Shopping with your baby is never easy. They want to see everything that’s going on around them or they become restless and want to be held while you’re trying to do a transaction at the till. Unless, of course, they’re fast asleep. But even then, you know that’s not going to last with all the noise of a shopping centre and the busy people walking past. It won’t take long for them to be awake in their pram or baby jogger and quite possibly making a large amount of noise.
Visiting a shopping centre with a little one can be a mission sometimes. However, if you take into account the following top tips for shopping with your baby, you’ll be able to make your purchases uninterrupted.
Use the right baby travel systems
Once you take them out of their car seat, you need to decide how you’re going to transport your child through the stores. You can use an easy fold baby carrier to keep your baby close or you can use a baby pram. If your child needs to constantly be soothed when you’re out in public, then carrying them strapped to your chest may be best because they can feel your body warmth and know that they are safe. However, if you’re going to visiting multiple stores or grocery shopping for a long period, then it’s a good idea to use a baby stroller.
It’s important to keep your baby comfortable while being able to move among the crowds easily. This is why stroller travel systems are popular with many parents.
Don’t leave the toys at home
You may be tempted to leave your little one’s favourite stuffed animal at home because if it goes missing, you know you’ll be in for many tears. However, you want your child to be entertained while you’re making your purchases. This is why you should have dedicated toys which you keep on the front tray of the pram to keep your baby happy. If your baby is too young to sit up and play, you should consider hanging a mobile from the top of the stroller. Just make sure it’s not a musical mobile and whatever toys you choose don’t make a lot of noise. Your fellow shoppers won’t appreciate that.
Make sure your baby is comfortable
Make sure your baby is wearing something comfortable and appropriate for the air conditioning in the shopping centre. Most shopping centres in South Africa are kept cool during the summer months as it can become increasingly hot. Of course, don’t over-dress your baby. Rather layer on clothing and tuck them in with a snug blankie that you can remove if they become a little too warm.
It’s also a good idea to ensure that the clothing your baby is wearing makes it easy for you to change their nappy at the shopping centre bathroom changing station. You don’t want to have to fully undress your little one while you have a million shopping bags with you.
Don’t shop during peak hours
If you’re a stay-at-home mother, then you can simply choose the mid-morning weekday hours to go shopping. It’s still difficult, don’t get us wrong, but it’s easier without having to navigate through the crowds. However, if you’re a working mum, you’re going to have to plan carefully when it comes to visiting the shopping centre. For example, avoid shopping on the weekend after payday. It’s the worst time to go shopping in general, but with a baby, it can be far more difficult. Avoid shopping centres mid-morning on Saturdays. Sunday afternoons are generally the best times to go shopping with a baby because there are fewer people in the centre as most people want to relax before they head back to work on Monday.
Pack snacks and juice
If your baby is no longer drinking milk and is eating solid food (or even mushed up food), you should keep something to feed them with you. You never know when your little one will get hungry and start making a fuss. They may also become thirsty and you don’t want to have to disrupt your shopping to go find baby-friendly juice or water.
Taking your baby shopping with you may seem like a daunting task. However, it doesn’t need to be if you properly prepare, plan to go at the right time and make sure they’re comfortable. And, finally, remember to stay calm. Nothing stresses your child out as much as seeing you stress. Relax, take a deep breath and buy what you need to buy.