It is no secret that raising a child can be expensive. Having children requires substantial planning and budgeting, from diapers and healthcare to college tuition. With an increasing number of couples choosing to start a family in Canada, the financial challenges of parenthood are in the spotlight now more than ever. We already know that raising children is expensive, but how much does it cost to raise a new born in Canada? Whether you are a new parent, planning to become a parent, or just curious about the process, you have probably wondered how much the cost of raising a child in Canada is.

This blog will guide you with everything you need to know about raising children in Canada.

Estimated Annual Family Expenses

Estimated Annual Family Expenses


This is what the most famous studies estimate the cost of raising a child in Canada to be : 

A 2015 study is the most quoted statistics on Canadian parents’ expenses for a new born. After adding an 11.37% inflation rate (between 2016 to 2021), the approximate cost of raising a child till they turn 18 in 2022 may come to $281,880. This means that the average annual cost will be $15,560, and the average monthly cost will be about $1,305.  

A simple way to calculate whether you will be able to meet the costs of having a baby is using the following :

    • Calculating your monthly household income
    • Identifying your current household expenses

If (total income) – (expenses) > $1,305, you are likely to be able to afford to raise a child in Canada. 

An important point to note here is that your expenses to help your baby grow up will be different each year. This depends on the various life phases your child goes through and the inflation rate. For example, when your child grows from a toddler to a teenager, your grocery expenses are sure to shoot up.  

Before moving on to the particular expenses you may incur, let’s look at the annual expenses on a new born you’ll have to bear as a family. Maintaining an excel sheet or a tracker is a great way to analyse the costs incurred in raising and providing for a new born; alternatively, you can also opt for an online calculator. If you are wondering what new born need while growing up, here’s a breakdown to help you out :

In your first year, you may encounter the following costs. Make sure you budget for them. 

  • Diapering 

Among the non-negotiables are diaper costs. Irrespective of whether you go the reusable route or disposable route, you will need more diapers in the beginning than in the later months. Another fact is that in the first 10 days after the child’s birth, you might have to change as many as 10 diapers. You will encounter similar costs related to diapers: wipes, a diaper bin, and diaper cream. If you have the budget, you could also go for a wipe warmer or a luxury changing station.

Estimated Cost: Typically, diapers cost between $0.20 and $0.40 per diaper, so if your baby uses 2,500 diapers per year, expect to spend $500 – $1000 each year on diapers.

  • Feeding 

You may plan to feed your new born through breastfeeding or formula feeding. There are costs associated with both methods. Formula-feeding costs a bit more than breastfeeding. For breastfeeding, you may have to spend on materials such as breastfeeding pillows, lactation consultations, a breast pump, and bottles. If you’re going the formula-feeding route, you will need to spend on powder formulas and bottles. Once the baby can be fed solids, additional expenses such as a high chair, bowls, spoons, and sippy cups will be added.  

Estimated Cost: According to reports, formula feeding during the first year will cost a family between $900 and $3,000 per year. On the other hand, breastfeeding will save a family between $1,200 and $1,500, as per a US surgeon general.

  • Childcare

You will find various childcare options throughout Canada, including in-home caregivers, licensed daycares, preschools, and before and after-school programs. Childcare costs will consume most of your income if you and your partner intend to continue working after your child’s birth. Your childcare expenses will vary depending on several factors, including where you live, your child’s needs, and what kind of care they receive.

Estimated Cost: Across Canada, childcare costs may range from $181 to $1,986.

Housing Costs For Children

Housing is integral to the cost of raising a child, yet many parents overlook its importance when estimating the amount. If you plan to have children, your house must be spacious and kid-friendly. Additionally, you must account for factors such as the neighbourhood, the distance to a good school, access to extracurricular activities, a safe space for the children to play, etc.

Estimated Cost: It costs $2,840 annually to provide a safe and secure home with one child. An average 2-BHK/3-BHK house for parents and two children would cost around $748,800.

Healthcare Costs For Children

Healthcare Costs For Children

Many healthcare expenses are associated with the cost of raising a child in Canada. Pregnancy and delivery alone can cost tens of thousands of dollars, depending on complications and insurance coverage. Having a child can quickly cost hundreds of dollars a month after delivery. These prices increase if the infant requires ongoing medical attention or emergency care. Healthcare costs are higher when a child gets vaccines during the initial years of their life. In addition to these costs, dental work, orthodontics, and other treatments not covered by insurance are not included.

Estimated Cost: According to reports, a family of two parents and two children with a household income of $150,177 would spend $15,039 on public healthcare.

Clothing Expenses on a Child

Clothing Expenses on a Child

One of the total costs of having a baby is clothes. Your newborn will require new clothing, shoes, and accessories once they start growing up. Data finds that the cost of children’s clothing can go up to $74 monthly for clothes under four years of age. To save money, you can resort to specific hacks, such as taking advantage of sales, thrifting clothes, shopping at consignment stores, or even buying clothes your child can wear for more than one season.

Estimated Cost: It has been reported that families can spend more than $1,280 a year on clothing, especially if they have teens or tweens.

Education Costs For Children

Private schools are more expensive than public schools in Canada. While there are no tuition fees in public schools in Canada, there can be additional expenses such as supplies, uniforms, exam fees, field trips, and tutors. Here too, the costs have been rising over the years.

Estimated Cost: The data from Statistics Canada finds the average international undergraduate tuition cost to be $33,623.

Other Expenses For Children

It is not just the regular expenses you have to cover as a parent; other costs such as personal care products, electronics, summer camps, extracurricular activities, and more can add up to a substantial amount. 

Money Isn’t Everything

While it may not be possible to accurately assess the exact cost of raising a child in Canada, this guide acts as a helpful resource to get an estimate. Given the endless opportunities you can choose from, it is wise to prepare well financially for any unforeseen expenditures. One of the most important things to remember is that infant expenditures vary so widely that averages might not be accurate depending on your circumstances. Therefore, make sure to prepare sufficiently and keep a well-managed budget to account for all your expenses.

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Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

Is it expensive to raise a child in Canada?

The cost of raising a child in Canada can be around $10,000 to $15,000 a year until the age of 18.

Is childbirth free in Canada?

The cost of having a baby in Canada is mostly free, except for the expenses of specific medical procedures required. However, for tourists, there can be a cost. Visitors wishing to give birth in Canada may have to spend $3,000-$ 20,000 depending on their health insurance.

Is education free in Canada for foreigners?

Public secondary education or high school is free in Canada for people residing in the country. For international students, the costs can range from $8,000 to $14,000 per year.

Is hospital free in Canada?

Public healthcare is considered free in Canada since patients don't need to pay a fee to receive medical attention at a healthcare institution. However, the public healthcare system is funded by the tax paid by Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

What country has the best healthcare system?

Denmark ranks first among the countries with the best healthcare system from the Best Countries ranking, followed by Sweden. Canada is in the third position.