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Thread: How to grocery shop with TODDLER?!? *** For NEW BEGINNINGS

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default How to grocery shop with TODDLER?!? *** For NEW BEGINNINGS

    "I find that my toddler will happily sit in the shopping cart for about four minutes. After that, I am chasing after him while trying to get the groceries that I need for the week. How do other mothers plan and execute successful shopping trips with toddlers in tow?"

    Do you have any ideas for this mother? PLEASE share below or send your thoughts to toddler.tips@lllusa.org. Responses may appear in a future Toddler Tips column. It is your contributions that make New Beginnings a great publication. THANK YOU!!!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: How to grocery shop with TODDLER?!? *** For NEW BEGINNI

    The only thing that has worked for my toddlers is bribery with food. When we get to the store, I put my toddler in the cart and make a beeline for the bakery aisle. I grab a box of mini blueberry muffins and feed them to my toddler, one at a time, until she fills up or I finish shopping. Not the greatest parenting, I know... But it works.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Default Re: How to grocery shop with TODDLER?!? *** For NEW BEGINNI

    Engage them in what you are doing. I always carry on a conversation with mine, he helps me look for things or I give him a couple of things he's supposed to remember for me. I also always go prepared I have a list and know what I'm looking for so it's as quick a trip as possible. At 2.5 walking is NEVER an option either, it's just not safe.
    Married to my High School sweetheart 5-15-04

    SAHM to:
    born 6/1/10 tongue and lip ties nursed 13 months with sore nipples and mutually agreed it was time to quit!
    born all natural 1/27/12 nursed for 16 months and lost interest
    born all natural 11/4/14 nursing like a champ and growing like a weed!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Default Re: How to grocery shop with TODDLER?!? *** For NEW BEGINNI

    I agree with the walking thing: I may the fatal error of allowing mine to walk and buddy, it was on! Right there, in the aisle, full-blown tantrum!
    Taylor Don 10/24/98-11/22/98
    Katie Elena 8/24/11

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default Re: How to grocery shop with TODDLER?!? *** For NEW BEGINNI

    I actually do a mix of including the toddler, making sure he has a toy with him, or feeding him. And each trip can be different!! I try and keep him in the cart and entertained as long as possible, once that is justy not going to work I try and include him by having him pick up items that we need. I do as much as quickly as I can before it gets to the walking stage. I haven't had many meltdowns, but there have been some lol. If he wasn't so active I would wrap that little guy on my back on roll on... but he wants no parts of being confined to one space anymore. It has been a while since I tried though, so I may give that a shot next time out depending on his mood.

    And I agree with browncow on walking - it can be very unsafe if you can't keep your eye on them constantly. The only time I allow it is if the stores are pretty bare and I don't have my 1 month old along(my mom will watch the baby while toddler and I shop). When walking isn't an option it's generally dealing with a tantrum if it happens. He knows the rules and if he does throw a fit, it won't last forever.
    FT working momma to a 9/11/10 busy boy and 11/13/12 happy little man.
    Also wife to hubs since 8/23/08, bonus momma to H (girl) -99 and G (boy)-03

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: How to grocery shop with TODDLER?!? *** For NEW BEGINNI

    When my oldest was a toddler, I sat him in the cart 'baby' seat and gave him an apple. He ate the whole thing, core and all. This bought me some time. Keeping up a running monolog or dialog or singing silly songs to him helped. If fussiness threatened, I would 'zoom' him in the cart.
    Another thing that worked really well was wearing him in a backpack, such as the ergo.

    Having a list and sticking to it so I could keep moving was vital. I prepared my lists to ‘go’ with the store configuration. If I was hesitant or unsure or trying to figure out ingredients for dinner, that is invariably when my kid would start to meltdown.

    When I had my second, I wore baby in a sling or back pack so my 2 year old could still sit in the 'seat'
    When baby was big enough, I frequented the store that had carts with two seats that had steering wheels like a car so they could 'drive.'
    If it was just me and the kid(s), I kept shopping sessions as short as possible.
    At times, stores were just not my kid’s friends. Then I found it made much more sense to shop on the weekends while my husband watched the kids, or my husband picked up things on the way home from work.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: How to grocery shop with TODDLER?!? *** For NEW BEGINNI

    I agree with PPs, have a list and keep time in the shop short, and keep moving. If I want to study indigredients I try do that on the weekend.
    Also, I always go to the same store(s) if at all possible so I know exactly where everything is to avoid having to search and I avoid food stores with toys on offer. I steer the cart only through aisles with things we need (so not through the candy / sweets for example). Also for our daily needs I chose stores that are not too big. If I want to go to a big one to shop in quantity I do not take him along but do it on the weekend when husband is home with him.
    Also, at age 2 and 3 I kept him occupied in the cart by handing him the items I picked off the shelf to stack in the cart (build a tower), or ask him to tell me what is on the package (Here is the milk, see there is a picture of a cow and mountains - and he would usually spend some time studying the picture till the next one).
    Now he is four and often he prefers to sit in the cart because he can see better, he says. He still sorts and stacks the stuff as I hand it to him. Sometimes all red things in a corner or all veggies in a corner.
    What he also enjoys are any games involving counting (how many bananas in this bunch?)
    When he wants to get out I get him to fetch me things (which works well because we always go to the same store and he does not run away from me so I am lucky).
    Another things that sometimes works is telling him what we need and having him tell me where it is/direct me there (we need cheese, so can you tell me where we find the cheese?)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Puyallup, WA

    Default Re: How to grocery shop with TODDLER?!? *** For NEW BEGINNI

    I let my almost 3 year old play with my kindle (only to keep him focused on something). We have counting games, shape games, ABC games, and a few movies. Sadly he navigates my kindle better than I do

    Other than that if it's a short trip we can engage in conversation and stay busy that way!
    Married to my superman 4-26-08
    Mommy to Landon 1-29-2010, who nursed for 4 years!
    Mommy to DD Sadie born May 2nd, 2014 and nursing like a champ!

    We all love and

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Keepin' it weird

    Default Re: How to grocery shop with TODDLER?!? *** For NEW BEGINNI

    I let my 2 year old walk through the store. He helps push the cart, and is in charge of putting things in the basket. I also ask him to help me find specific items in each aisle, and to decide between two products. Engaging him as my helper is the only way I can shop!

    My son is very wary of strangers, though, and isn't a runner.
    Breastfeeding, babywearing, sci-fi loving, total geek of a mom!

    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind. — Dr. Seuss

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: How to grocery shop with TODDLER?!? *** For NEW BEGINNI

    With my DS, I typically tried to get a cart that had a car on the front, then buckle him in. I would try to have snacks on hand so that he'd be occupied while I shopped. If that didn't work, I wore him around the store. It wasn't the most ideal situation (I'm little, he's big), but it worked. My DD is far more cooperative at this age, but I will still wear her if she gets ornery.

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