Here are 17 super useful and smart tips on how to do grocery shopping with baby (ways on how to carry your baby, safety measures, etc.)
This pandemic is not going away anytime soon so it’s not really advisable to go grocery shopping with a newborn.
But sometimes you don’t have a choice. Delivery or pickups are not available, you’re a single parent, etc. We don’t have any control over such situations so don’t feel so guilty about it.
If you absolutely have to, here are some important tips to make grocery shopping with an infant easier.
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How To Carry Your Baby While Grocery Shopping
Use a baby carrier
This is one of the most convenient ways to carry your baby in a grocery store, especially if you have a clingy baby.
You might have to deal though with someone cooing at your baby and God forbid, trying to touch them. So if you don’t want that hassle or if your baby hates babywearing, try the next alternatives below.
Use a heavy-duty baby stroller
Grocery shopping with a stroller is probably the best option to bring your baby.
You can put the heavy items under the stroller and carry (or pull, if it has wheels) a basket with you for the lighter grocery items.
Avoid random people from touching your baby by using a cover on the stroller.
Use a car stroller
You can also opt to just use the car stroller. Here’s how to grocery shop with a car seat:
- First, wipe down the shopping cart with disinfectant wipes.
- Cover the car seat with a stretchable, breathable, multiuse cover.
- Put the car seat inside the big part of the shopping cart, not the front section of the cart.
- Make sure the car seat is facing you.
Then you can place the light items around the car seat and the heavy grocery items on the bottom of the cart.
7 Basic Tips on How To Do Grocery Shopping With Baby
Create a list, sort and prioritize
List it down, don’t wing it. Use a grocery shopping list app or any app that you’re comfortable with. You can even just write it on paper but remember to have your grocery list ready even before you go out with your newborn.
Another useful tip is to sort your list by importance. List down first the things you really need and grab them immediately when you get inside the grocery store.
Keep it short
Grocery shopping can be exciting, especially if you’ve been holed up in your house for too long but remember, there’s still a pandemic going on.
So try to keep it short to 30 minutes or at least less than an hour should be fine.
Prepare a very light, minimal diaper bag.
Remember you’ll only be in the grocery store with your newborn for 1 hour tops. So bring only the essentials, such as:
- 1 premade milk bottle (if you’re formula feeding). You can use it within 2 hours of preparation and within one hour from when feeding begins.
- Nursing/ stroller/ car seat cover
- 1 pacifier
- 2 diapers
- Diaper cream
- Baby wet wipes
- Diaper changing mat
- 1 baby bodysuit (in case you need to change their clothes)
- Plastic bags (for proper disposal of dirty diaper)
- Hand sanitizer
- Disinfectant handy pack wipes (for wiping grocery basket or shopping cart)
Feed your baby before shopping
Feed your baby before leaving for the grocery store.
The last thing you’d want to do is to breastfeed or formula feed a wailing, hungry baby, in the middle of grocery shopping, during a pandemic.
Pick the best time
Shop during or after your baby’s naptime.
There’s less crankiness to deal with and you’ll feel less stressed and less distracted when you have a calm or sleeping baby with you.
It’s also important to do grocery shopping during off-peak hours, where it’s less crowded and where everyone can practice better social distancing.
Park next to the cart return stall
The best parking spot is the one next to the shopping cart return stall. Not the one closest to the door.
You can unload your groceries then just walk a few steps to return your shopping cart, making it a very convenient and a time saver.
Shop at familiar stores
It can be tempting to grocery shop at other places, especially if your usual store is running low or worse, out of essentials. But if and only if possible, avoid shopping in new places.
You don’t know the lay of the land so grocery shopping with a baby can take twice as much. It will be hard to find grocery items and next thing you know, you have a fussy baby crying for feeding or worse, from a diaper blowout.
5 Extra Smart Tips On How to Grocery Shop With A Newborn
Carry your own reusable grocery bags
This is especially handy if you need more space for light grocery items and/or you don’t want to use the store’s basket or shopping cart.
Bring your own shopping trolley
There are some lightweight shopping trolleys and some big enough to put in all your groceries. This is a must if you can’t even think of touching the store’s grocery shopping cart.
Bring carabiners and bags
This is useful if you want extra storage.
You can put the carabiners on the handles of the stroller or shopping cart, then hang the bags on them and put groceries inside the bag.
