The cost of Solo Motherhood - Year 1

How much does a baby really cost in the first year? What I am planning to spend.

Baby expenses for month 0  -  $2,500

Before your baby is even born, you will need to buy a lot. We're talking bassinets, clothes, stroller, etc. The cost of what you choose to spend here can vary drastically. Luckily, if you are an SMBC who is having a baby later in life like me, you'll have friends who are happy to loan you the old baby necessities that they no longer use. Plus, if you have a baby shower you are sure to get a lot of the gear you need. Costs can span a wide range, I'm trying to budget about $2,500 of my own money to get me set up in a functional way for solo motherhood. 

Month 1 – The newborn phase - around $300

The birth of my baby will be covered by my insurance plan. And my mom will be my birth partner so I won't need a Doula.  I'll also be taking the time to stock my nursery and postpartum stations beforehand. Setting aside a couple of hundred dollars for last-minute Amazon orders for the things you didn't know you needed until bebe arrived will be smart.

Months 2, 3, and 4 – Feeding and daily care expenses - $300 monthly

If you plan on breastfeeding like me - your feeding costs will be lower, and most insurance plans cover a breast pump. If you plan on using formula, figure you will spend between $70 to $150 a month. Add about $75 for diapers and wipes monthly and any other in the mommy moment purchases you may need.

Month 5 and 6 – List of baby expenses as they grow - up to $500 monthly 

Month 5 is when I will have to return to work. Luckily my maternity leave will be over towards the end of the school year, which means only a few weeks of work until summer break! My mom will help me with childcare these weeks so I won't have to add that as an expense until the fall. 

At around 5 months - babies will start eating solid foods.  Compared with food for older kids, babies still get the bulk of their calories from milk or formula. I'll plan on spending about $50 a month on their applesauce, oatmeal, and avocados. 

Chances are my baby will be outgrowing all the cute infant clothes I bought and received as new baby gifts. So new clothing items will begin to be an expense as that new baby excitement gift-giving ends. I'll figure in about $150 a month going forward for this.

Months 7 and 8 – Baby safety expenses per month - up to $600 monthly 

Babies typically begin crawling around this age, so now's the time to put up safety gates, install door locks and knob covers, and outlet plugs. Baby proofing should add an extra $100 in these two months as they start exploring more and more!

Month 9, 10, and 11 - Daycare starts - up to $2,800 monthly

This is the month that my expenses will really kick up. I'll be back to work full time and using daycare. I don't have a center yet but I am preparing to spend around $2,300 monthly based on the area I live in. 

Month 12 – Christmas and Baby's 1st Birthday - up to $3,500

I already know this month will be an expensive one. Between Christmas gifts, holiday fun, AND my baby's first birthday, I'll be closing out year 1 at a solid $3,500.

The cost of solo motherhood - year 1 for me is $17,800.00

Of course, all of these estimates are based on where I live and the support system I will have. It still blows my mind how expensive daycare is but I try to remember that will only be for a small portion of my baby's life. 

Babycenter has a first-year cost calculator which lets you put in all of your individual details. I played with it and it was pretty accurate based on what I estimated for myself!