There should be a category in the Olympics for shopping with young kids. Moms with small children and newborns deserve an automatic gold medal! To keep your sanity—and to feel like a total winner—read these 4 unique tips that experienced mothers stand by.
1. Schedule all shopping trips around nap times and meal times.
This seems like a no-brainer, but we’ve all tried squeezing that last-minute Target run in between our toddler’s nap time or a few minutes before our newborn needs a feeding. It isn’t worth it, and it will never take fifteen minutes like you hope it will. It’s easy to forget how irrational and emotional kids become when they’re hungry or tired. During this vulnerable state, their impatience levels triples. A shopping trip will only exacerbate their emotions, so make sure to schedule them smartly.
2. Keep your young ones close.
When considering how to shop with newborns and young toddlers, understand how overwhelmed they can feel in large, noisy new places. Since you are their greatest source of comfort, they are going to be calmer if they’re closer to you. Opt for an awesome newborn baby carrier. These versatile carriers are a huge mommy favorite! They can be used from the time kids are newborns up until 48 months, making shopping so much easier. Newborns stay snuggled close to your chest, which they love, and toddlers get to sit in an outward-facing position that will allow them to see more of the store. These carriers are a serious lifesaver, and many moms prefer them over strollers or shopping carts. They are much more comfortable for the baby and they keep the mother’s hands-free.
3. Make shopping time treat time.
Unless you’re strolling through the women’s underwear section, your kid is going to want something they see. Be it candy, toys, or their favorite cereal, they’ll be begging you to buy it for them. Avoid the battle and present them with a treat at the beginning of your shopping trip (for older kids, promise them their treat after 5 minutes of good behavior). If they begin to associate shopping trips with special treats from your purse, they’ll naturally be more excited to accompany you. A mommy trick is to give sugar-free suckers, as they take longer to eat and will keep your child happier, giving you more time to shop!
4. Understand their perspective.
How would you feel if someone dragged you somewhere you didn’t want to go? What if someone told you that you couldn’t touch anything, but they got to touch whatever they wanted? What if someone told you “no” to every item you wanted to put in the cart, but they got to put in everything that they wanted? You would be very frustrated!
As long as they aren’t in monster mode, or damaging anything in the store, try not to discourage your young child’s curiosity in the store. Let them take things off the shelf, and help replace them when they’re finished. This reinforces responsible behavior, and though it might add a few minutes to your shopping trip, it will keep everyone in a good mood (ie, totally worth it).