Understanding the true cost of having a baby

Tips to factor in before the baby arrives.

In Summary

• Some mothers draw the line on some gadgets, terming them  a luxury.

• A diaper in Kenya today costs about Sh25 to Sh40 depending on the brand.

A mother and her child
A mother and her child
Image: courtesy

Scrolling through popular social media pages and seeing cute photos and videos of baby showers and pregnancy bumps can be so enticing.

However, having a baby impacts the parent both physically, emotionally as well as financially.

Giving birth

As for Damaris Mukulu, an expectant mother of one says, planning for a baby is tough, as it comes with its own ups and downs.

“My husband and I have been planning for our baby since March this year, and he’s due in January,” Damaris told the Star during an interview on Monday.

“The planning never stops, therefore it’s better to prepare yourself financially, and having a budget should be at the top of the list,” she said.

“From baby showers, baby bump shoots, prenatal visits, and more, all these are just but a few costs I have had to encounter, during the first few months,” she said.

Buy more unisex items

Damaris advised parents and guardians to buy more unisex items, if they are planning to have more children in future.

“In terms of the baby’s crib, strollers, clothes or toys, buying unisex items will save you future costs should you get a different gender, in future,” she advised.


Medical bills and covers

Huggies recommend mothers to get their NHIF card at least 3 months before they give birth, as it takes some time before you can use it.

“Giving birth alone might cost you up to Sh200,000 or even more, which if you are covered by a medical aid scheme, it is cheaper as it covers the costs of pathology test, ultrasound procedures and antenatal classes,” the Huggies post read.

Huggies advised mothers to not only consider the birthing costs, but also the postpartum clinic tests and check-ups for both the mother and the baby.

Equipment and other needs

Setting up a nursery can be demanding and expensive and chances are, you are being offered a lot of things that you might not require at the time.

From feeding, travel equipment, diapers and home necessities, all these come to play in the child’s welfare.

However, some mothers draw the line on some gadgets, terming them  a luxury.

A diaper in Kenya today costs about Sh25 to Sh40 depending on the brand.

On a normal day, 4-8 diapers might be used depending on the child’s ‘emergencies’.

Nursery and housing

The housing conditions are changed to fit the baby’s needs.

A lot of items have to be baby proofed, especially if a baby is at the crawling stage.

For Damaris, she says, “We actually had to move into a bigger apartment to have more space to accommodate the child."

“The cost of the baby crib alone is Sh40,000, but we are slowly furnishing the nursery, with a few things we can afford," she said.

Patience Oduor, a mother of a three-year-old girl advised parents to go for adaptable equipment.

“Some changing units can be adapted into useful drawers, by removing the guard rail. Always consider how long you will use the nursery’s furniture and accessories before buying,” Oduor advised.

Clothes and welfare

In terms of clothing, Patience Oduor advised parent to opt for basic clothes.

“Avoid splurging on ‘fashion’; a baby needs to change at least 4 times in a day when ‘accidents’ happen,” she told the Star.

“Don’t shy away from asking for hand me downs from friends and family whose babies have outgrown their clothes,” she said.

“This can save you a lot of money you can spend on other items as children grow so fast,” she advised.

Being a financial advisor as well she advised parents to look into maternity packages for hospitals or medical aid schemes as it will save on cost and help them plan ahead financially.

“Also look into your company’s (employer) maternity package. Some companies offer paid maternity leave and medical care, so make sure you take advantage of the package as it is your right, “she said.