My wife and I are (still) thinking about having a baby. We are freaked out financially by the idea. One thing I would like to do is create a new category in our budget so we can get used to the decline in available dollars to spend. So, this brings me to the question - and I know that answers will vary greatly - to the extent possible, can you put an average monthly cost on the first 1 - 2 years of having a baby. This excludes medical costs.
My hope is that by acclimating ourselves to a new 'financial reality', once a baby comes along the change won't be a shock to us. Plus, we can use the money already saved in the baby category to partially offset medical and one time purchases (I have decent insurance with a cap on how much we will be responsible for).
Some info - We rent and live in the bay area (CA). My wife will be returning to work as will I. I *may* be able to work from home on occasion, or change my hours to start earlier / later.
One plus - we live in a 2 unit building with very close friends in the apt. below - they are thinking of kids too. Hopefully we can combine forces and nanny share, bulk buying share, etc. And yes, I know the stars will have to align timing wise for this to happen.