BABIES

I_Money

Moderator
So after my fiance and I get married next year, we are planning on having kids. We are not going to specically try to have kids, we are also not going to try not too.

So I know we have some new Daddy's on here - I want to hear stories? And how much are they?

THANKS.
 

darrenf

resident denizen
So after my fiance and I get married next year, we are planning on having kids. We are not going to specically try to have kids, we are also not going to try not too.

So I know we have some new Daddy's on here - I want to hear stories? And how much are they?

THANKS.
Are you planning on purchasing your children??!! :eek:

If so, I am sure you can find some people on here willing to sell theirs. :p
 

TheWife

New Member
You can borrow my gently used babies for a few years to see if it's something you want to go ahead and do lol. I don't know why you specified "daddies" since there are plenty of mommies here as well so I'm just going to butt in and answer.

A lot of my dollar amounts will depend on how frugal or expensive your tastes are, how much insurance you have, how much your family tends to spend on you for gifts, etc.

I think it would be fun to have a surprise baby, but I've planned all of mine. I'm way too controlling. I do NOT want a December baby, and we also purchase AFLAC two months before trying to get pregnant, because you can profit a couple thousand dollars from it, but you have to have it BEFORE you get pg. But you wouldn't want to get it if you weren't officially trying, because you'll just waste a lot of money on premiums if it takes a long time to get pg.

The first expense to think of is how will you pay the bill? If you have insurance w/ maternity coverage (most do not unless through an employer), then be sure to know what your ded. and co-insurance is, and start saving for that now. You can expect the hospital bill to be around $7-10K, for a normal routine delivery w/ no complications. If the insurance is through an employer, think of how likely you are to still be employed with them at the time you may get pg. If it's through her employer, keep in mind she may not continue working.

Next expense will be maternity clothes. If she is very tall/thin, she may not have to get as many as the average person, and again depending on how pricey your tastes are, I would plan at least a couple hundred dollars for maternity clothes.

The next thing that may change is your income. If you need both incomes to be ok, you may want to consider that some women get so sick that they can not work in the first trimester. She may lose a lot of income to be staying in bed resting. Many women also get put on bed rest if there is a complication. And then most women don't want to work the last month or two because it's pretty much too uncomfortable to move let alone work. Although some want to work until the very last minute. So be prepared to lose her income.

Personally, I felt it was important to take the last 2 months off, and stop working then, because I knew I would never be alone the rest of my life, it would never again be just me or just us, and I wanted to catch up on some projects, have a lot of time to myself for leisure, and be very well rested. I think it really helped me to handle the transition a lot better, but some women would go crazy not having anything to do.

And then for the baby stuff--again, depends on your tastes and how many gifts you'll receive, but I'd say plan on about $5K for baby stuff. It's only really expensive w/ the first one, the rest are a lot easier because the big ticket items are already purchased. But generally you'll want a crib, cradle/bassinet, stroller, car seat, dresser/changing table, rocking chair/glider, a few things like a swing or bouncy seat, some toys etc.

You'll go through a LOT of clothes the first year because they change sizes every couple of months. I'd say plan on about $30-100 for clothes for each of the sizes Newborn, 0-3 months, 3-6, 6-9, 12-18, 18-24. So to get through the first 2 years you probably need about a total of $200-500 for clothes. And maybe another $30 for about 2 pairs of shoes in the older sizes. Once they get to 2 years, the clothes usually last longer, but if you have big climate changes in your area then you'll need summer clothes/winter clothes and shoes. The clothes start getting more expensive when they are older though, so plan on about $200 a season plus about $40-50 for shoes. Keep in mind that I'm pretty frugal so I'm coming from Target/Sears price ranges.

She may plan to breastfeed and do just fine, she may not be planning on it, or plan on it but it not work out. If the baby ends up on formula, plan on about $100 a month for the first 6-8 months, and then it lowers from there as they start eating solid foods. I'd guess that most people spend maybe about $30 a month at the most for solid foods. I never buy baby food though, I just mush up whatever we are eating for dinner already.

As far as any other expenses down the road, depending on your insurance situation, it's probably around $200-500 to go from a couple's insurance to a family insurance. You'll also want to make sure you have good life insurance. Your other expenses will be things like if the baby has any medical issues you could have bills for that, and then they are always needing clothes and shoes, you will need an infant car seat and a convertible car seat, and then later on a booster seat. (My kids will be in a 5 point harness until they outgrow them around 7-8 years old, so their car seats need to be good quality ones that will last.) You may also have expenses starting around age 3 for activities if you choose, things like soccer or dance, etc. and at age 3 is generally when you have to start paying to get them into places.

That's all I can think of for now. Good luck!

Oh-ETA: Forgot about diapers. Plan on about $40-60 a month for diapers. You can cloth diaper which will be a LOT more upfront and then less in the end. I potty train my kids starting before they turn 2, seems like most wait until closer to 3 but I'd rather save a year of diaper costs!
 

