You are right. My doc told me when the baby was a newborn that she should poop around 6 times a day…and if they wet in between, that’s even more. In answer to the OP, though…
Babies are like anything else…there are easy ways to economize when spending money on baby things. On your list for example:
Furniture: The only furniture you really need to get is a crib. Instead of a regular, wooden, full-size crib, you can get a portable “pack n play” for $60. You can get an inexpensive dresser at a yard sale or flea market & paint it. You don’t need a changing table…you can change a baby on the floor or the bed (they make pads for this purpose that cost $10.) Other furniture won’t be necessary for a while, certainly not the first year.
**Equipment: ** You need an infant car seat. I think ours cost around $50-60 dollars. They have stroller frames for around $50 that you just strap the car seat into. Once the baby starts eating food, you will need a high chair. I bought a booster chair for around $20 & strapped it onto a chair in my kitchen (saves space, too…I have a very small kitchen). It’s nice to have an exersaucer, bouncy chair, or a sling or other type of carrier for the baby, but they are not necessary. Even if you desperately want a bouncy chair (they are nice to have), you can get one for probaby around $20-25. Not a major expense.
Clothes: Hard to judge…you don’t need that much, but you do have to buy bigger sizes fairly frequently. You can buy them at Wal-Mart, though, and it’s really not that expensive. I’m sure you could get a baby’s entire first-year wardrobe for less than $500. This is an area it is easy to spend a lot, if you are not careful…the difference between what a baby NEEDS and what the mom might WANT to buy can be very wide.
**Toys & books: ** Babies do not need a whole lot, and if you are thrifty you can get some as hand-me downs, on e-Bay, etc. There are a lot of pricey toys out there, and babies do not know the difference.
Baby food & Formula: You can nurse for the whole year easily if you are a stay-at-home mom (and if you don’t have trouble breastfeeding, of course). If you use 1 bottle of formula a day as a supplement, it will probably take a month to go through a can (and you will get at least a couple of these cans for free). If you do this for 6 months, it’s only $150. You don’t need to buy baby food at all. If the baby is in daycare, you probably have to, but if you are home with the baby, you just mash up whatever you are eating in a food masher & give it to the baby (unless you are only eating junk food…then it’s not such a good idea). Babies don’t eat enough to make a giant dent in your food budget.
Diapers: That is pretty much a fixed cost as you put it. I never figured it out, but $1000 seems like it could be reasonable. Of course, if you are REALLY worried about finances, you could get cloth and wash them yourself (still costs extra for water & electricity, but I’m willing to bet it’s not as expensive as disposables).
**Medical care: ** I am not sure how much it all costs, because I have insurance. This is probably a fairly big area of expense if you don’t.
Shagnasty is right (and BTW, congratulations!!! )…when you work, and need daycare, it’s a whole different story. Not only do you need daycare, but you need a whole lot of other conveniences & equipment that you wouldn’t need otherwise. But, if you are a stay at home, you can do it pretty darn cheaply if you put your mind to it.
When they get older, that’s another story.