cost of raising a child

Cost of raising a child. Is parenting financially affordable in India?

The moment you get those pink lines saying the baby is arriving. Parents undergo a change emotionally. A soon-to-be mother experiences physical and hormonal changes. Both parents prepare for a baby with good medical facility-care, few new baby clothes, diapers, maternity dresses and many more.  While the joy is hard to describe in words, the expense is not. A baby in scene shoots up the expense bar quickly. What is the cost of raising a child?

In the first year with baby, we have clothes, diapers, wipes, cribs, functions, ceremonies, etc. Can you count the zeros till here? Well, there is more as the child grows.

cost of raising a child in india
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In 2011 a study was conducted by Economic Times on the cost incurred by middle-class parents in raising a kid from cradle to college 21 years. It was estimated to be around 54.75 Lakhs. Then how much would it cost parents with kids born this year, 2019? There might be a 6% inflation plus additional costs that grow with the child’s interest and growing trends.

Cost of raising a child in india
Cost of raising a child

The cost of raising a child is another reason why only 24% of women are willing for a second child, a fact that is supported by a 2018 National Family Health Survey. Absences of support systems, work aspirations and balance, ever-changing ideas of parenting add to worries.

Let’s take a look at what are the expense incurred in raising a child in cities and towns across India.

Cost of raising a child

Two of the expenses that would continue for long are food and accommodation. People before baby who might be living in 1 BHK might opt to rent or buy a 2 BHK. At times even 3 BHK if you get a family with elders who help around with kids or other reasons.

Food expenditure for baby vary depending on food habits and might fall in the range of 2000 – 5000 INR each individual per month.

Prenatal, pregnancy and healthcare expense

Prenatal tests and medications can round up to 10,000 INR plus addition tests based on complications of pregnancy. Delivery of a baby in tier 2 cities starts at 25,000 INR and in metro cities with luxury healthcare facility centers can shoot up to 2,50,000 INR or even more.

It is not uncommon to hear stories, where to-be parents were advised to go for emergency C-section operation and baby, was taken to NICU for days while that was unnecessary. Also, there is the buzz word of muhurat C-section. Apparently, a child’s birth can be done by the law of faith forecasted by a priest. Something that many women like me faced. Gladly, the suggestion was rejected by replacing the doctor. Moving on.

Excited parents tend to overboard with shopping adding up to the expense with nappies, diapers, clothing, and accessories.


  • If you are living in tier 3 cities or village, check with nearby Anganwadi. As per ICDS, they help pregnant women with nutrition and healthcare.
  • Plan ahead taking. Start saving for child’s goals, education, and healthcare.

Infancy to preschool

Food, healthcare, baby room set up, toys, equipment, and grooming needs grow along with kids.

If you have noticed the baby food industry is growing rapidly in the country. There are variants in formula milk for infants each package starting from 300 INR and going up to 700 INR. Soft food for 6 months and older can add up to 3,000 INR monthly.

The whole segment of wants and needs can sum up to cost of 20,000 to 1,00,000 INR.


  • Search for preloved or perused items for baby from family and friends. Items including clothes, cloth diapers, toys, strollers, baby carriers, etc. It saves a lot of money.

Education – preschool till graduation

As a parent, we take effort to find the best school, education board, books and stationery, activity classes, and sports clubs. As per the study stated earlier, education does take 46% of the overall expense, an estimated 25,19,000 INR. With schools in metros charging an annual fee of 1-1.5 lakhs INR this doesn’t show up as a surprise.


  • Though parents are under pressure of raising good kids, they also do pressurize kids with many activity classes and study load too. Following a child’s lead would help parents in parenting ways and financially too.
  • Check out scholarship options available
Indian couple with a young child. Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

Parents and kids these days often dream of foreign education which does have the astronomical cost of over 40,00,000 INR (source)


An expenditure is done by every individual of the family, school-going or adult. Even in the study, entertainment was 12% of the pie. Entertainment consists of internet, app purchases, toys, books, play dates, movies, and family vacations worth over 6 Lakhs INR.

This post is meant to ignite the thoughts of saving, investing and planning for soon to be parents and new parents. As financial planning is one of the challenges and dilemmas faced by new age parents.

The post is a part of the conversation about “Dilemma faced by modern parents in the early years of childhood”.

I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.


28 thoughts on “Cost of raising a child. Is parenting financially affordable in India?”

  1. Very well researched post, Pragnya. Raising kids is not easy not just physically and mentally but also financially. Moreover education is more of a business in India now where the more money you shell out, the so called better education you get. Parents are lured by the infrastructure and get trapped in the brand name.

  2. That’s a well researched post. Yes, every new addition to our family comes with its own set of expenses. Education in India requires the major part of our savings. But I feel when we know this fact then it is better to prepare for it from the beginning.
    Here, in US even if schooling in public school is free but further education is quite expensive. So, parents have to keep that in mind.

  3. You came with the various facts and tips on how should our lookout to raise a child in India financially. Nowadays Education is the biggest concern. I have 2 kids and I know how much it is difficult to manage. You raise a very valid point Pragnya.

  4. Good tips. Even I believe in using used stuff for the kids especially because they outgrow it so fast, its crazy. Education is the major blow to our wallets but still there are schools that we can afford depending on what we want from the school.

  5. I’ve seen couples plan meticulously before having kids considering the financial angle. It is indeed important since these expenses can be controlled too. Good post!

  6. You have written right. These days before planning a baby parents should be mentally ready ,physically ready and more important financially ready . Education has become a business these days .

  7. Education especially has become a business. It is really expensive to raise a child if you are in a Metro city. That is also a big reason, couples are deciding on having only a single child.


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