USMCmech

Well-Known Member
First thing I tell any new dad is, relax.

It's natural to worry about if you are going to be a good father, and to worry that you'll somehow make a mistake and ruin the child for life. However, the reality is that if you love your kids, and each other, most of the details will work themselves out.

First and foremost, take care of your marriage. The best thing you can do for your kids is to stay married to their mother. Take adavantage of any oportunity to get out together without the kids.

Don't take parenting books too seriously. They are well intentioned, buy may not always apply to your kids, and/or situation. Common sense goes a LONG way. You know your kids far better than some author living in NYC.

Babies cry, it's what they do. If you've changed them, feed them, rocked them, and they still are screaming their head off, put them in their crib and get some fresh air.

Try not to jump up and run to them every time they fall down. You and I survived bumps and bruises, so will your kids. I specifically try to look away when they fall, so they will think I didn't see. Most times they get up and brush themselves off. If they fall and scare themselves, imeadiatly laugh your head off like it was the funniest thing you ever saw. If they see that you aren't worried, they won't be either. "Ha ha, you fell down, isn't that funny"

Don't hover, let them explore while you hang back.

Buy things that will grow with your kids, a car seat that is good from newborn to 25 pounds will last 18-24 months. Your kids have no clue if their clothes came from Wal-Mart or Baby Gap, neither should you.

My wilfe loves cloth diapers, I HATE them. If you use cloth diapers, you absoutely must wash a load of them every day otherwise they will stink up the place. Some money is well spent in reducing your work load.

Roughhouse with your kids. It's your job as a dad to wrestle on the floor. Don't think that your daughter won't enjoy it either.

Take your kids out in public early and often.

Hold your expectations high, and they will usually meet them. Yes a 2 year old can clear his plate and put it in the sink, and throw away trash.
 

TheWife

New Member
I agree with everything you said, except the car seat. It's a personal preference, but I find an infant carrier to be a must, it clicks on to a stroller or shopping cart, and until a baby can sit up on it's own, you need some where to put them when you need your hands free. An infant carrier goes in and out of the car with you, instead of staying in the car. We use them until the baby is about 8 months old, at that time we go to a convertible car seat that goes from 5-65 pounds, and goes both rear and forward facing. The infant carrier doesn't last until 24 months as your suggestion says, but the convertible car seat will last until they are 5-8 years old.

Other than that, I agreed with your advice. I'm not at all a fan of baby books. They are good for some basic information and a few ideas but I've seen so many parents feel like failures because "the book says..." and they can't get it to work for them.

And I think the single most important thing you can do for your kids (besides loving their mother), is touch them every day. Hug them, kiss them, tell them you love them. Especially daughters. If that craving to be loved and held is fulfilled at home, they may not seek to have it filled so early on by other teens. There are a lot of dads I know that just don't touch their kids, they barely talk to them. It makes me sad.

I think it would also be fun to start keeping a little journal or list of things you want to do as parents, during the pregnancy and after. For some people that's things like taking a belly pic every 4 weeks, in the same position, so you can watch the belly grow. (If you've got computer skills you could even make the pictures a flash animation haha!!) Or things like starting a journal for the kids. I did really good with my son, writing in a journal through my whole pregnancy and constantly after he was born, up until #2 came along, and then I completely stopped. I wish I could have all those notes that I forgot to write down, like funny things they said, when they reached certain milestones, etc. I also wish I had taken monthly pictures of the baby for the first year, of their face straight on, so I could make a little flash animation of that as well. There are a lot of little traditions or things like that you might enjoy doing, but it's hard to remember all of it so that's why I say write it down now.

I think one of the coolest things we've done (and others may not agree), is that with the last 2 kids we didn't find out the gender, and we had my husband do the delivery. The Dr. is standing there and gives him the all clear, and he takes over once they are crowning, so he is the first person to touch our children, the first to see what gender they are, etc. I can't tell you how truly awesome it is to see your husband hold up your newborn child and say "it's a ...." For me it was so much cooler than having an ultrasound tech do it, and I'm glad my husband is tough enough to do it and not one of those guys that passes out while the wife is in labor.
 

USMCmech

Well-Known Member
I didn't like the car seat/stroller/carrier combos. The carrier is too heavy to carry around unless you are a bodybuilder.

I prefered to just carry Clint in my arms.


I also didn't find much use for big fancy strollers. I just used the cheap umbrella strollers. Toss it in the back of my truck, and if it gets stollen, who cares? They are only 20 bucks.
 

TheWife

New Member
I didn't like the car seat/stroller/carrier combos. The carrier is too heavy to carry around unless you are a bodybuilder.

I prefered to just carry Clint in my arms.


