K.C. asks from Palo Alto, CA on July 13, 2009
C.M. answers from Chico on July 20, 2009
D.S. answers from San Francisco on July 14, 2009
Greetings K.: What a super assignment.
My husband taught math and once he gave the task to mathmatically figure out the cost of baby food,diapers, childcare, and clothes for a young unwed mother and the boyfriend has skipped out. It opened the eyes of several would be moms and the boys!
Be sure to seperate the list from "Wants and Needs" the price is vastly different.
As the mother of 5, and the grandmother of 5 I have seen the wants side break the bank.
clothes, size changes quickly the first 6 months so your needs change every 6 months, and time of year for example in summer or heated area you need less than in winter when it is cold. For my three month old grandchild after the bed,rocking chair,CAR SEAT,stroller--hmm- Becasue of baby showers many gifts were given and they only needed to buy dresses. She has 8 sleepers, 8 onesies,3 jackets,socks 4 pair, headbands 4, cute outfits to wear 15 (only needs 4), and 6 dresses (one is a mumu from their vacation).Now she is getting bigger and changing sizes so she will need 8 sleepers,10 onsies, cute outfits- little levis and shortsets 9, and dresses 6. She gets dressed up for sundays and you have to plan for needed changes from messy diapers or spitting up. I figure that a newborn's outfits get changed at least 3 times a day from wetting or messing in the diaper.
To be really honest a child can do very well with 8 sleepers- you just have to wash often as they get wet& messy quickly, 5 onesies - again washing often, 4 cute outfits, and 3 little dresses. Besides their blankets they don't require much. It is the 2nd year that it starts getting expensive as all the baby gifts are generally outgrown and have to be replaced.
The cost varies depending on where you shop. Example: I saw one dress for $45.00 at a high end childs store in the mall, saw one closely resembling it at KMart for 12.99 So a person can save by wisely shopping and not impulse buying. I have given you this for a little girl- now boys are signifently cheaper. 8 sleepers, 9 onesies, and 7 cute little outfits mainly shorts or jeans. Even when they change sizes its the same becaue you can dress a little guy in jeans and great shirt and he is cute as a button.**note I have not mentioned shoes- until they are walking shoes are only for show & are a want not a need.
Good Luck with the assignment. Nana G
1 mom found this helpful
N.P. answers from Modesto on July 14, 2009
You've gotten great info so far, from our other moms. I'll just say that doing regular laundry is key to saving money. This means you would do laundry about every 2-3 days if you had 8 sleepers, 8 onesies, etc..... and of course it depends on how much your baby spits up (which can never possibly be measured beforehand!) So, if your infant has sensitive skin, you will need to purchase the Baby Detergent, which is a little bit pricey. You will probably use the full-size in about 1 month. So figure 12 jugs in the first year.
Don't forget burp cloths. They can be as cheap as a white cloth diaper bought in 6-packs for $10, but they need to be washed ALL THE TIME unless you have 30 :O)
If you have a girl, I would add an extra $200 per year, because she would have more outfit necessities than a boy would need. BUT..... that's not a requirement, only a desire, because we all want our babies to look their best on certain days :O)
Baby blankets......well, first you need a few infant blankets, probably 6ish. Babies like to be wrapped tightly in these their first few months of life. Those are a necessity. Then you probably want a couple of larger one's to use anywhere. You need one with you at all times in case you need to change your baby in a public restroom, or whatever. I had 3 cute blankets and used all of them regularly for different things.
Do you price out diapers and food, too? If you do, then figure 10 diapers per day (some days will be more, some less, but the average is about 10). 2 tubs of wipees per week. Then ointment for a diaper rash, probably 1 medium tube per month.
Formula, about 1 can every 5-6 days, depending on how much your baby can grub! Even the Generic is expensive!
Baby food jars-figure 10 per day beginning at 6-7mos old.
Baby Cereal Boxes-figure 2 boxes per week at 6-7mos old.
