Grocery shopping with a newborn baby can seem like a daunting task. You have to worry about packing enough diapers and wipes, making sure you have enough formula or breast milk and picking up all of the other essentials your baby needs.
But with a little bit of preparation, you can make grocery shopping with your new little one a breeze!
In this guide, we will discuss some tips and tricks for grocery shopping with a newborn baby.
Can I Even Take My Newborn Out In The Store?
Yes! Most babies are ready for their first trip to the store around 2-3 months of age. This is when they are more likely to sleep during the ride and you will have a little time before your baby starts getting hungry again.
It is also a good idea to bring another adult with you, in case you need a quick break from your little one or if there’s a problem that needs solving.
Babies are more likely to cry in public between 2-6 months of age, so you might want to wait until this time period has passed.
Also, you should talk to your pediatrician before taking your baby out in public for the first time.
Where Is The Best Place To Park?
Try to find a parking spot close to the store’s entrance so you can minimize how much time you have to spend walking around with your baby.
If there is not a good parking spot by the door, park far away from other cars.
This way, if someone hits your car, it will be less noticeable and avoid any accidents that might occur while you are trying to load all of your groceries into the car.
Make sure that when you maneuver into this spot you do not hit any other parked vehicles or poles along the way.
Parking too close to another vehicle may result in damage when you pull out of the space.
Where Should My Baby Sit While Shopping?
If your baby is under 4 months of age, they should be in a car seat.
If your baby is over 4 months and has good head and neck control, they can sit in a stroller.
You will need to make sure that the straps are tight enough so that the baby cannot escape from the stroller or lean too far forward.
If you have an umbrella stroller, then it may not be appropriate for shopping because these strollers are flimsy and are easy for babies to fall out of.
A sling can also come in handy if the store only sells small items. This way, you do not have to worry about finding a cart or basket.
Babies should always face towards you while being worn in the sling.
If your baby is over 6 months and can sit up on their own, they should be in a shopping cart seat. This way, you do not have to worry about your baby falling out of a stroller or off of a cart while you are trying to shop.
Make sure that the straps on this type of seat are tight enough so the baby cannot wiggle out of them. If you forget a strap to make them secure, then try to buckle your child in with your belt instead.
At any age, it may be difficult for babies to fall asleep while being transported around in these devices, but it is always good to bring along some sort of toy or pacifier that will keep them entertained if they start getting fussy.
In A Baby Carrier
If you are planning on using a baby carrier, then make sure that your little one is not too heavy for you before heading into the store.
You also need to carry around some extra water and snacks, because it will be harder for you to maneuver if you are carrying around an additional 25-30 lbs.
Make sure that your baby’s weight is distributed evenly across your back and hips by wearing them in a front carry.
In A Shopping Cart Hammock
If you do not want to risk hurting your baby’s head, then a shopping cart hammock will be the safest option for you.
You can also use this as a safe place to set your baby down if they become fussy during the middle of shopping.
Make sure that if you are using it in a public space, such as a grocery store or mall, you put down a blanket underneath and on top of it so that the metal bar does not hit your child’s skin.
In A Newborn Car Seat
Even though they may be small enough to fit in a carrier, you still might feel more comfortable taking your baby’s car seat with you into the store.
Make sure that they are not sleeping when you attempt to lift them out of the crib and place them in this device because they can be woken up if their head does not support itself while transferring between the two surfaces.
If possible, try to find a cart or basket that can accommodate your car seat. You can strap it onto the cart for easy transportation.
If there are no carts or baskets available, then make sure to choose one without sharp edges.
Also, make sure that there is nothing hanging off of the cart where it could hit your baby’s head or feet.
What About Older Babies?
Once your baby reaches the crawling stage, it is a good idea to have them either in a shopping cart seat or a carrier while you shop.
Since they are more mobile at this age, you will not want them crawling out of a basket or stroller while your back is turned.
It also makes for an easier time when checking out if they are sitting in one spot and do not need constant attention.
In The Stroller
Although rare, there may be a time when it is necessary for you to put your baby in the stroller while shopping.
If this is the case, then make sure that they are not sleeping before attempting to transfer them from their crib to the stroller.
Also, make sure that the straps on the stroller are tight enough where they cannot escape by wiggling out of them. Otherwise, your baby will fall and either become injured or cry because they need you right now!
If you have an umbrella stroller, then it may not be appropriate for grocery shopping because these strollers can be flimsy and do not contain babies as well as other types of entities.
In The Shopping Cart
Another option that you have is putting your baby in the shopping cart. However, you need to take precautions with this method because it could be dangerous for them.
