Save. Spend. Splurge.

Child Cost Tracker: Baby Bun’s Costs Until The Age of 3

These are our numbers from raising Baby Bun from a baby to now:

So this is the chart tracking each year:

Note: 2013 was not a full year.

Category notes:

  • Food: In the beginning it was supplemented 25% with breastmilk. We had given formula in the hospital but then switched to mixing breastmilk with goat milk after he was about a week old. Now, he eats what we eat and my partner makes organic meals for him.
  • Clothes: We tried our best not to buy unless necessary. A lot of his clothes are from another cousin, and we’ve recently tapped another source of clothing. I did have to buy some clothes for him however, pants most recently and tops, as he has completely outgrown all of it.
  • Houseware: This means things like mini table, mini chairs, baby chair, baby latches, baby bottles (we bought these glass ones from LifeFactory), and I think the minute it’s for a “baby” or “toddler”, the price goes up 3000X. No joke. If you want a list of my Baby Essentials, I listed them below.
  • Health: Medication, vaccinations, bum creams, lotions, vitamins and anything we had to pay for relating to his health.
  • Daycare: He was only in there half a year in 2015. I should mention that we have it subsidized in Québec but not all over Canada, our costs in Ontario for instance, would have been closer to Revanche’s childcare costs. The other amount in 2016 is the cost of his playgroup for the entire year which I attend as much as possible.
  • School: Crayons, paper, books, anything to teach him.
  • Hobbies: Puzzles, apps for the iPad for languages, toys like these sliceable fruits from PlanToys and anything we consider to be ‘fun’
  • Transport: Gas and transportation to get him from one place to another. Strollers and car seats were under Houseware.
  • Papers: Passport and other papers we had to pay for (birth certificate translation)

As you can see, Daycare was what really costs a lot in comparison to everything else if one of us isn’t at home to take care of him.

Aside from that, the numbers don’t look so bad, but man do they seem to add up.

ALMOST $20,000!!!!

I mean there’s nothing I’m going to change, Baby Bun is who he is and I don’t want to deprive him (nor spoil him), but even going minimalist on this child, has whacked out $20,000 in costs thus far, and he’s still go over 15 years left to go under our roof before college starts.

I can see how raising a child would cost well over $100,000 in your lifetime, and if we weren’t conscious about the figures of raising a kid, maybe double that to $200,000.

At any rate, we are cutting back on the free-fall spending on toys and books (we didn’t spend much to begin honestly, with but I am noticing Baby Bun not play with some things I thought he’d love, he seems to just enjoy some plastic Tupperware boxes the most).

The problem comes more in the books for the second language.

There are plenty in Québec for French, but English books are limited at the library, so I am struggling there and forced to buy secondhand or new English books to use to teach him.

We are also tapping hard on our network to ask for clothes and shoes, not that we weren’t before, but now it is FULL BLAST. GIMME ALL YOU GOT, FOLKS.

Our Baby Essentials

Baby Bottles

All glass, from LifeFactory.

We purchased the different sized nipples as he got older and would be sucking harder and harder in frustration at the nipple to get the milk out at the faster flow he wanted.


MacLaren Triumph Stroller – We only bought one stroller, not 5 like some parents.

Every parent we know, told us to never make the same mistake, that is to buy strollers for each purpose and occasion.

I know parents average about 3 strollers before realizing they really just want something simple and light, like the MacLaren. No new parent realizes how hard it is to get a huge massive stroller out of a car, or up and down stairs in a metro until they have to do it daily, sometimes 6 times a day or more.


Mei Tei Chimparoo in Organic Cotton – I still use it when Baby Bun is super sick and wants to be cuddled and comforted and I cannot carry him.

I used this a lot more when he was younger, instead of the stroller. It was SO easy to strap him to my chest, walk, and he would stay warm during the winter too. He was super portable and would nap often against my heart and chest.


Oemi organic cotton Giving Blanket – He still loves them.

