Going shopping with a baby or a toddler can be a daunting task especially if you are a new mom. Everyone knows that babies need to learn how the world works and how to go to new places.
But they don’t tell you that as a new mom you also have to learn how to take your baby new places, and it’s not as easy as it looks. Here are nine mom hacks to make shopping with a baby easier.
1. Take an extra set of hands
When I was still on maternity leave and had to go shopping, I would take either my mom or my husband with me to help watch Toot. I always like having someone else with me when I take her anywhere. I don’t think I took her anywhere by myself until she was about 7 or 8 months old. Taking a baby anywhere can be overwhelming. Having another adult with you that can take care of the baby while you shop can really put your mind at ease.
2. Put the car seat in the cart, not on top
If your baby is still in a bucket car seat, just put it right in the cart. Do not put it on top of the cart seat. That’s dangerous. It doesn’t hook onto the cart, and it’s not made to sit on top of it. The car seat could easily fall off with your baby in it. Use the seat of the cart as your shopping basket and put your baby in the main part of the cart.
My mom used to work at a grocery store, and she told me about a car seat that fell off of the top of the cart. The baby was strapped in, but it landed upside down. The baby did survive but ended up with a severe head injury. Do NOT put the car seat on top of the cart.
3. Get a cart cover
If your baby can sit by herself, you need a cart cover! I used my cart cover for Toot until she was about a year old. It’s comfy and has toys attached! We keep the cover in the car in case we have to stop at the store on the way home from grandma’s house. It’s also a good way to keep any toys or books in the cart.
4. Keep snacks on you
Did someone say puffs? If your baby is eating solid foods and puffs, always carry puffs like these or Cheerios in your purse or diaper bag. It’s the easiest way to calm a tantrum and gives them something to focus on. You can even make a Cheerio necklace if you think your little one is old enough to handle it.
5. Take the bag or leave the bag?
When I first started going shopping with Toot, I took the diaper bag in every time. It was fully stocked with everything I’d need for the next 24 hours.
Now that I’m more experienced and she’s older, I will only take in what I think I might need. If I know it’ll be less than an hour, I don’t need diapers. In the unlikely event that she has a blowout, I can easily walk back out to the car and change her.
I will take the bag in if I feel like it’s going to take a long time, but I rarely spend more than an hour shopping with her. I will pack a few things in my purse if I’m not taking my bag.
Having a big diaper bag with you is just one more thing you have to worry about. Before you throw it in the cart, think about if you really need it or is it just going to take up space?
6. Wear your baby
Baby wraps and carriers will let you cuddle your baby while picking out produce. (Or which flavor of Doritos you want. I won’t judge.) I had a Moby Wrap that worked well, but there are also some with more structure.
7. Park near a cart corral
This is now a habit for me. You have extra space to get the baby in and out of the car, and you can grab a cart right away. I’ve never carried Toot into a store. I always grab a cart, put the cover on it, pull her out of her car seat, and put her directly into the cart.
You also don’t have to worry about carrying the cover, the bag, and the baby into the store then trying to juggle everything while you put her in the cart.
8. Keep a stroller in your car
We kept the click in stroller in the car when Toot was still in her bucket seat. But it was still easier to put her seat in the cart. Now that she has a toddler seat, we keep a little stroller in the car. It’s good for stores that don’t have carts or if you’re going to a smaller store like a Walgreen’s or Dollar General. The smaller stroller also takes up less space in the trunk, and you don’t have to worry about putting your big stroller back in the car after you take a walk.
9. Do the bulk of your shopping online
I order almost everything from Amazon. If I could order groceries through Amazon Fresh, I would. But I don’t live in an area that offers it. But I do have a Hy-Vee that delivers groceries for free if you order over $100. If you don’t have Amazon Fresh in your area, check out your local stores to see if they have online ordering and delivery.
Some stores also offer pick up which would also be easier than shopping with a baby. Between Amazon and Hy-Vee delivery I didn’t set foot in a store for about three months this year.
Do you enjoy shopping with your baby or do you avoid it all together?
Let me know in the comments below!
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