$222,360! R U kidding me?

The news is out, and it’s really expensive.

A recent article pegs the price of raising a child born in 2009 at a whopping $222,360. Take a breath, pregnant moms and dads, because it’s only going … UP! That doesn’t include the cost of college, by the way.

Expenses for child care, education and health care rose the most compared with 2008 prices, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department’s current report. Child care accounts for 17% of total spending, and education for 16%. The cost of housing makes up nearly one-third, based on the average cost of an additional bedroom. But the tally excludes any spending on kids over age 17. Can anyone out there imagine your child off the payroll entirely by their 18th birthday? Then bump the number up accordingly.

For families with many kids, there is some good news: The more children you have, the less it costs to raise each one. You can save almost 25% on each if you go for the bulk rate and have 3 or more kiddos. Of course, it still doesn’t pencil out since you have to multiply the new, reduced price X 3.

To read the full report, complete with the Cost of Raising a Child Calculator, check out the USDA website here.

And you may want to start scaling back on those pedicures, restaurant dinners, and other luxuries like food and water. But don’t scrimp on the antidepressants.

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Ellen and Rachel are two old friends and “expert” mamas—one a pediatrician and one a family therapist—with fifty years of parenting experience between them.

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The Mama ButtonThe information provided by MamasOnCall is not intended as a substitute for professional advice, but is for information purposes only. You assume full responsibility for the health and well-being of your family. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical or psychiatric condition.