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The True Cost of Raising a Child - Part 1


By Nat Berman

From conception through college graduation, the true cost of raising a child is a costly endeavor. Although it’s impossible to target an exact number, listing childcare categories and itemizing them into child expenses can help predict an estimate.

Here are some of the main expenses you will face when raising a child form the ages of 0-18 in 2016, here in the United States.

Prenatal Care

Child care costs start at conception, as proper prenatal care is essential. Cost Helper estimates that nine months of prenatal care averages $2,000, going by figures from the Kaiser Foundation. The full nine months are counted as women are finding out earlier in their pregnancy that they are expecting, due to the availability and reliability of home pregnancy tests. Today’s health care laws prevent pregnancy from being classified as a “pre-existing” condition, so more pregnant women have insurance, which can cover a percentage of the doctor’s visits and pre-natal vitamins. As this is an estimate, a pregnancy with complications that requires more frequent monitoring with ultrasounds or special medications may cost more.


Cost Helper also estimates the cost of vaginal child delivery to be approximately $9,000 to $17,000 cash, with much of this usually covered by insurance. If a women must have a C-section, this cost can inflate to $14,000 to $25,000. Out of pocket expense after insurance runs from $500 to $3,000, depending on plan coverage.

Medical Visits

The average co-pay for a doctor’s visit typically range from $10 to $30 per visit, depending on the plan. Newborns generally see the doctor 9 times or more during the first year, costing up to $2700 dollars and during the baby’s second year parents usually see the doctor every other month, adding up to $1800 in co-payments. After that, twice yearly checkups are recommended. This cost does not include urgent care visits or special health issues, like ear infections, common to young children. Factoring in 2 visits per year at the highest cost, plus two urgent care visits with a co-pay of $50, it costs about $110 dollars per year for medical care, ages 2-18. This adds up to about $74,000 dollars with additional costs if the parent carries the child on their insurance and pays medical care expenses for the child during their college years.

Part 2 will cover Dental, Education, Clothing, and Entertainment




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