The True Costs of Raising a Baby (2 Year Update)

Daughter keeping an eye on the polar bears.
Before you know it, it has been 2 years since Baby Girl, BG, entered our lives. It certainly doesn't feel like two have have passed, but it has. They say when you have kids, that your kids just grow up extremely fast. That's definitely true. Now that 2 years are upon us, it's time for the 2 year update on costs. Let's summarize the 18 month update on costs.
  • $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

Thinking back, before I go through the expenses line by line, the only major purchase we made was to renew our zoo membership. This past year, we visited the zoo numerous times as BG loves to see the animals. She even knows to tell us which animal she wants to see and we'll head straight to that exhibit. We haven't seen the rhinos or visited one of the sections so we still have plenty to see. During the winter, we might consider visiting some of the indoor pavilions. Anyway, let's get started.


We purchased some additional diaper inserts and we use them as boosters for her pocket diapers. The cost of the liners were $39.78 bringing the total cost of diapers, inserts, and wipes to $1,313.03.


BG is still eating what we eat. She doesn't have any special dietary requirements and we still have a lot of Vitamin D drops that we picked up over a year ago. The total remains the same at $26.76.


The never ending quest to find the right bottles and cups for BG continues. We've purchased a Spider-Man Thermos she uses to drink milk, a Contigo kids bottle for water, a 360 cup for milk or water, and some IKEA kids cups for when she wants to be an adult and drink without a straw or with a lid. We also picked up some clearance plastic bowls and plates from Walmart. Overall, it wasn't too bad as this category increases by $40.60 to $217.74.


Before the warm weather came around, wifey noticed that we didn't have much in terms of sandals for BG. She had running shoes, but no sandals. As a result, we purchased a pair of sandals from Foot Locker and some sandals from Crocs. BG made good use of these over the summer. Unfortunately, it appears she won't be able to wear these next year. However, we have additional Crocs in bigger sizes (second hand) that she'll likely be able to wear next year. We also purchased additional yarn for the mother-in-law to knit some vests for the winter. We spent more money to purchase the softer merino wool. Wifey loves that BG is extremely warm and that the wool doesn't irritate BG's skin. The sandals and yarn increase the total of this category by $112.77 to $269.51.

Bed and Bedding

Now that BG is taller, her old sleep sacks are starting to get small. By the time winter rolls around, we expect she won't fit in her sleep sacks. We considered maybe using a blanket or quilt for BG when she sleeps, but she has this habit of kicking things off her body. As a result, currently, she still requires the sleep sack to stay covered at night. We purchased a 18 to 36 month sized Grobag and that increased the cost of this category by $79.04 to $830.31.

Clothing and Bedding (from China)

This total remains unchanged at $283.72 as we didn't buy anything from there when the father-in-law returned to Canada in May.


For some reason, I thought we spent more here. We purchased a wagon as it makes it easier to drag BG (and sometimes her friends) to or from the playground. It's also quite roomy, so we can fit additional things like shovels and buckets or extra clothing for the splash pad. While we did purchase a balance bike for BG, the amount was reimbursed by my mother as she wanted to buy BG a bike but wasn't sure what kind of bike we wanted to get. We thought about buying a push tricycle or car, but ultimately ended up with the wagon and balance bike. The cost of the wagon was $153.74 and brings the total for gear to $1,430.99.

Health and Safety

The major expenses here were during the last month as we all got hit by the flu bug. The major things we purchased was Tylenol for 24 month olds and nasal spray to help with the stuffy nose. We also purchased bandaids when BG scraped her knee when she fell on the pavement and some toothbrushes now that a damp cloth doesn't quite clean the molars properly. We purchased extras as they were on sale and we don't need much for at least another 6 months. We also purchased some TV straps to secure them from tipping over. Now that BG is tall enough to touch the TV, that's something I'm worried could happen. Lastly, I purchased a piece of wood to secure a baby gate at the top of the stairs. This increases the total by $81.32 to $408.41.

