You’ve planned and prepped for the last nine months and finally have your new baby at home. Now, as you get used to life with a baby, there are quite a few further adjustments to figure out! During those first few months, things as simple as showering might seem like a lot. Another thing that will take a bit more prep is figuring out how to grocery shop with a baby.
Going grocery shopping with a baby can seem daunting at first, especially if you’re taking them out on your own. But when you know the best tips and tricks for shopping with a new baby, you’ll find yourself much less stressed.
So in this article, you’ll find out how to grocery shop with a baby, plus the best tips to set you up for success. Knowing the best ways to shop with your baby will make you feel confident whenever you go out.
Let’s get started!
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How to Grocery Shop With a Baby
When going grocery shopping with a baby, you’ll want to figure out how you’ll carry your baby around the store. The best thing to remember is that there are many ways to take your baby shopping. But, not all are safe. Here are the best ways to grocery shop with a baby:
1. Car Seat in the Shopping Cart:
The most common way new parents prefer to grocery shop with their baby is to leave the baby in their car seat. While putting the car seat in the cart is a great option, you must ensure you do it safely. Never place a car seat on top of the grocery cart seat!
How to Grocery Shop with a Baby in a Car Seat:
Now that you know never to place a car seat on top of the grocery cart seat, you might wonder where to place the car seat. The safest place to put a car seat in a shopping cart is inside the main basket. The car seat should be entirely in the basket with no way to tip over or fall out.
When placing the car seat inside the shopping cart basket, I found it best to push the car seat to the back so it doesn’t start scooting down once I push the cart.
One thing you’ll notice with the car seat method of grocery shopping is the lack of space in the cart. You’ll have the ease of not taking having to take your baby out of their seat. But you’ll also have the inconvenience of less basket space.
PRO MAMA TIP: To give you more space in your grocery cart while shopping, place one or two of the small shopping baskets under the cart. Most carts can accommodate the size of a basket underneath the cart. You might have to place the basket under the front of the cart.
2. Using a Baby Carrier:
Using a baby carrier while grocery shopping is one of my favorite ways to grocery shop with a baby. You’ll have more room in the cart for your groceries, which is especially beneficial if you need to make a more extensive shopping trip.
Aside from having more room in the grocery cart, there are a few more benefits of using a baby carrier while shopping. Baby carriers give you a hands-free option that will likely be the most calming option for your baby. Wearing your baby will be soothing, and there’s a good chance that your baby will fall asleep while shopping.
PRO MAMA TIP: One of my best tips for using a baby carrier while grocery shopping is to put the carrier on before you leave the house. Putting your baby carrier on before you step out the door will save you some time once you get to the store.
3. Shopping With a Stroller:
Using your stroller is the following way to grocery shop with a baby. Using a stroller while grocery shopping can be helpful because your child is likely already comfortable with it. Not to mention, it’s an excellent option if your baby’s car seat attaches to the stroller!
There are a few different ways to shop with a baby stroller, so we’ll cover the top three ways.
Using the Basket of the Stroller:
Using the storage basket underneath the stroller would be the easiest option if you have a small shopping list. Your baby can stay secure and safe in the stroller. And you won’t have to worry about lugging around a cart or shopping basket.
Attaching a Stroller to the Cart
You can hook the front wheels onto the bar underneath the shopping cart if you have a standard stroller with four wheels instead of a jogging stroller. Attaching the stroller to the cart will allow you to have an empty basket to fill and only one thing to push.
The downside to attaching the stroller to the shopping cart is that pushing it around the store can be heavy and awkward.
Push the Stroller and Pull the Cart
The last way to grocery shop with a stroller is to push the stroller and pull the cart behind you. This method of shopping with a baby is undoubtedly the most difficult to manage, but it is possible.
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4. Delegate Shopping
Delegating shopping might be a loophole when grocery shopping with a baby since the baby isn’t going shopping. But you can’t ignore this option as it’s one of the least stressful ones!
When delegating the shopping trips, you can either have your partner do the shopping while you stay home with the baby or vice versa.
5. Online Shopping and Carside Pickup
One thing that can be so helpful when you have a new baby is online shopping. Utilizing same-day delivery or Amazon Prime shipping can allow you to get some things you need without leaving your house.
And when you need groceries but don’t want to spend time shopping in the store, using carside pickup can be amazing. Most grocery stores offer carside pickup, so it’s probable that you would be able to still shop at your favorite store.
Also, when it comes to online shopping, many stores have a subscribe and save option that you can sign up for. For example, Amazon offers subscribe and save on many different food and non-food items. And the great news is that you can get the items at a discount!
Tips for Taking Baby to the Grocery Store
Now that you know the best ways to grocery shop with a baby, it’s essential to know the best tips to use while grocery shopping. Here are some tried and true tips I have used that will help your shopping trips go smoothly:
Ensure They Are Fed
One of the important things to note when learning how to grocery shop with a baby is that feeding them before you leave the house can be a lifesaver.
When you feed your baby right before leaving home, you lessen the chance they will need another feeding while you’re shopping. Not having to feed your baby while making a quick grocery shopping trip can save you some headaches, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
Change Their Diaper Beforehand
Similar to ensuring your baby is fed before the shopping trip, giving your baby a fresh diaper before you leave the house can save you some time once you’re out.
