A Detailed Guide To The Costs Of Having A Baby In Malaysia

·10-min read

Bringing new life into the world is a beautiful thing. What may not be so beautiful however, are the financial commitments that come alongside your little miracle.

Parenthood is an intimidating chapter for new parents. The responsibility can render you too paralysed to even think of what’s to come – let alone calculate the rough costs involved in having a baby.

But don’t let parenthood take your bank account by surprise! We’ve compiled a handy guide to help you estimate the costs of parenthood here in Malaysia.

  1. Cost Of Preparing Your Home For A New Baby

  2. Cost Of Giving Birth In Malaysia

  3. Cost Of Maternity Insurance

  4. Cost Of Essential And Non-Essential Baby Items

  5. Money-Saving Incentives And Initiatives For New Parents

  6. Baby Steps: Cutting Costs One Step At A Time!

Cost Of Preparing Your Home For A New Baby

Before your third trimester, you’ll probably already be feeling the pinch in your finances. Getting the house in order requires a lot of consideration as to what’s best for the baby in both the immediate and long-term future.

To preface, all the costs stated are only estimations for new first-time parents. A lot of variables go into determining how much having a baby will cost, and even then it’s still unrealistic to expect that you’ll be able to calculate the costs to a T.

1) All the extra space

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For many couples, the arrival of a baby may mean having to move.

You might need a bigger property to accommodate the extra headcount, or have to relocate somewhere nearer to your parents/in-laws who will be spending a lot of time helping to care for the little one.

It could even be an opportunity to upgrade to your dream home! If so, the cost of the new home plus the cost of moving will have to be accounted for.

Even if you’ve got no plans to move in the foreseeable future, you’ll most likely need to allocate a room for your parents/in-laws if they will be helping out with the baby often – not to mention the baby’s room too, of course.

2) Furniture and setting up the nursery

If you have the financial means to afford a nursery or baby room, the costs involved include:

2a) Baby crib

Most baby cribs in Malaysia range between RM200, up to RM1,000 and more. If you have a hand-me-down available, great!

If not, you can check out second hand platforms such as Mudah and Carousell, or simply ask friends/neighbours/relatives if they happen to have a preloved one.

2b) Crib bedding

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All the soft, comfy things that go into the crib cost money too. You can expect to pay about RM60 at the very least for a good quality set of crib bedding with mattress, pillows and blankets included.

2c) Storage solutions

Your nursery room will also need a cupboard or chest of drawers to organise all the miscellaneous things the baby will need. This doesn’t have to be newly purchased.

2d) Nursery revamp and decor

Being able to provide your baby a room of his or her own is a wonderful privilege. If you have the financial means to do so, you may choose to go the extra mile and breathe some life into the nursery too.

Basic interior design (new coat of paint, wallpaper, rugs, kiddie decor, etc) will likely amount to a few hundred if you’re going the DIY route.

Baby Item

Estimated Cost

Baby crib

RM200 - 1,000

Crib bedding

RM60 - 200

Storage solutions

RM100 - 500

Nursery revamp and decor

RM100 - 500

2e) Baby-proofing

Accidental injuries are one of the leading killers for infants and children ages 1-4 in the USA. Many parents choose to start baby-proofing before the baby is due, so the baby can come home from the hospital straight into a safe home.

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It helps to have a checklist for each room too as each room has its own hazards. Here’s a rough picture of what it might cost to baby-proof your home.

For Baby's Safety!

Estimated Cost

Safety gate

RM40 - RM150

Outlet covers

RM5 - RM15

Safety locks

RM10 - RM30

Corner protectors, edge guards, etc

RM10 - RM40

Anchoring furniture to the wall

RM20 - RM100+ (depending how you choose to anchor)

2f) Cleaning the house

Infants are particularly susceptible to allergens and bacteria that we live with daily. The health risks to babies from house dust may be 100 times greater than for adults.

Cleaning might not cost much financially if you already have all the supplies, but it’s definitely something you’ll have to factor in.

Below is a handy checklist of some often forgotten areas of the house to clean that could be potential hazards:

  • Carpets, rugs

  • Fans, air-conditioners, and blinds which are prone to collecting dust

  • Kitchen surfaces, tools, and cutlery

  • Sheets, pillows, and bedding (both yours and baby’s)

  • Baby’s feeding equipment

Hiring a part-time cleaner is definitely an option too! Hourly rates for part-time cleaners in Malaysia typically range from RM40 to RM60 per pax.

Cost Of Giving Birth In Malaysia

The bulk of the initial costs of pregnancy and parenthood will no doubt come from the medical front.

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Keep in mind that the rough costs in the table below are only estimates, and the price that you might end up paying will differ greatly depending on your hospital, doctor and a ton of other factors.

That said, it pays to be safe and have a thick financial buffer in place, in case of complications, extra tests, procedures which may need to be done.

Prenatal

Service

Public

Private

Pre-pregnancy screening

Free - RM200

Variable

Supplements

RM100 - 500

Monthly prenatal visits (per visit)

Free

RM200

Various tests and scans

Variable

Variable

Prenatal classes

Free - RM300

Labour and delivery

Delivery (natural)

RM100 - 600

RM3,000 - 10,000

Delivery (C-section)

RM300 - 1,000

RM8,000 - 20,000

Epidural

RM250

RM1,000 - 2,000

Ward fees (per day)

RM3 - 300

RM100 - 400

Postnatal

Confinement

RM3,000 - 10,000

Necessary vaccinations

Free

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Cost Of Maternity Insurance

For most health and medical insurances in Malaysia, coverage doesn’t extend to just maternity/pregnancy costs.

