Raising a baby can be fun and exciting as well as expensive. According to Planet Money, a baby born in 2009 will cost $222,360 to raise with the average family spending about $12,000 in the first year alone. Expenses include daily necessities such as diapers and food as well as saving for education and paying for daycare. For those families that need financial assistance to help meet the needs of their newborn, grants and financial assistance programs are available. In addition, grants are also available to institutions that work to improve the lives of babies worldwide.
Philanthropic foundations as well as non profit organizations that have child and family outreach programs can be a source of financial assistance for parents. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provides funding for maternal, newborn and child health initiatives as part of their global health funding priorities.
U.S.-based, tax exempt 501 (c)(3) institutions are eligible to apply. Funded programs include improving the health of children under two, improving care during pregnancy and delivery as well as for newborns, and drawing attention to the medical needs of women, children and babies.
Women, Infants and Children is administered by the Food and Drug Administration. WIC provides nutritional assistance to low-income families to meet the needs of pregnant and nursing women and their children under the age of 5. As of 2011, WIC serves 45 percent of all infants in the United States. WIC provides food and nutritional supplements, education and makes referrals to welfare and social services.
The Children's Health Insurance Program is a federally-funded program administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It provides healthcare coverage to children, including newborns, who would otherwise be uninsured and do not qualify for medical assistance. It reaches families in all income brackets.
Grants are available to medical researchers to fund studies that may improve the health of newborns. The March of Dimes, established in 1938 by President Franklin Roosevelt, provides advocacy and support for programs that help women have a full-term pregnancy and eliminate diseases that could threaten the lives of newborns. The organization funds research grants to scientists investigating ways to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The range of the award in 2011 is $60,225 to $157,593.
Child-focused companies also can provide funding for initiatives that benefit newborns. Pampers (pampers.com) provides several programs around the world. In the United States, the company provides diapers and wipes to Feeding America for distribution to free stores and food banks. For parents of multiples, Pampers offers a gift of coupons. Parents need to send copies of the hospital discharge papers with confidential information crossed out to their offices in Cincinnati, OH.
Pampers also works with UNICEF to help provide vaccines and tetanus shots to babies in developing countries. During the 1 pack = 1 vaccine campaign, Pampers donates the cost of one vaccine to UNICEF for every specially marked boxed of Pampers brand diapers purchased.
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- Planet Money; It Costs $222,360 to Raise a Child; Jacob Goldstein; June 2010
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: Funding for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health
- Food and Nutrition Service: WIC at a Glance
- Pennsylvania Children's Health Insurance Program: About CHIPs
- March of Dimes: Research Grants
- Pampers: Children's Charities
- Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images