Wednesday, August 8, 2018

MOM LIFE :: Grocery Shopping With A Toddler

Shopping with a toddler can be both intimidating and humbling.  They have short attention spans and they get bored easily.  They also don't know how to self-regulate which means that a happy toddler can easily break down into a tantrum in the blink of an eye if, for example, you happen to forget their sippy cup or favorite toy in the car.  Sound familiar?

I wanted to share with you my tips for navigating the store with a very active toddler with grace.  I have found that, specially with my son, these sort of trips require planning ahead.  Here are my tips:

1.  Attitude is everything:  You need to go into the store with no expectations and a positive frame of mind.  Don't walk in expecting chaos, it might set you up for trouble.

2.  Shop at kid friendly stores:  We shop at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.  I love Trader Joe's because their employees are always very friendly with kids.  They know my kids and have helped me out with my Little Guy when he has had tough moments at the store.  Sometimes, it only takes a total stranger saying something nice to them to help calm them down.  They are also very generous with their stickers in the check-out line which my kiddos love.

3.  Remember to make it fun:  Most stores have car carriages  which make shopping more appealing to toddlers because they can do something with their hands steering the wheel as you shop.  Even if your store only has a couple of these carriages, it's worth your while to scope out the parking lot or check-out line for one.  Your kiddo will be more into shopping.  One of our local Trader Joe's has little carriages for toddlers.  We tried these with our Little Guy but it did not go all that great because he was more into running the carriage into displays than anything else.  Our local Whole Foods also has small shopping baskets.  These have been a hit!  He loves putting things in his basket and then showing the cashier on our way out.  This is also a good opportunity for him to practice his verbal skills!

3.  Bring entertainment:  This one is key and can be so easy to forget when you are trying to rally up the kids to get out of the house, right?  I pack his cars/trains/planes in a Ziploc bag with a zipper because he has to work a little bit more to open the bag and it keeps him engaged.  

4.  Snacks are key:  I always have snacks on hand.  If he starts getting fussy, giving him a snack will buy me some much needed extra time.  I'm okay with him having an extra snack or two if it will help me get through the store in pseudo peace.  My daughter was notorious for snacking at the store.  Since she was a very picky eater, we would let her snack as much as she wanted.

5.  Kids will be kids:  You are bound to have bad days or mishaps at the store.  Your kids are just being kids and it does not mean you are not doing your job right.  Years down the line you will look back at all those moments and laugh about them.  We do.

So tell me, do you take your Little People shopping?  Do you have any special tricks?  Let me know in the comments below!

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