We have all heard the stories (and some of us have experienced this first hand) about horror shopping with toddlers. So, today we have gathered several parents to share with all of us tips how to get in and out, even enjoy shopping with toddlers.
Somehow like toddlers know how to act up and put up a tantrum at the worst possible moment. And one of those moments is surely in store filled with other people who are looking at you and thinking: “What’s with that child? And why his / her parents are not doing something to stop this yelling?!”.
How to Survive Shopping with Toddlers?
Let’s see what our parents have to say!
Order online! I have twins who are two and I do try to go shopping without them as often as I can (especially as they don’t have double trolleys in Spain). If I do take them, I sacrifice something to the ‘shopping gods’. I try to make it healthy. I’ve come home with bites out of the peppers and cucumbers. I avoid the sweets and biscuit aisle and smile sweetly at the assistants (probably look haggard and worn out). But they normally take pity on me and help me pack. Probably to get me out of the shop as quickly as possible!
shared by Dr.Orlena Kerek, mother to 3 boys (6, 4 and 2 year olds) and girl (2 year old), author at Snotty Noses
Take a note about toddler’s mood.
My son really wasn’t ever that challenging when I would take him shopping as a toddler. I find that now that he’s a preschooler and doesn’t want to sit in the cart anymore – things are getting challenging! But I guess when I really think about it, I always made sure that A) my son was well-rested when we went shopping, B) we went in the morning when he was usually in the best mood, and C) I always had a small snack ready for sugar-low crankiness.
Shared by Sue, mother to 3 year old boy, author at One Time Though
Involve toddler in shopping
The best way I’ve found to manage shopping with young children is to make sure I involve them in some way. I talk to them about what I see around me, or what we will do with what we’re buying.
Shared by Deborah, mother to 2 boys (8 and 6 year old) and 3 girls (9, 4 and 1 year old), author at Mommy Crusader and her Knights and Ladies
Set a time without rushing
When I do take my little ones shopping with me u make sure that time is not an issue and I’m prepared to spend a good chunk of the day out with them. I include them in the shopping they are especially good for getting stuff from the lower shelves. I like that in my area the stores carry them little kiddie shopping carts. I make good use of those. Before we even start to shopping we stop and grab a bite to eat and talk about our outside. After the shopping is done we stop and have a lunch and then head home. I find making a fun day of it makes the trip so much more better.
Shared by Natasha, mother to 4 kids (15, 11, 4, 2) author at Tiny Tots Adventures
Play a game during shopping with toddler
I always try to go when my toddlers aren’t hungry or tired, and even then I bring lots of snacks. We also play games like “I Spy…” when shopping, and I let them “help” by telling me when they see certain things. And I make sure that I am prepared with a list of what I need so I can get in and out fast!
Shared by Laura, mother to 2 twin boys(2,5 years old), author at Sunny Day Family
Make it short
I do big shops online every time but for those little errands you have to run I spread them out across the week. A few short trips is better than one long one and it gives us a trip out of the house on those quieter days
Shared by Gemma, Early Years Teacher and mother to 2 (3 and 1 years old),
author at The Adventures of Meemoo and Pook.
When it comes to shopping, I find it works to plan ahead. Have a list, have a plan as to when you will go, as to what the kids will do but most of all, have them well rested and fed. A hungry and sleepy child will be most likely to throw a tantrum. I also avoid going shopping at nap times.
Shared by Ayesha, mother to 3 (7 and 2 and 1 years old), author at Words’n’Needles
Teach toddler proper shopping manners
One of my toddler’s favorite books is “The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmes” – we have used that as a discussion starter for proper etiquette when grocery shopping. We also talk a lot about how the checkout line “goodies” are like a commercial on TV — usually trying to sell us stuff we don’t need. Usually my son is very well behaved. I often give him the grocery list to hold and cross things off (or his own list when he was younger). Now that he’s bigger we get a cart with an extra seat in it – and he can hop out and help me grab things. He has a lot of fun being a big helper. At the checkout line, he helps put things on the conveyor. For us, it’s been all about letting my toddler feel useful. His reward is simple. While the grocer rings up our food, my toddler can go over to the mechanical horse and get a pony ride for a penny. There are often kind souls who leave pennies on the base, so he can do the entire thing himself (and yes, we’ve left pennies for other kids to find!).
Shared by Betsy, mother to 2 boys (3 years and 6 months), author at Betsy’s Photography
Book About Emotions for Kids
Perfect set for children to explain emotions and how to handle them! This box set includes 8 Emotion Books about: anger, anxiety, happiness, sadness, love, confidence, peacefulness and A Little Scribble SPOT. There is also a plushie set you can purchase independently with a book about feelings.
Looking for More Parenting Tips?
- Tips for Parents to Assist in Toddlers Language Development
- Tips for Raising Independent Toddlers
- How to Deal with Moody Toddlers
- How to De-Stress Your Morning Routine with Toddler
- Tantrum-Free Traveling with Toddlers