Windy Twilley

Yarn keeps me from opening fire.


I have to admit I'm disappointed with MSN's cover story today:
The High Cost of Having a Baby. It tries to make the situation look as bad as possible, and I think the writer is in desperate need of a visit to the grocery store.

Take this:
"Medical care for mother and child is a potentially significant expense facing new parents. The cost of delivering a new baby can range from $5,000 to $8,000 for a vaginal delivery to more than $12,000 for a cesarean delivery. If there are complications, those costs can increase dramatically. Even if your child is in perfect health, new babies require numerous well-visit checkups and immunizations."

What they forget to tell you up front is that figure is without insurance. Now, I realize that too many women don't have health insurance, but they're also not likely to be reading at the office, either. As I've said before, all my prenatal visits were 100% covered, and our normal delivery cost $300.

#2 and #3 are true - maternity leave and child care are expensive, but that is hardly a "financial shock." And if you don't see the cost of childcare coming, then perhaps you aren't bright enough to reproduce.

"The average baby goes through 10 diapers a day. If you use disposable diapers, that'll cost you about $2,000 by the time your little one is potty-trained! The cost of cleaning their little bottom with a wet wipe or two at each diaper change will add about $100 to your monthly grocery bill."

Well, yes and no. First off, a newborn might go through 10 a day, but by the time the little one is sleeping through the night (around 4 months), that number drops to 5 or 6. The larger the baby gets, the fewer diapers come in a pack. Tiny diapers come in a pack of 228 - for $30 at Sam's. Even with their estimate of 10/day, that's almost a month of diapers. Tyler's size (5) comes in a pack of 150, which is also a month's worth of diapers, for $30. And wipes, which come in a pack of 720, cost $13.88. If you go through 5,000 wipes in a month, you have issues.

Aside from that, these calculations are based on Huggies/Pampers, which are the most expensive diapers you can buy.

Formula is very expensive. Breastfeed if possible. It's super-cheap, despite what these retards say. I will insert the actual cost of their "nursing essentials."

"For example, you may need to purchase ($40) or rent ($15/month) a breast pump, an essential for moms who work outside the home. Nursing bras ($7.99 at Target), breast pads ($3.99/box, 1 box used), nursing tops ($0), lanolin ointment ($5, 1 tube used) and a breast-feeding pillow ($20) are also common expenditures." However, my breast pump was a gift, as was my nursing pillow.

"Crib? Changing table? Rocker or glider? Car seat? Stroller? Baby swing? Monitor? Bouncer seat? Doorway jumper?"
Crib: $0 (borrowed)
Changing table: used desk with pad, $20
Rocking chair: gift from awesome Amherst alums
Car seat: gift
Stroller: gift
Baby Swing: gift
Monitor: didn't have one
Bouncer seat: gift
Doorway Jumper: didn't have one

Baby clothes and shoes are not expensive, but since they can only be worn for a few months, the $3.99 t-shirts add up. But since clothes are barely worn before they're too small, hand-me-downs are usually in excellent conditions. We received bags of secondhand clothes, for free. When Tyler outgrew them, we passed them on.

Baby food in jars is expensive. But once a child gets rolling, they progress quickly into "real" food, which is easy and cheap to prepare. Why buy bottled macaroni and cheese when you can make a whole box and keep it in the fridge? Why pay for bottled oatmeal when you can buy packets? Tyler is 2.75, and he still can only eat 1/4 of a chicken breast. That, and 6 carrot sticks, is a full meal for him. The exception to this rule is french fries. He can eat his body weight in fries.

To sum up - if you plan on having a baby, and you have no health insurance, no friends, no family, and choose to bottle-feed and buy expensive diapers, you're screwed. If you have health insurance, a baby shower, and choose to breastfeed and buy Luvs, you'll be allllll right.


Post a Comment

<< Home