I used to think it was scary to take one child grocery shopping. Then I had two.
Going to the grocery store is one of my least favorite errands. Add two kids in the mix and… yeah, not interested. But my family has to eat, so I had to figure out a way to get everyone to and from the store with minimal complaint. If you’re facing the prospect of grocery shopping with a newborn and toddler, read on for my best survival advice.
Park by the Cart Corral
Always park next to the cart corral. This allows you to quickly grab a cart upon arrival and easily return it when you’re done shopping. You can transfer your kids directly from the car to the cart, instead of having to drag them inside the store while hoping no one runs in front of a car or darts away from you once inside.
Use a Binxy Baby for your Infant
This thing is a must-have for grocery shopping with a newborn and toddler. Seriously. The Binxy Baby shopping cart hammock securely attaches to the cart and gives Baby a place to rest while you shop. You can lay Baby directly in the hammock or strap an infant carseat into the hammock. Personally, I’ve always laid Blair directly in the hammock. She seems comfortable and I don’t want to mess with a good thing!
I didn’t know about Binxy Baby when Colton was a baby, so I always put his infant carrier directly in the cart. This setup left me with approximately 3% of cart space remaining. Not exactly ideal when you’re trying to buy a week’s worth of groceries. Binxy Baby sits high enough in the cart that I can put groceries underneath it, allowing me full use of the cart space.
As a bonus, Colton likes to look back and “play” with Blair while she rides in her hammock. It’s so sweet to see the two of them interact. Right now, they both love to spend time together. I’m a lucky mama!
It’s a universal truth that all toddlers love snacks. Pack a couple baggies of snacks in your diaper bag to keep your toddler occupied while you shop. Bonus: This [sometimes] prevents said toddler from asking to “sample” every item in the store.
Some grocery stores offer free fruit for kids in the produce section and/or free cookies in the bakery. Always take advantage of these freebies!
Have a List
Bring a detailed list with you to the store. Bonus points if you organize it by department [produce, deli, etc.]. There is no leisurely strolling the aisles with two kids in tow. You need to know what you want and get it fast.
Choose the Right Time
I always make sure both kids are fed and Colton has used the potty right before we go. This minimizes the chances that we’ll need to stop the trip to breastfeed or for a potty break. Some moms can breastfeed while walking around the store, but I’m not coordinated enough for that! So, I just make sure she eats before we go.
I usually shop in the mornings because Colton is in a better mood and less antsy then. Plus, the stores are less busy in the mornings!
Talk to Your Toddler
I talk to Colton as we shop, which helps keep him occupied. I tell him what’s next on the list, how many of a certain item we need, what brand we need to purchase, etc. Sometimes I’ll ask him to look for something on the shelf for me. I like to have him involved as much as he is willing.
Keep an Open Mind about Grocery Shopping with a Newborn and Toddler
Going anywhere with two little ones is challenging. Keep an open mind and don’t get discouraged if someone has a bad day. If you have to leave the store, just leave. No shame in getting take-out and trying again another day!
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Want more baby + toddler tips? See how we potty trained while 7 months pregnant, how to entertain a toddler while breastfeeding a newborn, and how to save money on kids’ wardrobes!