Who knew the idea of visiting a grocery shop could feel so intimidating?
Before becoming a parent, it was as simple as leaving the house, and before you knew it, you were in the supermarket walking around the aisles taking your own sweet time.
But how do you go grocery shop with a newborn?
Parenting brings out the protective instinct in you, and for a good reason.
A newborn’s immune system takes time to develop fully, and as a new mom or dad, you’d hate to expose them to a virus or germ.
So, in case you were wondering, no, you’re not alone.
It’s totally normal for you to question if it’s too soon for your baby to start going out with you to get the groceries and if not, how do you manage that?
Read on, and I’ll tell you everything you need to know about grocery shopping with your newborn.
On top of that, I’ve got the best tips for you to have a successful shopping expedition with your baby.
How do you go grocery shopping with a newborn?
First, you need to figure out how you’re going to carry your newborn.
You want to get what you needed from the grocery store and make sure that your baby’s as safe as possible.
Let’s look at your options, and you can choose the most convenient one for you.
Using a baby carrier is one of the safest options when you’re visiting the grocery shop with your newborn. It’s convenient as it leaves your hands free, and you’ve got the whole cart space.
Also, your baby can sleep in peace being snuggled up with you while you run errands.
There are tons of affordable baby carrier options, so shop around!
Shopping Cart Hammock
Babywearing is a great option, but it does affect your mobility. It’s hard to bend over or reach high shelves wearing your baby like that.
A shopping cart hammock is a great alternative that leaves you enough cart space, and you can carry the hammock in your diaper bag because it’s so lightweight.
You can attach the hammock to your cart and lay your newborn or infant car seat on the hammock. Now strap your baby or the car seat in, and you’re golden.
If you leave your sleeping newborn in their infant capsule, they stay safe from germs and also keep random shoppers from touching your baby. However, it does take up pretty much the whole cart.
So, it’s a good option only when you need a handful of things from the store.
If you want to use your stroller, it might be difficult to manage the cart and the stroller simultaneously.
So, if you get a stroller with enough space under the carriage, you can use the stroller as a cart. If not, use baby carriers to hold the baby while you turn the stroller into a cart.
Tips For Shopping With Newborn Baby
Being a little organized and having a game plan is the secret to a successful shopping trip with your baby. Let’s get down to business, shall we?
Choose the Right Time
It feels like a no-brainer.
You obviously won’t pick the rush hour. Duh! But, there’s something else you should do to make your grocery shopping with your newborn more like a stress-free stroll in the store aisles.
Always feed them before you leave the house. You don’t want your hungry baby to get fussy in the middle of an aisle.
It’s also a good idea to go when your newborn is napping. That way, you can finish the shopping by the time your baby wakes up for their next feeding.
However, as your baby grows up, they become more conscious about their surroundings and won’t sleep anywhere like they used to.
In that case, choose the time when they’ve woken up from a nap. Feed, and burp them well. Your little one is less likely to get cranky now.
You two can get your shopping done before it’s naptime again.
Choose the Right Parking Spot
If you’re going grocery shopping with a baby for the first time, you might try to park near the entrance as you’ve always done.
But, dear new parent, your best bet is to park near the shopping cart return stall. You don’t want to leave your baby alone in the car when you’re trying to be a good citizen and going to return the grocery cart.
Oh, you’re planning to carry your little one with you when you walk all the way to the cart return?
It’s more convenient to unload your groceries and returning the cart when you’re parked right next to the cart return stall rather than trying to balance the diaper bag, the cart, and your baby when you’ve parked closer to the entrance.
And if there’s parent’s parking available, definitely go for that.
Make a List
New parents are almost always sleep-deprived, and you don’t really have time to look around and compare prices to secure the best deals when you’re grocery shopping with a newborn.
Being organized will make your first-time shopping less daunting and more fun.
Wait, when I said make a list, I didn’t mean just a list of grocery items. It would be best if you packed a few essentials, and having a list of them means you do not forget any of them.
As you put them in the diaper bag, check them off on your list, and you’re good to go.
What should be on your list, you ask? Let’s see.
- Feeding bottle or nursing cover
- Diapers and wipes
- Extra clothes
- A lightweight blanket that can be used as a burp cloth if necessary
- Plastic bag
- Shopping cart hammock or baby carrier
Be Flexible About Your Plans
I know you want to get everything on your list and then some more to avoid frequent visits to the grocery shop.
But, take it slow if this is your first shopping trip together. Get the essentials and leave before your baby gets hangry and sleepy.
If the grocery store is too crowded and it’s stressing you out, don’t hesitate to cut your trip short.
You can always go back later to get the rest of the things on your list. If you need someone to be there for moral (and literal) support, bring your partner or friends with you.
Online shopping is always an option if visiting the shop gets too stressful.
When should I start grocery shopping with my baby?
While some doctors suggest waiting a few months before taking babies out to crowded public places, there are no set rules about it.
So when should you start grocery shopping with your baby?
Whenever you feel confident and comfortable, take a planned approach and some precautions to protect the baby from infection or any inconvenience, for that matter.
What do I mean? Let’s see.
- Check if your baby’s vaccine’s up to date.
- Use a shopping cart cover to keep the germs away from your baby.
- Dress them for the weather
- Don’t place the car seat on top of the shopping cart.
- Don’t let random people touch your baby as you can’t possibly know where they’ve been and what they touched.
If it’s your first trip to the store with your baby, don’t get upset if everything doesn’t work out as you’d planned.
Like everything else in parenting, this will get easier with time.
Meanwhile, keep calm, and don’t forget to treat yourself to whatever you’re craving while you’re shopping.
You’re doing great, and you sure deserve some loving.
Reference: When Can I Take My Newborn Out in Public?