Are you worried about taking baby grocery shopping for the first time? Or maybe you’ve made the trip several times with disastrous results?
Taking baby grocery shopping can be a really stressful experience. Even getting out of the door can be hard enough, so it’s unsurprising many parents end up dreading the trip to the store. However, there are ways you can make shopping with your little one that little bit easier. Here, you’ll discover some essential tips for grocery shopping with baby.
Be Prepared And Choose The Best Time
The key to handling any situation successfully is to be prepared and grocery shopping with a baby is no exception. You can significantly reduce the stress by making sure you have everything you need before you leave the house, including a grocery list.
Knowing what you’re actually going to the store for will speed up your trip and eliminate the chance you’ll forget something. Pack your diaper bag and make sure you have everything you could possibly need, regardless of how long you plan to be at the store.
It’s also a good idea to pay attention to the time you’re planning on going shopping. Many parents recommend taking baby shopping right after they’ve had a feed. That way, there’s a good chance they’ll actually fall asleep, or at the very least they’ll be content and less likely to make a fuss.
Avoid Going Alone (If You Can)
Now, not every parent is going to be able to avoid going grocery shopping alone, but if you can, you should. Whether it’s with your partner, friend or relative, going to the store together will be a much more relaxing experience; particularly when you get to the checkout. One person will be able to watch baby, while the other can be in charge of packing and paying.
Consider Taking Baby’s Car Seat
Often, getting to the grocery store is easy as many babies love to fall asleep in the car. It’s soothing for them, so the trip is typically quite a peaceful one. However, once you arrive and you’ve parked up, you face the dilemma of waking baby to take them into the store and that’s when the problems start.
Your little one is unlikely to be happy about having their nap cut short, so to avoid this, it could be worth taking the car seat into the store with you. If you do this, they may not wake up at all throughout the trip, leaving you plenty of time to shop in peace.
Pay Attention To The Carts
It may sound silly, but when you pick which store to shop at, you might want to pay attention to the carts. You’ll notice different stores have different types of shopping carts. Some are much larger and provide shelves underneath, along with a space to fit a car seat. It’s surprising just how much of a difference the right cart can make to your shopping experience with baby.
So, research which stores have the best baby-friendly shopping carts and resolve to use them for a more relaxing experience.
The most common way to park with a baby is right at the front of the store. However, did you know it might actually be easier to park right by a shopping cart bay?
The car park at front of the store can often become extremely busy; especially during peak times. However, if you park right by the shopping cart bay, not only will you find it quicker and easier to park, but you’ll also find it much quicker to get your groceries into the car and put the cart back without abandoning baby for a couple of minutes.
Another benefit of parking by a shopping cart bay, is you can load baby into the cart easier on arrival. It can be pretty chaotic trying to rush to get baby loaded into the cart when there’s lots of people trying to squeeze past you. So, choose your parking spot wisely and consider parking near the shopping cart bay.
Take A Good Distraction
While sometimes you’ll be able to get away with doing your shopping while baby is sleeping, it’s not a 100% guarantee. One of the main reasons babies become fussy during grocery shopping is because they get bored. For that reason, it’s worth taking a few distractions.
These could be your baby’s favorite toys or a snack if baby is already weaned. Toys generally tend to be the most popular option, but a pacifier could also help if you use them.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
Do you find your shopping trip usually goes perfectly smoothly until you reach the checkout? If baby tends to become fussy while you’re trying to pack and pay for your groceries, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Staff are usually happy to lend a hand while you see to baby. They’ll pack for you, leaving you with both hands free to attend to your little one’s needs.
Keep Yourself Relaxed
Out of all of the tips on the list, this one is definitely the hardest to put into practice. When you’ve had a stressful morning, your baby is crying uncontrollably, and everyone is staring at you, it’s hard not to become over-stressed.
However, what you need to remind yourself is babies cry, sometimes a lot! You’re also unlikely to see the people in the store again, or at least not for a long time. So, rather than getting yourself worked up, take a few deep breaths, relax and do what you can. If you forget something, you can always pop back again or ask a friend, spouse or family member to pick up what you forgot. Just be kind to yourself and don’t sweat it.
Consider Ordering Online
Thanks to technology, you don’t necessarily need to leave the house to do your grocery shopping. If you’re really worried about heading out, or you just need a break from the stress, why not order online?
You can decide what you want from the comfort of your own home, then sit back and wait for it to be delivered. Online shopping can be a godsend for parents; especially those with a newborn. So, why go through all of the hassle when you really don’t need to?
Even if you follow all of the tips above, it doesn’t guarantee a perfectly relaxed and happy shopping experience. However, they can make it a lot less stressful! Do you have any of your own tips other parents may find useful? Do us all a favor and share them below!