How to Survive Grocery Shopping with a Toddler

by | Feb 15, 2017 | Parenting

Grocery shopping with a toddler: add it to the top of the list of things no one loves to do. Between the screaming, the grabbing, the running away, and the sneaking of miscellaneous items into the cart, there’s a whole host of nightmare scenarios that just come with the territory of bringing a toddler to the grocery store with you. If you’re a parent, you’ve more than likely been there, and you’re nodding your head right now. If you’re even thinking of having kids, you’ll someday know this pain (and encounter it weekly).

For all of you struggling parents out there, there are three tips that will help anyone survive grocery shopping with even the most stubborn of toddlers.

Let Your Toddler Help with the List

There’s nothing more frustrating for a curious toddler than not knowing what’s going on and not being a part of the action.

Get your little one involved in the choices that you make at the store by holding up prospective items and letting them pick which one they’d prefer. Hold up an apple in one hand and a pear in another; whichever your toddler lunges for, add a few of them to the cart. That way, your child feels a sense of agency, instead of helplessness, when you’re grocery shopping together.

Keep Your Toddler Comfy While Shopping

When it’s cold outside, and you enter a heated store, the first thing you do is peel off your coat and strip off your hat and gloves. Your toddler doesn’t quite have the sense to do that just yet, so you’ll have to be their climate control.

If the store’s usually on the cold side (as many grocery stores are), make sure you bring an extra sweater or jacket to keep your toddler nice and comfy while you shop.

Make Sure Your Toddler isn’t Hangry

You wouldn’t dare go grocery shopping when you’re hungry—or if you do, you immediately regret it when the bill is tallied up. So, why would you bring your toddler to the store with an empty tummy and hungry eyes? It’s a recipe for disaster!

The next time you plan to head to the store with your toddler, make sure they’re not hangry (hungry to the point of anger) by giving them a small snack in preparation. Having something to nibble on while you’re perusing the vegetables will cut down on the screaming, crying, and it will definitely diminish the grabbing and putting random items in the cart. Thank goodness for animal crackers!