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Is It Expensive To Have Children?

Expensive To Have Children?

Expensive to Have Kids

Are you wondering if it is expensive to have children? Having a child doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be broke once they are born. There are a variety of different ways to save on costs related to children. Here are some examples:

Child Care

Do you plan on being a Stay/Work At Home Mom? If so, this doesn’t apply to you – but if you plan on going back to work after your child is born, you are going to need to find reliable and affordable child care. Research daycares in your area.

Maybe Grandma can watch the kiddo a few days per week? Do you trust your neighbours that are home during the day? They may be willing to watch your little one as well. Ask around. If all else fails, you need a daycare. Make sure they are reputable and also affordable. Check them out in person to see if they are for you.

Have more than one child? Maybe they will give you a discount. It never hurts to ask. The worst they can say is no!


Second hand, second hand, second hand! Thrift stores, yard sales and even hand me downs from family members or friends is the way to go when it comes to toys. Just make sure to give them a good cleaning before they are played with and there you go! Good as new. 🙂

Clothing Another thing you should always buy second hand is clothing. Kids grow so fast that they hardly have time to wear an outfit more than a few times. I have some of Elliott’s clothing with the tags still on them because he grew out of them before he even had a chance to wear them.

Unless I can get clothes for the same (or less!) than what I would pay in a thrift store, I ALWAYS buy them second hand. Just throw them in the washing machine and they are like new!

Kids get so many stains and dirt on them anyway, there’s no sense in having them dressed in expensive, fancy outfits.

Diapers & Wipes

When it comes to wipes, store brands are the exact same. Honest! Diapers, however, are not. I have tried Life Brand (they are horrible) and the kind from Metro (they are great) and they are so very different from one another.

Huggies are just fine, but Pampers are the best. They never leak! Of course, they are the most expensive, so I only buy them if I can get them free (which is rare) or really cheap with sales and coupons. Definitely start out with a package of store brand diapers, though. See how you like them.

If you can’t stand them at all, you can get the name brand – but honestly, they’re all pretty much the same. Use coupons on name brands and ONLY buy them if they are on sale! Also, have you looked into cloth diapering? It’s MUCH cheaper than the disposables!


You can get most furniture second hand. Check Craigslist and Kijiji for cribs, bookshelves, dressers, etc. and watch how many pages of that stuff you will find! Also, there are some things you really do not NEED for a baby. For example – a change table.

Just use a dresser with a change pad on top! That’s what we do. We have the top drawer of the dresser filled with diapers, wipes, baby powder and all of that kind of stuff – the other drawers are filled with clothing. You can also use a bookshelf for toys.

Just because it has BOOK in the title, doesn’t mean only BOOKS can be put on it!

Baby Food

Make your own! It is soooo easy to make your own baby food. Those jars at the store are crazy expensive. I only got them when they were free or very very cheap. If you have a food processor, you’re ahead of the game.

If not, you can get those pretty cheap at Walmart or a similar store. Puree some peas or carrots. Mashed potatoes are easy. Applesauce is easy as well. Once your child gets older and they can have bit sized pieces of food, it is even easier.

They can pretty much eat what you eat at this point. Just cut up very small pieces of bread, fruit, vegetables, etc. and let them practice picking it up and eating it.

In my opinion, here are things you WILL need for your child:
– Car Seat: Invest in a 3 in 1 that can be used for children 5lbs. and up. ($150-$300)
– Stroller ($50-$100)
– Crib ($50-$150)
– Clothing: Buy used! ($50-$100 for the first year)
– Dresser ($50)
– Change Pad ($15)
– Baby Bathtub ($10)
– Diapers ($250-$500 for the first year)

Having kids doesn’t have to be expensive. Be frugal and buy most things second hand – and when that isn’t possible, shop around for the best deal!


  1. Caitlin

    I love this article. My husband and I are hoping to have a baby soon and I just came across all the baby stuff on craigslist. We are going to be completely set with furniture and toys. Also I love thrift stores! There is nothing wrong with second hand clothing.

  2. Erica

    Since I work in Day Care, I thought I would add ::
    – Centers do give a discount if you have more then one child registered. At least all the ones I have worked at have,
    – Also infant care is the MOST expensive, then it’s toddler and then preschool/JK. As well, most parents are unaware that if you have a child registered for part time it is more expensive then full time. Weird huh?
    – Many parents are eligible for subsidy as well however it’s usually if they are the sole provider, but there is no harm in applying.

  3. nikki

    great article 🙂
    as for cloth diapers, i’ve spent about $200 and I’m set until she potty trains! I’m super glad you mentioned it!
    Also, you can buy reusable wipes, that’s something I want to try too! BF’ing also saves LOTS of money, and is quite convenient if it works out for you & baby 🙂

  4. Lisa

    I definatly over spent the first year my son was born..

    crib – 500.00
    dresser – 650.00
    car seat (bought two) 500.00 for both
    babytub – 40.00
    stroller – to date, have bought three. and spent over 1000 on all. Bought a mini stroller for travelling, bought a regular stroller that holds a car seat and bought a bike trailer/jogging stroller.
    play pen – 100
    baby swing – 70.00

    dont remember how much i spent on food, diapers, wipes, or clothes. Wish I would have saved some of that money though.

  5. sheena

    I recommend buying the crib and the car seat new, you never know what they have been through. Everything else is fair game to be second hand. Ask you mommy friends who already have children, sometimes their babies grow out of diapers before the box is gone and might have some kicking around. I found a second hand exercauser in excellent condition for $5.00 at a local thrift store. Don’t be too picky on clothes, babies grow so fast they rarely wear out their clothes. I also recommend second hand clothes for the first 9-12 months. Parent’s choice Diapers have been my brand for the past 19 months. Unless I got a good deal on something else. Pampers brand sometimes go on sale at No Frills for $14.88 combined with the brandsaver coupons makes them cheaper than a store brand.

  6. Stephanie

    We are having our third now and we used the baby bathtub only 1-2 times for our first. So we sold it. There is a great mesh seat that Babies R Us sales for less than $10 and the baby car sit on it much longer than they will fit in a baby tub.
    We also have NEVER used a changing table or even a changing pad. We didn’t even have a dresser with the second. We put a closet system in his closet and when he got older we were able to rearrange it to fit his growing needs.

    I highly recommend checking all recalls no matter where you get your things. We were given quite a bit for the third (a complete surprise) and most of it was recalled.

  7. Amanda

    We just had our first in June. The only things we have bought brand new was a crib mattress and our travel system (stroller & car seat on sale) We just recently upgraded to a 3 in 1 car seat, also on sale. All of his clothes have been secondhand or given as gifts. We swear by the Parent’s Choice diapers, they are the only ones he doesn’t leak through. We got everything else secondhand. You can find a lot of good quality items for great prices on kijiji. Or even local facebook buy & sell groups!

  8. Trisha

    I have four kids and have changed them all on the floor. I have a basket with all the necessities under the coffee table and a diaper mat, getting up and down is good for you.

  9. Melissa

    This talks about whether babies andpreschoolers are expensive. Trust this: It’s when they get older that they cost! Adult sized winter wear, expensive activities, less used clothing to choose from, post-secondary studies if you choose to help. Diapers and car seats are peanuts!

    • Cassie Howard

      Good point, Melissa!

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