20 Jul Financial preparation for a new baby
How expensive are babies??
Great news! You’re having a baby! Although now you might be beginning to wonder how much does a new baby cost?? These are questions that as a Mum, a friend, a sister and a midwife I get asked all the time!! Let me answer as best as I can.
There are lots of variables when we look at hospital costs, let me explain. So, you can choose to attend the public, semi-private or private maternity services. The public services here in the UK are excellent, giving you the choice of midwifery led care if you are considered ‘low-risk’, and obstetric led care if you are considered ‘higher-risk’. This service is completely free and is generally shared with your GP. Your GP will provide you with free alternate antenatal check-ups alongside your maternity hospital during your pregnancy,
After giving birth on the NHS, a women who wishes for a private room can pay £450 a night. These private rooms have fancy extras such as slippers and a stocked fridge, or offer private breastfeeding consultations.
And the private service which will allow you to choose an obstetrician of your choice who you will meet at each antenatal check-up, and you can choose to avail of free alternate GP visits if you wish… this is something you will decide together with your obstetrician. The cost of the private service really varies so my advice would be to call the secretary of the obstetrician you wish to attend, who will happily discuss fees and health insurance refunds with you. (A list of obstetricians and phone numbers can be found on each maternity hospital website).
Kitting out your home-the necessities
A new baby will require a few basics such as a cot, a pram and a car-seat (if you drive). If you are buying these items new my advice would be to shop around. However please ensure that anything you do purchase holds a CE safety standard logo. You could expect to spend approx. £800 all in for these three necessities. If your plan is to borrow a few bits just ensure that everything is in working order… and splash out on a new mattress for the babys cot.
People love to give practical pressies so don’t be shy about asking for changing bags, cellular blankets etc if people ask you what you need.
We know breast is best… and breastfeeding is free so that’s one less expense. However wet and dirty nappies will be plentiful with all of that feeding. You will expect to add nappies and cotton wool pads into your weekly shop. We are what we eat so please go the extra mile when thinking about nutrition for yourself as well. Childcare may be something to think about if you are returning to work-I would start chatting to, pricing up and checking availability in your local creches and childminders etc towards the end of your pregnancy as this will allow you a little bit of time to plan and budget.
We fortunately live in a country with a good support system for new parents. You can claim Child Benefit as soon as you’ve registered the birth of your child. Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child, so you need to decide whether it’s better for you or the other parent to claim.
What you’ll get: If the allowance is for your eldest or only child, you’ll receive £21.05 weekly in benefits. For any additional children, you’ll receive £13.95 per child per week.
Bringing it all together
What I hope you can see here is that you can have a baby on any budget… yes, there will be an extra cost to the families living costs and this is where budgeting is key. I hope this helps to give you a brief forecast, or a starting point…. And from here you may be able to plan a bit.