Just because you have a young baby doesn’t mean life’s daily chores go away.
Things like cleaning, laundry and of course grocery shopping are essential tasks needed to keep your house running, the last of which can be particularly daunting with a newborn in tow.
Going food shopping with a baby might not be the easiest task, but with the right planning and by following our guide below we’re confident you can tackle this potentially stressful experience and handle it like a pro!
Table of Contents
- When Can You Take Your Newborn To The Grocery Store?
- Top 10 Tips For Grocery Shopping With A Baby
When Can You Take Your Newborn To The Grocery Store?
If you’ve never taken your baby to the supermarket before then you’ll naturally be wondering if they are ready or not.
The final decision will come down to what you’re most comfortable with, but some things to consider before venturing out with your precious little bundle include:
- Their Age: Many parents like to wait until their child is one to two months old before taking them out and about. However, most doctors agree that there’s no need to wait until your baby reaches this age, provided you follow the advice below around dressing appropriately and avoiding crowded places. Having said that, don’t feel like you’re under pressure to do it before you are ready.
- The Weather Conditions: Something to definitely consider is the weather, or more specifically to avoid extreme weather, because you’ll want to keep you newborn out of the rain, snow or bright sunshine (babies under the age of 6 months should never be in direct sunlight according to the FDA).
- How Crowded The Store Will Be: With their immune system still developing, it’s best to avoid crowded places like grocery stores or shopping malls at peak hours as the chance of catching germs increases.
- How Long The Car Journey Will Be: Experts advise you wait until your baby is 4-6 weeks old before taking them on a car journey longer than 30 minutes.
Top 10 Tips For Grocery Shopping With A Baby
So you’ve decided you’re ready to take your little one to the local supermarket or convenience store.
It’s now time to plan ahead so you can keep your baby safe and ensure the trip goes smoothly.
Here are 10 things to think about to help make the experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
1. Bring Your Shopping List
Clearly this is no time to be ambling around the store thinking about meal preparations or what you’ve got in the refrigerator at home!
The idea is to make your visit as fast and efficient as you can, and the only way to do this is by brining a grocery list with you.
That way you’ll know exactly what you need, and you can get in and out in double time.
2. Build Up To Longer Outings
As with many things, the first time you take your infant grocery shopping is a bit of an unknown.
It’s a good idea to therefore keep the first few trips brief – perhaps only venturing to your nearest store to pick up a handful of items – before building up to longer shopping trips.
If things start to go awry – for example your baby kicks off or has a diaper explosion – you’ll be glad that you’re only a few blocks from home!
3. Choose The Best Time For Your Baby
Keep in mind that the time you find most convenient to hit the shops will not necessarily be the best time for your baby.
Many moms and dads recommend going grocery shopping when their baby is napping just after a feed.
While there’s no guarantee they won’t wake up or become fussy, your chances of an undisturbed 30 to 60+ minutes are certainly higher than at other times during the day.
4. Choose A Time When The Store Is Quiet
Talking about timings, it’s also a good idea to plan your visit around times when the store is likely to be less busy.
Depending on where you live, that could perhaps be early in the morning or later in the evening.
Whatever the case, you’re more likely to have a calmer experience, and expose your child to fewer germs, during those quieter periods.
As an added bonus you should also be able to park your vehicle in your preferred spot more easily during those quieter times (see below).
5. Wear Your Baby
As there is no minimum age for using a baby carrier, these can be a great option when shopping with a newborn or infant baby because they free up your hands for picking up groceries and pushing a shopping cart.
The best types of carriers for newborns include wraps, slings and soft structured carriers (SSC), which have padded shoulder straps and a thick, padded waistband that you fasten around your waist.
6. Use A Hammock
Did you know that there’s such a thing as a hammock that’s specifically designed to hold an infant in a shopping cart?
By using clips and Velcro, these clever devices fasten securely to the cart in an elevated position, which allows for space underneath to put your groceries, all while freeing up your hands.
If you go down this route, look for products with safety features such as reinforced stitching, a safety strap and a 3-point harness seat belt to keep your little one comfortable and safe at all times.
7. Use The Right Stroller
Not all strollers are created equal, and some are better suited to the task at hand than others.
When it comes to food shopping with your baby, some helpful stroller features include being easily foldable, and having enough room underneath to put your groceries or better yet to put your shopping basket.
8. Choose Your Parking Space Wisely
Typically there are two things you’ll want to think about here:
- Choose A Space That’s Protected From The Elements: In cold and wet weather you’ll want to park somewhere that’s either sheltered or close to the entrance. In summer or bright sunshine, look for shade so that you don’t return to a boiling hot car.
- Park Near The Cart Return: This can helpful because once you have finished shopping, you’ll be able to return the cart quickly without needing to walk all across the parking lot.
9. Bring Someone With You
If you can, and especially for the first few shopping trips, you may want to consider taking someone with you to help out where needed.
It could be to just push the stroller, wheel the shopping cart or even wait in the car while you run in and grab a few items.
Either way, recruiting a friend or relative could be one way to make your experience that little bit easier.
10. Consider Alternatives
Lastly, it’s worth considering what other options you may have.
Clearly you cannot put off going to the grocery store with your baby for too long, because food shopping is a part of life.
But if you’re really dreading the trip or cannot face going right now, consider if alternatives like online grocery delivery apps, asking a helpful neighbor or your partner to grab some items, or even delaying the shop for a day or two are options that are open to you.
Grocery shopping with a newborn or young baby can feel like a daunting task, but with the right attitude and some forward planning we’re confident you’ve got this!
Remember that there’s no shame if you don’t manage to get everything on your shopping list, or if you have to cut your trip early because things aren’t going to plan – they rarely do with a baby.
As a final note, keep in mind the first few trips are likely to be the most challenging, but things will definitely get easier over time, and it won’t be long before your little one is able to help you out with daily chores themselves!