Children grow, need I say more? They generally outgrow their duds before wearing them out so at least they can be passed down to someone else's kids. Babies in particular seem to grow longer every day and that size 6 to 9 months soon becomes the 9 to 12 and so on. We parents must constantly buy bigger sizes and pass on yesterday's size. There should be a “lending library” for baby things that are outgrown! And taking them along while shopping always presents challenges of its own. Here are some of the most stress filled chores involved and perhaps some useful tips to cope while on a shopping trip with Junior.
Whether you have a baby in a stroller or a toddler who you may use a harness to control or even a slightly older babe that will hold your hand and cling to you the first consideration is to keep them and their curiosity in control while you shop.
Limit the time you shop because that baby will soon be hungry, sleepy, or just upset that you don't pay attention to them only. Give them a hug and reassure them it will be over soon.
Bring along a bottle or sippy cup because small children get thirsty and this will help keep them satisfied during a short shopping trip. Anything longer than a half hour should be broken up by leaving and returning after a snack nearby.
Infants and very young babies should be made happier if you bring along their pacifier or bottle filled with juice. Remember they get thirsty but don't know how to ask yet.
Older siblings can be useful when out shopping. They may help distract the little brother or sister by amusing them with games or talking. Shopping for those older kiddies can be made easier if they help. Try clipping photos of items you want and letting them pick them out and put them in your shopping cart.
When checking out in a grocery store, it is made challenging by all the temptations store place in the check-out aisle. Promise them that if they are good and don't get grabby you might treat them to something after the store (ice cream or a donut from Dunkin Donuts). Better still simply tell them no! Look for stores with “child proof” aisles where candy is not an option.
Try to shop when there aren't too many others shopping at the same time. This makes the entire process go quicker and much easier because you won't have strangers wishing to touch your new baby or give your older child candy, etc. Especially do not try to shop when you and they are hungry!
The good the bad and the ugly of shopping with kids! Bringing them along presents problems but also can solve some. When shopping for toys you might try letting them “try on” a new game or toy to see if their interest would keep up or if they'd get tired of it quickly. This will help keep down the number of toys that sit on their toy-box gathering dust. They can also learn to be patient by letting them know they cannot have it now but must wait until later. Or tell them it's for a friend or sibling and you want to know if it will be liked. Use the experience to teach and learn patience.
Online shopping might be a good alternative for older kids. They can look but can't touch!
Be patient and use a shopping trip to teach not only patience but how to compare items such as toys, games, and even clothing and shoes. They'll learn what they may prefer and you'll learn about their individuality.