A new baby will throw your world upside down. Suddenly, simple everyday tasks that you could do on your own become logistical challenges. A trip to the grocery store with a newborn or with other children in tow can seem daunting, but with a few simple tricks, you’ll be strolling the grocery store aisles like a pro. Here are a few tips to make grocery shopping with a baby a bit more manageable.
Where Do I Put My Baby?
Grocery stores have lots of options these days for children’s seats. Newborns are too small for the front seat on most grocery carts, but many stores also offer infant seats that are attached. Bring wipes to give the chairs a thorough clean before putting your baby in one, and make sure not to put your car seat/carrier into a grocery cart as they can become unbalanced.
Another option if you have a stroller is to use the stroller to carry your baby and put your groceries underneath. This may mean that you can’t do a complete family shop of groceries, but you can definitely get the things you need and carry everyone safely. If you have multiples, a large stroller is the only way to go. Another option if your baby isn’t thrilled about riding in a stroller is to use a baby carrier and push a cart.
Timing is Everything
The best time to go grocery shopping with a baby is right after a feed. Their bellies are full, they’re probably a bit sleepy, and the gentle lull of a walk to the grocery store is just the right thing to put them to sleep. At all costs, avoid shopping if your baby is hungry. Do a quick feed in the car, or give them a bottle before you head inside.
Also, try to time your trip for when the store is relatively empty. Early afternoon during the week is a good time, or even first thing in the morning (chances are you’ll be up anyway). Grocery shopping with a baby that is irritable in a crowded store is never fun.
Unless your baby is a champion napper, the best way to navigate shopping with young children is to be as quick as you can. Have a grocery list of what you need ready to go, grab what you need and keep moving. Grocery shopping with a baby is not the time to peruse the aisle for new snacks or take your time comparing salad dressing. Get in, get your food and get out.
Go With the Flow
The most important thing to remember is that you have to go with the flow. Sometimes, your baby will cry no matter what, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Take a breath, grab what you need and get out of there as soon as you can. You’ll probably get some sympathetic glances from other parents who have all been in the same boat.
Other Essentials To Bring Along:
- Snacks – Always bring lots of snacks with you. If you have a toddler, giving them something to snack on can keep them occupied while you get your weekly groceries.
- Hand sanitizer – Make sure that you have hand sanitizer in your bag to clean your baby’s hands before eating any of the snacks.
- Water bottle or an extra bottle of milk – This will make sure that your young children won’t be thirsty as you shop.
- A diaper bag – A diaper bag is a key item for your grocery trip. Make sure that it is packed with a complete change of clothes and a few extra diapers and wipes (just in case).
- Your shopping list – It can be easy to forget what you want to buy at the best of times, let alone when you have your baby with you. Make sure to have your shopping list on your phone or in a notebook to keep you focused and on track.
- Light blanket for cold store aisles – We all know that the frozen and dairy aisles can be quite cold – especially for your kid. Having a light blanket that you can put over them while they’re in the grocery cart or a stroller will help them to stay warm.
Shopping with Older Kids
If you need to bring other children along on a grocery trip and your baby, the best way to make it fun for everyone is to get the older children involved. Get them to find your items for you, or let the younger kids put things in the cart.
Kids like to feel like they are a useful part of the team, and grocery shopping is something they can help with. Also, keep the trip short and bring snacks. Lots of snacks!
Grocery Shopping With Baby in Tow: It’s Not Impossible
While the first time that you go shopping with your baby may seem like a logistical nightmare, with the right preparation it doesn’t have to be. Grocery shopping with children may not be as hassle-free as when you go by yourself but using the tips and tricks above will be sure to help.
Not sure how you’re going to manage your first trip? Recruit a friend or family member to help out. Having someone with you when you go grocery shopping with your baby can be a great benefit until you’re comfortable doing it yourself.