If you are a parent, parents-to-be, or planning a family in the future – one of the most important things to consider is how much it is going to cost. You cannot put a price tag on having a child; it is a priceless experience that adds immense joy and meaning to life. However, smart parents are those who are prepared for the journey emotionally, physically, and most importantly, financially. This essential guide breaks down the cost of every aspect of raising a child in India to make sure you have everything covered.

We’re going to look at the following topics:

The Cost of Prenatal Care
The Cost of Childbirth
The Cost of Raising an Infant (0-2 Years)
The Cost of Raising a Toddler (2-3 Years)
The Costs for a child during Primary School (3 - 8 Years)
The Costs for a child during Middle School (8 - 13 Years)
The Costs for a child during High School (13 - 18 Years)
The Costs for a child during College (18 - 21 Years)
Post-Graduation Expenses (21 - 23 Years)
The Impact of Inflation


Insights into the Calculations

The costs listed here are calculated based on the expenses of a high-earning couple living in a metro city in India. In each stage, we give a table with the detailed split of the expenses incurred during this period. Note that the actual prices for your family may vary, based on your lifestyle, location, and other preferences.

We have calculated prices based on prevailing expense rates. It may vary based on the current age of your child. For rates after inflation, check the end of this report.

The Cost of Prenatal Care (0-9 Months)

Particulars Approx Amt In Rs
Medical expenses for the motherhood - injections, drugs, vaccinations
14,000
Maternity clothes
18,000
Doctors' visit
15,750
Sonographies
20,000
Car seat, cribs, clothes
15,000
Nutrition for mother(grocery)
32,283
Customs and rituals related to the pre-birth period like Godh Bharai
20,000
Total Expenses
Rs.1,35,033

In the prenatal stage, special focus needs to be on the carrying mother. Let’s examine a few key expenses:

Medical Expenses: The average monthly medical expense for a expecting mother is Rs. 2000 which includes injections, drugs, vaccinations. This is 2000 x 7 = Rs. 14,000 starting from the date of pregnancy confirmation up to the eighth month.

Doctor’s Visits: This includes approximately 2 doctor visits every month, with each visit costing Rs. 1000 to a total of Rs. 15,750.

Sonographies: A single Sonography costs around Rs. 2000 and it is recommended to take a fortnightly scan (total of 10 to 12 scans), which can equal to Rs. 20,000 approximately for the entire duration of the pregnancy.

Maternity Clothing: The pregnant mother would require (a minimum of)12 to 18 pieces of maternity clothing. Assuming that a piece of clothing costs roughly Rs. 1000, this equals to Rs. 18,000.

Grocery: There will be an increase in the monthly grocery expenses to meet the nutritional needs - fresh fruits, ghee, protein, and vegetables for the pregnant woman. This increase is estimated to be around Rs 3587 per month or 32.283 during the pregnancy period.

Pre-birth Rituals: Rituals such as baby showers (godh bharai) can cost anywhere from Rs. 20,000 to 1 lakh depending on the number of guests and the scale of the celebration.

Optional Expenses
There are some optional expenses too, which are not taken in this calculation.

Particulars Approx Amt (In Rs)
Pre-baby shoot 20,000
Babymoon 50,000
IVF (Medically Required in some cases) 2,50,000
Total Expenses 3,20,000

The Cost of Child Delivery (During Birth)

Particulars
Approx Amt(in Rs)
Hospitalisation costs
42,263
Medical costs of baby
10,000
Medical expenses for the mother
10,000
Total
62,263

Let’s look at a few key expenses in this stage.

In this stage, the hospitalisation cost is the major expense. This could largely depend on the type of option chosen by the parents as well as the doctor. The two options of delivery are either normal/vaginal or C-section delivery. While C-section delivery could cost anywhere between Rs 60,000 to 1.5 Lacs, a normal delivery could cost about 40,000 to 1 Lac depending on the type of hospital chosen or the city you live in.

There is another optional expense which is highly recommended in this stage. This is not taken into calculation.

Particulars
Approx Amt (In Rs)
Stem Cells
60,000

The Cost of Raising an Infant (0-2 Years)

Particulars
Approx Amt (In Rs)
Monthly paediatrician and physician visits
3,800
Vaccination/Growth supplements/Routine cold & cough
72,000
Diapers
26,400
Toys
15,000
Massage person
64,000
Nanny
240,000
Nutritious Food for the Nursing Mother
9,000
Birthday Parties for the child
20,000
Gifts for other kids' birthday parties
5,000
Apparel
35,000
Accessories for the Baby (Stroller, walker, baby chair, bedding)
9,000
Total
4,99,200

The first few years of a child’s life requires extensive medical care, as newborns are prone to infections.

Let’s examine a few key expenses.

Paediatrician Fees - The average cost of a paediatrician and physical visit (for the mother) is estimated at Rs.475 each, or Rs 950, which is a recurring expense, once every three months, till the baby reaches the age of 2. Thus, you will need to budget for at least 4 such visits during the period, bringing the total estimate to Rs 3800.

