Baby Girl turns 2 years old.

*So far we've contributed $7,500 into Baby Girl's RESP. That alone is 50% more than the $5,000 total we've spent.


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