When you ask anyone (and I mean anyone) they will tell you that having kids is expensive. Parent 24 puts the cost of raising a child upwards of R90 000 per year. That doesn’t sound far off. I did an article on the cost of sending your kids to school where we saw that in Pretoria you can spend between R30 000 and R120 000 on schooling alone. Now, I am by no means an expert on childcare costs, I’ve had one for all of six weeks. However, I can help you anticipate the cost of having a baby and all the associated preparation costs.
A fair bit of the small things we got at the baby shower, so the costs for these will be slightly distorted. We also spent a bit extra on some of the big-ticket items in the hope that they will last for the second one as well. To help you prepare for your kid (or like my cat likes to refer to him, the noise machine to avoid at all costs), here is a breakdown of the costs.
Ok, so I’m just going to say first up that we overspent here. In this category, we bought paint, curtains, a compactum, a new light (it was a spectacular light, don’t judge me), a carpet, dustbin and humidifier. The total cost for this came to R9 200.
Then I also included other things in this category like the stroller and baby monitor. The stroller (or travel system as salespeople refer to them) was on the expensive side, in hindsight and the total cost for the two was R8400. We had a scare when Alex stopped breathing during the night and the monitor picked it up. In that moment of sheer panic, trust me, R2 000 for a baby monitor is a steal.
We ended up going for six scans during the pregnancy. It would have been eight had Alex not decided to join us earlier. This involves doing down syndrome tests, blood tests and scans etc. The total cost for these added to R9 300. Of this Discovery ended up refunding us just over R2 000 (about R700 per scan for the three they pay for).
Breastfeeding is a tricky one, not everyone is able to, but once you know you can, the costs are significant. You need a breast pump, nipple shields, storage containers, storage bags and a constant supply of jungle juice. These added to about R5 500.
We received a lot of clothing at the baby shower so we did not have to spend a lot on this. However, since he was born prematurely, he had almost no newborn clothing. The total cost for the few items we bought before and immediately after birth, totalled R900.
Dischem and Clicks
You name it. All of this totalled just over R3 000. No wonder these stores are doing well, I’m funding them.
We got most of our receiving blankets, muslin blankets etc. from the baby shower. For the rest of it, I bought material and my mom helped me to make everything. This made for quite a nice weekend, but to be honest I was more of a barista during the fabrication process. Everything totalled R2 500.
You buy a lot of random stuff while preparing for the little one. The biggest expenses were the prenatal classes, maternity shoot and hosting the baby shower. Add to this all the small items you buy at the plethora of baby expos leading up to the birth and we ended up spending R6 000 in this category.
Finally, the birth cost only included the delivery and bed booking fee. The total cost was R 15630 of which Discovery refunded R15 000. We had a good idea of what everything would cost going into the whole process since we have a few friends with kids. To be honest, it ended up being cheaper than we anticipated, even after overspending on some items.
The refunds from Discovery also helped a lot. The total cost after refunds was R43 500, about R5 000 per month. So if you had to compare it to something, about the payment on a bottom of the range Volkswagen polo. Except you sleep a lot less and it is way more fulfilling.
Disclaimer: This information is based on my personal opinions and experiences. It should not be considered financial advice. The ideas and strategies should never be used before assessing your own personal or financial situation, or without consulting a registered financial professional.