Quick baby story: I went on a cruise 7 years ago with my 6 month old. There was NOTHING available for him, so I had to bring it all for 9 days!!! I figured 10 diapers per day= 90, and I only came home with 4 diapers! I figured 10 jars of baby food per day, and came home with 6! I took 3 cans of formula, and brought home about 1/2 of the last can. I took 4 packs of wipee's, and used them all, but for other things, too. Anyway, I tell you this because I barely packed enough, so I know exactly how much my son ate, drank, and pooped on that trip :o)
Good luck on your project, K.! I hope you do well :O)
J.L. answers from San Francisco on July 15, 2009
one variable you might need to think about is whether the clothes are new.
some people buy used or are given hand-me-downs. babies size up pretty quickly in that first year, so clothes are only used a few months before they are put aside. this means that they still look fairly new once they are outgrown, and many people don't mind second-hand baby clothes.
fewer people buy second-hand toddler clothes, because by then they are walking, climbing, wearing out clothes and getting them dirty. :o)
it's about what the mother/parents choose.
W.M. answers from Sacramento on July 14, 2009
kids grow rapidly the first year. They go from newborn clothes to 12month size clothes. That is 4 sizes or more.
So times that by 10 or so, because they spit up a lot, and you will have your answer.
S.E. answers from San Francisco on July 14, 2009
I found we had WAY too many clothes for my daughter. The first 3 mo. all she needed were those sleeping gowns and onsies. I'd say 7 of each.
4-12 mo.. those one piece outfits...2 a day (just in case) and sleepers (gowns were my daughters favorite (the ones with elastic at the bottom with her legs inside.
Diapers....tons 0-4 mo. 8-10 a day, 5-12 6 a day.
Wipes...average 2 a diaper
Diaper cream (Calmaceptine, my fav.)-7-8 tubes a year (depending on how often runny poop)
carseat-$200 for a good one that you can use from start to finish
bottles/formula if not breast feeding...1 can of powder a week on average
What they need and what we buy for them are two very different things, but it still is costly.
That's all I can think of at 6 a.m.
R.B. answers from San Francisco on July 14, 2009
Don't forget about consignment and resale shops and hand-me-downs / trading with friends! I set up sharing relationships with friends who had children staggered with mine.
It also depends on how often you're willing to do laundry. I saw children at my son's daycare who didn't wear the same outfit more than once a month, I did laundry much more frequently and was quite liberal with stain remover products (he spit up a lot!), so he wore things more often since they grow so quickly. I had probably 8-10 outfits, 6-7 jammies in each size at this age, but tried to make things interchangable (and had had the next size up available in the closet for emergencies as well). I also invested in a lot more bibs to protect clothing!
L.G. answers from San Francisco on July 15, 2009
To build on what the Grandma of 5 and wife of the math teacher suggested, I'd start your project by identifying your parameters because there are more variables than you'd think. For example:
*Baby born on January 15 weighing 5 lbs will need preemie clothes for a month or so until she puts on enough weight to get into newborn clothes. Larger babies will not need preemie clothes.
*Baby born on March 15 weighing 8 lbs will need some cool / cold weather clothes for a little while but the seasons may change in the middle of a size so a mom is likely to buy too much or too little of a certain item.
*Baby born in a different state or climate will need more cold weather clothes than a California baby, and jackets cost more than tee shirts.
So ask yourself which sizes and what seasons:
*Preemie (under 6 lbs or something like that)
*0 - 3 months (usually bigger than newborn)
*3 - 6 months
*6 - 12 months
Then, I'd Google a baby shopping guide and use that as a rule of thumb ... most mothers consulted one of those when they were preparing for their babies.
If you want to get really fancy (read extra credit!), you can do a "high", "low", "most likely" estimate using prices from different sources ... For "low" factor in a percentage of donated clothes from family / friends, thrift shop pricing for some, and then maybe Target or Walmart. For "high", look at prices at the fancier shops like "Janie and Jack", Giggle.com, etc. Then for "most likely", use your best guess as to what a real-world parent would do ... probably a little bit of everything ... donations from family, Target for the everyday, and Janie & Jack for a Xmas or Easter dress, for example.
This would be an interesting resource for other parents when you are done. You should post it online.
C.M. answers from Chico on July 20, 2009
Google Baby Necessities and you will get a wide variety of lists to work from that suggest types of clothes and amounts to buy for an infant. Then start pricing at the stores you would most likely buy the clothes from. All of this can be done online. Good luck!