What baby’s first year could cost

Your Pregnancy - - Contents - YP


If you’re giv­ing birth in a gov­ern­ment hos­pi­tal, your birth will be free of charge, pro­vided that you can sup­ply the cor­rect doc­u­men­ta­tion (ID, proof of res­i­dence, bank state­ment within the last three months, or le­gal im­mi­grant sta­tus). How­ever, mid­wife Burgie Ire­land says, “Pa­tients must bring pil­lows, tow­els, toi­letries, pads, nap­pies and baby clothes.” She also ad­vises that you get fam­ily to bring food and flu­ids. In a pri­vate hos­pi­tal, the costs are un­sur­pris­ingly, sig­nif­i­cantly higher and although your med­i­cal aid will cover a large por­tion of this, you need to check ex­actly what your spe­cific pack­age cov­ers, be­cause they of­ten don’t cover 100 per­cent of your spe­cial­ists’ fees.

Nat­u­ral birth at a pri­vate hos­pi­tal (based on Medi-Clinic South­ern Africa rates for 2016) expect an av­er­age of about R15 500 to R17 600 for a three-day stay, as­sum­ing no com­pli­ca­tions. For a planned cae­sarean birth at a pri­vate hos­pi­tal (based

on Medi-Clinic South­ern Africa rates for 2016),

expect to pay ap­prox­i­mately R26 050 to R28 350* for a four-day stay. Note that this is only for the hos­pi­tal ser­vice – your pro­fes­sional fees for your gy­nae­col­o­gist, anaes­thetist and pae­di­a­tri­cian are over and above that cost and likely to add at least another R12 000 to R15 000 to your bill. *Th­ese costs are all based on the as­sump­tion of a de­liv­ery with no com­pli­ca­tions. An emer­gency cae­sarean will have higher costs. Some moth­ers elect to give birth at a pri­vate or semipri­vate birthing cen­tre (for ex­am­ple, the Gen­e­sis Clinic in Jo­han­nes­burg or Ori­gin Ma­ter­nity Hos­pi­tal in Cape Town). Th­ese moth­ers choose it pri­mar­ily be­cause it fa­cil­i­tates nat­u­ral labour in a calm, peace­ful, non-med­i­cal set­ting, with the nec­es­sary med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties to hand, but in some in­stances it also has the ad­van­tage of lower costs than a pri­vate hos­pi­tal.

Pri­vate birthing cen­tre – nat­u­ral birth

R3 450 (med­i­cal aid rate) to R23 950* + R1 080 pae­di­a­tri­cian fee and ex­tra costs for an epidu­ral.

Pri­vate birthing cen­tre – emer­gency cae­sarean

R9 500 to R23 760, de­pend­ing on length of stay. *Most pri­vate birthing cen­tres re­quire a non-ne­go­tiable up­front de­posit to cover the pos­si­bil­ity of an emer­gency cae­sarean, with a re­fund pro­vided in the weeks fol­low­ing the birth if the cae­sarean isn’t re­quired.


Breast­feed­ing may seem at first glance like the cost- free op­tion, but there are some costs in­volved – breast pads, nip­ple cream to soothe sore nip­ples ( es­sen­tial), a breast pump if you plan to ex­press, and a feed­ing pil­low to make you and baby more com­fort­able. Breast pads: R35 to R80 per packet Nip­ple cream R47 to R200 per tube Breast pump R750 to R5 399 Feed­ing pil­low R180 to R550 When your baby tran­si­tions to eat­ing solids at around six months old, you’ll need a high chair to feed her. If you aren’t of­fered a handme-down from a friend or fam­ily mem­ber, expect to pay be­tween R800 to R4 600 for a high chair.


Im­mu­ni­sa­tion and pri­mary health care for any child un­der five is of­fered free of charge if you visit a gov­ern­ment health clinic. What it will cost you is time – gov­ern­ment clin­ics work on a first-come, first served ba­sis, so expect to queue, pos­si­bly for hours. How­ever, if you get your im­mu­ni­sa­tions through a pri­vate well baby clinic, the costs will be in the ball­park of R5 000 in the first year. Yes, you read that right. Expect to pay be­tween R500 and R1 000 per pae­di­a­tri­cian visit – in the first year you’ll most likely see your pae­di­a­tri­cian for a 6-week, 12-week and six­month check-up.


