Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tips and Tricks to a Successful Shopping Trip with Children

The number one important thing to consider when shopping with two children is where to put them. If you have a double stroller, I would highly recommend using it. That or babywearing are my go to.  Right now I am limited to where I can take my children shopping based on which stores have large enough carts.

shopping with three children

My mother in law was kind enough to buy me the Baby Trend Navigator Double Stroller after I gave birth to our newest bundle of joy. You can read my review of this stroller HERE. I love this stroller for family trips to the zoo, visits to the arboretum, and outings to play at the park. It is a heavy duty stroller with storage galore. My only problem with this stroller is that I cannot take the kids shopping in it because it will not fit through a standard doorway.

With fall and winter fast approaching I am going to once again be limited with where I can take the kids to play and what activities we are able to do.

I have tried taking both the boys shopping with the double stroller that I own, it simply doesn’t work. I have tried taking both the boys shopping with a single stroller and my oldest holding my hand. This may be the absolute worst experience I have ever had as a parent! What could possibly have been so bad, you ask? Hide-and-go-seek, I tell you.

My little talking walking terror on two feet toddler decided that playing hide-and-go-seek with mommy at the mall sounded like the best thing since sliced bread. While I am huffing and puffing and trying not to have a heart attack, my son is giggling and dodging and weaving all around the store. He was in full blown play time mode and loving every minute of it. I just wanted to cry. All the other mothers I am passing are either looking at me in sympathy or like I should have better control of my children.

All I have to say to those judgmental mothers is this; judge not lest ye be judged! Yeah I saw your kid having a meltdown five minutes ago, what now?

Because of this frightening experience there are no more mommy and the boys’ daytime shopping trips to the mall on the calendar. At least not until I can get my hands on a double stroller that can fit through standard doorways.

If you have a double stroller that fits through standard doorways, you are set! If not, I would recommend limiting your excursions to places with large carts that can hold both children.

My go-to tip for a successful shopping trip is this; food is your friend. When I go shopping with my children I make sure to schedule it around snack time. This way I can take a bag of animal crackers along to keep my toddlers hands and mouth occupied. This is also a great incentive for them to stay seated!

If my peanuts have already eaten and are not hungry I head straight for the toy section. I let my toddler pick out two toys to play with while we shop. He will sit and play with those two new toys for the whole shopping trip. When it is time to go we hand the cashier the unwanted toys; I do not buy my kids a toy each time we go out! We then say bye bye to the toys and we head out to the car. No meltdown. No problems.

These are my tips and tricks to a successful shopping trip with children. What works for me may not work for you, but it is usually worth a try. If you have any tips and/or tricks please feel free to share in a comment below.

I also LOVE to hear funny parental shopping stories, so if you have one please dish.

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