When you shop with little ones, you have to employ some tips and tricks in order to keep your sanity, leave the store with out every treat and toy, and not spend five times more than you planned because your kids want everything under the sun.
Tip one: Go during a time of the day when your child is not normally napping. If you shop when they should be sleeping, you can bet they will be irritable and grumpy. This is sure to make you irritable and grumpy. So, think about the time before you hit the mall, or even the grocery store.
Trick one: Bring a small toy for the child to play with so they will stay entertained when shopping. This will keep them slightly distracted, and chances are they will ask for fewer items. Or grab a toy for them to play with as soon as you enter the store, that way when they ask for something you can point out they already have something. Chances are they will be sick of it before you leave the store, so you won’t even have to buy it.
Tip two: Take a stroller. It is a lot easier to keep a toddler under control in a mall or shopping center when they have a place they are supposed to be, and your hands are free. Also, strollers come with straps, so that means you get to keep your child securely in place, and you won’t lose them.
Trick two: Pack a juice box into your purse or diaper bag. Just like you, kids get hungry and thirsty when shopping, and are often enticed by the food places and their colorful advertising. It can be very expensive and time consuming to wait in lines and pay for food. A juice box will fit easily in a purse, and is a quick solution for a thirsty child.
Tip three: Make sure your child knows what is planned, and what their role in it will be. They are not going to like just sitting there watching you. Help them take a more active role in the shopping. You can have them put the food items in the cart. You can ask them if they think the shirt is cute, or those pants are too tight. Just be sure to involve them some way so that it is more enjoyable for them.
Trick three: Have a good supply of wipes on hand for sticky faces, runny noses, and of course, dirty diapers. It is also a quick and easy way to sanitize after your child crawls on the floor of the busy mall, or touches the toilet seat in the bathroom. You will feel better about the shopping, and the health of your child, and you won’t be stuck with a sticky mess.
There are many other tips and tricks for shopping with little ones, however, no matter who you are, or how old your little ones are, you need to be sensitive to the fact that they are people. They get tired, hungry, bored, and have to use the restroom. So, if you want your shopping trip to go well, and you are taking children with you, plan ahead. Make sure they have food to eat, can use the bathroom when necessary, have something to do to keep them occupied, and a place to relax (like a stroller or shopping cart) when their little feet get tired.