How To Grocery Shop With A Newborn Safely
To be a new mom has its many challenges. But I bet that you have never thought that shopping might be one of them. Yes, something that you used to enjoy turns into a daunting task when you have a fussy, crying baby with you.
Unfortunately, you can’t stay at home forever with the baby, especially if you run out of food and your husband is away. You can’t leave the little one alone, so you are left wondering how to go to the shop.
How to grocery shop with a newborn safely?. You’ve come to the right place for help. I’m going to tell you in details how to grocery shop with your newborn safely and quickly in just 10 steps.
What do you need for your grocery run?
Let’s start with a short list of everything you need to shop with your baby.
- a grocery list
- a carrier
- a cart
- a diaper bag
- a pacifier
- a burp cloth
- favorite toy
- if possible, get someone to help you
A carrier vs. car seat
You might have seen mothers who shop with their babies by putting the car seat on the shopping cart. Don’t do that. It’s not safe. These shopping carts are not the most stable thing in the world, and they can easily tip over, especially when you start piling your groceries.
Another option is to put the seat inside and cart and secure it. However, if you do that, you won’t have much space left for your purchases. As a result, you may not be able to get everything that you need, and you’ll need a second grocery run.
Besides, your car seat might not fit in the cart. Then you are in big troubles if you don’t have a carrier.
Should I opt for a stroller then, you ask yourself? Well, it depends on whether you can manage to push both the stroller and the cart. In most cases, this is very exhausting.
So, it’s for the best to use a baby carrier. If your newborn is under four months, a front-facing carrier is recommended, while babies that can sit up and support themselves can be worn in back-facing carriers.
A great advantage of the carrier is that your child will be close to you and you’ll be able to react if he gets fussy. Moreover, this promotes mother-child bonding.
How to shop with a newborn?
When it comes to shopping, don’t be too stressed. If you are nervous, your baby will feel it, and the last thing you want is both of you to be anxious.
Let’s see what steps you should take to survive a trip with your newborn to your local supermarket.
1. Make a plan
The first thing to do before going out with your baby is to plan. You want to be in and out of the store as quickly as possible with minimal distractions. So what do you do?
- Think about what groceries you need.
- Make a detailed list.
- Organize the list by category or aisle.
- Stick to the list.
The last thing you need is to make numerous trips back and forth from one section to another with a bawling child on your hands.
2. Pick the right time for shopping
Imagine the following situation: You’re at the supermarket, your baby is crying, and there is a long queue between you and the cash register. People are staring, your child is wailing, and you are so panicked that you can’t think straight.
To avoid such a nightmarish scenario, you can’t go to the store on a whim. You have to think about your baby schedule and adapt.
The best hours for shopping with a newborn are in the early morning when the place won’t be very crowded. Your little one won’t be so much distracted by the noise, and it’s less likely that he will get overwhelmed or scared.
Moreover, you will be able to exit the store in haste if the baby gets too fussy.
Some mothers report that they visit the store during nap time and that their children spend almost the whole time sleeping.
However, if your baby wakes up while you’re still at the store, he might not appreciate the unfamiliar surroundings.
3. Pack the necessities
After you have made your plan and picked the time for shopping, it’s time to prepare your diaper bag. Don’t pack too heavily. You’re not going on a vacation. Nevertheless, it’s better to expect the unexpected. You never know how much time shopping will last. Pack:
- Diapers (if you ask me, more is better than less)
- If you are bottle feeding, take an extra bottle
- Several packs of wipes
- Burp cloths
- A shirt for you, for those occasions, when the baby spits or vomits on you.
- A plastic bag to take all the messy clothes back home.
- A pacifier and some toys
Here’s an informative video you can watch to help you pack.
4. Feed the baby
You don’t want to have to stop to feed the baby in the supermarket or the parking area, do you? So, before you head out to the store, nurse the little one and make sure that he is rested and in a good mood.
If you child looks cranky, it’s for the best to leave the shopping for another day. There is nothing more horrible that shopping with a fussy baby.
5. Choose the parking spot
You have your grocery list, your diaper bag, and the baby is fed and rested. Put the little one in the removable car seat, and strap it down securely. Now, you are ready to go to the supermarket.
When you arrive, forget all about the closest available parking spot. You want a spot which is near the cart area so that you can grab the cart and head directly into the store.
Otherwise, you’ll have to dash through the parking lot after you have unloaded the groceries in your car to return the cart.
6. Put the baby in the carrier
After you have arrived in the parking lot, it’s time to decide whether you’re going to use a carrier or carry the baby in the removable infant car seat. You remember what I told you about placing the baby on top of the shopping cart, don’t you?
Nevertheless, I’m going to say it again. Never do that. It’s okay to put the car seat inside the basket of the cart, but never, never on it.
What’s more, think how many people use these carts every day and how many germs lurk there. So weigh the pros and cons carefully.
7. Pick the cart
If you are lucky, your store might offer carts with built-in seats for babies. These are safe to use. Don’t despair if you don’t see one in the cart area. Ask the clerk assistant if there are any available.
If the cart has a shelf underneath for storage, it’s even better because you won’t have to drag the heavy diaper bag around.
However, if you use a shopping cart to carry your baby, it’s a good idea to get a cart cover to avoid all those nasty germs that I told you about in the previous step.
I can recommend to you the Lumiere Shopping Cart Cover for Baby, Machine Washable which has a removable positioner to keep your baby secure. Moreover, it folds down to a compact pouch that you can carry easily.
Watch this video for more advice on picking the right shopping cart.
8. Stick to the plan
Once inside the store, don’t get carried away. Stick to your grocery list and try to get everything done as quickly as possible with minimum delay.
But what should you do if the baby starts fussing around? Try to distract him. If you are wearing a baby carrier, try bouncing the little one. Speaking and signing might also do the trick or his favorite toy and the pacifier.
9. Load the groceries in your car
After you have finished with your shopping, put the baby back into the car and strap it down. Unload the groceries and return the cart. It wasn’t so hard as you imagine it, right?
But what do you do if you haven’t managed to find a spot close to the cart return slots? In this case, you won’t have any other choice but to dash madly through the parking lot and return as quickly as possible to your car and baby.
10. Unload the groceries and the baby
When you go home, it’s time to unload the groceries. The easiest way to do that is if you have help – someone to carry the purchases, while you deal with your child. If there is no one on the line to assist you, get the baby first and come back for the groceries later.
Well, this is how you shop with a newborn. The most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t panic. Not every time everything will play out as you imagine it. You just have to be prepared. Take extra diapers and a change of clothes, and you’ll be fine.
I hope that I have been useful to you and that your first grocery shop will be a pleasant one. If you have already made your first grocery run, please share your experience. We would love to hear how you manage to shop with your child.