While it’s not mandatory, maternity insurance may be something you want to consider given all the possible complications that may arise.

1) What is maternity insurance?

Maternity insurance is a form of insurance which provides coverage in the case of pregnancy or delivery-related complications, newborn death, and congenital illnesses.

In Malaysia, you can purchase separate maternity insurance plans as is, or pay extra for maternity coverage riders to add on to your existing health insurance.

2) What does maternity insurance cover?

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Coverage for maternity insurance can typically be categorised into coverage for the mother and coverage for the newborn.

Depending on your plan, some might cover both or just one. We’ve compiled the table below to give you an idea of what’s usually covered.

Coverage for the mother

Coverage for the newborn

Pregnancy complications:

Congenital illnesses:

Hospital care

Hospital care / incubation

Death or total permanent disability

Death

Maternity cancer and infectious diseases

Infectious diseases

What’s typically not covered in maternity insurance are the regular costs associated with pregnancy, labour and delivery.

3) How much does maternity insurance cost in Malaysia?

Average premiums for maternity insurance in Malaysia start around RM100, and can go up to approximately RM800+ per month.

Bear in mind: Premium costs will vary depending on the mother’s age, health status and past medical conditions.

Cost Of Essential And Non-Essential Baby Items

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With the bulk of the bigger costs covered, it’s time we take a look at the itty-bitty purchases. But don't you underestimate the costs.

Those itty-bitty purchases may not be as affordable as you may think – especially not when you add them all up!

Though this list may seem endless, these miscellaneous baby necessities are precisely where you’ll find opportunities aplenty for you to get creative and find ways to save.

Cost of essential baby items (RM)

Cost of non-essential baby items (RM)

Car seat carrier

200 - 1,000+

Toys and books

Variable

Stroller

400 - 2,000+

Baby clothes (per set)

20 - 50

Disposable diapers (per pack)

30 - 80

Baby shoes

20 - 40

Baby formula (per tin)

40 - 200

Baby bottle steriliser

100 - 500

Breastfeeding pump

100 - 800

Diaper bag

100 - 300

Other breastfeeding accessories

100 - 200

Baby food tupperwares and cutlery

30 - 150

Doctor’s visits (per consultation)

50 - 200

Baby food processor

80 - 200

Pacifier

10 - 20

Baby bottles

30 - 70

Baby hygiene items (towels, shampoo, powder, wipes)

30 - 100

High chair

50 - 300

Daycare/baby-sitter (per month)

500 - 2,000

Money-Saving Incentives And Initiatives For New Parents

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At PropertyGuru, we’re always advocating for Malaysians to look for ways to save money wherever possible - that goes for parenthood too!

New parents and parents-to-be will be glad to know that there are government incentives in place that offer payouts for new mothers and newborns, with most of these being state-based.

For citizens classified under the B40 category, there are various initiatives in place to help alleviate a little bit of the financial burden.

Below, we’ve compiled a handy table of the incentives and initiatives available for new parents in Malaysia, but you’ll no doubt be able to find even more with a little sleuthing.

Incentive/Initiative

What Is It?

RM450 Bantuan Ibu Bersalin (BIB) for new Sarawakian mothers

RM450 maternity incentive for new mothers who give birth starting 1st Jan 2020. Applicants must possess “K” on their MyKad or are married to a Sarawakian.

RM100 Permohonan Insentif Kelahiran Anak Kedah (IKA)

RM80 voucher + RM20 (SSPN-i) incentive for newborns in Kedah.

RM100 Anakku Sejahtera for B40 newborns in Kedah

RM100 initiative for B40 family newborns in Kedah.

RM200 Program Anak Emas Penang

RM200 one-off incentive for Penangite newborns.

RM1,500 Tabung Warisan Anak Selangor (TAWAS) incentive

RM1,500 incentive will be given to applicants upon reaching 18 years old. Application must be done before 3 years old.

RM200 Kasih Ibu Smart Selangor (KISS) Initiative

RM200 incentive for B40 mothers in Selangor to buy basic necessities

Monthly RM50 TUNAS Kindergarten Initiative

Monthly RM50 payout for 5 and 6 year olds attending registered kindergartens. Monthly household income less than RM3,000.

Breastfeeding equipment tax exemption

Tax exemption for purchase of breastfeeding equipment for a child aged 2 years and below (deduction allowed once in every 2 years of assessment)

Kindergarten / child care centre tax exemption

Tax exemption for child care fees to a registered child care centre / kindergarten for children aged 6 years and below

Baby Steps: Cutting Costs One Step At A Time!

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When it comes to your precious loved one, it may feel conflicting to be thrifty. After all, parents want the very best for their child and nothing less.

But as with all other commitments in life (marriage, property, education), you can save wisely without having to compromise quality of care. Below are a couple of tips on how to save on baby expenses.

  • Ask friends, family and colleagues with children for unused items (after all, infants grow up)

  • Talk to experienced mothers on how they managed to cut costs

  • Take it easy on high-turnover bitty baby buys (shoes, clothes, toys)

  • Stick to the essentials, and always choose quality over quantity

  • Pay down as much debt as you can before pregnancy

  • Start saving and planning as far ahead as possible

In the end, being well-prepared will pay off when you welcome your baby into the world. Being able to worry less about your finances will mean you can channel more energy into raising your child to the very best of your abilities!

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