Shopping with toddlers is something entirely different. When they are babies, they simply get amazed with the new surroundings, all the bright lights, and the lively sounds. After feeding, they easily fall into deep sleep. Now that they’re toddlers and can walk and run, it is likely that you get to play hide-and-seek or catch-me-if-you-can games while at the mall. They don’t want to sit still. They want to grab anything they see and if they don’t get what they ask for, you better prepare yourself for those attention-catching tantrums. It’s a normal toddler behavior. Shopping with a toddler can be a total nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be.
Plan before you go
Having a stress-free shopping trip with your toddler starts before you leave the house. Build a condition of contentment for your child by considering the following:
Set your shopping time during those moments when your child is calm and actively playing with toys or just watching shows. Avoid times when he is in agitated state or tired.
Make sure to feed your toddler before you leave for shopping. They are usually irritable when they’re hungry or tired.
Select a time of day when the store is not jam-packed to avoid the stress of crowded areas and long check-out lines.
With toddlers, try to keep shopping time that won’t exceed an hour. Coming prepared to the store will help save time. Make a shopping list ahead of time so you don’t forget things and have to go back and forth.
Motivate your toddlers to behave better by observing these pointers:
Bring a good stroller or exercise your baby-wearing skills. An umbrella stroller is fine for quick errands, but you will need the sturdier one if shopping time will take longer. Also, baby-wearing your toddler will help a lot in the absence of a stroller and if you have many things to carry.
Toddlers are generally curious. This is how they start to discover and learn. Make shopping educational by describing to your toddler everything you do or hold. Mention names, colors, sizes and anything that would get his interest. For older toddlers, you can have them start naming things or ask them for help in finding items.
Big toddlers can start participating in shopping decisions. Giving him choices and asking for his opinion can turn a boring, frustrating experience into a more pleasurable one for both of you. By doing this, you promote independence and make shopping easier.
Bringing along juice, a favorite snack, and a well-loved toy or book can also be very helpful.
Allow some playing time for your kids. Most malls have play areas where kids can have fun and enjoy, but if that place is missing, a good idea is to drop by the bookstore and let your kid spend some time browsing through the books.
Remember that our toddlers will behave if their needs are met and when they are satisfied with what they are doing. When we give them our time, patience, and understanding, they will definitely have more tolerance for a shopping trip.