Within minutes of a positive pregnancy test it is easy for any first time expectant parent to get caught up in all the cute and fun things you want to buy for baby.
Even the most practical among us, who add essentials such as nappies and wipes to the pre-baby stockpile, are likely to be surprised by some expenses that may arise before and after your new arrival.
We’ve put together a list of some costly components that might need to make the budget alongside the cot, pram and car seat.
Ok so many may not be surprised to know a new baby needs nappies and whether they be cloth or disposable they come at a cost. I remember looking at the mountain of nappies gifted to me at my baby shower and thinking, ‘I’m all sorted,’ and I even told family and friends I wouldn’t need anymore – I was so wrong.
Just like milk and bread, nappies become a staple on the shopping list unless you want to be doing late night dashes to the nearest services station when a poonami hits. And if you have opted for cloth nappies then you’ll be needing to up the laundry detergent supplies.
Just keep in mind the tiny human you bring into the world will likely not toilet train for two years AT LEAST.
While we are on the topic of laundry detergent, this is another staple on the shopping list that will need to increase because babies are messy. If it isn’t a leaky nappy, there will be all kinds of matter coming from the other end and this could mean many outfit changes each day for baby and you.
My son is now four years old and I can say the washing situation is a never ending story and, if your bub is still yet to arrive, savour the times your dirty washing hamper is empty because that is about to become a distant memory.
I’ll also just add that if your washing machine is on its last legs or if it stops for whatever reason, you are going to want to be getting a replacement as soon as possible.
A new car or car modifications
It can be overwhelming when you realise your family is about to grow and your current car just isn’t up to the task.
Making a huge purchase at a time of such a big change may seem crazy but also very necessary.
Couples with single cab utes or two-door cars might find the new little bundle, and the extra baggage he or she brings, could make trips out a little tight.
Then there are older model cars without the necessary details to facilitate a car seat safely that may need to be traded in for a new model or modified to comply with child restraint laws.
If the obstetric and hospital bills aren’t enough for you to swallow, you may want to start putting some savings away or upping the health insurance for the first year of medical expenses your new baby will need.
With a developing immune systems, babies can require quite a few trips to the doctor in the first 12 months. Add to that your nerves as a new parent and cost will take a back seat to your peace of mind.
Even if you set aside any major health concerns or conditions, there can be plenty of surprises.
For example, my son had very sensitive skin and developed severe eczema which flared to the point his skin was so dry and cracked he looked like he had developed scales.
After many visits to various paediatricians, then a skin specialist and several costly tests and trialling every kind of cream and ointment, my son was diagnosed with an egg allergy at just six-months-old.
I remember a bottle of the specially made creme he was first prescribed to use twice daily cost more than $50 for 110ml.
What costs surprised you when your first baby arrived?