The approach to grocery shopping is pretty simple when you’re childless. You walk into your kitchen and realize you’re almost out of milk, soda, chips, and chocolate (you know, the essentials), so you grab your wallet and keys and are out the door in 30 seconds. Once at the store, it’s a relaxing affair. You can go as quick as you want or take your time walking up and down the aisles looking for good deals.
Grocery shopping with a newborn requires a more organized and planned approach.
When taking your first trip to the grocery store with your little one, there are two questions to ask yourself:
Never put your infant car seat on top of a shopping cart. It makes the cart top-heavy and your baby could fall off. You can set the car seat inside the cart, but depending what’s on your list, that may not leave much room for groceries.
Many moms of newborns opt to bring a baby carrier or shopping cart hammock. Babywearing means total cart space and (mostly) free hands, but you don’t have total mobility. You can’t bend over and you have to be careful that you don’t bump your newborn into the cart or shelves. A hammock gives you sufficient cart space, complete maneuverability, and a safe way to hold your baby. Simply attach it to the cart, lay your baby or infant car seat on the hammock, and strap your baby or car seat in.
You don’t want to overpack, but you do want to be prepared for anything. Here’s a list of essentials to pack in your diaper bag:
Taking your first trip to the grocery store with a newborn can be intimidating. Is it too soon to go? Are you and him ready for this? Do you really need bread?
At some point, you have to leave the house and shelf cooking can only last for so many meals. So when you’re ready, these tips for shopping with a newborn will make your experience a little more enjoyable.
Shop right after you’ve fed your baby. Babies, like most of us, get cranky when hungry, so feed, get out the door, and try to get your grocery shopping done before it’s time for his next feeding. Hopefully, this time is also naptime and an off-beat time at the store you’re going to. Crowded stores aren’t fun with a newborn, especially your first time out.
Make your first trip to the store quick. You don’t know how your baby will react, so keep it short and sweet for you and her.
With a newborn, the best parking spot isn’t the closest one to the doors. It’s one next to a shopping cart return stall. It’s much easier putting your shopping cart hammock and baby on a cart right next to your car than lugging that infant car seat and diaper bag to the store and doing it inside where you’ll feel in the way. It also means you can unload your groceries and put the cart in the return stall and only have to carry the car seat a few steps back to your car. You’ll be a good mom and customer, and you didn’t even have to break a sweat doing it.
Being organized beforehand is a key way for how to shop with a newborn stress-free. So before heading to the store, make your list and arrange it by aisle or category so you can be in and out faster.
If you’re really nervous about going out alone as a new mom with your newborn (a normal feeling), then bring someone with you. Your partner is always a good choice. You can also ask someone who’s been there before and can lend a helping hand, like your mom, sister, or a friend. No one says you have to do this first-time grocery shopping thing alone.
Give yourself some grace, mama. This is your first time grocery shopping with a newborn. It won’t be easy. It probably won’t go exactly as planned either. Your baby will likely cry. That’s OK. It’s what babies do. You may not get everything on your list. That’s fine, too. Don’t be embarrassed and don’t stress yourself out. Stay calm and stay the course.
Remember, doing anything for the first time with your newborn can be scary. But the more you do it, the easier it gets. You’ve got this! And while you’re shopping, don’t forget to reward yourself with something sweet for surviving your first shopping trip with your baby.