If they are placed too low in the basket of the cart, then their face will either hit the bottom of the basket or the metal bar at the front of it if you run into something.
You also need to make sure that there are no sharp edges on your grocery cart where your child could get injured.
Things To Keep In Mind While Grocery Shopping With A Newborn Baby
If you are going to be shopping with a newborn, then there are some safety precautions that you need to take.
A great way to ensure your child’s safety is by wearing them in a front carry and having the cart accommodate their car seat or stroller.
Other than that, just remember that they go through spurts of screaming and may not want to be touched at all during certain times of the day.
Keep this in mind while grocery shopping and save yourself from as much frustration as possible!
Plan Your Trip Ahead Of Time
One tip that you might find useful is to plan your trip around your baby’s schedule so that they do not have a meltdown in the middle of shopping.
If you know what time they will be waking up from their nap, then try going right before or after it happens.
This way both you and your child are on the same page and can avoid any unnecessary tantrums.
In addition, make sure that there has been enough time since their last feeding for them to be hungry while shopping.
Plan Your List Ahead Of Time
Another tip that can make grocery shopping with a newborn easier is to plan out your list ahead of time. This way you will not have to make last-minute decisions or change it on the fly because your baby started crying.
Otherwise, if you wait until the last minute to decide on what you want, then you may end up forgetting some items and having to go back which takes more time.
Bring Adult Support
If you know that your child will be prone to tantrums or getting fussy while shopping, then it might be a good idea to bring an adult with you for support.
Whether this person is your spouse, friend, or parent, it is still nice to have them there because they can make the difference between having a bad day or not.
Keep It Short And Sweet
Since you will most likely be going to the store more frequently with a newborn, then it may seem like a good idea to go for as long of a time as possible.
However, if your baby is tired or hungry before you have even finished shopping, then you will have wasted that trip and may need to go back another day.
Try going at least an hour but no longer than 2 hours because after this point they might start getting fussy which can cause a meltdown.
Pick The Best Time Of Day
One thing that may seem counterintuitive, is that you need to pick the best time of day while grocery shopping with a newborn.
When they are young and still need to be fed every few hours, then it is usually good to go in the morning when they have just woken up from their sleep cycle.
If your newborn goes down for an hour or two nap during the day then this is also a good time because you will get more accomplished.
On the other hand, if they do not take naps at all during the day and only like to eat every few hours, then it might be better for them to sleep through most of it so try going right before bedtime.
Pack A Light Diaper Bag
Make sure that you bring a diaper bag with you but do not pack it full. Packing a diaper bag for a newborn will only ensure that your baby is uncomfortable and unhappy when they are in their car seat or stroller because there will be too much stuff in the way.
You should aim for around 10 diapers, 3-4 onesies, a couple of pairs of socks/booties, a hat, some burp cloths, and bibs.
Park Near A Cart Return
To make things easier for yourself, try to pick a cart return location that is the shortest distance from your car.
This way there will be less walking and fewer chances of having the baby go fussy and you needing to stop.
Also, if you can find a cart return location where most people do not use them at all, then great! This means having the peace of mind that your cart is easily returned when you are done shopping.
Use Online Shopping
Another tip that can help make grocery shopping with a newborn easier is to use online shopping.
This way you do not have to worry about your child getting fussy while standing in line or wandering away from you. All you need to do is pay for the items online then pick them up at the store.
Go After Feeding Time
If you are trying to make grocery shopping with a newborn easier, then see if the time works out where they have recently been fed and are not hungry or too tired.
If your baby is crying because they are hungry, then it is difficult for you to focus on what you need at the store.
However, if they are just fussing due to being tired or bored, then this works perfectly with your favor since that will mean less of a chance of them throwing an unnecessary tantrum.
You can also consider using some games to keep them distracted while in the stroller so that nobody gets frustrated with each other.
In conclusion, grocery shopping with a newborn baby does not have to be as difficult as it may seem.
There are simple steps that you can take in order to help make the whole process go by more smoothly and successfully, such as picking a time when they do not need to eat or sleep, packing the diaper bag light, parking near a cart return location, using online shopping if possible, etc.
If you follow these tips then grocery shopping with a newborn will become something that is quick and easy so you do not have any added stress when already caring for an infant.
Hi, I’m Stephanie, and I am a mother of two kids. I have started this website (FoozKids) to make your journey a bit easy, if not smooth. I know that you will be the only one to suffer all the frustrations and agony. However, I have stretched my helping hand to make sure that your child’s growth is persistent and never hindered.