You probably already know, it’s not safe to put your baby in their car seat and balance it on top of a standard cart. Please, please, please don’t do this! It makes my heart skip a beat every time I see it done. There are so many other ways that you can shop with your infant who can’t sit up.
Here is what we have found to work well in terms of shopping with an infant:
1. Baby Wearing: I know baby wearing isn’t for everyone. However, I LOVE baby wearing. Before baby, I hated to grocery shop. However once our little guy arrived I learned to love grocery shopping because it was a time when the two of us could bond via baby wearing. It’s easy to shop with the little guy strapped to me and he enjoys it. Recently our little guy graduated to forward facing baby wearing and it’s a whole new adventure for him. He gets to see everything I do.
If you are new to baby wearing here are a few recommendations for baby wearing wraps/carriers:
- Wrap Carrier – This is what I use and love. There is a slight learning curve to this as you have to figure out how to wrap it. But once you figure it out you will love it! This wrap was the only way I survived the newborn months and it’s now an invaluable tool when I’m shopping. My little guy is now 5 months old and he still love it!
- Baby K’tan – If you aren’t interested in learning how to wrap yourself up and want something easier to use check out the Baby K’tan. This was my husband’s preferred baby wearing carrier. It was easier to use. I didn’t like it as much because you can’t tighten it as much as you can with the above wrap. It’s still a great carrier though and would be perfect for shopping with your infant.
- Structured Carrier – If you want something even easier to use check out a structured baby carrier. If you are using a baby carrier for an infant many of them require special inserts. If you would like a baby carrier that works for infants to larger baby (45 lbs) check out the LILLEbaby. It grows with your baby and you don’t need to purchase additional accessories.
2. Shopping Cart Hammock: The shopping cart hammocks from Binxy Baby are super easy to use. You just clip each end of the hammock to any standard size cart (sorry they don’t work on over sized carts like the ones at Costco) and then you attach a small piece of velcro around the cart side for extra security. I was surprised at how securely these things attach to a number of different carts at different stores. The hammock doesn’t take up much cart space so you are free to buy as much as you like!
Every time I go to the store using this hammock I get stopped multiple times by shoppers asking where I got my Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock. It is a fantastic invention! My little guy very much enjoys riding around in it and he is often asleep by the end of the shopping trip.
3. Your Stroller: Yes, you can bring your stroller into the store and use it to shop! If I have a smaller shopping trip I use this strategy. Hopefully you have a stroller with a good amount of storage space below. We have the UppaBaby Vista which has lots of storage space. If you plan to use this method when shopping with your infant I recommend leaving the big diaper bag in the car as it takes up needed stroller space. Just toss what you absolutely need into the stroller.
To help your shopping trip go smoothly here are a few additional tips that I’ve learned along the way:
- Park near the cart storage racks. By doing this you can get everyone situated before you get into the store and you can put your cart away without leaving your baby alone.
- Create a shopping list before you get to the store. Having a baby is just one more thing to distract you while shopping. I find it helpful to plan my trip out before I get there.
- Go at non-peak shopping hours. I like to go after my little guy’s first feeding (ie 6:30am!). The store is nice and empty when we shop.
- You will also want to go at a time when you aren’t rushed. It does take longer when shopping with an infant. If you are stressed about fitting your shopping into a small amount of time your infant will feed off your stress.
I hope you have found this information helpful and that you now have the confidence to shop with your baby who can’t yet sit up. If you have a shopping strategy that isn’t listed above be sure to leave your recommendations below for others to read and learn!