Having a baby

Unexpected costs of having a baby

A look at the unexpected costs of having a baby and how to budget for parenthood.

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Expecting parents are often warned about the need to budget for those ‘big ticket’ expenses – the pram, medical expenses, private health insurance, cots and car seats.

But there are a number of other common baby-related costs that don’t get the airplay they deserve that should also be considered.

Home renovations – why do these suddenly happen the moment you are expecting!

Pregnancy has long been associated with nesting – that overwhelming desire to get your home in top shape ahead of your new baby’s arrival.

It’s not uncommon for expecting parents to feel compelled to slap a coat of paint on the nursery before bub arrives, or even repaint the whole house while they’re at it.

It’s important to know the cost of paint can set you back anywhere between $200 and $300 per room.

Some parents-to- be also turn their hands to tidying their garden to create a welcoming play space.

Plants, gardening tools and even manure can really strain the wallet if you’re not careful.

The fix: Shop around for cheaper alternatives to full price products, for example, visit warehouses that order paint in bulk and buy flowers from local farmer’s markets.

Air conditioning 
Babies can have more trouble regulating their body temperature than adults and many experts suggest that they sleep better between temperatures of 20-22.2°C.

Some parents, who really want their babies to sleep soundly, don’t factor in the costs of installing an air conditioner in the baby’s room or the electricity costs of running it.

The fix: A pedestal fan can cost as little as $40 and can be a good alternative. Having a thermometer on hand is also useful to check bub’s body temperature regularly.

Self-care
Having a baby can put a physical and financial strain on the most resilient of people. It’s important to consider the costs of ‘self-care’ activities that may support you, such as regular massages or meditation classes.

This doesn’t come cheap, with one professional massage alone setting you back between $45 to $100 for a visit.

The fix: Choosing the right private health insurance policy with extras cover could potentially allow you to claim a portion of your costs for therapies including massage, up to a yearly limit.

There’s no doubt babies are expensive, but understanding some of the lesser-known potential costs can help better prepare women who are in the planning stages of having or growing their family.

For more on this, you can subscribe to Canstar’s new guide ‘The Hidden Costs of Having A Baby’ here.

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