By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A recent government survey estimates the cost of raising a child from birth to age eighteen at nearly a quarter of a million dollars. But as 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan finds, first-time parents can cut some of the costs of bringing up baby with some simple advice.

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Raising a child born in 2013 will cost parents just over $245,000 dollars, according to a recent government tally, an increase of 2 percent over the previous year.

Parenting and baby care website recommends using the time before baby arrives to craft a new budget. Deputy Editor Elena Mauer says, “Figure out what extra money you have each month, what money you have once you cut back on a few things and really start to keep track. And put that money aside if you can, put it in a savings account, another account, and live off of your new budget for a few months before the baby arrives.”

TheBump advises three B’s to keep costs down — Buy in bulk from big box and warehouse stores. Borrow items from family and friends.  Bargain hunt among secondhand outlets, better for items like clothing, less for items like strollers and cribs that could be outdated in terms of safety requirements. She also says don’t be shy about putting big-ticket items on a registry, “You might think that somebody isn’t going to spend, you know, $500 on your baby shower, but a few friends might go in together. Your mother and your grandmother might go in together, and get one of those items for you.”

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Child care can make up the bulk of expenses. One trend TheBump has noticed — splitting the cost of a nanny or babysitter among family and friends with children of a similar age.

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