5 tips on how to shop with a toddler

Let’s face it, I’m a shopaholic. Most of you around here know that and if not, I feel like I should introduce myself like it’s as serious of a problem as attending an AA meeting;
“Good morning, I’m Samantha, and I’m a Shopaholic.”
So now that that’s off my chest, let’s get on with the point of this post. 
Shopping used to be a relaxing experience for me; I’d grab a latte, a couple of girlfriends, and peruse the racks for hours. Unfortunately for me, it’s no longer such an experience. I’m usually keeping Bubba occupied while simultaneously sifting through the racks as fast as possible and catching the shoes he’s ripping from the boxes. Welcome to motherhood. 
However, with shopping as much as I do, I’ve learned a few things on how to shop with a toddler. Without babysitters most of the time, he’s usually my little sidekick on all of my shopping trips. As much as I love this little man to pieces, he’s not exactly the easiest shopping buddy. 

Hence where these little tricks and tips come in:
1. Pack snacks: I usually bring along something to keep him busy; a pack of fruit snacks, a bag of pretzels, and in extreme cases, some chocolate. If I’m going to be gone awhile, I need an incentive to keep him in the cart. 
2. Talk to them: This is the biggest secret I have; talk to them about EVERYTHING. “What color is this shirt?” “What sounds does that animal make?” “How many shoes do you see?” “What are those?”… the more you do to keep their mind off the fact that you’re actually shopping and not playing, the better they will be and the easier your trip go 🙂
3. Let them sit in the “big part”: Recently, he’s wanted nothing to do with sitting in the actual seat of the cart. To make him happier, I allowed him to start sitting in the big part of the cart. I tell him to sit on his booty, give him a book, and he tends to sit better than he did in the front of the cart. Maybe he feels less restricted, I don’t know, but as long as I’m not grocery shopping and he’s sitting down, everyone is happy! 
4. Bring entertainment: As I mentioned above, I always come packing entertainment. Be it a book, my Kindle, my iPhone, etc, I always have something to keep him occupied. If you need to take something off the shelf in the store so be it… you can give it to the cashier before you leave and it’s all good. 
5. Promise them something if they’re good: Now some moms may disagree with me on this one but as I’ve said before, I’m pretty relaxed when it comes to my parenting techniques. If he’s a good boy throughout the trip, I’ll promise him a piece of chocolate or ice cream or a trip to the park. And I always follow through. No use in lying to him; if he’s good, I want to reward him. Sure being good doesn’t deserve a reward but being good in a situation where I’m forcing my active toddler to sit just so I can go shopping is gold in this mama’s eyes. 
What tips do you have for shopping with a toddler? My child is a wild man so I would love any advice you may have!

Hope your next shopping trip is a success 🙂


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