How to grocery shop with a new baby
When you have no children, it’s pretty simple to do your grocery shopping. Leave the house to the store, and you’re back in no time. No hassle.
However, when you have a newborn baby, things aren’t so simple. There is a lot of planning before you can even leave the house, never mind managing being in the actual store itself.
You want to keep your baby safe and happy.
It can be terrifying to take your new baby into a grocery store. Even if you think you have prepared, it still might feel overwhelming. There is a lot to think about, and there are loads of germs and people around.
But it can be safe, and you can purchase various bits of equipment to make it even more so.
And once you learn how to grocery shop with a newborn, it makes it feel a lot easier to achieve.
How do I carry her in?
First, you need to decide how to carry your baby while you shop. There are a few good options to choose from that will keep her safe as you walk around the store.
If you have someone else with you, this isn’t as much of a concern as they can push the shopping cart for you.
Consider which one works best for you as there are pros and cons to each, and some might suit your mothering style better than others.
Infant car seat
Many people use an infant car seat in the grocery cart when grocery shopping. However, balancing the car seat on the top is quite risky and may fall, injuring your baby.
With a secure seat harness, you could put the car seat inside the grocery cart, and your baby will be very safe. However, the car seat will take up most of the room and won’t leave space for groceries.
Baby carriers have the advantage of having the baby close to you. This way, she will soothe easier and might even sleep for the whole of your grocery shopping trip.
This also means you have your hands free to grab the items on your grocery list and the whole cart free to put them in.
You know she’s safe while tied to you in the baby carrier, but it might slightly impair your movement and make it tricky to bend over.
Shopping cart hammock
You can buy a newborn shopping cart hammock that will slot right over the cart where your baby can rest safely. It leaves the whole of the cart empty for your grocery shopping.
Also, it is very safe, and your baby will sleep soundly in it. It also will leave your hands free to pick up your groceries and push the cart. Most shopping carts are the same size, so the hammock should fit any.
However, the hammock doesn’t have a cover, so it doesn’t protect from germs floating about or people coming over to say hi to your baby!
Depending on your stroller, you could go grocery shopping with that. Your baby can be strapped in safely and comfortably while pushing her around the grocery store.
This only really works if you have a stroller with a large underneath storage space. Huge items like multipacks of toilet rolls would not fit there, but you can fit several smaller items. So it is an excellent option if you need a few essentials.
How do I prepare for the shopping trip?
Things will go a lot more smoothly if you plan your trip a little before. It doesn’t have to take loads of time, but do try to make sure you have what you need and have a game plan!
You don’t need to take everything to go grocery shopping, but it is a good idea to take along some essentials.
You don’t want to carry loads of stuff, so leave behind the things you might usually have in there but won’t need.
Taking these few things will make your grocery shopping experience with a newborn baby slightly more manageable.
Pack the diaper bag with;
A couple of diapers
A must, you never know when she’s going to go!
If your newborn likes a pacifier, this will help her soothe while you shop.
Some grocery stores have to change facilities, but often they aren’t spotless, so you’ll need this if you need to change your baby.
If she gets chilly, you can wrap her up.
An outfit change
Just in case she managed to get a lot of spit-ups (or worse) all over her.
An extra shirt for you
For the same reason…
If you do have dirty clothes or diapers, you’ll need this!
A bottle of formula or breast milk
Nursing in the middle of the store probably isn’t ideal so take this with you if she gets hungry.
Figure out the timing
Busy store times
Please find out the busiest times at your local grocery stores and AVOID THEM!
Most grocery stores are busy after 5 pm on weekdays and weekends. So try to go on a weekday morning for your best chance of avoiding too much of a crowd.
The last thing you need is an aisle full of shopping carts while you’re trying to juggle your groceries and your newborn’s first shopping trip. Make life a bit easier for yourself and go when it’s empty.
You can also reduce the risk of exposure to any germs if you go when there are fewer people around.
Feeding and nap time
Also, try and arrange to go just after your baby has been fed and as they are about to go down for a nap. She’ll get into a routine with naptime, so you’ll start to be able to figure out when she’s ready to sleep.
With any luck, she’ll fall asleep and stay sleeping throughout your grocery shop, and you won’t need to try and soothe her.
Like any of us, babies get hangry! She’s more likely to get fussy if she’s hungry, which will make the shopping part even more of a challenge.
Feed her before you go shopping, and she’ll stay contented the whole time. Maybe even feed her in the car before you enter the store.
Have a shopping list
Doing your first grocery shop with your new baby will be daunting, so make it as simple as possible.
Write a list beforehand, so you know exactly what you need and don’t have to spend time in the store unnecessarily.
Most grocery stores have a similar layout, so try to categorize them by area. Then, you can get everything you need from one area at once, rather than walking up and down the store for items further down on the list.
For example, group all of your fresh produce together on your list. These are usually by the entrance to the store. So, put it first on your list, and it will be the first group of things you pick up.
Where to park at the grocery store?
The best parking spot is right next to the shopping cart return stall.
Once you have put your groceries, baby, car seat, and diaper bag in the car, you have to return the cart. If this is just next to the car, it saves a trip across the parking lot.
Parking near the front door might seem like the best idea, but you would then have to either carry the baby over to the cart return stall along with the cart or leave the baby in the car. So either way, not ideal.
Try to park in the shade if you can. Your car can get pretty hot in the sun, and you’ll want it excellent for your baby to get back into.
This is a pretty scary endeavor, so don’t be afraid to take someone along.
Your partner, mum, or friend, can be there with you to make your first grocery shop with a newborn seem a bit less terrifying. They can help you by pushing the cart so you can hold your baby.
They can also hold the car seat for you while trying to find your keys!
Online shopping could be the answer to all your problems. If going to the grocery store feels a little too overwhelming right now, save yourself the hassle by doing your grocery shop online.
Most stores have an online service and also offer delivery. Or you could go and collect the groceries once they have been gathered together for you.
Now you know!
Hopefully, these helpful tips will make your first shopping trip with your newborn a successful trip! Put in a little bit of planning time, and it’ll all go smoothly for you and your baby.
And don’t stress too much! If it doesn’t go entirely to plan, it’s okay. You’ll figure it out, and it’ll get easier each time you try.
Your baby will probably cry, but that is okay! It won’t cause the whole store to stare at you in disgust or have people running for cover. Instead, you will learn what makes your baby happy over time, making it easier to keep her settled.
Remember to reward yourself and pat yourself on the back for doing such a great job!