I also didn't find much use for big fancy strollers. I just used the cheap umbrella strollers. Toss it in the back of my truck, and if it gets stollen, who cares? They are only 20 bucks.
Your wife might have a different opinion on that haha. I guess it depends on how often you go out w/ the baby and where you go. I can manage to carry the carrier in and out of places just fine, but to walk around I want it on a stroller. Infants can't go in umbrella strollers, they don't recline and infants can't sit up. I have gotten a lot of milage out of my strollers and infant carriers. My husband probably would agree with you, because if you aren't dealing with the kid on a daily basis, every where you have to go, you may not realize that it creates different needs. Sometimes though, the only way to find what works is to actually try it, so some parents may get a kid and realize they never used their stroller and some may not have one and wish they did.
 

MQAAord

Scheherazade
Staff member
I didn't like the car seat/stroller/carrier combos. The carrier is too heavy to carry around unless you are a bodybuilder.

I prefered to just carry Clint in my arms.


I also didn't find much use for big fancy strollers. I just used the cheap umbrella strollers. Toss it in the back of my truck, and if it gets stollen, who cares? They are only 20 bucks.
Some people really like the carseat/stroller systems, and others don't.

Personally, I recommend if you are going to be using your stroller a lot, to invest in a good one. Cheap ones are uncomfortable for baby, hard to push around, and fall apart after light/moderate use. If you don't use a stroller a lot, then it doesn't really matter, but if it's going to get heavy use, get a good one.

My first stroller was an Eddie Bauer one that I registered for without reading any reviews or trying it out because the car seat that my SIL handed down to me fit in it. Big mistake. It worked fine with the carseat, but it was hard to push, didn't push one-handed and once we no longer used the carseat with it we realized how sucky the stroller's seat actually was! I bought a $200 Peg Perego that was lightyears better. It steers easily with one-hand, folds quickly, is lightweight and built to last. I bought it in Oct 2004, and I'm still using it today. It was worth every penny. I also invested in a double jogging stroller in the summer of 2005, a Dreamer Ditto, and I am still using that too.

Again, if you're not going to use your stroller a lot, it doesn't really matter. But I'm out with the kids by myself. A lot. I would not have survived without my strollers. :) Like most things, you get what you pay for.
 

Hernandezcfi

Well-Known Member
I have three. They substantially slow career progression. They will cost you alot of money. Babies are the most selfish creatures on earth!:sarcasm: It's all about me me me me! Having one will make you a real man! The rewards are too many to list.
 

The L Train

Well-Known Member
They are great, expensive, but worth every penny!!! We let our 2yo go to a cheesy pizza place today with the neighbors. When he came home he got out of the car came running up saying he missed me, and gave me the biggest hug. In my opinion you can be having the crapiest day, then something like that will just make it all disappear for a few minutes.
 

ZapBrannigan

Old School
Ours just turned two.

Best investment ever was buying an electric breast pump for the wife. She got herself on a cow-like milking routine and we were able to start putting breast milk in the freezer in the garage. After about six months we started feeding him from cold storage. So basically were able to go over a year on breast-milk for less than six months of breast-feeding. Never had to buy formula.

Next, Sam's Club is your friend. The Sam's Club Member's Mark diapers are 11 cents per diaper. I couldn't find a cheaper one anywhere. They aren't like normal store-brand diapers. They work. Once we switched to them we didn't have another blowout. (Blowouts suck).

Doctor visits suck. My insurance covered well-baby visits, but capped immunizations at $1000. Well shoot, they bust through that $1000 in no time! Started taking him to the county health clinic and getting those shots for free.

Don't let your wife go nuts decorating a nursery for a baby who has no idea, and doesn't CARE what is on his/her walls!!! I bought a nice safe crib. That's it. No frilly curtains. No light blue paint. Nada.

If he/she sleeps in your bedroom in a bassinet for the first few weeks at home, make sure he/she takes NAPS in the crib. It will be a thousand times easier to transition them to a crib if they're already familiar with it.

As for clothes. Stay away from anything you might find at a mall. Put a lock on the wife's credit cards. Baby clothes are a massive ripoff.

If my wife can't find what she needs at a thrift-store or consignment shop I give her permission to go to Walmart or Target. Fortuneately she is just as cheap as I am!!!

If you are a two salary family (I was), don't necessarily believe the wife when she says she'll go back to work when the baby was born. My wife changed her mind. It takes a lot of rebudgeting to go back to one salary at the last minute.

BUT, if she does go back to work, factor in daycare plus gas to and from daycare etc. It's not by any means cheap.

Those first 3 months are a living nightmare with the baby. Up and eating/pooping every 3 hours. It's horrible. Cowboy up and offer to watch the baby and tell your wife to go out, see a movie, go shopping, go to Starbucks...something to get her out of the house. Her sanity will depend on it.

Full disclosure: We don't live anywhere even CLOSE to our nearest family members, so we haven't had any help or free babysitting.

