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13 Secrets to Make Grocery Shopping with a Baby a Breeze

Grocery shopping with a baby or a toddler in tow doesn’t have to be so hard! You just have to prepare well! It’s all about timing, preparation, and a well stocked diaper bag! 

This post is all about a few ways I make errands and grocery shopping with a baby go smoothly.

grocery shopping with a baby

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Grocery Shopping with a Baby

1. Avoid nap time

If your child has times that they regularly nap, do your best to avoid going shopping during these times. The best time to go grocery shopping is shortly after your child (or children) have woken up from their naps. This helps avoid a major over tired breakdown mid shop! 

2. Make a list and check it twice

Errands and grocery shopping with a baby should be as streamlined as possible. Creating a shopping list beforehand, especially one that is categorized by areas in the store, will make your trip significantly faster and leave less time for breakdowns to occur! I like using Microsoft To Do on my phone so I don’t have to deal with a pen and paper alongside a toddler. Having your list on your phone also makes it less likely that you’ll leave your list at home on the counter! 

3. Pack the diaper bag well

Double checking that your diaper bag is fully packed before you leave is crucial to a successful trip out! Getting caught in the middle of your errands with a poopy diaper and no diapers is not the best situation. And make sure to keep a back up kit in your car just in case! Check out the exact diaper caddy I used and everything that I included in mine

Emergency Car Kit

4. Feed everyone

Make sure young babies nurse or take a bottle before you go and that everyone gets something to eat (including you!) Being hangry is not exclusive to toddlers! Trying to manage children in the middle of a store is not the time to be hungry! 

5. Start fresh

After feeding everyone, make sure all diapers are changed. Wouldn’t you much rather change diapers at home than in a bathroom stall? 

6. Cool off or warm up the car

When babies are a little cranky, being too hot or too cold can put them over the edge. Do your best to cool down the car in summer and warm it up in the winter before loading everyone into the car so you can start out the trip well.

7. Use window shades in the car

Keeping kids happy on the way to the store and on the way home is crucial to a successful trip. In order to do that, you need to find the right window shades! I’ve tried the stick on window shades and the pull down ones, but they would always fall off and the sun always managed to find the one spot on the window that wasn’t covered. Instead, these car window shades cover the entire window and work on any car or SUV, making sure the sun isn’t in their eyes on the way to your errands.

8. Bring easy snacks with you

For older babies, pouches and puffs will be your best friend grocery shopping. I also discovered that Gerber Animal Cookies take my son a lot longer to eat than most snacks, which buys me time shopping!

9. Bring easy to clean toys

I learned the hard way that every toy you bring to the store will get dropped on the floor and probably more than once. Some stores I feel good about giving it back and other stores I feel like the toy should ideally go in the trash. Regardless, bringing toys that you can wipe down or wash in the sink when you get home are your best bet. Do your best to avoid plush toys if you can. 

10. Invest in a pacifier clip

Watching the pacifier fall to the ground two minutes into your shopping trip is one of the most frustrating things in this world. Yeah, I might lick it and give it back when it drops at a friends’ house, but the store just isn’t the same. Investing in a pacifier clip or two is the best way to ensure the pacifier isn’t out of commission for any portion of your trip!

11. Give any other kids an incentive

If you have older siblings coming along on your errands, find a way to make it worth their while. When I was little, I remember my mom getting me a donut from the bakery when I went grocery shopping with her. So…of course I got excited to go to the grocery store each week! The incentive doesn’t have to be a donut and it doesn’t even have to be food. It could be a toy from the dollar section or a sticker on a chart when they get home!

12. Invest in a good baby carrier

There are a few products that can make errands and grocery shopping with a baby a whole lot easier! I love my Ergo Omni 360 carrier. It makes grocery shopping with a baby so easy that I sometimes forget she is even there! It also has a detachable fanny pack style pocket that lets me carry my keys, wallet, etc. wherever I go. 

Once your little outgrows the carrier, bringing a shopping cart cover helps avoid having to say “don’t chew on the cart” a few hundred times before you leave the store.

13. Use a climbing cart to bring in groceries

Every mom knows that the biggest challenge of shopping is getting your groceries and bags inside with a little one. Whether you live on the first floor or the third, there is bound to be some distance and a few stairs before you get inside your home. Investing in a climbing cart means you can hold your child with one arm and pull the cart with the other. Yes, it actually climbs stairs! If you have more than one kid, your oldest may want to pull the cart too! If you have a ton of groceries and will be making a lot of trips,  I also highly suggest using an Ergo carrier to strap your baby onto you while you unload.

This post was all about making running errands or going grocery shopping with a baby less daunting. As long as you prepare well and know what to bring with you, it can even be fun. So, I hope these 12 tips make your trips to the store enjoyable again for both you and your little ones! 

-Beautifully Busy Mom

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