toddler pushing a small cart around grocery store with bananas inside

How to Grocery Shop with a Baby: The Best Tips and Tricks

Grocery shopping is a chore. Grocery shopping with a baby is a mega-chore! Running this errand with a baby in tow can be daunting. But it’s definitely not impossible! Grocery shopping can be a lot easier if you take the time to plan ahead. Here are some tips and tricks to make the process a little bit easier.

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Before the grocery store

Here are some tips to prepare for a trip to the grocery store. These are things to keep in mind before you load the baby into the car.

Make your grocery list before you go

Between trying to keep your little one entertained and keeping track of what you need to buy, it’s easy to forget something important. One way to make the process a little easier is to take a few minutes to make a grocery list before you leave the house. This way, you can check items off as you put them in your cart, without having to worry about forgetting anything. Create a grocery list of items you need before you go to the store.

Creating a grocery list will also help you stay on budget and prevent those impulse buys (ahem, Oreos or your favorite brownie mix to make these lactation brownie boobie bites).

Go at a time when baby is well-rested and fed

Can you imagine going to the grocery store with a cranky and hangry baby? This will only make this errand more difficult and you will be more stressed out. Go to the grocery store when your baby is well-rested and fed. This will keep everyone happy and energized and make the experience more enjoyable. Well, as enjoyable as grocery shopping can get, I suppose. 😅

Choose a time when the store isn’t too busy

Along the same lines of going grocery shopping when baby is fed and rested, pick a time when the store isn’t too busy. Most of the time, the least crowded times are weekday mornings.

mom smiling at baby in front seat of shopping cart in grocery store

Figure out how you will carry your baby

There are a few different ways to carry your baby while shopping and they each have their own set of pros and cons. The best option for you will depend on some circumstances:

  • Will you have enough space in your car for groceries and a stroller?
  • Will you be shopping by yourself or with a partner/spouse?
  • Is your baby old enough to sit in the grocery cart?
  • Will you have all of your essentials packed in your diaper bag?

Baby slings and wraps are great for keeping your little one close to your body. This is especially true if they are a newborn or a few months old. But, these wraps can be bulky and difficult to put on if you’re by yourself.

Baby carriers are a comfortable option for long periods of wearing, especially if your baby is older and can face outwards. This way, baby can interact with their environment of the grocery store. They can enjoy the sounds, smells, and sights that come with grocery shopping.

Baby strollers can be perfect for taking baby around the grocery store. But they can be cumbersome to carry around and can take up a lot of space in your car. A baby stroller also only makes sense if you have a partner or spouse along for the ride. Or you are picking up only a handful of items and won’t need a cart. There’s no way you can push a stroller AND grocery store around!

If your baby is still in an infant car seat, this is a great option when you’re going to the grocery store. But, please read below on how to safely put the car seat in the shopping cart.

Finally, if your baby is older, you can put them in the grocery cart seat or have them walk alongside you in the store. Maybe they can even help you place items in the cart from your grocery list!

mom carrying baby in carrier grocery shopping

At the grocery store

Okay, so after all the preparation, you’re finally at the grocery store with your baby! Here are some tips on how to make it in and out of the grocery in a snap.

Bring snacks

Bring along a few snacks for your baby – and for you! Just in case you forgot tip #2 OR your baby gets hungry again, extra snacks will help everyone stay calm and prevent any meltdowns. Not being hungry also prevents more impulse buys!

How to safely put your baby’s car seat in the shopping cart

If you need to bring the car seat in while grocery shopping, here are tips to keep your little one safe.

First and foremost, you should never balance the car seat on top of the shopping cart’s toddler seat according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Doing this can make the shopping cart top-heavy. This increases the risk of the entire thing tipping over.

Instead, put the car seat in the cart’s main basket. Be sure to keep any raw meat away from baby. Space may seem limited with the car seat there. But don’t forget the toddler seat and the space under the cart’s main basket for more groceries!

baby in front seat of cart eating an apple in grocery store

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from the store employees

Store employees are there to help while you grocery shop and they provide such valuable assistance.

Especially when you have your hands full with a baby! As a 5-foot mom, I can personally attest that store employees can help in reaching items that are out of your reach. 🤣

Furthermore, don’t hesitate to ask an employee for help in loading your groceries into the car as you’re buckling baby back in the car seat. The store employees are always happy to lend a hand, making grocery shopping with baby just a little easier.

Take your time – there’s no rush!

Finally – take your time when you’re grocery shopping with your baby! If you need to stop and feed or change your baby, that’s totally fine. If your baby is getting fussy, try to engage them with a toy or object they can safely chew on.

And if all else fails, put the items back and come back another day – there’s no shame in that! The most important thing is that you and baby are happy and safe. 🙂

mom showing baby in front seat of cart a tomato while grocery shopping

After the grocery store

Whew! You’re done! Now it’s time to go home and put all your groceries away – at least the perishables. OR ask someone else to put the groceries away. 😉

Once you’re home, take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back. You did it! Now it’s time to relax and enjoy the rest of your day. 🙂

Grocery Shopping with a Baby

Grocery shopping with a baby can be daunting, but it’s not impossible. With some preparation and these handy tips, you’ll make it through the store in no time. And maybe even have a little fun while you’re at it! Be sure to bring along snacks for both you and your baby, put the car seat in the main basket of the grocery cart, and don’t hesitate to ask for help from store employees. Most importantly, relax and take your time while you’re shopping. You’ve got this!

I hope these tips helped make your grocery shopping trips with baby a little bit easier! Do you have any other tips or advice? Please share them in the comments below!

Happy (and safe) shopping, mamas!

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