Having a baby costs

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A middle-income family with a baby on the way can expect to spend more than $200,000 over the child’s first 17 years.

But 56 percent of people are going full-steam ahead with baby-making despite the economy. So how can you fit a baby into your budget? I’m Janet Stauble with your Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.

Child care is pretty much another mortgage payment. And parents who thought they’d stay home find themselves needing health insurance, a dual income, 401(k)s and mental stimulation from their jobs.

If you love your job but still want a child, ask your employer for time instead of money. Your boss may hesitate to give you more income, but you may be able to negotiate days off.

Diapers alone can reach up to $800 each year. And with a nursery, stroller and other supplies, a newborn’s first-year year can be more than 10 grand. Baby registries can help defray costs.

It’s never too early to start saving for college. Contribute to a 529 plan, but don’t plan on paying for all of junior’s college costs.

Want to learn more? Log onto Bankrate.com. I’m Janet Stauble.