Just remember to not put too many items that can make the stroller or cart tippy. Keep in mind to take off the bags first before taking out your baby from the stroller or the car seat from the cart, so it won’t tip over.
Ask to bag your cold stuff in a plastic
If possible, ask the grocery staff to do this for you so when you get home, you can easily carry the cold stuff first inside the house.
Go with someone
If it’s possible, ask someone to come with you. You can hold your newborn in a baby carrier or push your baby in a stroller while someone does the grocery shopping with you.
Safety Tips on Grocery Shopping With Infant
Always wear your mask
Don’t forget to wear one and wear it properly all the time.
Always wipe the store’s basket/ cart
Some grocery stores actually offer this service and will wipe the shopping cart right in front of you.
But if not, then always remember to wipe and disinfect the grocery basket or shopping cart. You never know who has used it before so always do a good, solid wiping.
Always clean your hands
Always sanitize your hand before carrying your baby. Wash your hands immediately when you’ve finally lugged in your groceries inside your home.
Wash covers immediately
Don’t forget to wash the stroller or car seat covers once you get home. Remember also to get a spare cover.
Best Alternatives To Grocery Shopping With Newborn
Do it online
This is by far the most convenient option to do grocery shopping. You don’t need to go out, your baby is safe in your house and groceries will be delivered straight to your home!
Amazon Fresh offers a same-day grocery delivery service. Walmart+ offers next-day & two-day shopping, with no minimum order required.
There’s also Hive Brands, Public Goods, etc.
Do curbside pickup
There are stores like Walmart, Target Drive Up, Kroger Clicklist that offer curbside pickup. Contact your local store if you’re not sure if they offer one.
If everything is booked up, there are no available slots, or worse, products are out of stock, you can try the next alternatives.
Some people use Instacart to hire someone to do the grocery shopping for them but it’s been having a lot of really mixed reviews lately. So maybe you can try Instacart alternatives in this list.
Ask family and friends
You can go with them and stay in the car with your newborn or they can just go by themselves in the grocery store while you wait at home.
Just remember to ask someone trustworthy and responsible enough to practice safety protocols, like wearing a mask, sanitizing hands, and such.
Grocery shop on your own at night or at any convenient time. Just ask your spouse or other family members to look after your baby.
FAQ on How To Do Grocery Shopping With A Baby
Can I take out my newborn outside, in public?
Yes, you can. There are no set rules on what age can you get out with your baby but during these crazy times, it’s highly advisable to avoid crowded places and people who are obviously sick.
Remember, a newborn’s immunity system is still developing and they might not be able to fight off infections. So take care to always practice social distancing and safety measures when out with your newborn.
Can I take my newborn to the grocery store?
Yes, you can but only if you have to. You can try other alternatives and avoid grocery shopping with your infant altogether but if you have no choice, then it’s okay to bring your baby with you.
Can my baby wear a mask?
Newborns and younger kids cannot wear one as they have smaller airways, making it difficult to breathe if they wear a mask. They can suffocate so don’t put a mask on your baby.
Can I put the car seat on top of the shopping cart?
You may have seen a lot of people doing this but it is never safe to put the car seat on top of the cart.
It can topple off or tip over the whole cart, injuring your baby and/ or causing skull fractures. The top part is not designed to carry a car seat. It is not safe, so please don’t do it.
Can I use an infant carrier/ shopping cart hammock?
Using either in a shopping cart can be more convenient but during a pandemic, you might have to reconsider.
Exposing your baby out in the open can lead to them contacting something, plus there are strangers out there who can easily touch your baby. And this is a common thing, pandemic or not.
Some don’t have ill-meaning intentions and just can’t help themselves when they see a cute baby. So as much as possible, avoid using the infant carrier nor a hammock in the shopping cart.
You can aim to buy everything on your list but things happen.
Baby might suddenly wake up wailing, diaper blowouts might happen, a stranger might insist on touching your baby, you might suddenly feel the need to poop, etc. So try to manage your expectations about grocery shopping with your infant.
It’s perfectly normal to feel nervous and anxious to grocery shop with your newborn for the first time. Especially when a pandemic is happening!
So remember, it takes time to get used to grocery shopping with a baby. We’ve all been there and even the most veteran moms get overwhelmed at times. So give yourself some grace and learn from your experience.
Next thing you know, grocery shopping with baby will become a breeze. Until they turn into toddlers or you have multiple kids but that’s another story.