Baby Expense X

by 4P and Mr. C

The post is part of the Baby Expenses Series. See the entire series here.

Life insurance:

Once you have a baby then your life insurance needs will probably increase. Obviously you don’t need to have a baby before getting life insurance but it’s a pretty typical time for people to start thinking about it. I have a couple of posts planned on this topic which will go through the calculations that I went through for my own life insurance. I would suggest that you don’t delay getting this because it can take quite a while from the time you call an insurance company to the time you get covered – probably one month minimum. Just get term insurance, universal or whole life insurance is not worth it.

RESP Book

Buy The RESP Book on Amazon

When – start working on it once you know you are pregnant. If Dad kicks the bucket before the baby is born then the need for life insurance is still there.

Cost – depends on how much you have and how long and how old you are and your health etc etc. For someone in good health in their 30’s you can get $250k for about $20/month.

Hospital rooms and parking:

At our hospital shared rooms cost $205 per night which was covered by my work benefits. Private rooms cost $45 more and we elected to pay the extra cost. Because it was fairly busy when we had our baby, there were no private rooms available the first night but for the second and third night we got a private room. Phone calls were $2 each and we just noticed that we got charged $16 for something called a “birth journal” which we never got.

Parking cost us around $18 per day which is quite a bit so you have to consider this as well. This might be dependent on the region, I was recently at a hospital in a smaller city and the parking was only $3 which is pretty insignificant. Another cost is food, our hospital had a fairly good cafeteria with reasonable prices but it’s probably more money then you would have spent on food at home.

One note on the room costs and parking – don’t assume you will be in the hospital for just one night. If you are planning a regular birth then they will probably tell you that it’s one night, however if anything changes or there are any kind of irregular readings then they will make you stay longer. I have several friends who ended up staying in the hospital for 5-7 nights because of irregular test results – the babies ended up not having anything wrong with them but the doctors are very cautious with newborns. In our case we ended up getting a C-Section which meant a mandatory three day stay. I have to say that I didn’t mind being in there for three days because you have the benefit of the nurses when you run into problems. Usually the first 24 hours, the baby is sleeping most of the time and relatively quiet and you will start thinking that this isn’t so hard. Then the screaming begins… :)

Pre-Natal Courses:

My wife and I took two courses – one was a course on the actual birthing experience (labour) and the other was about how to care for a newborn child. I had been told by numerous friends that these courses were a complete waste of time and sure enough they were. I don’t remember the exact costs but I think they were about $180 per couple for each course.

The birth course is a waste of time because your actual experience will probably not resemble the “normal” experience. The other thing is that when you have a baby, you don’t have to know anything – the doctors, nurses etc will tell you what to do and when to do it.

The child caring course was a bit better but the one thing I wanted to learn from it was how to change a diaper and they didn’t cover it.

Books:

Most expectant parents will buy a book or two and pregancy, labour and caring for a newborn. This is a worthwhile effort but I would suggest not reading too many books since (like finance books) they are often contradictory. Try to borrow books from friends or sign them out from the library. We read “What to Expect When Expecting” and thought it was pretty good.

Tomorrow I’ll finish off the baby theme week with a post about RESPs.

Next Baby Expense post.

Previous Baby Expense post.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 TheFinancialBlogger

FP, I agree with you, if you read a little bit about the topic, you don’t need pre-natal course. Man, I can’t believe I went there!

I would add cost of meal at the hospital. Your wife will get food (if you can really call it this way) but you have to eat too. It cost me a about $100 of food in two days (I was bringing stuff to my wife as well as the hospital food was… disgusting!).

2 FourPillars

FB, I guess the problem with the courses is that if you don’t take them, you feel like you are missing out.

Still a waste though…

Mike

3 guinness416

Did you read this one? ;)

4 FourPillars

Lol – thanks for the link Guinness..

the Stanford link was hilarious:

http://www.stanford.edu/~bfenton/parenting.html

5 TKOWKD1

Dear Parents and Parents-To-Be

With every passing day, now more than ever before, I’m growing more respectful and appreciative of all of you that raise your children. As I watch my baby grow inside my wife’s belly I too can’t wait to be a parent. I’m nervous and pray that I’ll do a good job. We may not see eye to eye but we can walk shoulder to shoulder in this journey called parenthood. God bless you all and all your kiddies too.

FP, are you planning to touch on the issue of Cord Blood Banks? I’m curious to see your thoughts and those of your financially savvy commentators.

6 FourPillars

TKOWKDI – thanks for the comment.

I wasn’t planning to get into Cord Blood Banks since I’ve never heard of them.

If you could let me know more info – here or in email then I might be able to make a post out of it.

Mike

7 paidtwice

I just read your entire baby week postings, I’d be interested to see how they change if you decide to have another kid. I found some of the things you called essential I don’t think are essential at all (ie stroller, especially the combo stroller car seat one – of course car seat is essential), some that you hated I loved and would call essential (playmat for example, and carrier, both my summer baby and winter baby lived in their carrier), etc etc. Funny how different any two people’s lists can be. Nice job on a comprehensive list of what your perspective is though.

~from the mommy of a 3 year old and a 10 month old

8 FourPillars

Thanks PT – I’ll definitely post if we have another kid.

Was there a lot of differences between the winter baby vs summer baby? or just a few extra clothes?

You’re right about different people/different babies needing different things. We wanted to use the carrier it just kind of didn’t happen. I can’t imagine not having a stroller though.

Mike

9 Fecundity

I’ve just started taking pre-natal classes. Ours are split into a two week course on pregnancy and a six week course on labour, delivery and newborn care which we’ll take next March. $145 for both. Hopefully they’ll cover diaper changing. The outline says ‘basic newborn care’. Surely diapers are part of that? No?

The one pregnancy class I’ve been to so far didn’t teach me that much, but it was good to meet other couples at the same stage we are and compare notes and issues. I know logically that I’m not the only one in the world dealing with ‘morning’ sickness, fatigue and crying jags, but it was emotionally reassuring to hear other people talk about the toilet paper commercials that bring them to tears. Makes me feel like I’m not actually going insane. I think it made the whole experience seem more real to my husband too.

That being said, we almost ruptured something trying not to laugh at the pompous and unbearably melodramatic narrator of the film we had to watch. “From the moment of conception to the miracle of birth, your child is taking its first steps on a journey of epic proportions…” Oy vey.

10 FourPillars

Interesting you should say that about the classes. We took two courses and they were both one day each. This makes for a long day and it wasn’t very social probably because everyone knew we’ve never see each other again. I’ve heard from friends that if you take the course in segments (ie one night a week for four weeks) then it’s a lot more social and friendships can start which would make it a lot better.

All I can say about the course material is wait until you have the baby and then you can look back and see if it was worthwhile.

Mike

11 ioana

The other thing is that when you have a baby, you dont have to know anything – the doctors, nurses etc will tell you what to do and when to do it.

That’s one option, of course. However, you could say the same about why worry about your own money when a professional could do this for you.

It’s your body. You know it better than anybody because you’ve lived in it loger, and it is much more immediate to you and more important than money. You should be informed about what is going on when you give birth.

12 Four Pillars

Ioana – I have a lot more faith in the medical profession than the investment profession.

I agree that the more you know, the better off you are – my point is that it’s not absolutely necessary so for a couple who doesn’t have the time to learn – it’s not the end of the world.

Mike

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