What is the average cost to raise a child?

What is the average cost to raise a child? Well, it is very much depend on where you stay. Are you living in a Metropolis or a small town. In this article, we will be sharing some estimated average cost living in my country of Malaysia, supporting them from the moment they hit your belly until they graduated from university, it will take over 23 years of your life.

You probably know by now that it can get crazy expensive to raise a child. According to birth statistic from Malaysia, fertility rate has declined from 2.2 babies per family (in 2011) to 1.8 babies per family in 2019. It revealed Malaysia’s lowest live births over a decade at 487,957 last year, a decrease of 2.8% compared to 501,945 in 2018.

What is the average cost to raise a child?

With the increasing cost of living and inflation, especially in big cities, contribute one of major causes of fertility rate to decrease. Who would want to raise children if you don’t have a stable job or own an apartment? That’s a reality millennial has to face nowadays. And yes, of course, the pandemic!

We’re not pessimists here, but realistically speaking, as a parent, you’ll have to work extremely hard to support a child until they reach a point that they can support themselves. 

How Much is the Average Cost?

We broke down the cost based on the child’s life stage, and applied smart money-saving ways (e.g., making use of public utilities, buying second-hand strollers, or asking our children to earn some money for their allowance when they reach University), because why not? Plus, we only include the essentials.

During Pregnancy & Delivery

If you are a resident of Malaysia, you can enjoy the benefits of public hospitals, healthcare in Malaysia is free provided you will not mind to wait in a long queue. But if you have more money to spare, you may consider going to private hospital which will cost you at least $6,000 – $8,000 or more including the pregnancy routine checkup, medicine and delivery cost. (Natural birth costs about $3-4K and C-section costs about $7-8K).

As we are residents of Malaysia, and the universal healthcare of Malaysia also provides good healthcare service for free, the only concern is the cost during delivery. If you opt for natural birth, you just need to pay around $100 and if you have medical complication and need to go for C section, no cost will be incurred for emergency case. If you request to have C section, the cost will be around $800.

CostPublic hospital (estimated cost in RM)Private hospital (estimated cost in RM)
Routine medical check up Free3000
blood test, screening, medicineFree1000
Delivery 100 – 8004000 – 8000
What is the average cost to raise a child

Age 0 – 2 (Infant Years)

This calculation is based on having a stay-at-home mom to take care of the child; thus, we did not include any nursery fees. Otherwise, you may also consider hiring a nanny to take care of your child. If you are a working mom, get ready to spend an additional cost of $10,000 per annum.

Clothes (some second-hand; some bought)$500
Hygiene (towel, bathing needs, etc.)$1,000
Baby Diapers (disposable)$1,500
Stroller/ carrier (second-hand)$1,000
Feeding bottle, warmer, breast pump, etc.$2,000
Milk powder$5,000
*Health Checkups in public hospital $300
Total$11,300
* healthcare for children is free in Malaysia but some vaccines are not free, estimated cost around RM300

Two majors cost adding to your expenses are diapers and milk powder. If you plan to breastfeed your child until at least 2 years of age, you basically can save a lot of money from buying expensive infant milk powder. Look for opportunity to use reusable cloth diapers instead of disposable ones, it is not only healthy and able to save some money too.

What is the average cost to raise a child

Related post ” baby day care“, “What is cloth diaper?

Age 3 – 6 (Pre-Schooler)


This is an important age in a child’s development, so we want them to learn as much as possible. To save money from buying books, why not take them to the library? E-books are also easily accessible online. Toys can be brought second-hand too!   

We know that it can get competitive out there that you want your child to learn all types of musical instruments and different languages at such an early age. We want to fill their schedules to make sure they’re spending their time efficiently and effectively. But maybe, before you sign them up for ballet classes, see if they are interested and really like to do it?

Pre-school, Kindergarten Fees (4 years)$30,000 – 50,000
School Supplies$1,000
Food$7,000
Clothes$500
Health Checkups/ Dental$500
Total$59,000
What is the average cost to raise a child

Primary Years (7 – 11 years old)

In Malaysia, primary education is free! You only have to take care of the miscellaneous fees and their allowance. At this age, they’ll start to learn about computer.

School Supplies$1,000
Clothes$1,000
Allowance$6,000
Mobile Phone$700
Computer$2,000
Health Checkups/ Dental$700
Total$11,400
What is the average cost to raise a child

Secondary School Years (12 – 18 years old)

Secondary school fees are also free in public schools. Indeed, a great time to save enough money for their university.

But every year, as your child grows, you also need to take care of their school shoes and uniforms. For their studies, having a computer and stable internet connection are considered essentials.

School Supplies$5,000
Clothes$7,000
Allowance$10,000
Mobile Phone$1,000
Computer$2,000
Health Checkups/ Dental$1000
Total$26,000
What is the average cost to raise a child

University (19 – 24 years old)

Getting into university does not guarantee your child a stable job in this economy. Instead, as parents, it is also our responsibility to teach them to strategize and survive. With that as an excuse, here’s the cost of an average public university in Malaysia.

To learn independence, they can work part-time jobs for their daily school allowance. In Malaysia, parents are able to apply loan to fund for their children education. Some of the children who are excelled in school performance, they can apply for scholarship. At least, it will help ease the parents burden in education expenses. Well, let’s take $3,500 per annum fee for tertiary education in general public university for example.

Food$19,000
Clothing, bag, supplies, haircut$3,000
Pre- U and University fees ( 6 years in public school + living cost)$30,000
Total$52,000
What is the average cost to raise a child

On average, estimate $200,000 per child per family, considering they’re healthy and they don’t ask you for anything else to buy!  😊

Let us know what you think? Would you rather spend more or less? Being a parent is a lifetime committee so let’s hope they find a stable job after University! Nevertheless, no matter how old they get, we’ll always be there to support them.

Share with us your experience, do you agree $200K is enough to raise a child? Comment it in the comment box below. We love to hear from you.

Happy reading!

BabySleepMiracle

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