Making Shopping Trips with the Kids Fun & Easy

Do you avoid shopping with your kids? Or, do you love it? Or, are you trying to learn how to love it? Shopping with your kids can be fun, easy, or at least less stressful if you plan ahead and are open to ‘going with the flow’ and learning from your kids!

This is a picure I found of my oldest daughter Lyla, when she was only about 7 months old, during a shopping trip to Costco.

I admit, it took me a long time after having my first daughter to attempt a ‘full blown’ shopping trip solo. In my mind as a new mom, there were so many things to consider. Do I use a cart, a stroller, or a baby carrier? What happens if it is winter and I need to transfer her out of her convertible car seat and into her carrier or stroller? What if she starts crying in the middle of the trip? What if she wants to breastfeed? And, this was only with one child!

After the birth of my youngest daughter, things got even more interesting. Because she was a preemie, the NICU recommended keeping her out of highly public places, especially during cold and flu season. So, the first trip with both of them together took a bit longer. I remember that first trip with both kids as if it were yesterday. The actual trip wasn’t bad, but by the end, they were done! Done, done, done! As we got to the checkout, they started to cry – and as one started to cry, so did the other. I felt all eyes were on me. So I tried to get everything together, pay for my large grocery trip (I’m not sure what I was thinking), and keep composed. I was offered help by a stranger but was too proud to accept it.

With my first, we started with little shopping trips. With time, I became more confident to go on a grocery shopping trip with just me and my daughter. Once my youngest started to come along, it was a learning curve again, but we got through it, learned new tips and tricks, and often ended up having a great time!

My babies were both curious and that made shopping trips more fun and entertaining for them; there was so much for her to look at (and to try and grab for)!  Just in case, I made sure I was prepared with extra toys, books, and things to keep her busy. Toys that attach on to the cart made it convenient for her and good because we are more likely to leave the store with all of the toys that we came in with (shoes sometimes were another story!).  Throughout the trip, we had fun chatting with each other, making faces, and playing little games – like Eye-Spy.  I learned that we could make it an educational opportunity by listing things as I saw them or as my daughter grabbed for them, or by simply answering questions. As they get older, there are still lots of questions and I see it as a chance to learn about different things – like nutrition and living healthy!

What do you do to keep your shopping trips fun and easy with your little ones in tow?