I have discovered several ways to grocery shop with a baby. To be perfectly honest, I would much rather speed-shop by myself and call it “me time” than bring a little one if I have the choice. Or order nearly all my food online and forgo the outing altogether, but sometimes, you just gotta hit the supermarket together.
When you’re building your skills as a shopper with baby in tow, I propose you go to the store for just one thing to practice. Here are a few methods that I’ve used with varying degrees of success.
Strap the baby on
For very small, cuddly, or sleepy babies, wearing is the way to go. Put the baby in a front carrier before you grab a cart and shop. I ask for help from friendly strangers to manage a few heavy or awkward purchases.
Stroller as shopping cart
For a quick trip, some stores might not mind you using your stroller’s under-carriage basket as a receptacle for shopping. Unfortunately, my grocery store says, “No way” to this practice since it’s too easy to walk out without paying, especially with mommy brain. (You can also try hanging a basket off the stroller handles.)
Shopping cart as stroller
Put the infant car seat right into the shopping cart’s main basket and strategically arrange your food items around it. Your capacity will be greatly minimized by this approach, but it is MUCH SAFER than propping the bucket on the cart’s built-in child seat. You may see other parents doing that but trust us- not worth the risk.
Baby in the child seat
Once your child can reliably sit, the built-in seat is terrific. Your babe is at eye-level for conversations and handing little snacks. I always use the antibacterial wipes (now provided by my store) to wipe down the handle and other parts of the cart going into my baby’s hands or mouth. There are also fabric seat protectors available.