How much does it cost to have a baby in Australia?

Having a baby is one of the most profound experiences in a person’s life. For many parents, it’s a long-awaited joy and a welcome addition to the family. But while the emotional rewards of having a baby are priceless, the financial cost of bringing a baby into the world can be quite high.

If you’re planning a baby or just found out you’re pregnant, you’re probably wondering how much it’s all going to cost. Here we’ll break down the associated expenses, plus list how you can save money and prepare for the financial realities of having a baby.

How much does it cost to have a baby?

The average cost of giving birth in a hospital depends mostly on whether you go through the private or public health system.

For Medicare card holders going through the public health system, most of the costs of prenatal care, labour and delivery, hospital stay, and postnatal care will be covered.

If you want to choose your own obstetrician and go through the private health system, your health insurance will cover a portion of your costs, but there will be significant out-of-pocket expenses depending on your policy, obstetrician fees, how much care you require, whether you have a caesarean, and the hospital you give birth in.

This can range between $2,500-$20,000

How much does it cost once your baby arrives?

Baby essentials

You may need to purchase a range of items for the new arrival. Using pre-loved equipment and hand-me-downs will dramatically reduce these costs. Items can include a pram, car seat, cot, clothing, bottles, formula, nappies, food, maternity wear, baby wear, toys, and other essentials. For an idea about the price tags on these items, see our Newborn Baby Essentials Checklist.

Prices for these items for the first year can vary greatly and you should be prepared to spend anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000 plus.


Most parents in Australia rely on childcare providers to take care of their children during working hours. The cost of childcare can vary greatly depending on the type of provider you choose, the number of hours your child needs care, and whether you’re entitled to government assistance (such as Child Care Subsidy).

The average cost of childcare in Australia is approximately $118.36 per day. However, if you have eligibility for Child Care Subsidy (CCS payment), you could pay substantially less.

Baby health

On top of these costs, you will need to consider your baby’s health. Vaccinations and regular doctor visits are essential for keeping your baby healthy. The National Immunisation Program provides the routine childhood immunisations recommended for all children in Australia, free of charge. Regular doctor visits can cost between $30 and $60 out-of-pocket unless your GP bulk bills.

How to budget for your baby

The cost of having a baby in Australia can be quite substantial, but there are a few ways to keep costs down:

  • If you’re an employee, find out what your employer offers as paid maternity and paternity leave.
  • Find out if you’re eligible for government benefits. Read our Guide to navigating Australia’s maternity leave system in 2023.
  • You can shop around to find the best prices, sales, and discounts for the items you need.
  • Consider shopping second-hand where possible or asking for free preloved equipment (check your local freebie Facebook group).
  • Look into government assistance programs such as the Child Care Subsidy, which can help to offset the cost of childcare.
  • Look into health insurance to cover the cost of any future medical expenses for your child.
  • Before your baby comes, you could set up a baby fund and make regular contributions.
  • Start up a savings account for emergencies.
  • Here’s How to create a modern nursery on a budget.