Good luck. It is a horrible, awful, life-changing event. Nothing will ever be the same... but... a few times a day he comes over, climbs into my lap, wraps his arms around my neck, gives me a kiss on the cheek and says, "Luv Daddy".

Then it's worth it... ;)
 

ZapBrannigan

Old School
Oh! I almost forgot.

Go buy a book called "Babywise" by Gary Ezzo. It's $10 at Walmart.

It helps you to teach your child how to schedule itself for naps and feedings etc. Best book ever. Don't try to breed without it.
 

Polar742

All the responsibility none of the authority
Like Zap, I too have a 2 year old. Naturally, Zap is far more eloquent than I am, and he's right on.

My midge kicks serious ass. And I have a couple additions from Zap's post.

A battery operated swing that goes back and forth and side to side. Well worth the investment, and you can find a good clean one at a consignment shop. Whatever size batteries it takes, NEVER run out of them.

I prefer the Custodial Account to the education accounts. That way you control the investment, and your kid decides not to go to the State U, but a trade school, or is a phenom and is looking to patent the next big thing, you can use the money for that....there are tax implications. In either case, you can't go wrong planning for college as soon as the kid is sucking oxygen.

Best parent's guide we got was sent to us free by Publix grocery stores. You'll be amazed how much useful stuff they send you if you sign up for stuff. Of course there's alot of crap, but you can filter it and keep useful stuff.

Giving your wife a break and spending the day with the little one is awesome. Yeah it sucks to get thrown up on and changing nasty diapers, but the edge is taken off cause it's your kid. Not only does your wife get some time off, but you and the little one get bonding time.

...and they understand alot more than you give them credit for. You can watch them reflect your actions and moods even at a couple months.

Some days will drive you out of your gourd, but for me, those days were far, far, far between.

It will be the most rewarding experience of your life.
 

ZapBrannigan

Old School
I forgot Upromise too. http://www.upromise.com/

Get yourself a Upromise mastercard. Instead of getting airline points for your credit card purchases use this. It will give you 1% (up to 5% or more if you shop on the Upromise website!) back into a 529 plan for your child!!!

We put absolutely EVERYTHING on the credit card and pay it off monthly. As a result we've gotten several hundred dollars for college for him... just for buying gasoline, groceries, diapers, etc.

It's great!
 

Qgar

New Member
Just my .02....most of you guys and girls have babies and young children. Mine are teenagers and all I can say is ENJOY THE TODDLER/CHILD STAGE!!! :banghead: Seriously, you have no idea how rewarding it is to see them go from totally dependent beings to intelligent, caring young men and women. The physical changes are shocking and this sounds stupid, but almost seems magical. I'll never forget calling the house one day and asking the male on the other end, "Who's this!" It was my son! His voice seemed to change overnight. The first "peach fuzz" over his lip and hair on his chest/legs was the door opening to his becoming a young man. Need I even tell you what it's like to watach your daughter's body "blossoming" as well?! If you think watching your baby's first step or them uttering their first word is mind-blowing--wait until those wonderful puberty years! :D

Oh, and do you know how you worry about your child's safety now? Imagine the fun of watching them go off on their own for the first time (to a movie/shopping, etc.) Or, venturing into Manhattan with friends or getting in a car with a friend, or getting their driver's license (son's waiting for his road test early next month). You know you have to "let go" to some degree--but it sure isn't easy.
 

WMostellar

Well-Known Member
So I know we have some new Daddy's on here - I want to hear stories? And how much are they?
They're expensive (I have 5), but they're worth every penny. You'll find friends with hand-me-downs that will assist you greatly. Keep the train rolling. They don't know or care about the latest trends; you shouldn't either.

As long as they don't look like your Avatar, you're going to be okay. :)
 

970Flyer

Well-Known Member
My wife and I did the "not trying, not preventing" method and we are now less than five weeks from the due date. It took four years to get this far, but was worth every minute of "trying"!!

We did the baby nursery thing that Zap discouraged. My advise is to let your wife do whatever she wants with that room. If you argue with her you will lose, so man-up and buy her that $500 glider. We went with the green walls instead of the blue.

Check up on your health insurance before trying. Many policies don't have maturnity insurance and a rider will cost you an extra $400+ per month.

Start shopping for stuff the minute you get the two pink lines. Buy anything that you know you will need (ie diapers, wipes, formula, etc.) when they are on sale. They will go on sale frequently if you watch. Most of our cloths came from the factory outlets stores. Much cheaper, and they are still a rip-off at 50% off.

Most important: Be supportive. Help with absolutely everything and anything. Don't just "ask" if she needs help, do it before she has to ask. The old-school redneck "raising the kids is the woman's job" attitude is gone, or at least on the way out. Don't be that *ickhead dad/husband who never helps out.
 
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