Shopping is a fun and exciting thing for some, and a necessary evil for others. Then there is the in between. Most parents of small children look forward to shopping with a little dread as well. It is nice to get out of the house and do something, but shopping with kids can be hard. So, if you fit in this category, don’t leave home without….
A stroller: No matter if your child is five years old or six months, you are going to need somewhere and something to contain them when shopping. A stroller is an excellent way to keep them contained as it has straps. It is easy to use, because it has wheels. It keeps your hands free. And, it is a place for them to rest if their legs get tired, or they can’t walk yet. It is also a convenient place to hang a purse, diaper bag, shopping bags, etc.
Diapers: If you are shopping with little ones in tow, it is always a good idea to have diapers on hand. Even if you are running to the store for five minutes, and you changed them right before you left, take a diaper.
Wipes: These are great for the obvious reasons like changing dirty diapers, but they also make shopping easier in other ways. A wipe makes a great tissue for the nose that is running, a great wash cloth for dirty hands or faces, and a great way to get the sticky off, and the hands sanitized.
A snack of some kind: Shopping with little ones is much easier if they are not hungry, and if they have something fun, like a treat to keep them occupied. A snack is going to make your trip easier as well because it means you can avoid waiting in long lines at the food court, and it means not spending money you do not have to, and it means instant gratification for the child. So, whether you want to take fresh fruit, or fruit snacks, it does not matter, just have something edible your child likes on hand when shopping.
A drink: Kids get thirsty. A thirsty kid is prone to screaming and crying and whining until they get something. So, make sure you have a cup or bottle (which ever is easier for the child) and take along some juice, or water to appease the child. A juice box is a convenient little package that fits easily into a purse or diaper bag, and can be a huge help should a child want something.
An entertainment product: Children get bored, and while you may really enjoy shopping, they are going to ask you for any and everything that looks fun if they are not entertained. So, bring a long a small book, a small toy, or something for them to do while they sit in the cart or stroller. If you forget to bring something with you, make sure you involve the child in the event so that they do not feel left out or unimportant. If you talk to them, ask them engaging questions, and let them help in the shopping process, it will be more enjoyable for all.
Well, now you know what you can’t leave home without if you are going to shop with little ones and keep your sanity. The better you prepare and plan, the better the experience you will have, and the easier it will be to take your children with you.