Your child’s finally here!!! You get them home and finally after the first couple weeks you realize….
You are running out of food! And shampoo. And toothpaste….
It’s time to go grocery shopping.
I don’t know about you, but I found this completely daunting. Thankfully my mom came over and watched him the first couple times I went shopping. Since then I’ve been brave enough to take him out on my own. I’d like to share with you some tips I’ve found to make shopping easier!
Plan your shopping trip strategically. The days of running in one store really quick to grab one thing is over. Every time you go in to the store you have to grab the car seat, spit up cloth, and remember to grab your wallet. Try for the first couple times to consolidate your shopping trip to 1-2 stores. I like to look around for deals usually, and go to a couple stores to price things out. Save your sanity and compromise, go to one store!
Create a good list. If you are making the trouble of going to the store, it is going to be so frustrating when you forget something. Make a detailed list before you go. Arrange it by the layout of the store you chose. This will help prevent back-tracking and forgetting items. It also makes the trip faster!
Always park next to a cart corral. This is really the best tip I can give you. I am absolutely TERRIFIED of leaving my son in the hot car. Never, ever leave your child in the car alone. Ever. If you park next to a cart corral, it helps with a couple things:
- It’s a lot easier to grab the car seat and put it right in the cart. That way you don’t have to carry it halfway across the parking lot to find a cart.
- It’s safer. It gives you a level of protection from the car next to you. People in parking lots look for people who are distracted when they are going to commit a crime. Who is more distracted than a sleep exhausted mommy trying to wrangle a car seat for the first time?
- When you unload the groceries you don’t have to walk away and leave your child. Just put the cart away, grab the car seat and go. Easy!
Consider using a baby carrier instead of hauling around the car seat. I have a Baby Bjorn baby carrier that I LOVE. If my son is sleeping and I only need to grab a couple things, I just grab the car seat. But for a full-on shopping trip or if he is already awake, I use the carrier. I use it for a couple reasons:
- He is happier. He likes being close to me rather than strapped in the car seat.
- I can walk away from my cart without worrying. Sometimes the store is crowded and you need to step away from it and grab an item. That way he is with me and I’m not leaving him unattended.
- It helps keep dirty fingers away. People have the best intentions, but they also have germs! It’s easier to catch someone trying to touch your child when he is strapped to you!
Have either an umbrella or a car seat cover on hand in case of rain. You don’t want your precious little one getting wet! In a pinch once I zipped him up in my jacket and covered over his head with a blanket. Haha! But having a car seat cover or an umbrella is MUCH easier!
Have your essentials handy. I know what your thinking: “Everything in my diaper bag is essential!” Let me explain. That spit up cloth, you are going to need it. And the pacifier. And your wallet. Oh, and where are those car keys….
Before you go shopping. Make sure your diaper bag is organized and everything is easy to grab. My diaper bag has pockets on the outside for things I need to grab quickly, like the spit up cloth. I also have a zippered pocket in my bag that is dedicated to my stuff. That’s where I keep my wallet and keys.
Side note on the wallet. I do have a full out wallet with my checkbook and additional cards and everything, but I also have this:
Have either reusable bags in your car or a laundry basket. I usually bring a cooler bag and my reusable shopping bags plus a laundry basket. Why? Because I can throw all the refrigerated things in the bag, load up the bags, and use the laundry basket to carry it all in in 1-2 trips. Once you get home it’s discouraging to see how long it’s going to take to put away the groceries. The cooler bag also helps protect your food if your child needs fed as soon as you get home. Which always happens! 😉 And it’s sorted so it takes a lot less time to put away since the refrigerated stuff is seperate from pantry items.
Grab yourself a little treat the first time. You did it! Awesome job! 😊 Trust me, after you get into a rhythm it is easier. Treat yourself with a little snack from the checkout or by propping your feet up for a few minutes.
I hope you find these tips as helpful as I do. Do you have any shopping hints? Share in the comment section below!