How Much Bank Do You Really Need To Have A Baby?

By Vivienne Woodward for money.is.good

When Capri and Dennis Prentice, 25 and 28 years old respectively, found out they were having twins, the first thing that ran through their minds was, “Can we afford this?”

Babies are expensive—this we know. Yet potential parents tend to underestimate just how much those bundles of joy actually cost.

About half of future moms and dads think a baby’s first year will cost less than $5,000. Womp womp. A recent study found that the first year in a baby’s life will cost closer to $21,000 for a family that makes $40,000 per year, and around $52,000 for a household making $200,000. (Those different figures assume that a family making $40,000 would opt out of life insurance, recommended college funds, and in-home nanny care, all things that rack up the higher-earning family’s expenses.)

The expenses start early, with the delivery. The median charges for childbirth hospital stays in the United States are $13,524 for the delivery and mother’s care and $3,660 for the newborn. A cesarean section is around $18,500, and any complications can raise the price of natural delivery or C-section by about $3,000. For Capri and Dennis, the complications were way beyond what they had budgeted for.

Their boys were delivered a month early via C-section. Both babies were born with respiratory distress syndrome and had to be sent to the neonatal intensive care unit for intubation, medication, and constant monitoring. They were eventually transferred via ambulance to a hospital an hour from their home for more specialized attention. In total, their sons were in the NICU for 11 days each or 22 days total. (Thanks insurance!)

Read more here.

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