Travel safety is one area where it pays to buy a recog­nised brand with de­cent safety rat­ings. An in­fant car seat, which your baby will use up to about 12 months or 9-10kg, of­ten comes as part of a travel sys­tem (pram and car seat), or you can buy the


pram and car seat sep­a­rately. There is a mas­sive vari­a­tion in price – do your re­search, de­cide what func­tion­al­ity you need and what your bud­get can ac­com­mo­date, and then choose ac­cord­ingly. It is gen­er­ally more cost-ef­fec­tive to buy a travel sys­tem than to buy the in­di­vid­ual com­po­nents sep­a­rately.


R899 to R13 999

In­fant car seat

R749 to R5 499

Travel sys­tems

R2 399 to R9 780


The ba­sics for a nurs­ery are some­where for the baby to sleep, get changed and get clean – a cot, com­pactum and bath. A hu­mid­i­fier is a good in­vest­ment and a baby mon­i­tor pro­vides peace of mind when you’re busy do­ing some­thing else. Baby mon­i­tors range from ba­sic noise mon­i­tor­ing to so­phis­ti­cated video mon­i­tor­ing with re­mote ac­cess – as with all things baby, it de­pends on what func­tion­al­ity you want and what your bud­get al­lows, be­cause the bells and whis­tles

ver­sion comes at an equally pre­mium price.


R695 to R10 050 (ba­sic camp cot to sleigh cot)

Cot mattress

R299 to R2 800

Baby mon­i­tor

R549 to R4 599, de­pend­ing on how so­phis­ti­cated you want your mon­i­tor­ing to be.


R1 300 to R3 200

Baby bath

R119 to R1 380

Bath ther­mome­ter

R16 to R329


R199 to R1 056


Nap­pies are in­dis­pens­able – ev­ery baby needs them, so the choice boils down to dis­pos­able or re­us­able. Re­us­able nap­pies are the mod­ern ver­sion of the old­school tow­elling nap­pies, which are still avail­able, but are more likely to be used as burp­ing cloths by most new moms. The ini­tial out­lay for new-gen­er­a­tion re­us­able nap­pies (i.e. not tow­elling nap­pies) is sig­nif­i­cantly higher, and you’ll need to fac­tor in laun­dry costs on mul­ti­ple high-tem­per­a­ture loads through your wash­ing ma­chine. But, over the course of your baby’s nap­py­wear­ing ca­reer, this is the “greener” choice. Ul­ti­mately, it comes down to the yuck fac­tor – would you rather throw away a fully loaded nappy or make the ex­tra ef­fort with a re­us­able nappy and avoid the guilty con­science about land­fills? If you opt for re­us­able or tow­elling nap­pies, 15-24 nap­pies is the rec­om­mended num­ber to have.


New­born ba­bies: work on 12 a day ini­tially, R329 per bulk pack, ap­prox­i­mately R987 a month. Older ba­bies: 6-8 per day, R329 per bulk pack, ap­prox­i­mately R427 to R658 per month.


Bulk is bet­ter – R71 to R135 for a bulk pack of 4, ap­prox­i­mately R180 to R270 per month

Bum cream

R16 to R179

Re­us­able nap­pies

R778 (new­born starter kit) to R2 325 (12 nap­pies and 3 cov­ers)

Tow­elling nap­pies

R80 to R135 for 4, so R480 to R810 for 24

Wa­ter­proof cov­ers

R25 to R315, de­pend­ing on brand

Nappy lin­ers R33 per packet of 100 to R199 per pack of 160, de­pend­ing on brand Nappy bucket with lid R90 to R320


This is another of your big­gest ex­penses. Whether you have a child min­der at home or send your child to crèche, this ex­pense will make a dent in your monthly bud­get. The most cost-ef­fec­tive op­tion is if a will­ing fam­ily mem­ber can take care of baby while you’re at work, but this isn’t al­ways an op­tion, es­pe­cially for par­ents whose fam­i­lies live far away. There is a wide range of costs for a crèche or day­care, and you’ll need to look in your area at what is on of­fer, but expect to pay any­thing be­tween R1 500 and R4 500 per month for a full-day crèche. Do­mes­tic worker/ child­min­der at home: The leg­is­lated gov­ern­ment min­i­mum wage for a do­mes­tic worker who works more than 27 hours a week is R2 422 for 2017 in ur­ban ar­eas and R2 205 in cer­tain peri-ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas. How­ever, de­pend­ing on where you live, you may end up pay­ing a lot more for qual­i­fied, com­pe­tent help. Also fac­tor in the cost of a CPR and First Aid course – ab­so­lute es­sen­tials for a child­min­der or do­mes­tic worker in charge of an in­fant. Expect to pay ap­prox­i­mately R495 to R950 for a CPR and First Aid course, de­pend­ing on the du­ra­tion.


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