Every mom knows that shopping with the baby is hard. I can remember well when my kids were babies, honestly most of the time it was just easier to stay home! But there are times when you have to go out and shop, you know, like when you don't have much food in the house or enough toilet paper to last another day.
So when you can't beg your mom, mother-in-law, or best friend to go out shopping for you, you need to know how to best prepare yourself to tackle this task on your own.
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These tips for shopping with the baby can help
Make Sure the Baby is Fed
This seems like a no brainer, but I can't count how many times I thought to myself, “oh, he ate an hour and a half ago, he'll be fine until we get back home.” NOT!
Once I figured out that feeding my little one was the last thing I should do before I headed out the door, things got a little easier. At least I knew then that I had anywhere from 2-4 hours. Of course, this depends on your baby's eating schedule, but usually it gives you enough time to do a full on shopping at one store anyway.
Bring Changes of Diapers and Clothing
Even starting out with a clean diaper and clothing, as I'm sure you know by now, nothing with a baby ever goes according to plan. You could be half way through your shopping and all of a sudden they have a blow out and poop all.over.everything.
Now unless you don't mind abandoning your cart of groceries to run home (only to have to return and try doing the exact same thing again the next day), be ready to head to the rest room and get your little one all cleaned up.
Again, speaking from experience here. When my son was born I thought I could just run out quickly and only pack a diaper and some baby wipes. But one huge blowout later (all over my husband's co worker, none the less…we were visiting him for lunch, ha ha!) and I learned real quick that I needed to also bring extra clothing along, even for just a quick trip out.
Try to Time Shopping During Naptime
If you're lucky enough to have an infant that tends to adhere to a regular schedule (and I mean that you are lucky, trust me, not all babies do that!) then timing your shopping trip to coincide with naptime is the way to go. You can bring them into the store while sleeping in their car seat. It's easier for you, for them, and for everyone in the store that gets to oh and ah at your blissfully sleeping baby.
Now if your baby is a little older, this could be more tricky, depending on how heavy of a sleeper they are. My son was a super heavy sleeper, I used to lift him out of his car seat and lay him on a blanket in the shopping cart and he wouldn't even wake up. I can remember stacking the items I was buying in the top section of the cart where my purse was, and also fitting a few things in around him. Oh plus the bottom of the cart of course. It probably looked hilarious but it worked!
My oldest daughter on the other hand was different. I could get her out of her car seat, lay her on a blanket in the shopping cart and make my way to the store. As soon as she heard those automatic doors open she would wake up, every time! So shopping with her proved to be a bit more difficult.
However, parent nowadays have many advantages including that I didn't have in my day. Using a shopping cart hammock is one of them. Rather than lugging around that heavy car seat, consider this alternative.
No judgment here, some moms give their babies a pacifier and some don't. But if you do, bringing one along when shopping with the baby. It could very well save the day if your little one becomes fussy but doesn't necessarily need to be fed right away. I think only two out of my four would even take a pacifier, and it wasn't all that much. But when they would, I was happy to give it to them.
These cute pacifier holder animals make bringing along your babies pacifier convenient and fun!
If it's at all possible to get help, then by all means, bring reinforcements! Shopping with the baby is always easier with an extra set of hands (and eyes).
When your child is first born you might have an attitude that you can do everything yourself. Or maybe even that only want help from certain people. But once you experience what doing everything with a baby is like, I bet you'll change your tune real quick. I know I did.
Don't be afraid to take help when it's offered and ask for help when you need it.
And now, the best tip ever for shopping with the baby
This tip makes all the others null and void, because when you shop online, you don't have to worry about any of the things listed above! Now mind you, when my kids were babies this wasn't an option. The reason for my tips above is that is how I had to shop anytime we needed something.
But the internet has changed all of that. Now you can shop from the comfort of your own home whether your baby is eating or sleeping. You can even step away for a quick diaper change if need be! Moms of today are fortunate to have this available. Trust me, I would have shopped online all the time if it were available years ago.
That being said, there are going to be times where the tips above will apply even if you do most of your shopping online. You might run out of something that you absolutely have to have, or you might find a sale so good that you just can't miss it. So I think these tips will still be valuable to you.
Another great tip for shopping online is to use Ebates. Read my honest answers to the most common questions about Ebates in this post.
These are the best tips for shopping with baby that I could remember from when my kids were small. Maybe you have some great tips of your own? Please feel free to share them with us in the comments, your advice could very well help another mom.
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