Ohhhh remember those days when you would “Shop till you drop”? I certainly remember those days! They seem like a long time ago.
At this time of year, we have all seen mothers with children in tow that are screaming or throwing themselves on the department store floor, in a grumpy temper tantrum.
Christmas shopping is stressful enough without having to bring your baby and toddler along for the ride. It is time to change your shopping routine to make it a pleasurable experience for everyone. The long marathon shopping trips are usually best left for the days when you have a carer or partner willing to stay home with your child.
But as that is not always possible, here are five tips to get you through the experience.
1. Prepare to Shop!
Preparation involves a basic understanding of your child’s needs. So the first rule of thumb is to plan for extra time to get your shopping done. For your baby or toddler can get irritable when their needs aren’t met. They need food, a clean nappy, attention and entertainment. Bring along all the necessities for your infant: bottles and food, changing supplies and their favourite toys, as well as colouring pens and paper. Break up the shopping trip with intermittent stops at indoor playgrounds, carousels and food courts. Keep in mind it will be difficult to warm food and bottles whilst out, but don’t be afraid to approach food shops with a request for hot water or heating facilities to warm their food.
2. To Carry or Not to Carry?
Many parents love the baby slings that allow them to keep baby close to them. Slings also help soothe your child amid crowds, loud noises and bright lights. Unfortunately, they aren’t always the best choice for shoppers or toddlers.Remember, if you are making numerous purchases, it may be much more convenient to bring along a big, sturdy full size stroller. As it will free up your hands from both your child and your packages, if you want to continue shopping more easily. Otherwise, have you considered a harness? It enables your child to walk freely and independently, allowing you the comfort of keeping them close and safe.
Going into the shopping experience under stress will set a bad tone for your baby or toddler. He or she will pick up on your attitude and likely mimic it back to you, adding to the stress! Christmas shopping should be a fun time and you want your child to think of it as an exciting and pleasurable outing too. If things get too hectic, have a sit on a bench and take some time out to relax and enjoy some time with your infant. Perhaps teaming up with a friend will make the shopping trip fun. Not only do you have someone to give you an opinion on purchases, you can take turns at the till and have another watchful eye on your little ones.
4. Have a List
Knowing what you want before you head out saves a lot of time and stress whilst shopping with your baby or toddler. If you don’t have a clue what to buy, you can inadvertently become frustrated and pass that feeling onto your child. You don’t have to have all items filled in, but knowing which stores to visit will help you maintain your festive sanity.
5. Right shopping time
There is never a perfect time to go shopping, but with trial and error you will soon learn. Some babies or toddlers will do well sleeping in either a sling or a stroller, despite all the activity around them. If you happened to still be shopping during nap time, put your child in their buggy or stroller and cover it over with a blanket or special buggy shade, this is so their environment is dark. This will let them know that it is nap time and encourage sleep. However, there may come a moment when you just know your baby or toddler are done, even when you are not. At that point, it’s best to go with your child’s needs and put off shopping for another day. If shopping significantly throws off their nap time and he or she refuses to sleep, it’s time to go home, put your feet up and start wrapping presents while they get a good, sound nap.