He doesn’t have a ‘blankie’ or anything he MUST sleep with, nor a soother, but he does love these blankets for sitting in the stroller to nap. He gets tired and says: “BLANKET????”.. and wants this specific one, and not any others.

Cloth Diapers

Bummis Organic cotton prefold cloth diapers for the daytime

Love these. I really did enjoy cloth diapering him, felt better about the whole process and used soap nuts in a super extra deep hot wash cycle to clean them. This is my beginner’s guide to cloth diapering and the analysis I did between modern cloth diapers & disposables.

We now use the big ones to sop up his accidents around the apartment (yes, they happen!!, 3 months and counting..). Here’s my post on potty training your toddler realistically.

We also bought their Bummis wet bags which I find very handy now for when he pees through his clothes and has to be changed into new stuff. I throw it into the wet bag and am assured they will not leak or stain anything, nor pop open as it’s a zippered top and soft.

DO NOT try and use it for sopping, soaking wet towels or bathing suits, it is NOT waterproof or leakproof in that manner and it WILL go everywhere. I tried it once when we went to the pool and that was a hot mess.

Disposable Diapers

Delora (discontinued), but we can recommend Naty as a good brand. Now that he’s potty trained, we now use Naty Size 5 (they act like pull-ups for nighttime only & about once a week he wakes up completely dry).

We don’t call them diapers, we say “pull-ups” or “night underwear”… He is still expected to try and keep them dry, but at least this saves us from waking up every night from a soaking wet bed as he learns bladder control. I suppose it’ll be a continuous battle until he is 7, as I am told by other parents that boys take longer to mature.

That’s what it all costs!




  • Drew Jackson

    Good article!!

  • yettie

    I’m curious about the goat milk. Did you use that instead of formula for the baby days?

    I had my kids in Houston and with the US (non) maternity leave policy, they were in daycare from 5 months till kindergarten started. Whenever I run the numbers for just that expenditure, I feel dizzy 🙂

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Yes, I used it instead of formula for Baby Bun. I mixed it in with my pumped breastmilk. He digested it, but when I was unable to create more milk (stress, lack of sleep, etc)… he drank more goat milk and his stools were very hard versus when he was formula fed. That said, they smelled less nauseating than the formula stools.. .at least to me. More like a horse stable.

      I don’t know how Americans do it. I am in awe.

  • raluca

    Wow, that’s a lot of money! And I can easily see people who are less money conscious spend a lot more. But hey, at least kids are cute :).

  • hope

    I just received a tax receipt for daycare for one child (BC). $11,000…. ugh, And that is not even the worst year. Two years ago I had two kids in daycare and total bill for that year was $20,000. Kids are soo expensive, but so worth it.

    • Elisa

      That actually sounds cheap 🙁 Where in BC are you? We are in Vancouver and cheapest daycare we found was $1300 and the waitlist is crazy long so now I work part time and hire a pt nanny who cost almost as much as full time daycare. It’s so ridiculous and sad!

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      The good news is I live in Quebec, so I get a lot of that daycare subsidized based on income (I get actual cash back)… I can’t complain, really. Even so, the numbers were mind boggling.

  • Bonnie

    Thanks for posting this! Did you use the same stroller for when baby was a newborn? Also, at 3 years old, does he still use the stroller?

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      When he was a newborn, I pretty much used the Chimparoo Mei Tai carrier (see above) exclusively. It was much easier to tote him around with his floppy head and he was so light.

      As he became sturdier and sat up on his own, then I strapped him into the stroller (he looks like a miniature doll in the photos).

      He is 3 years old, and he still uses the stroller to nap or when he’s tired. I bring it if we go out for the whole day and we won’t be going anywhere to rest. He likes sitting in there, but that’s his personality. Other toddlers hate strollers and only want to walk.

  • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life

    I hate that daycare can cost so much and yet the care providers aren’t paid nearly enough of that amount we pay. We have some really awesome providers right now and I feel like there’s no way they’re getting the right compensation but we also can’t afford to toss more money their way.

  • Alexis

    Have you tried the Atwater children’s library for English books?

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