Giving a baby gift basket is a fantastic way to help friends or family get started with the long and costly — but rewarding — task of raising a child.
The early years of a child’s life are some of the most costly to parents. Doctor’s visits, formula, diapers and wipes — they all add up to big money. For working class parents, these costs can represent a significant financial burden.
Giving baby gift baskets to expectant parents is an increasingly popular trend. Baby gift baskets are a way to give expectant parents some of the materials they’ll need to get started raising a child in an artful and personalized way. The baskets are attractive and can be easily decorated to give them a more personal touch. By loading up a gift basket with diapers, wipes, gift cards, etc., you can help your friends or loved ones get a head start in covering the cost of raising their child.
How much does it cost?
According to the New York Times, the cost of raising a child for an average middle class family in the United States was more than $222,000 in 2010. Adjusted for inflation, the cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 has risen 15 percent since 1960. The number climbed by one percent from 2008.
On a yearly basis, the cost for a middle class family to raise a child range between $11,000 and $13,000.
The numbers in the report were compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. According to the Agriculture Department, the fastest rising costs involved with raising a child included expenditures for daycare, education and medical expenses. Transportation costs involved with child-rearing dropped in 2010.
When broken down by costs, housing took up the largest part of the child-rearing budget at about one-third. Daycare accounted for about 17 percent of all spending, followed by education at 16 percent. Families with multiple children can realize cost savings by having their children share rooms and other economies of scale including food and medical costs.
In the past 40 years, the cost of feeding and clothing children has decreased, as the impact of international free trade agreements has worked to drive grocery and textile costs down.
Geographically, American families living in New England and the northeast part of the country have pay the highest cost of raising a child. Child-rearing costs are lower in the West, followed by the Midwest. The South carries the lowest cost of raising a child.
Typically, the first years of a child’s life are among the most expensive. In additon to the costs of the birth, new families will spend lots of money on diapers, wipes, formula, doctors visits and other necessities. While lower income families can count of some government assistance to help, middle income families may struggle as they are not wealthy enough to absorb these costs easily, but not poor enough to qualify for help from the government. That’s why the generosity of friends is so important to new parents.
How you can help
When putting together a baby gift basket, include items your friends or loved ones are likely to need as they embark on raising a child. Include staples such as diapers and wipes, but try to spring for other items as well. If you’d like to make an investment in the child’s future, you may include U.S. Savings bonds to help the family save for their new child’s college education.
Gift cards are another great way to help support an expectant mom-to-be. Gift cards allow parents the flexibility they need to make use of your gift to purchase the things they need for their new baby. In recent years, the gifting of gift cards has significantly increased, with a growing number of people using the cards to allow recipients of gifts to choose what they want. It’s easy and convenient, and gift cards can easily be incorporated into a gift basket’s design.
With the rising cost of raising a child, the old adage about it taking a village to raise a child appears increasingly true. By preparing a baby gift basket with some necessities and a few extras, you can ensure that your friends or loved ones get off to the start they need in raising a child.