The Cost of Having a Baby in Canada: What You Need to Know

The cost of having a baby in Canada falls within the range of $10,000 to $15,000 a year, until they turn 18.

Factors that can affect the cost of having a baby in Canada include the province or territory in which you reside, childcare costs, saving for post-secondary education and more.

Costs Associated with Having a Baby in Canada

Whether you’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of your bundle of joy or simply curious about the financial aspect of starting a family in Canada, understanding the financial necessity is important.

Prenatal Care Costs

Prenatal care costs in Canada are typically covered under provincial health insurance.

This cost includes various aspects of care such as regular check-ups, ultrasounds, and blood tests.

It should be noted that these costs may differ depending on the province or territory in which the care is sought.

More extensive and expensive treatments like In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) can increase the overall cost of prenatal care and are not covered by universal health insurance.

Delivery Costs

Giving birth in a hospital, as well as the costs associated with doing so, is completely free in Canada, covered by the healthcare system.

At most, you may have to pay a few hundred dollars out of pocket.

Universal healthcare does not apply, however, if you are a visitor or non-resident.

The cost of giving birth in a Canadian hospital, if you are a visitor or non-resident will depend on whether you have health insurance or not, and can cost upwards of $10,000.

Additional Expenses

Setting up a nursery with a crib, changing table, and other essential furniture can cost upwards of $1,500.

Strollers, car seats, high chairs, baby monitors, and playpens can also add $1,000 – $2,000.

Outfits, diapers, bottles, pacifiers, and other baby essentials can cost another $1,000 – $2,000 per year.

While most medical expenses related to pregnancy and childbirth are covered by Canada’s healthcare system, there may be out-of-pocket costs for prescriptions, medical supplies, or additional tests or procedures not covered by universal health insurance.

The cost of daycare centers or hiring a nanny varies depending on location and the type of care chosen.

As your child grows, there will be expenses for education, including school supplies, extracurricular activities, and potentially university expenses in the future.

Miscellaneous expenses related to raising a child can also add up, including items such as toys, books and outings.

Financial Assistance and Coverage

There are plenty of support programs that can assist with the financial responsibilities associated with having a baby.

Provincial/Territorial Health Insurance

When it comes to health insurance in Canada, here are some key points to consider:

  • All Canadian provinces and territories provide health insurance coverage for residents, including maternity care.
  • The coverage includes prenatal care, delivery services, and postnatal care.
  • Provincial/territorial health insurance plans differ in terms of specific coverage and services provided.
  • In some provinces/territories, additional coverage for services like fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), may be available.

Pro-Tip: Familiarize yourself with the specifics of your provincial/territorial health insurance plan to understand coverage and potential costs. 

EI Maternity Benefits

If you are away from work because you are pregnant, have recently given birth, or are caring for a newborn or recently adopted child, you could qualify for EI maternity benefits.

Important factors must be considered:

  • Eligibility: To receive employment insurance benefits, you must have worked a certain number of hours in the past year and paid into the program. Check if you meet the eligibility requirements before applying.
  • Types of benefits: Canada offers maternity, parental, sickness, and compassionate care benefits. Each benefit has its own criteria and duration.
  • Application process: Apply for employment insurance benefits online. Provide accurate information and supporting documents for a smooth process.
  • Benefit amount: The amount is calculated based on your earnings and the government’s maximum insurable earnings. The current maximum weekly benefit is $650.
  • Duration of benefits: Maternity benefits last up to 15 weeks, while parental benefits last up to 35 weeks per parent (and 40 weeks total).

Additional Support Programs

A number of free additional support programs exist for new parents in Canada:

  • Parenting Classes
  • Parenting Hotlines
  • Postpartum Support Groups
  • Lactation Consultants
  • Maternal Mental Health Programs:
  • Childcare Subsidies
  • Government Assistance Programs
  • Community Centers with resources and programs such as playgroups and workshops.

New parents should explore these additional support programs in their community.

Planning for the Cost of Having a Baby in Canada

When it comes to the cost of having a baby in Canada, budgeting and saving are important. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Evaluate your current financial situation: Assess your income, expenses, and savings to understand how much you can allocate towards the costs of having a baby.
  • Research estimated expenses: Familiarize yourself with the average costs of baby essentials and childcare.
  • Create a baby budget: Develop a comprehensive budget that includes one-time expenses and ongoing expenses for raising a child. This will help you prioritize your spending.
  • Save for future expenses: Set aside a portion of your income specifically for future expenses like education, healthcare, and maintaining your standard of living. Consider opening a separate savings account or RESP for this purpose.
  • Explore government assistance programs: Research available financial assistance programs, such as employment insurance benefits and additional support programs, to determine eligibility.
  • Consider healthcare coverage: Understand your health insurance coverage and how it applies to maternity care, including medical expenses and any out-of-pocket costs.
  • Seek professional advice: Consult with a family planning financial advisor to make informed decisions and ensure financial preparedness.

Exploring Financial Assistance Options

When it comes to the cost of having a baby in Canada, there are a few financial assistance options to consider:

  • Provincial/Territorial Health Insurance: Canadian citizens and permanent residents qualify for provincial/territorial health insurance, which covers essential medical services during pregnancy, childbirth, and postnatal care. This reduces out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Employer Health Insurance: Your employer may offer top up or additional coverage over and above what provincial/territorial insurance will cover. Familiarize yourself with what is available toyou.
  • Employment Insurance Benefits: Expecting parents may be eligible for employment insurance benefits, including maternity leave and parental leave benefits, which provide a portion of their income during time off work.
  • Additional Support Programs: Some provinces and territories offer support programs which can include financial assistance for low-income families, childcare subsidies, and support for families with special needs.

Explore these financial assistance options early and determine your eligibility.

Couple in the park pushing baby in stroller

Frequently asked questions

  • How much does it cost to have a baby in Canada?
  • What are the estimated costs of fertility treatments in Canada?
  • Fertility treatments in Canada can be expensive. The average costs range from $10,000 to $15,000 per cycle for IVF, $2,500 to $7,000 for fertility drugs, and $200 to $1,500 for intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Donor eggs and embryos are legal in Canada, as long as you do not pay for them. Some provinces offer financial assistance for IVF treatments.

  • Is birth tourism legal in Canada?
  • Any child born in Canada is granted Canadian citizenship regardless of their parents’ citizenship or residency status. However, it is important to note that parents of a newborn Canadian citizen do not automatically receive Canadian citizenship or a residence permit.

  • How does the Canadian healthcare system affect the cost of having a baby?
  • For Canadian citizens and permanent residents, the cost of giving birth in Canada is relatively affordable due to the universal health insurance program. Costs for childbirth are often covered by the publicly-funded healthcare system. Tourists and non-residents may have to pay out-of-pocket or have private international health insurance to cover the expenses.

  • What are the benefits and financial assistance available for Canadian parents?
  • Canadian parents can be eligible for EI maternity and parental benefits if they have worked at least 600 hours in the prior year. There are also other tax benefits available, such as the Canada Child Benefit and the Child Disability Benefit.

Tara Al-Khudairi

Tara Al-Khudairihas worked in the financial services industry since 2017. She graduated from McMaster University with a degree in Finance and is pursuing her CFA.

She has worked at a major Canadian financial institution in various client-facing advisory roles, starting as a bank teller and working up to a Client Services Associate within the Asset Management division. She specializes in simplifying concepts of personal finance for people of various financial backgrounds.

When she’s not examining the markets looking for the next SHOP.TO, she’s either practicing yoga, planning her next vacation, or has her nose buried deep in a book.