BG chose these (awesome) Spider-Man bandages.
Toys and Books

Oh boy... I feel like we didn't spend much here. Looking at the expenses, it seems we kind of did. Some things we purchased because BG saw them in store and would let go. Things like a pinwheel (long faded now), a mini basketball (I have no idea where this went), a baby doll (that's always naked because BG doesn't want to leave its shirt on), and a huge (!) Minnie Mouse plush we saw at Costco that she didn't want to put back. This plush is bigger than BG! Fortunately, I budgeted for these items. I have a category of spending for BG in the event she sees something that she doesn't want to let go*. The other stuff we purchased these past 6 months include a tent, a chair, a kitchen play set, a tea set, crayons, and many, many books. These past 6 months we spent $281.44 and increased our total spending on toys and books to $746.66. Actually, it's not that bad. 
Some of the books we've purchased. Most were passed down.


Lastly, we have experiences. When we had time, we usually went to the zoo. There were other times we visited parks or the local playground. On those really hot days, we played in the splash pad. All these activities were free (well, the zoo we paid a membership fee, but it's basically unlimited visits). There were also other things we did like visit the fire hall or go to the library. Those activities were also free. We also took BG when we went grocery shopping or when we needed to run some errands. Overall, there's no shortage of things to do on the cheap. However, there are occasions when spending money to do things is necessary just because the opportunity is there or to change up the routine slightly. One of  those experience was the annual community picnic. For $5 (priced per child), you get unlimited rides on all the bouncy castles, train rides, and ponies. Unfortunately, BG wasn't too interested in the bouncy castle and she wasn't a fan of the ponies. But she loved the free popcorn and definitely was a fan of the train. We also managed to ride on a hot air balloon. That was more of a fun experience for wifey and I than BG as she didn't understand what was going on. We also spent some money to buy apples and for admission to a petting farm. BG loved feeding the animals and she even tried to touch some. I also spent some money on birthday decorations and a cellophane balloon that is still floating after 4 days. BG loves that the balloon floats on its own. The real money was spent on renewing the zoo membership. The zoo membership renewal is for one year and is the biggest single expense during the last 6 months. The total for this category increased $209.74 to $503.36

I'll summarize everything again.
  • $1,313.03 for diapers (cloth and disposables), inserts, and wipes
  • $26.76 for vitamin d drops
  • $217.74 for kitchenware
  • $269.51 for clothing (Canada)
  • $830.31 for bed and bedding (Canada)
  • $283.72 for clothing and bedding (from China)
  • $1430.99 for gear (strollers, car seats, playpen, etc.)
  • $408.41 for health and safety
  • $746.66 for toys and books
  • $503.36 for experiences
Grand total: $6,030.49

Ha! I definitely didn't expect that. The past six months, we only managed to spend $998.93. I suppose this does make sense. While we didn't spend a lot on big ticket items, we did buy little things and it's the little things that add up.

This means after two years, we've spent an average of $3,015.25 each year.

My sister, also on the FIRE path, noted how she likes how we're raising BG. She's not being deprived of things, yet everything is done with a mind of little to no cost.

She said, paraphrasing, "Babies don't cost that much, it's just what parents choose to spend money on that increase your expenses."

Now, 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.**

Looking toward the next 6 months, wifey and I plan to purchase something called a Plasma Car. BG loves one of her friend's Plasma Car and it's something wifey feels BG will enjoy during the winter in our basement and in the summer when we're out.

*Normally, most of the time, she will hold onto something and then let it go later when she sees something else. If she has interest, she'll remember the previous thing and go back for it. Otherwise, she'll forget about it completely. Sometimes, we can convince her that we don't need something as we have something similar at home. However, for the rare times we cannot convince her, we'll purchase the item (if it's not outrageously over priced) and chalk it up under BG's expense. We find this works in a way as we know what BG really likes as opposed to what she just fancies at the moment. Maybe not the best way, but we haven't racked up the expenses because of it.

**So far we've contributed $7,500 into BG's RESP. This expense is basically covered by the Child Benefit (or baby bonus).


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