Vaccination Costs - The cost of vaccination per month for infants is Rs. 1231, growth supplements can cost an additional Rs. 1105 per month and routine cold and flu doctor visits can average about Rs. 764 every month, bringing the monthly medical expenses for the infant at Rs. 3000 pm, which equals 3000 x 24 = Rs. 72,000.

Cost of Diapers - Assuming you use 5 diapers for the newborn per day, the monthly cost of diapers is 1100, which equals 1100 x 24 = Rs. 26,400.

Nanny and Massage Person - The prevailing rates for the maalishwaali (massage person) is Rs. 8000 pm for 8 months = Rs. 64,000. The monthly rates of a qualified nanny could range anywhere upwards starting from Rs. 10,000 per month, which brings the total estimate of nanny to Rs 2,40,000.

Birthday Party - Starting from this stage, the birthday party expenses are calculated at Rs. 10,000 per year for the child or 20,000 for 2 years. Note that this is for a simple house party. If you opt for grander celebrations at a party hall, then the costs can be anywhere from a few tens of thousands of rupees to a few lakhs.

The Cost of Raising a Toddler (2-3 Years)

Particulars
Approx Amt (in Rs)
Reputed private preschool (fees)
50,000
Vaccination and Medicine for routine Illnesses
24,000
Apparel
40,000
Special Nutrition Food
12,000
Toys
20,000
Nanny/daycare
156,000
Birthday Parties/Entertainment/Other kids' birthday parties
15,000
Total
3,17,000

Let’s examine a few key expenses during this stage.

Pre-school fees - It can range from Rs. 50,000 upwards depending on your city, chosen pre-school brand, conveyance, after-school care, etc.

Vaccination and Medicine for routine Illnesses: As the immunity of the child is building, you will need to be prepared for routine cough and cold visits to the doctor and also include periodical vaccinations. This is estimated to be around Rs 2000 per month or Rs 24,000 in a year.

Apparel and Toys: As your child continues to grow, you will need to budget for clothes and toys for your child. This can be around Rs 60,000 during the period (40,000 + 20,000)

Special Nutrition Food: Growing children require special nutritional drinks like Pediasure, Horlicks, etc. which can cost around Rs. 1000 per month or Rs 12,000 for the entire year.

Nanny/day Care: Just as in the infant stage, thi s continues to be a significant factor here, as well and this is estimated at Rs. 13,000 per month or Rs 1,56,000 for the entire year.

Birthday Celebrations: The cost of celebrating your child’s birthday party is calculated at Rs. 10,000 and the gifts your child purchases for other kids is estimated at around Rs. 5000 in a year totalling to Rs. 15,000 during this period .

The Costs for A Child During Primary School (3 - 8 Years)


Particulars
Approx Amt (In Rs)
Education
348,775
Extra-curricular activities in school
72,000
Vaccination/Growth supplements/Routine cold & cough
120,000
Food
60,000
Clothes
150,000
Games/Toys/story books
60,000
Birthday Parties/Entertainment/Other kids' birthday parties
75000
Vacations
225,000
Uniforms & Text books
51,995
Total
11,62,770

How have we arrived at these costs?

Education - The average of school fees calculated based on top schools in Tier 1 cities like in Gurgaon, Indore and Malad is around Rs. 3,48,775.

Uniforms and Textbooks - Calculated based on standard rates is 10,399 per year, which is 10,399 x 5 = 51,995.

Extracurricular activities - Starting around the age of 7, extracurricular activities cost around Rs. 3000 per month, which equals 3000 x 24 (for ages 7 and 8) = 72,000.

Medical Expenses - Growth supplements cost around Rs. 1000 per month, vaccination and cough and cold medicines cost another 1000 every month, bringing the medical expenses to 2000 x 60 = Rs. 1,20,000.

Food, Clothes and Toys - Clothes cost 30,000 per year (30,000 x 5 = 1,50,000); Toys range around 1000 per month (1000 x 60 = 60,000), nutritional needs of the growing childlike Horlicks and other health drinks come around 1000 per month (1000 x 60 = 60,000).

Vacations - The average cost of a 10-day annual domestic family vacation is estimated to be around 45,000 x 5 years = 2,25,000.

The Costs for a child during Middle School (8 - 13 Years)


Particulars
Approx Amt (In Rs)
Education
339,025
Extra-curricular activities in school
180,000
Clothes
175,000
Games/Toys/books
125,000
Pocket money
60,000
Vacations
225000
Uniforms & text books
82,000
Laptop
25,000
Total
12,11,025

Let’s examine a few key expenses in this stage.

As the child has grown up, nanny and daycare expenses aren’t taken into account. Still, other costs like – pocket money, gadgets for your child, recreation will become part of the family budget.
Education - The average of school fees calculated based on top schools in Gurgaon, Indore and Malad is around Rs. 3,39,025.

Extra curricular activities - Extracurricular activities cost around Rs. 3000 per month, which equals 36,000 per year x 5 years = Rs.1,80,000.