Unless your baby goes number two while you’re shopping, you can likely get away without changing their diaper if you plan your trip accordingly.
Plan the Shopping Trip After a Nap
Planning your outings around nap times can be crucial for having a happy baby. This is especially true when it comes to going grocery shopping, and it’s something I still do with my toddler.
Going grocery shopping after your baby’s nap will prevent them from getting overtired. And it’s more likely that you’ll have enough time to do what you need before they need another nap.
Know What You’re Going to Buy
One thing you don’t want to do when grocery shopping with a baby is wandering around the store aimlessly. That’s why having a grocery list is vital!
When you know what you need to buy, you won’t waste time browsing or trying to remember what you already have at home. You can get in the store, get what you need, and quickly get on with your day!
Don’t Go Shopping at Busy Times
There will be times when you must go shopping at a busy time, like during an after-work rush, for example. But, if you can avoid going to the store during peak hours, it will be much more relaxing.
If you go grocery shopping when there are fewer people out, it can help you feel less frazzled, and it can be less stimulating for your baby. Plus, you’ll likely have better spots to park in, and the trip can go faster when you do not have to wait in long checkout lines.
Bring a Favorite Toy or Lovey
If your baby is old enough to have started showing preferences in toys, don’t forget to bring one of them with you to the store!
A favorite toy can be a great tool to keep in your diaper bag, and only bring it out once your baby has started getting fussy. Then, they won’t have gotten bored with it by the time they begin to get upset.
If your baby doesn’t have a favorite toy or lovey yet, using car seat toys can be a great option! Car seat toys, like this one, wrap around a car seat handle and have toys that hang down for your baby to swat and look at. With little stuffies, mirrors, and rattles, car seat toys can keep your baby entertained for quite a while!
Bring a Friend
Figuring out how to grocery shop with a baby can be more manageable if you bring your partner, a friend, or a family member. Having another adult at the store with you can help you feel less frazzled, especially if the baby starts fussing.
Also, having someone else at the store with you can help you figure out the best way to shop with your baby. You can have the other person there to suggest what would be easiest to do when shopping without them.
Ensure Your Diaper Bag is Stocked
When leaving the house with a baby, it’s crucial to remember to bring their diaper bag. But it’s even more critical to stock the diaper bag with everything you’ll need while out.
It would be terrible to get to the store, realize your baby needs a new diaper, and find that you forgot to put more in the bag after your last trip out.
Some essential items you’ll want to check are in the diaper bag before you leave the house are:
- Change of clothes for baby
- New shirt for mom (especially when breastfeeding!)
- Bottle of milk if bottle-feeding
- Favorite toy or lovey
- Snack and water for mom
Check out this article for an even more comprehensive list of what to put in your diaper bag (and what you’ll want to keep in your car)!
Park Close to a Cart Return
When learning how to grocery shop with a baby, it’s beneficial to park near a cart return, especially when you start taking your baby out with you.
Parking close to a cart return will allow you to grab a cart quickly, saving you from carrying the car seat all the way into the store. And once you’re done shopping, you can load everything into the car, quickly put the cart where it needs to go, and then load up your baby’s car seat.
Know That a Screaming Baby Isn’t the End of the World
There’s no doubt that you will have a screaming baby in a grocery store at some point. The good news is that it’s not the end of the world, and all parents have been there!
When my son was a few months old, I took him grocery shopping with me. About halfway through our trip, he became inconsolable. Yes, I felt frazzled and certainly got some looks from people who likely didn’t have children. But looking back now, I know that it really wasn’t as big of a deal as I felt it was.
Can I go grocery shopping with a newborn?
Going grocery shopping with a newborn can come down to personal preference. Unless your doctor instructs you to keep your new baby at home to reduce the risk of germs, you can bring a newborn shopping with you!
When grocery shopping with a newborn, you’ll want to leave them in their car seat or baby-wear them. These options will keep strangers from trying to touch your new baby. And they can be the most comforting options for them.
My biggest tip for shopping with a newborn is to try and keep your shopping trip short. My husband and I stopped at a grocery store on the way home from the hospital with our firstborn. We kept the list to just things we needed, like milk, bread, and eggs, and the trip was seamless.
When Can a Baby Sit in a Shopping Cart?
Being able to have your baby sit in the shopping cart seat is the easiest way to shop with a baby. But you can’t just set your newborn in the cart seat! Once your baby is old enough to sit up unassisted and has no problem doing so, you’re probably good to go.
One way to help prevent your baby from licking the dirty cart is to use a grocery cart cover. Not only will a cart cover reduce the risks of germs your baby is exposed to, but it can also make the cart a little more comfortable.
This one is an excellent choice if you need a shopping cart cover. It covers the whole area where your baby sits, has plenty of padding, and has straps to attach toys to so your little one can throw them on the floor.
And there you have it; how to grocery shop with a baby. I hope you enjoyed these tips for shopping with a newborn, and feel assured that shopping with a baby doesn’t have to be overwhelming or daunting!
Before you go, check out these related articles:
- Everything You Need to Know About Newborn Bathing
- The Best Baby Toys for 0-6 Month Olds
- Newborn Essentials Every New Parent Needs!
- Simple and Fun Activities for 3-Month-Olds
- The Best Tummy Time Activities By Age
What were your favorite tips for how to grocery shop with a baby? I would love to know in the comments below!