Clothes/Toys/Games/Books - Clothes cost 35,000 per year (35,000 x 5 = 1,75,000); Games/books/toys range around 25,000 per year (25,000 x 5 = 1,25,000);

Vacations - The average cost of a 10-day annual domestic family vacation is 45,000 per vacation per year x 5 years = 2,25,000.


The Costs for A Child During High School (13 - 18 Years)

Particulars
Approx Amt (In Rs)
Education
277,898
Extra-curricular activities in school/tuition
384000
Clothes
175,000
Games/Entertainment
125,000
Pocket money
120,000
Vacations
225,000
Textbooks and uniforms
82,000
New laptop and mobile phone
30,000
Total
14,18,898


Let’s examine a few key expenses in this stage

Apart from school fees, you also have to pay for coaching classes, competitive exams, educational consultancies, etc. These are the tumultuous teen years. You can expect your child to be influenced by peer pressure – demanding designer clothes, expensive gadgets, outings with friends, and more.

Education - The average of school fees calculated based on top schools in Gurgaon, Indore and Malad is around Rs. 2,77,898.

Uniforms and Textbooks - Calculated based on standard rates is 16,400 per year, which is 16,400 x 5 = Rs. 82,000.

Extra curricular activities and Special Classes - Extracurricular activities cost around Rs. 3000 per month, which equals 2,16,000 for 6 years. Special coaching for Class X at Rs. 300 per hour for 7 subjects twice a week costs 16,800 per month, which equals Rs. 1,68,000 for one year. Total cost = 2,16,000+1,68,000 = 3,84,000.

Gadgets - Average cost of a laptop and an entry-level mobile phone is estimated to be around Rs. 30,000

The Costs for A Child During College (18 - 21 Years)

The expenses at this stage depend on your child's interests. It is not possible to predict your child's passions – 5, 10, or 15 years down the line.

We have calculated the expenses at this stage for two streams:

COMMERCE

Particulars
Approx Amt (In Rs)
College - Graduation (3 years)
18,000
Special Coaching and Extracurricular
86,000
Clothes
105,000
Games/Entertainment/gadgets
90,000
Pocket money
126,000
Text Books
10,500
Vacations
180,000
Total
615,500

or

Medicine
Particulars
Approx Amt (In Rs)
MBBS – The first three years of the course
4,200,000
Clothes
105,000
Games/Entertainment
90,000
Pocket money
126,000
Books (assuming second hand/open-source online books)
60,000
Vacations
100000
Total
4,681,000


Let’s examine a few key expenses in this stage.

College Fees - For commerce, this is estimated to be around Rs 6000 per year, which is Rs.6000 x 3 = Rs.18,000. For MBBS, the fees is around 42,00,000 for the first three years of the course.

Special Coaching and Extracurriculars for Commerce Stream - This includes GRE/GMAT coaching which includes registration fees (15,000), coaching (30,000), and books (5000) bring the total cost to Rs.50,000. The extracurriculars cost Rs. 3000 per month (3000 x 12 = 36,000); Total = 86,000.

Post-Graduation Expenses ( 21 - 23 Years)

We have calculated the costs for two streams: MBA at a premier institute in India and MBBS. Note that if your child dreams of overseas higher education, it could cost you anywhere from around 40 lakhs to more, depending on the country and the course chosen.

MBA – Commerce Stream
Particulars
Approx Amt (In Rs)
Higher education – MBA in India
2,000,000
Student exchange
600,000
Pocket money
192,000
Vacation
100,000
Total
2,892,000


MBBS (Final Two years of the course + Internship)
Particulars
Approx Amt (In Rs)
MBBS for 2.5 years including internship
6,437,500
Books (assuming second hand/open source online books)
50,000
Pocket money
240000
Vacation
100,000
Total
6,827,500

Don’t forget to Factor Inflation!

When planning for a child, parents-to-be often forget to factor in the cost of inflation. This can upset the planning quite a bit. To give an example, the current higher education costs for an MBA at a premier institute in India stands at Rs. 2,892,000. Let's say, you have a newborn in your family. Factoring in inflation at a rate of 5%, by the time your child reaches 21 years, the cost of the MBA degree would have shot up to Rs. 9,326,989, nearly 3.5x times the current fees.

Here’s a quick chart illustrating the costs of the child at various stages factoring inflation:

Total Costs of Raising a Child
Commerce Stream
Science (MBBS) Stream
In 2019 (Without including inflation)
8,313,689
22,364,689
In 2042 (With Inflation)
20,084,919
67,256,774


Start by calculating the financial needs of your child using the tables given above. Once you have an idea of how much it costs start saving and investing for your child's future.

With the right financial planning, you can enjoy the joys of parenting without continually being overshadowed by financial worries. 

Learn more about planning your child's education through Mutual Funds for building a long term financial corpus.

DISCLAIMER
The information contained herein is generic in nature and is meant for educational purposes only. Nothing here is to be construed as an investment or financial or taxation advice nor to be considered as an invitation or solicitation or advertisement for any financial product. Readers are advised to exercise discretion and should seek independent professional advice prior to making any investment decision in relation to any financial product.  Aditya Birla Capital Group is not liable for any decision arising out of the use of this information.